Pimple-like bumps on the head can be caused by several conditions, including seborrheic dermatitis and folliculitis. Although these illnesses have different causes, both of them can be bothersome and dangerous if left untreated. Pimple-like scalp bumps can be embarrassing and difficult to hide, making it is important to understand their causes and remedies.
Pimple-like bumps on the head can be tender, scaly, itchy, inflamed and red in appearance. The bumps can be crusty and may be filled with a pus-like material. They can also be surrounded by oily or greasy skin. In addition, hair loss can occur in the area of scalp around the bump. Sometimes, such as when the bumps are the result of seborrheic dermatitis, red bumps and scaling can appear on other areas of the body such as the ears, nose and eyelids.
Bumps on the scalp can be caused by a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. According to the MedlinePlus website, this illness occurs due to the yeast malassezia and an excess production of oil on the skin. Triggers may include stress, infrequent bathing, alcohol-containing lotions and obesity. Red bumps can also be due to a scalp infection called folliculitis. This occurs when the hair follicles become infected by a fungus, virus or bacteria after becoming damaged.
Seborrheic dermatitis can benefit from over-the-counter shampoos containing medications such as resorcin, selenium, salicylic acid, coal tar or zinc. In severe cases, a doctor can prescribe corticosteroid or ketoconazole shampoos. Scalp bumps due to folliculitis can be remedied with topical or oral antibiotics. These can treat the infection and help reduce any itching or inflammation. Chronic or painful bumps that are boil-like may require surgical drainage to increase recovery time and relieve pain.
The MedlinePlus website suggests that a patient contact a doctor or dermatologist if scalp bumps are persistent or do not respond to home treatments. It is also important that the sufferer treat the bumps carefully and gently. In the case of an infection, he should wash the scalp two times a day using an antibacterial soap. Shaving the scalp should be avoided as much as possible if suffering from bumps on the head.
Both seborrheic dermatitis and folliculitis can be dangerous if left untreated. Besides causing embarrassment and problems with self-esteem, both conditions can lead to serious fungal or bacterial infections. These infections can eventually travel to the bloodstream and lymph nodes. With folliculitis, painful boils can develop beneath the skin's surface, resulting in extreme pain and scarring. In addition, permanent hair loss can occur if the hair follicle becomes destroyed.