I felt a couple of bumps on my scalp, right near the border of my hairline.
I had never noticed them before, so I'm not sure how long they'd been there.
After looking in the mirror, I could see that one of them was swelled up, making it glow pinkish red (this was a whitehead - so it could be popped).
But the other ones were more pink and skin-colored, and much smaller (they didn't have heads).
I didn't even know you could get big red pimples on scalp skin - but apparently you can.
And little did I know - it was the beginning of a battle that ended up lasting almost a full 2 years.
YES - I did ultimately clear the pimples on my scalp, which is why I'm writing this post in the first place.
I'm going to tell you how to heal yourself within the next 4 weeks.
That's just about how long it took for me once I began.
And don't be alarmed, I'm not going to try and push products at you like some sleazy salesman.
Anything I recommend can usually be found at your local drug-store or online (it doesn't matter which company you use).
So let's get going,
What Are Scalp Pimples?
Here's what I found out after a year and half of treating myself for the wrong thing.
Picture trying to clear something on your skin for over a year, while it only gets worse.
Then you realize you were using the wrong treatments for it (because you thought it was something else).
Yup, here's what I learned in a nut-shell.
I didn't actually have scalp acne - it was a yeast infection called follicultis.
Apparently this infection looks A LOT similar to acne, so most people will misdiagnose themselves (even dermatologists do it to their patients).
You can tell you have it because it's more prone to places where you have highly active hair growth - like your scalp or neck.
But it's also common on the forehead.
It usually forms in clusters also.
Some people have more inflammation than others - but for the most part I can guarantee that your scalp pimples are not acne (even though they have whiteheads).
Now let's move onto the causes,
What Causes Pimples on Scalp?
(Just for the record - I'm going to keep referring to it as acne even though it's folliculitis - just to keep the terms easily understandable).
Remember that this is a yeast infection, so it ultimately means that your body is not agreeing with wheat germ.
This is TREMENDOUSLY common.
Let me guess - your diet is based mostly on bread-type foods.
Most people suffering from wheat allergies are unaware of the negative effects because they've ALWAYS eaten bread.
You could be lightly allergic to yeast, which means it makes you feel MUCH more tired & unmotivated than you should be feeling the opposite.
But since you've eaten it your whole life, you'd never know it.
I mean I've struggled with acne before, but never pimples on my head - that's when I thought something was fishy.
Not to mention that it would take weeks for the yeast to completely leave your system (so it's hard to tell it's the problem).
For many people though, this allergy also shows up in the form of follicultis - which appears as pimple like bumps on scalp, forehead or the neck.
Most people just chalk it up to acne, and so do some dermatologists unfortunately.
If you don't believe me, you can read this AAD article (American Academy of Dermatology).
But now that's it's becoming more common, I think most doctors can at least identify it.
The issue (for me at least) was that antibiotics didn't help, they only worsened it.
After figuring it out and eventually clearing myself, I realized that unless you stop the cause of this infection - it is NOT going away anytime soon.
Below I've Listed The 3 Main Causes of Pimples on Head Skin:
1. Wheat Allergy From Bread-Based Diets
Wheat germ allergies are VERY common.
The issue is - you won't know you have one until you see these bumps on your scalp appear.
Why would this happen?
Because the yeast inside bread and 99% of bread based foods is processed.
That means the wheat germ isn't as harmful in small quantities since it's not as prominent.
You can read this post about why grains are bad for your skin, if you want to know more.
But if you have a diet based mostly on bread, then your body is going to have a reaction if you're allergic.
Unfortunately it happens in the form of ugly pimples on scalp and forehead skin.
This leads to the next point,
2. Heat Makes it Worse
I'm just going to assume that you have somewhat of a yeast-based diet (since most people do).
Well adding heat into the mix makes everything 100 times worse.
If you live in a humid climate, or your scalp is one of the places where you feel yourself sweating the most,
It will accelerate the folliculitis to a whole new level.
Heat and yeast DO NOT mix I've come to find out.
If you think about it,
It's the perfect environment for mold to form by definition (so it can't be a good thing to have inside our bodies - which have an internal temperature of about 90 degrees).
3. Animal Dander Contains Tons of Yeast
Furry animals like dogs and cats are like follicuilitis magnets.
Don't get me wrong,
I'm a HUGE dog person, but I know how much they're burdened by yeast allergies (mostly on their skin).
I know it sucks, but this yeast WILL transfer to you and only make your skin worse.
Usually this happens while cuddling or kissing them (which is hard to avoid).
Their fur is also filled with oil, which clogs pores.
What Are The Treatments for Pimples on Scalp?
Some of these might be obvious given what we've just went over.
But it doesn't mean they're not crucial.
You might think they sound too easy to be true, but you'll see a real improvement within the first day or 2.
I remember looking in the mirror the next morning after I started icing my forehead and scalp.
My excitement level was probably at a 10 (because there was a huge difference from what I was used to seeing in the day prior).
I knew that I had found something that was going to solve all my problems - and still does to this day (along with my diet).
Here are the most effective solutions I've found for scalp folliculitis.
1. Temporarily Eliminate Yeast From Your Diet
Try your best, you don't need to drop everything (unless you want to).
Because this one is the hardest BY FAR to accomplish.
I don't even suggest doing it all at once because it will just be too stressful (since I know how much bread you probably eat).
Start out by just cutting back on half of your bread intake, and then by next week you should be able to cut it all out.
It's not fun, but it works (plus you'll lose some winter poundage in the process).
To be honest I never realized how much bread was a part of my life until I had to stop eating it.
Dermatologist Dr. Andrew Weil says that you should eat more fish, eggs and garlic as you can see here.
2. Fight The Heat With ICE
This one is going to sound a little odd, but it's just as necessary as the first step.
As you know, the heat is your enemy. That means sweat also.
I know that you take hot showers - so that's already a major issue (but you don't have to stop them).
Even if it's just once per day that you're sweating - it speeds up the process of forming these scalp pimples.
The only way to defeat is through ice.
You don't even have to go to the store.
Here's a complete article about ice if you want to know more about it.
Every time you are finished showering or sweating - first tilt your head back, then rub an ice cube over the bumps on your scalp for about 10 seconds (tough out the brain freeze if you get one).
It's not normal, and people might think you're weird if they see you, but at least it works.
I suggest doing this before going to sleep also.
Just remember to tilt your head back so the oil from your hair doesn't drip down your face with the ice droplets (that will cause regular pimples to form).
3. Don't Let Animal Dander Spread to Your Head
Believe it or not, there's a pretty easy way to solve this problem (but it's not fun - just easy).
First of all, you cannot put your FACE against your pet at anytime (kiss them on their nose if you can).
The second part is washing your hands after touching them.
It's not hard to remember, and if you want to get rid of the pimples on your scalp then you must wash your hands after touching your pet.
If you don't wash your hands, you'll eventually spread the oil and yeast to your head, where it only worsens everything.
4. Last Tip About Shampoo
Another something that's known to help is to use an anti-fungal shampoo.
This won't help as much as the others in my opinion, but it can help move things along.
If you want to read know more about anti-fungal shampoos then you can read this article.
How to Prevent Your Pimples on Head From Returning?
Now that you know how to get rid of them, I'll tell you how to make sure they never come back.
I cut yeast out of my diet for about 6 months, that means any type of food that contained yeast, wheat or gluten.
It only took about 3 weeks for my pimples on scalp and hairline to fade away, but I DID NOT want them coming back.
At this point I had been icing my face at least 3 times each day also.
But when I stopped icing for a few days, I would notice a few tiny bumps would appear (sometimes even a few red pimples).
And when I started eating bread again about 1 month after being clear, I saw the same thing start to happen.
I knew that my only option was to stop eating bread, and to continue icing my face a couple of times everyday.
Fast Forward 6 Months
I was still pimple free, and I began eating some bread-type foods again (maybe once or twice per week).
For whatever reason, there were no pimples appearing after almost 2 months of eating bread.
Like anybody would, I started eating a little bit more each week, but to this day I don't eat much bread (this was only 2 years ago).
I still put ice cubes on my face everyday because I tend to sweat on my forehead.
If I stopped icing, or started eating tons of yeast everyday, then I'm positive that my pimples on head and hairline skin will come back.
That's why I'm going to keep doing this until I find a way to fully take yeast out of my diet.
But it's so much harder than it sounds.
Especially if you have a big appetite like myself.
How Long Should You Do This To Make Sure Nothing Returns?
If I were you, I would do your best to avoid yeast-foods for anywhere from 8-15 weeks - before you start slowly testing it out again to see if your body is ready to handle it.
Then I would continue icing your face for the next 2-3 months.
You could always stop for a few days to see if your scalp pimples start returning little by little.
If some scalp pimples do start to appear, then you know for sure that you should keep icing and avoiding wheat for a few months longer (until your body flushes out all of the wheat germ).
The smartest thing to do - is to eliminate wheat from your entire life - because clearly your body doesn't agree with it.
In fact, it sees it as a threat, which is what the pimples on your scalp are a reaction to.
Icing can help more than you think, but it can only hold off so much if you continue supplying your body with yeast (which fuels folliculitis).
Think of it this way - humans were originally dieting on 2 things for hundreds of thousands of years; meats, and certain fruits and vegetables. Mainly meat though.
This is know today mostly as the paleo or caveman diet.
Here you can read all of the foods included.
Wheat has no part in this equation.
We recently started eating meat only a couple of thousands of years ago.
That's why so many people are unknowingly allergic to the wheat germ - because it's not natural to their bodies.
So in terms of your own dieting habits, I would suggest staying away from wheat for as long as possible.
In conclusion - I can't tell you much more than I just have about the pimples on your head.
Just continue to ice your scalp. and don't eat bread.
If you were to start doing both of those things right now - you would see a clear difference by tomorrow.
Every day it will keep improving more and more - until everything is all faded away.
I won't lie, ditching bread isn't fun or easy in any sense of the word.
But once you find replacement foods after a few weeks (like mashed potatoes), you'll fall into a nice rhythm and forget all about it.
Trust me when I tell you that it's worth it, (but you'll be able to see for yourself!).