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Health and Medical

Scabs and Sores on Scalp – Causes, and Treatment

Scabs and sores on the scalp can be itchy and unpleasant. Scratching the surface infected with the scabs and sore can make them even worse and increases the chances of infection. Scabs and Sores sometimes clear on their own or with over-the-counter treatments. If you can’t indicate the reason behind the spread of scabs and sores, consider visiting a doctor. It is better to seek professional help rather than trying out various home remedies. Also, keep your hands and your hair essentials clean. Wash them thoroughly before using them to avoid any chances of infection. Use disinfectants to keep your hands clean.

Read on to find more about the causes, treatments of scabs and sores on your scalp.


Dermatitis is caused because of an allergic reaction to something you have touched. The allergic reaction can be caused by jewelry, shampoos you use, hair dye, or even related to your health. Materials like latex can also lead to a reaction. Even outdoor foliage such as poison ivy or poison oak can cause allergic reactions. If you come in touch with toxic substances such as lead, battery acid, or bleach, wash your hands thoroughly before touching the scalp, else it can lead to allergic reactions.

The allergic reaction can dry out your scalp leading to dry patches that itch or burn. If you scratch the infected area, the bleeding or scabbing will worsen. Dermatitis is not contagious.


Contact Dermatitis clears on its own, but consult a doctor when,

  • The area appears infected
  • The area is spreading
  • The are is causing more pain

Try not to come in contact with the irritant again. Allergic reactions grow stronger when exposed to multiple irritants.

Seborrheic Dermatitis (dandruff)

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a skin condition that affects your scalp. Common symptoms include itching, flaking, and scabbing. This condition is not contagious and has no relation to cleanliness. You can wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner and still get dandruff on your hair.

It takes a long time to control dandruff on your head. In some cases, it becomes a lifelong problem that comes and goes.


You can buy shampoos and ointments specifically designed for treating dandruff. There are various options available for medicated shampoos in the market. Some key ingredients you should look for are pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and tar.

You may have to try different shampoos to find out what works the best for you. If medicated shampoos don’t work for you, then try consulting your doctor for prescribed shampoo. Prescribed shampoos do have certain side effects, so consult thoroughly with your doctor before using them.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis is a skin condition which affects various part of the body and causes thick silver-grey scabs all over the scalp. This condition is non-contagious.


Mild conditions can be treated using medicated shampoos which will help you deal with the itchiness and treat your scalp. Key ingredients to look for in your shampoo are tar and salicylic acid.

If things go out of hand, immediately consult your doctor. Severe cases may require topical or injectable steroids.

Seborrheic Eczema

In this condition, the scalp becomes very itchy, irritated, and red. Thick scabs from around your scalp become very itchy and uncomfortable. The inflammation can spread to your neck, face, and behind your ears as well. In case of severity, the inflammation can spread through the whole body as well. The condition is not contagious and the cause of this condition is unknown.


You can use medicated shampoos to loosen the scabs in eczema. Ingredients to look for in your shampoos are pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and tar.

Ringworm of the scalp

A fungal infection that affects your scalp, skin, and hair shafts, ringworm is contagious. Common symptoms include an itchy scalp and scaly patches.


In the case of ringworm, creams and lotions don’t work effectively. You will be required to take oral antifungal medications by mouth monthly or once in three months. Your doctor will ask you to use shampoos containing selenium sulfide, during your treatment period.

Untreated ringworm can lead to serious issues such as extreme inflammation, scarring, and permanent hair loss.

Head Lice

Lice are tiny locusts that feed on human blood. They can spread easily via contact with the infected person. Lice infestation can be bothersome and irritating. Your head is always itchy and you cannot concentrate on your work efficiently.

Lice infestation can still occur even if we maintain proper cleanliness. Unless treated, these parasites keep recurring and irritating. You can contact a doctor in case of severe lice, but here are some tips to get you through just in case you need quick relief.

Lice are not an indication of how ‘unclean’ you’re. You might just get infested because you are in contact with someone who has lice infestation. Sometimes you even clear your head simply by thoroughly combing your hair. All home remedies generally revolve around suffocating the lice in your head. If you’re severely infected with lice on your head, here are some home remedies to help you through.


Try using medicated shampoos to suffocate the lice. You can also try wet combing, using essential oils, or simply keeping your surroundings clean. Wet combing is a traditional way of treating lice on your head. The benefits of this method are the lice are more visible and distinguishable from dandruff or dirt sticking to your hair. This method is also extremely affordable and does not burn a hole in your pocket.

Essential oils used along with combing can be an effective way of treating lice. Essentials should never be used on their own. It should be used along with carrier oil. Make sure to patch-test first. Combing is important to remove the lice and eggs, so comb thoroughly before and after using any treatments

Lichen Planus

Lichen Planus causes red or purple bumps to appear on your skin. This condition is not contagious. When the scalp is affected with red or purple bumps then it is called lichen planopilaris.

This condition can lead to hair loss or alopecia or permanent scarring. Anyone can get this disease, but the middle-aged are more likely to fall prey to this condition. A doctor might be able to diagnose your condition right away and a skin biopsy will confirm the condition.


Lichen planopilaris clears up on its own but can take years also. Treatments may include using steroids such as corticosteroids or oral steroids.

Home remedies to treat scabs and sores on the scalp

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil not only works well for your skin but also helps clean your scalp significantly. Before using any essential oil, make sure you patch the test first. Some people are allergic to tea tree oil, so make sure you patch the test before using the oil. Essential oils are not supposed to be used directly. They must be mixed with a carrier oil before using them. Studies indicate that tea tree oil helps treat dandruff and psoriasis effectively.

Aloe Vera Gel

You can either use the gel directly from the plant or use the ones available in markets. Apply aloe vera gel directly to the affected area. If you’re using the plant, make sure to wash and clean it thoroughly to remove the sticky substance. Studies indicate that aloe vera may be effective in treating psoriasis.

Fish oil or Omega-3 supplements

Fish oil or Omega -3 supplements are good fatty acids that our body requires. These can be consumed in pill form and help lessen inflammation in conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. However, studies indicate mixed observations.

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