Sores, Blisters and Bumps on the Scalp
There can be several types of scalp conditions that manifest themselves as sores, bumps, or blisters on the scalp. In fact, at virtually any given time, millions of individuals throughout the world suffer from some form of scalp condition.
Although it can be scary to find a new bump on your scalp, they can form for several different reasons, not all of them serious. For example, Dermatitis is normally not a serious condition, and can be readily treated with over-the-counter styling gels and hair treatments. On the other end of the spectrum are serious conditions that can cause bumps on the scalp. Folliculitis can cause extensive scarring on your scalp, scars in which hair will not be able to grow upon.
Conditions that Cause Sores, Blisters and Bumps on the Scalp
When detected early, almost all bumps on the scalp can be treated, and only serious cases require medical attention. Seek a doctor when the bumps persist for more than a week and the pain becomes significant enough to disrupt your normal daily activities.
It's estimated that around 7.4 million people living in America have psoriasis, and about half will experience an outbreak of scalp psoriasis during their lifetimes. Like the common cold or herpes, Psoriasis is actually a chronic disease that flares up from time to time, but is usually less active.
Psoriasis is not contagious, but is instead a disorder in the immune system when a T-cell (T lymphocyte) stops fighting off viruses and bacteria and instead begins attacking healthy skin cells -- a defecting secret agent gone rogue, so to speak.
In normal circumstances, new skin cells arrive at the surface to replace dead or dying skin cells after several weeks. During psoriasis outbreaks, this process dramatically increases to handle the increased skin trauma caused by rogue T-cells. As a result, scaly patches build up on your scalp that resemble bumps and are a collection of dead and living material.
Although rare in adults, tinea capitis can affect prepubescent children, especially young boys. This condition is also commonly called "scalp ringworm" and like ringworm that can appear on other parts of your body, scalp ringworm is not caused by a worm at all, but by a variety of different types of bacteria.
In the United States, Trichophyton tonsurans is the most common culprit in tinea capitis. African American children are a common target for tinea capitis, but children of all ethnicities can be vulnerable.
Folliculitis is an irritating condition that impacts your hair follicles. Although it can occur on the scalp where most people have the highest hair density, folliculitis can actually occur everywhere that hair grows on your body, leaving only your palms and soles of your feet safe.
This condition begins when a hair follicle is damaged by any number of external influences, such as clothing friction, insect bites, shaving, or even tight braids. In most cases, bacteria known as Staphhylococcus (or staph as in "staph infection") attacks the weakened follicle.
As is evident, there are several types of conditions and/or infections that can result in causing sores, blisters, or bumps on the scalp. While not all of the conditions or infections may be serious, it is important to seek appropriate care to determine the root cause of the condition.
In many cases the condition will be treatable at-home and with an over-the-counter medication. However, in other cases the condition and/or infection will require medical treatment.
For this reason, it is important to address the cause of the sores, blisters, or bumps on your scalp and properly diagnose the condition.