A scalp infection is often self-limiting. Most go away quickly thanks to the numerous lymph glands at the base of the scalp and the area's rich blood supply. Scalp infections can be bacteria, viral, parasitic, or fungal and they can lead to secondary infection through scratching, combing, or rubbing of the scalp against harsh towels. Ask your physician to prescribe an antibacterial or antifungal cream if your scalp doesn't heal after a week of home remedies.
Identifying the Cause
Treating the root cause of a problem helps you prevent it from recurring and spreading. Our bodies are designed to treat most minor infections on their own, and the scalp is uniquely well equipped for that job. Achieving an intact scalp is the primary goal of self-treatment. As long as the skin over the infected area is closed, the body can usually handle small infections and areas of non-infected inflammation.
A bacterial infection is a common cause of a sore or lesion on the scalp, and because it is a very thin area, the bacterial pockets can be quite large. Bacteria often enter from the hands or from contamination of gels and pomades. Another common cause, tinea capitis, is a fungal or yeast infection of the scalp.
Washing the Scalp
To begin treating the scalp, wash the hair and scalp with a medicated shampoo designed to treat psoriasis. This ensures the medicine will saturate into the scalp. Leave the product on for five minutes and rinse thoroughly. Using white or cider vinegar to rinse the hair is an ancient remedy for both dandruff and itchy scalps. Mix it half-and-half with warm water, saturate a washcloth with the solution and leave it on for 10 minutes. Then rise with warm water. Allow the hair to dry naturally. Avoid scratching the area and try not to sleep on the affected side.
Lymph Drainage Promotion
To activate the body's' own system of infection management make use of a variation on a technique very popular in Europe. In the 1980s, French Physician Bruno Chikly, MD. Ph.D. developed Lymph Drainage Therapy, or LBT, and won the prestigious Medal of the Medical Faculty of Paris for his work. Lymph fluid contains up to 85 percent lymphocytes, a major component of the bodies immune system. By activating the lymph system through very light massage, infection can be captured and fought by these cells. It also feels very nice.
First warm the lymph nodes to increase the flow of lymph fluid. To do this, place a warm, wet washcloth in a small plastic bag and microwave for a minute. Let the steam out and then re-close the bag. Cover the plastic bag with a light piece of cloth, like a pillow case. Place the warm pack on the lymph nodes at the base of the neck on the affected side, or around the back of the ear if the scalp infection is on the side of the head. Leave the warm pack on for 20 minutes, according to notes by The Arthritis Trust of America on LDT. After warming the site gently, make sweeping motions, like waves all over the area you have warmed. Use the flats of your hands, never the finger tips. Continue these light sweeping motions for about 10 minutes.
If an infection of the scalp becomes painful, your temperature rises above 101.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or you notice red streaks running down over the neck, consult a physician immediately. Oral antibiotics will likely be needed, according to the Joseph Norelli, M.D. writing in the "Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics."