HomeHairHard Bumps On Scalp: Is It A Cause For Concern?

Hard Bumps On Scalp: Is It A Cause For Concern?

Some skin conditions cause hard bumps on scalp to form. Having these bumps on the scalp can be disturbing but usually, it’s not a cause for concern.

Clogged hair follicles could be responsible for causing hard bumps on scalp. Also, bumps on your head can be a sign of an allergic reaction.

You may find a lump on your head when you’re washing or brushing your hair. Scalp bumps can be small or large and it can cause itching.

You may also feel pain, tenderness, or redness in the area of the bump. Moreover, some bumps may contain pus.

These bumps may vanish on its own in a couple of days or it may grow and develop over time. You should consult a doctor if you notice lumps on your head or bumps keep recurring. Usually, these hard bumps can be treated easily.

The dermatologist will examine your scalp, diagnose the case, and recommend the best medications.

So here is what might be causing these hard bumps on scalp to form and how to deal with them:

What Causes Hard Bumps On Scalp:

1- Scalp Acne

It’s a skin condition that causes small hard bumps on scalp to appear. Scalp acne can cause pain and itching. These bumps can also become inflamed or may bleed.

Bacteria, clogged pores, or hormonal imbalances could be the reason for developing scalp acne. Also, residues from hair-care products like shampoos and hairsprays cause buildup which makes acne form on the scalp.

You may need to change your hair-care routine to get rid of scalp acne. Shampooing your hair more often and using clarifying shampoo can help reduce buildup.

Oil-based hair products can worsen the condition so avoid using them. But if you still have scalp acne after changing your routine, consult a dermatologist.

2- Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that appears on different parts of the body including the scalp. It causes a dry buildup of skin cells that create red-silvery scaly patches.

They can flake, itch, crust up, and bleed. Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition that can affect anyone at any age.

Using medicated shampoos and conditioners can help reduce psoriasis plaques.

Some cases may require biologics injections or laser therapy to reduce flare-ups and improve the condition.

Your dermatologist can help and recommend the best treatment that suits your condition so consult him/her if you have any problems.

3- Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This condition causes itchy hard bumps on scalp to form and these bumps may feel scaly and dry.

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when you use certain hair-care products or come into contact with something that you’re allergic to.

To get rid of it, identify what causes the allergic reaction first then avoid using it.

If the skin rash doesn’t go away on its own or you have regular bumps on your scalp, visit a doctor.

4- Scalp Folliculitis

Scalp folliculitis is a skin disorder that causes damage to hair follicles due to fungal or bacterial infection.

It causes red bumps that look like acne pustules, Also, scalp folliculitis can cause pain, itching, and hair loss in severe cases.

Using antibiotic creams can relieve inflammation and destroy bacteria. Also, applying a warm compress to your scalp can soothe irritation and itching.

Antibacterial shampoo can cleanse the scalp and reduce pain, redness, and bumps.

Consult a doctor if the symptoms persist. Check out this article to get more information about this condition and the best shampoos to use to get rid of it.

5- Skin Cancer

Skin cancer on the scalp causes waxy bumps or red bumps, moles, sores, and patches on the skin.

According to, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and about 13% of all skin cancer cases are on the scalp.

Early diagnosis of skin cancer can increase the chances of successful treatment.

Radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, and freezing can help treat different skin cancer cases on the scalp. So check with a doctor if you notice anything unusual on your scalp.

6- Lice

Head lice are insects that settle down in hair and feed on blood from the scalp. What is worse is that lice lay eggs on hair shafts close to the scalp.

Also, they are contagious and it’s not easy to get rid of them. Head lice cause bumps, itching, and irritation on the scalp.

To treat this condition, you should use a shampoo that can kill lice and remove their egg effectively.

Also, use a fine-toothed comb to help you get rid of lice eggs. Consult a doctor if these home treatments didn’t work. Your doctor can prescribe more effective over-the-counter treatment that can combat lice.

7- Dandruff

Stress, dehydration, hair-care products, and unhealthy diets can cause dandruff in hair. Certain hair products can irritate your scalp and dry it out which creates flakes.

Also, yeast overgrowth can make your scalp scaly and itchy. So dandruff can cause itching, irritation, bumps, and scaly patches on your skin.

Medical shampoos can help soothe irritation and itching and reduce dandruff.

Also, some home remedies may help you to get rid of dandruff, check out this article. Visit a doctor if the symptoms don’t go away as you may need a prescription for a certain medicated shampoo.

8- Epidermoid Cysts

Epidermoid cysts are filled with keratin and fat and they develop under the skin. These cysts are not painful and not cancerous.

They are like small hard bumps and their overlying skin is yellowish or whitish in color.

These cysts may go away without treatment. But in case they become infected, visit your doctor. Infected cysts become red and swollen and cause pain.

Your doctor may recommend antibiotics, steroid injections to drain the cyst, or surgery to remove it.

9- Pilar Cysts

Pilar cysts form on the scalp or the neck. Females are more prone to develop pilar cysts than males and it may run in families.

These cysts look like a small sac and they formed beneath the skin and filled with keratin.

They don’t cause pain but if cysts get infected, they become red and sore. Infected cysts could also contain pus. Pilar cysts may disappear on their own.

Check with your doctor if the cyst is causing pain or other symptoms. Your doctor may recommend treatments that can drain the cyst or surgery to get rid of it.

When To See A Doctor

You should visit a doctor if you notice the following symptoms:

  • The bump becomes larger.
  • Pus.
  • Pain and itching.
  • Redness in the area of the bump.
  • Tenderness.

The Bottom Line

Hard bumps on scalp are caused by some skin problems like folliculitis, dandruff, head lice, or allergy. Scalp bumps cause pain, irritation, redness, and itching. You may also feel tenderness or soreness in the area of the bump.

Using certain shampoos can treat these hard bumps on scalp and relieve pain and itching. If bumps don’t disappear in a few days or you have regular bumps, consult a dermatologist.

Your doctor can examine your scalp, diagnose your case, and prescribe the right medications. So speak with a doctor if notice lumps on the scalp.


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