Because scalp sores are caused either by bacteria, viruses, fungi or an autoimmune disease, you'll need to seek medical attention in order to treat them. You can do things at home to prevent and contain scalp sores, but you'll need to see a doctor to get rid of them completely.
If you think you've been exposed to the type of fungus that causes ringworm, wash your hair with an antifungal shampoo every day for two weeks. This should prevent the fungus from settling in. You can buy some antifungal shampoos over the counter, so you may be able to avoid a visit to the doctor if no symptoms show up. However, if you know you're already infected with ringworm, antifungal shampoo alone won't clear up the condition. You'll have to make an appointment with your doctor, who can provide the medication you need to take along with the shampoo [source: WebMD].
Keeping your scalp clean is the easiest way to prevent fungal, bacterial or viral infections. You should shampoo immediately after exercising, since this washes away sweat. Clean any cuts on your scalp with an antimicrobial sanitizer. Do not share items that touch your scalp, such as hats, scarves, headbands or other hair accessories. If you follow these general hygienic practices, it's possible to greatly decrease your chance of exposing yourself to many skin conditions and developing scalp sores [source: Berman].
For lots more information on how to identify and treat scalp sores, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Skin Conditions Related to AIDS." 1997. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/viral_skin.html
- Berman, Kevin. "Tinea capitis." MedlinePlus Encyclopedia. (Accessed 9/26/2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000878.htm
- MedlinePlus Encyclopedia. "Triamcinolone Topical." Sept. 1, 2008. (Sept. 27, 2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601124.html
- MedlinePlus Magazine. "Skin Health and Skin Diseases." 2008. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/fall08/articles/fall08pg22-25.html
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). "Pemphigus." Dec. 2008. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Pemphigus/pemphigus_ff.asp#b
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). "Psoriasis." April 2009. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriasis/default.asp#3
- WebMD. "Ringworm of the Scalp or Beard -- Medications." March 24, 2009. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/ringworm-of-the-scalp-or-beard-medications
- WebMD. "Scalp Problems -- Topic Overview." July 3, 2007. (Sept. 26, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/scalp-problems-topic-overview?