Man with pimples on his head
9th October 2023

Pimples on the head: why do they appear and how to treat them?

Sometimes acne not only manifests itself on the face or body, but we can even have pimples on the head. When they appear, it is important to know what to do and how to act, since although it is usually acne, it can be a symptom of a more complex disease.

In the blog de Hospital Capilar, clinic dedicated to hair grafting in Madrid, Murcia and Pontevedra, we tell you everything you need to know about pimples on the head: Why do they appear, what types are there and how to treat them?

What are pimples on the head?

When we talk about pimples on the head, most of the time we refer to acne on the scalp. It is true that the face is usually the most common area where acne appears, but we must not forget that the scalp is also skin, so it can also be affected.

The pimples on the head usually present with certain discomforts, since the scalp tends to become inflamed in the areas where acne appears, causing pain, itching and irritation

Causes of acne on the scalp

Normally the causes of acne on the scalp are similar to when we get pimples on our face. However, the factor that triggers pimples on the head depends precisely on the type of pimple in question.

Allergic reactions

An intolerance or an allergic reaction can be the cause of pimples on the head. Normally it usually occurs in case of eating food or with certain drugs.

Bacterial infection

Another reason why we can suffer from acne on the scalp is due to a bacterial infection. Specifically, it is the bacteria proprionibacterium acne that causes pimples on the head.

Hormonal changes

In the same way that happens with acne on the face and body, sudden hormonal changes at certain stages of development, such as puberty or pregnancy, can cause acne on the head.


Sudden changes in weather can affect the health of the scalp with the development of acne.


Same as him stress causes hair loss, can also be the main cause of acne on the scalp. Experiencing strong episodes of stress or anxiety usually has a direct impact on our hair health. 

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Types of pimples on the scalp

The pimples that appear on the head are not all the same, and depending on the type and cause that originates it, it is recommended to follow one treatment or another. Thus, acne in this area can be classified as follows.

pimples with pus

If the pimples on the head are accompanied by pus, it is an obvious symptom of a infection of viral, fungal or bacterial origin. This occurs when there is also an excess of sebum that plugs the hair follicles causing itching and some discomfort.

grains with fat

Although it may seem the same, pimples with pus and pimples with fat they are not the same. Sebaceous, or fatty, are identified by a yellowish lump, unlike those containing pus that are white.

This type of pimples on the head usually occurs when there is a lack of hygiene. It is important to treat them early, otherwise an infection could develop.

red beans

On the other hand, there are the red grains. They are typical in allergic reactions, so in these cases it is important to see a specialist.

Dry beans

Dry pimples are caused by a seborrheic dermatitis and they look similar to scabs.

Treatment for pimples on the head

Depending on the type and origin of acne on the scalp, one treatment or another will be recommended. It is important to go to a specialist to receive a diagnosis and put the most suitable solution in each case.

Among the most common treatments for pimples on the head are topical cream and oral antibiotics, retinoids, as well as other types of compounds such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur. 

Hair graft with pimples on the head: Is it viable?

Hair grafting is currently the most demanded method to recover lost hair due to a alopecia. However, patients during preoperative They must keep the scalp in the best condition to avoid complications during surgery. Therefore, if you have pimples on your head before a hair transplant, it is essential to resort to medical treatment before the hair implant. Once the grains have been removed, our medical equipment ensures that the intervention will be viable. 

Does a hair graft hurt?

Hospital Capilar, hair clinic in Madrid, Murcia and Pontevedra

En Hospital Capilar We have an expert medical team with which to obtain the best aesthetic results from your hair transplant. In addition, we also have medical hair treatments with which to treat problems such as hair loss and lack of vitality. Request your hair diagnosis at no cost!