As if cystic acne on your face, back, or chest weren’t bad enough, there’s still your scalp you have to worry about.


Yep, if you’re an oil-producing human-being with a head, chances are, you’ve experienced or will experience painful bumps on your scalp aka “scalp pimples.” These are bumps that seem to sprout overnight, are painful or itchy to the touch, and seem impossible to get rid of. Turns out, these aren’t pimples after all, rather something call folliculitis, a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed. It’s caused by bacterial or fungal infections and can spread into bigger sores if untreated.

“The scalp is unique because its ‘pores’ are the openings of the hair follicle with thick, terminal hairs growing out of them,” explains Dr. Terrance Keaney, a dermatologist who also serves as Dove Men+Care’s skincare expert. “Given the presence of scalp hair, the scalp cannot get acne like blackheads but the hair follicles can get inflamed leading to scalp folliculitis or hair can get embedded into the scalp.”

But there are simple solutions for this – and you most likely won’t have to get a prescription (or see a derm, sorry, Dr. Keaney!) to treat your head bumps. Below, are great suggestions of what to use to soothe your skin and kick those bumps to the curb.

Try tea tree oil

This powerful essential oil is a natural antibacterial and will kill bacteria and fungus while healing the skin. In a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, tea tree oil and its Terpenin-4-ol compounds was said to increase the activity of white blood cells, which help to destroy viral or bacterial invaders. In another study, 5% tea tree oil was said to be just as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide for acne.

You can either get natural tea tree oil and rub it into your scalp, or try a shampoo that has some in it. Dr. Keaney recommends Dove Men+Care DermaCare Dandruff Defense 2-in-1 Shampoo +Conditioner. It’s infused with eucalyptus to soothe with tea tree extracts to defend against bacteria.

BUY HERE, $4.89

Add some salicylic acid

Your hair builds gunk overtime – and that’s pretty normal. Not only does it have to shed dead skin cells (aka dandruff), excess products, and natural oil, it’s constantly trying to breathe from all that hair. That’s why it’s good to clear it out sometimes. A shampoo from Neutrogena called T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo-Scalp Build-Up Control will do just that, while soothing the scalp and treating it at the same time. Yep, this is a multi-hyphenate. With 3% salicylic acid, to boot, it will help relieve itchy, flaking skin and get rid of your bumps in no time.


Apple cider vinegar

We’ve never tried this, but it’s been written about extensively on how it heals the scalp just by balancing out your pH. We cannot stress enough about how pH is essential to the health of your skin. Too acidic or alkaline and it’ll go out of wack. Using an apple cider vinegar, then, balances it out while also naturally disinfecting the area. Mix with water and gently massage into your hair.

BUY HERE, $7.92

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