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Patches of Bumps on My Scalp

author image Nicki Howell
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.
Patches of Bumps on My Scalp
Doctor inspecting skin on head. Photo Credit KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Discovering scalp bumps can be alarming. These bumps, however, aren’t usually serious. Finding the underlying cause will assist in choosing the right treatment option. Most conditions that cause patches of bumps on the scalp can be managed with topical treatments or changes in your daily routine.


A common cause of bumps on the scalp is contact dermatitis, according to MayoClinic.com. This condition occurs when the scalp comes in contact with irritating substances, such as shampoo or other hair products. Scalp psoriasis, which is caused by a problem with the immune system, may also cause this issue, MayoClinic.com notes. With scalp psoriasis, patches of bumps may have a scaling appearance and are itchy and sore. Seborrheic dermatitis is another condition that may cause patches of bumps on the scalp, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Patches are very itchy and may appear yellow or white. The skin also has a greasy appearance.

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Treatment for contact dermatitis includes identifying the source of the irritation, such as shampoo or hair products. The irritation can take up to four weeks to go away, even after the product is discontinued, according to MayoClinic.com. You can also use hydrocortisone creams on the patches of bumps and apply white dressings to relieve irritation, according to MayoClinic.com. Hydrocortisone cream will also work to treat scalp psoriasis, MayoClinic.com notes. Seborrheic dermatitis is treated using a cream or lotion containing corticosteroid cream and using a mild shampoo on the scalp. Choose a nonprescription shampoo that contains sulfide, ketoconazole or salicylic acid, according to MayoClinic.com.


Infrequent hair washing can also cause scalp irritation, resulting in patches of bumps on the head, according to MayoClinic.com. This is common in oily hair and caused when skin cells build up. Wash your hair daily to avoid this problem. Washing the hair with hot water and using a blow dryer too close to the scalp can also cause irritation.


Some skin irritation is a symptom of a more serious medical condition affecting the immune system, such as HIV, MayoClinic.com warns. Have your doctor examine the scalp irritation to determine if there’s an underlying cause. Children and adults with reoccurring strep throat infections are also at higher risk for this issue.


Avoid scratching the scalp. Itching may cause other health problems. It may also cause skin to become thicker and result in bacterial infection, according to MayoClinic.com. Take a warm bath with oatmeal to relieve itching and use treatments recommended by your doctor. If itching continues, consult your doctor about other treatment options.

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