Heat boils on the scalp are not uncommon. Boils can occur anywhere on the body but they are likely to occur on parts of the body where the hair follicles can get infected, mostly the scalp, armpits, and groin region. Heat boils can get painful. Sometimes they may itch or sting as well.
Heat boils on the scalp are troublesome because they make washing, brushing, or styling your hair problematic.
Boils On The Scalp
All kinds of boils are caused by bacteria - which are usually a form of staph. Staph is present on everyone's skin, but most people do not realize it. Bacteria can enter your body from a small cut or scratch.
A boil begins to occur as a small lump below the skin. It resembles a pimple at this stage. The bacterial infection then develops into an abscess (containing pus). This has the capability of growing into the size of a golf ball or in the worst case even bigger. This is extremely painful.
Boils are common on the scalp as ingrown hair or hair follicles that are infected can develop into boils. It is a myth if you believe that bald people do not suffer from boils on their scalp. This is so because boils necessarily do not occur only due to ingrown hair or infected hair follicles.
People who suffer from an immune system disorder such as diabetes or some other form of nutritional deficiency are more prone to having boils. It sometimes gets hard for an otherwise healthy person to understand why a boil on the scalp has occurred. Recurrent occurrence of boils on the scalp would require medical intervention.
Boils Are Acne On The Scalp
The most common reason of having acne on the scalp, which is none other than a heat boil, is the production of excess oil in the scalp. Clogged pores along with the presence of dirt can cause boils to occur on the scalp.
Dealing with the hair - like washing and combing can be really painful if your scalp regularly faces the issue of recurring boils. Applying oil can reduce the pain of boils to a certain extent but this is just a temporary relief and does not do anything to heal the boil. It would actually clog the pores even more making the problem worse.
Reasons Behind Scalp Acne
As is the case with facial acne, scalp acne too occurs because of the same reason. The sebaceous glands secrete oil in excess amounts which then meet the hair follicle. The oil glands are connected to the hair follicles.
The sebaceous glands are found deep within the skin. The natural oil produced by the skin is known as sebum. Sebum is capable of penetrating through pores, which can get clogged. In this condition, bacteria could start to breed inside the sebum. This forms a pre-pimple which is known as microcomedone.
When this microcomedone becomes big, it turns into a blackhead or a whitehead. After this, it becomes red and filled with pus, which is then called a zit.
The scalp too produces sebum. Shampooing, conditioning, or using other hair styling products could actually clog the pores in the scalp letting the sebum move inside resulting in scalp acne or boils.
Treating Scalp Boils
Most boils resolve on their own and do not require any particular treatment. They are likely to resolve within a week or two. To speed up the healing process and to get rid of the pain, you can apply warm compresses several times daily.
Warm compresses increase the blood circulation to the boil. This would mean that more number of white blood cells would reach the affected area and fight the infection.
In case you do not find your pain reducing or the boil not healing on its own within two weeks of its occurrence, then you would want to visit a doctor.
If the boil is too large, the doctor might advise draining it. He would pierce it using a sterile needle or scalpel creating an incision and then draining it. The area would be made numb first using a local anesthetic. This helps the procedure to be conducted without pain.
This process of draining the boil would enable it to heal faster and also reduce the pain. Do not try to do the incision yourself, because if not done perfectly it could make the infection worse. If you have multiple boils, then you might be prescribed antibiotics as well.
There are homeopathic remedies available to treat boils as well - this is if you wish to let the boils heal more naturally.
Diet That Can Treat Scalp Boils
Diet adjustments need to be made to keep the sebum production under control. Excess sebum is produced when a person's rate of adulterated food intake is high. Deep fried and milk-based food could cause excessive sebum production; hence, they should be avoided.