How Do I Treat Scalp Lesions?

A sebaceous cyst on the scalp.
Common causes of a scalp lesion include dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis.
Article Details
  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Images By: Paul Huxley, Lars Zahner
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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You can treat minor scalp lesions at home by washing your hair carefully with a shampoo designed to improve common scalp conditions, applying a topical medicine that can speed up the healing process, and identifying possible environmental triggers in order to prevent further outbreaks. Some of the most common causes of a scalp lesion include dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis. Allergic reactions to certain hair products can also lead to scalp lesions in some people. Cases of persistent and severe scalp lesions can sometimes indicate a more serious problem such as a ringworm infection, so a dermatologist visit is normally the next logical step when over-the-counter remedies do not lead to any improvement.

Adequate moisture is necessary for a healthy scalp, and lesions are a common problem associated with a dry scalp. Sores can result from splits and cracks in dry scalp skin if left untreated. This condition is often worse during the winter months and in drier climates. Flaky and itchy scalp sores will usually clear up on their own with the regular use of a shampoo formulated to treat a dry scalp with dandruff. While the sores are healing, dermatologists advise that sufferers avoid touching or scratching the lesions in order to avoid a bacterial infection.

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Psoriasis-related scalp lesions are normally characterized by a build-up of skin scales that can range from white to yellow in color. Scraping or scratching at these scales usually causes scalp bleeding and a risk of further infection. Mild to moderate scalp psoriasis lesions can usually be treated with shampoos and topical medicines containing coal tar or salicylic acid. Psoriasis sufferers can sometimes find these products in drug stores, although some may need a dermatologist's prescription for stronger versions in order to clear up more serious sores. Since these medications are often quite drying to the hair, most physicians recommend a thick moisturizing conditioner during treatment.

Home remedies are additional treatment options for scalp lesions if you experience sensitivities to other types of medicine. Products such as tea tree oil and lightweight oatmeal-based lotion can often bring some improvements to inflamed and irritated lesions. Switching to milder hair products without harsh chemicals is another option that may help your lesions' healing time.

Scalp lesions and hair loss are usually signs of an underlying fungal infection called tinea capitis, also known as ringworm. This condition can be transmitted from person to person and normally requires a dermatologist's care with anti-fungal medications. Although the associated hair loss can be alarming, it is actually temporary since the strands only break off at the scalp.

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Discuss this Article

Laotionne
Post 3

Hair conditioners, especially leave in conditioners work well as a means of keeping your scalp from getting too dry. And of course when you scalp gets dry this can lead to some of the conditions listed in this article.

Animandel
Post 2

@Feryll - Take a hint from the article and try a tea tree oil shampoo. I have used tea tree oil for skin conditions previously, and in most instances the oil has worked. I've never used the tea tree oil shampoo so I can't recommend it personally.

There is also another shampoo, and I think the name is black tar shampoo, but not positive about the name. Anyway, I have heard several people who have used it say that this shampoo is good for a variety of scalp irritations.

Feryll
Post 1

During the winter when the heat is on inside, my scalp dries out quickly and I have endless flakes of dandruff. I have been told to wash my hair more and I have been told to wash my hair less often. Either way, I still have dandruff.

The good thing is that I'm not bothered by itching very often. The biggest problem occurs when I comb my hair and the dandruff starts falling out, and combing also lifts the dandruff to the surface where it can be seen. Mostly, this is simply an inconvenience. Thankfully, I don't get scalp sores

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