First of all, if you are prone to scalp acne, you should try to prevent the pimples from forming in the first place. This means removing excess oil on a regular basis and avoiding unnecessary hair products. Choose a gentle shampoo, or use one that contains salicylic acid to help keep your pores clear. Don't use products that are heavy, oily or full of fragrance. Oily products will only add to pore clogging, and fragrances may irritate your scalp if you have sensitive skin, making it more susceptible to breakouts. These measures alone may help reduce or eliminate your scalp pimples [source: Kern].
Another remedy that many people with acne have found helpful is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is made from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, and it's used as an antiseptic. You can buy tea tree oil as an ingredient in other products, like shampoos, or in its pure form, and you can use it as a preventive or a spot treatment [source: Sorgen]. However, the medical jury's still out on whether tea tree oil is truly effective at preventing or treating acne [source: National Library of Medicine].
The herb fenugreek has been used in tea to help nursing mothers increase their milk production, and people have used it to treat acne as well. Crush fenugreek leaves, which can be found at a health food or general nutrition store, and mix with water. Then, smooth the paste on your scalp or face, wherever the affected areas tend to be. Leave the paste on for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water [source: AcneTalks]. Although this probably won't harm you, there's not enough scientific evidence to say for sure whether it will treat or prevent acne [source: NCCAM].
For more information about preventing and treating scalp pimples, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Absolute Acne Info. "Why What you ARE NOT Eating May Cause Acne." (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.absoluteacneinfo.com/diet/eat.html
- AcneTalks.com. "Blackhead Removal at Home: Some Time Tested Home Remedies for Your Blackheads." (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.acnetalks.com/pimple/Acne-Treatment/Herbal-Natural/Homemade-Blackhead-Removers.htm
- CareFair.com. "Learning About Scalp Folliculitis." (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.carefair.com/hair/Learning_about_Scalp_Folliculitis_4178.html
- Kern, Daniel W. "Scalp Acne." Acne.org. (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.acne.org/scalp-acne.html
- Kern, Daniel W. "What is acne?" Acne.org. (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.acne.org/whatisacne.html
- Medline Plus. "Tea Tree Oil: Medline Plus Supplements." 8/26/2009 (Accessed 11/11/2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-teatreeoil.html
- MotherNature.com. "Acne: 18 Remedies for Smoother Skin." (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.mothernature.com/Library/bookshelf/Books/47/2.cfm
- Sorgen, Carol. "Tea Tree Oil Treats Skin Problems." MedicineNet. (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51985
- Surviving Hairloss. "What is Scalp Acne?" Surviving-Hairloss.com (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.surviving-hairloss.com/Scalp_Acne.html
- WebMD. "Acne-Medications." (Accessed 10/09/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-medications