Sores, bumps, and scabs on your scalp can be itchy. They can be painful and irritating. Some of them need medicine. Most sores, though, will go away by themselves or with help from over-the-counter treatments.
Scabs and sores on the scalp are often caused by a dry scalp. Your skin protects your scalp, and they can be caused when something is wrong with the protective barrier, which is controlled by oil from your glands. When the pH of this barrier is damaged, it can cause your scalp to become dry and itchy.
When you scratch your head too much, the outer skin of your scalp is damaged. This damages will heal itself with clots that stick together to form scabs. These scabs are yellowish, reddish, brown or black, and they itch a lot. If you scratch them too much, it can cause bleeding.
There are many reasons why these scabs form on the scalp. One reason might be that you have an oily scalp, or it could be because you have eczema or psoriasis. It is hard to know what happened without knowing the exact cause of your scabs.
It is a bad idea to pick or scratch the scabs on your scalp. If you do, they will hurt more, and there might be an infection. Scabs on the head can sometimes need a doctor’s help and treatment.
Causes of Scabs on Scalp
Oily Scalp: People with oily scalps are prone to getting dandruff. When you scratch your head, it can lead to scabs. (source)
Acne: Acne usually causes pimples and blocked pores on your face, neck, back, chest, etc. Sweat can make acne worse. You might get scabs on your scalp or body if you have acne.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Dandruff): Seborrheic dermatitis is an itchy condition that causes flaking and scales. It can be treated with medicine that you buy over the counter, but you might need to see a doctor for prescription medicine if it gets worse. Seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious and will worsen if you treat it with over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. (source)
Impetigo: This condition is caused by a bacterial infection on the skin. Symptoms include sores and blisters. The sores are usually itchy and appear on the face, along the hairline, or around the mouth. The infection occurs when Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria enters open skin due to a wound or cut. It is very contagious! (source)
Scalp Ringworm: Fungal infections cause scalp ringworm. When it affects the scalp, it leads to a very itchy rash and red in colour. (source)
Seborrheic Eczema: This condition is a kind of eczema. The cause is unknown. It can be itchy and red on the scalp. When it gets worse, eczema spreads to other parts of your body, starting with your neck, behind your ears and on your face. (source)
Lichen Planopilaris: If you notice bumps on your scalp that form scabs, you could have lichen Planopilaris. This is an inflammatory condition that makes your hair follicles red, and it can make them sore. If this happens, there may be hair loss. The bumps can form scabs, and they are often purple or red. (source)
Eosinophilic Folliculitis: This is a serious condition that affects people with HIV or AIDS. It can cause them to have itchy, pus-filled areas on their skin and scalp. These areas will form scabs when they heal. (source)
Scalp Folliculitis: This is another condition that affects the hair follicles. It makes scabs of yellow-white color on your scalp. (source)
How to Treat Scalp Scabs
The best way to treat your scabs is to leave them alone and not scratch them. Scabs will heal on their own in 10-14 days. Scabs are a sign of your skin healing. They usually fall off and go away on their own. But if they bother you, you can do some things to make them heal faster. You can use a few home remedies with ingredients that are in your pantry. If they have an underlying medical condition, then they may take longer.
There are many over-the-counter products to help with scabs on your scalp. But it is best to talk with your doctor. They might have a few remedies that you can do at home so they can soothe your scalp:
Hydrating scalp mask
Serums containing urea and ceramides
Warm oil massage with coconut, jojoba, or tea tree oil
Natural ingredients with antioxidants and antimicrobial properties:
Aloe vera gel
Apple cider vinegar
When you have a scab, it often means your skin is irritated. You might also have dry or dead skin. Scabs happen because of itchy skin or other conditions that make the skin really sensitive to scratching. When you scratch your scalp, then there might be a scab.
Scabs on the scalp form for various reasons. One common reason is dandruff, but you can get it from other things too. If you have scabs, they can cause more problems. You need to see a doctor before you try any new treatment that might make the problem worse.
Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors. Follow me on Linkedin