Although hair often hides pimples on the scalp, making them less of a cosmetic problem than face pimples, they can still be a nuisance. At the same time, your hair gets in the way of any kind of topical medication you might ordinarily use to treat acne. So what can you do?
Your first idea might be to break out that old standby, benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most widely used acne medications, but it's not recommended for use on the scalp because it can bleach your hair.
A better option is salicylic acid. Often found in dandruff shampoos and other medicated shampoos, salicylic acid helps to exfoliate your skin, so there are fewer dead skin cells on your scalp to clog pores. You can also find salicylic acid in toners, cleansers and creams. To use it on your scalp, dab a small amount onto pimples with a cotton swab or cotton ball [source: Surviving Hairloss, WebMD].
If your acne does not respond to these measures, your doctor may be able to prescribe a stronger topical medication. If you have really stubborn acne, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic or other oral medication [source: WebMD].
Besides over-the-counter and prescription medications, there are several ways that you can fight scalp acne at home. To learn how, get ready to open your cupboards and cabinets and keep reading.