Sore spots is an extremely uncomfortable condition. The soreness is often accompanied by a constant itching sensation. You can feel the tenderness in them when you touch the scalp with your fingertips. In severe cases, these spots become so painful that one finds it difficult to comb the hair. If bumps are formed on the affected parts, there is a chance of temporary hair loss in the area.
There are several factors that can be responsible for sore scalp. It may happen after an exposure to strong chemicals. It can also be a symptom of various forms of infections. The main causes are given below:
Harsh Chemicals: This is the primary cause that contributes towards sores. The scalp is exposed to several harmful chemicals when you use different hair care products. There are many shampoos that contain chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) as a cleaning and foaming agent. Excessive use of such products leads to itchy dry scalp as the strong chemical components tend to extract the natural oils from the scalp.This sensitive skin condition also increases the risk of infection.
Fungal Infection : Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can trigger formation of sores on the scalp. It can be identified with the itchy patches on the scalp surface that are round in shape and are red in color. The infected part of the skin also suffer inflammation. Hair loss may occur in those areas where the ringworm rashes break out.
Bacterial Infection: Both the hair follicles and the scalp skin can be attacked by bacteria. The bacterial infection is termed as impetigo. Here, the infection causing bacteria enters the body through the cuts in the skin and then multiply in numbers there. On the other hand, the infection due to bacteria trapped inside hair follicle is also known as folliculitis which is characterized by eruption of pus filled bumps on the scalp surface.
Pemphigus: This is an autoimmune disease where the immune system starts attacking the healthy cells of the body by mistake. These sores produce a continuous itching sensation and may spread on the face too. The affected spots are not just ugly-looking and give uncomfortable feeling but is also potentially dangerous.
Psoriasis: This is another form of immune system disorder that affects the skin. Normally, our body takes almost one month to replace the dead skin cells with the new ones. In psoriasis, the body starts producing new cells at a faster rate. As a result, the immature cells get piled up and form sores on the scalp.
Other Causes: Acne is a skin condition that leads to outbreak of pustules. Lack of nutritious diet, blocked skin pores, hormonal changes, ingrown hair are some of the factors that trigger this problem. Allergic skin reaction like dermatitis, viral infections like shingles and chickenpox, stress are the other major causes.
As some of the causes are quite serious, it is important to consult a doctor and start its treatment as soon as possible. Doctors diagnose the problem after careful examination of the sores. Different forms of infections are treated differently. Antifungal shampoo is prescribed for fungal infections. A bacterial attack is controlled with the help of oral and topical antibiotics. Antiviral medications can resolve a viral infection.
Psoriasis is more difficult to treat and one may have to continue with the treatment for a longer period of time. Doctors first try to treat it with medicated shampoos, topical anti-inflammatory medicines, vitamin D supplements and oral immunosuppressive drugs. If these medicines fail to heal up the scalp sores, then the patient has to undergo phototherapy, where the affected area is exposed to a particular light so that the cell turnover is slowed down. A serious problem like pemphigus, if not treated on time, can be life-threatening. Doctors try to bring down the severity of its symptoms by administering oral steroids and immunosuppressive drugs. In minor cases, application of topical steroids bring about improvement in the condition.
Scalp sores can be prevented to some extent if we take good care of our overall health. This is possible by eating healthy foods, doing exercises regularly, maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping your mind free from stress. Select the hair care products which do not have any strong chemicals as ingredients. This will ensure that the scalp and the hair do not become dry or damaged after using them.