What Causes Scalp Acne and How to Treat It with CBD | cannabisMD

What Causes Scalp Acne and How to Treat It with CBD

Treating Scalp Acne with CBD

Image Credit: kyle smith on Unsplash

Acne is caused by the occurrence of infected sebaceous glands in the human skin. It usually appears on the face, chest, back and even on the scalp. In particular, it is a skin condition that is characterized by red pimples on the face. It is extremely common among teenagers, though it also occurs in many adults. It usually appears during puberty.

Many people can experience scalp acne, but few are aware of what causes it and know how to properly treat it. Here is a guide on identifying and treating this skin condition. There is also an outline on how to managing your acne with CBD.

The sebaceous glands release sebum. Sebum is a naturally-occurring oil meant to moisturize the skin. If sebum is overproduced, this excess oil can become trapped in our pores. Clogged pores lead to pimples. Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States, this skin condition affects about fifty percent of Americans annually. It typically includes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It is the most commonly associated with changes to hormonal level.

There are several hormones that cause our grease-producing glands to produce more amounts of oil than usual. It process is called abnormal sebum production. Sebaceous glands are located near hair follicles, all over our body. If the hair follicles on our head become clogged, causing scalp folliculitis. This is characterized by inflamed hair follicles. At first, it may look like small red bumps or whiteheads at the base of your hair strands.

Scalp Acne: Causes and Treatment

Scalp acne is a skin condition that causes a lot of discomforts, especially when this skin condition is accompanied by severe itching. Pimples on the scalp are formed the same way as they form on other body parts. This scalp condition is often created as a result of the combination of:

  1. Excess production of sebum (from sebaceous glands)
  2. Pores clogged by dead skin cells
  3. A bacterial infection that leads to inflammation and swelling

Causes of Acne:

  1. Hormonal imbalance: There is an increase in the level of certain hormones, especially androgen which causes hormonal imbalances and can trigger overactive oil glands. The changes are generally common during puberty, pregnancy, before and during menstruation, and menopause. Hormonal imbalance usually triggers many skin problems or may worsen already existing breakouts.
  2. Hair products: Scalp acne may also be the result of the brand/kind of hair care products you are using (including shampoo and conditioners, hair gels, and dye). There are many lists of everyday hair care products that are usually oily or greasy. They can block the skin pores on the scalp which leads to scalp acne formation.
    Therefore, it is essential to be careful when using hair care products to prevent scalp acne. Some sufferers find relief from dandruff shampoos, clarifying shampoos, and shampoos with tea tree oil or salicylic acid. Proper hair care will also help avoid needless hair loss.
  3. Oily scalp and dry skin: Researchers have concluded that people who have an oily scalp and dry skin are prone to this skin problem. When hair gets oily, it causes clogged pores. The human skin naturally produces sebum. People have oily skin or an oily scalp will more likely develop it.
  4. Certain Drugs: Specific kind of medications can influence vital body hormones that lead to overactive glands. This result in overproduction of natural body oil, sebum. Some of the drugs include antiepileptic (used to treat epilepsy) and Lithium which is used to treat bipolar disorder and depression.
  5. Headgear: Wearing helmets, headbands, caps or hats can also cause scalp acne. Your skin can be irritated as headwear increases scalp perspiration. Wearing such headgear is okay for most but, if you are prone to the developing scalp acne, it is inadvisable.
  6. Dirty environments: Dirt might not be the ultimate cause, but it can increase the chances of getting scalp acne. Be cautious of dirty pillows and sheets that continuously rub your scalp’s skin. It is suggested that pillows and coats be clean at least once a week.
  7. Genetics: The condition may also run in certain families. For example: if one or both of your parents have scalp acne, you have a higher chance to develop it.
  8. Other causes: The condition may also be instigated by
    • Unwashed oily hair
    • Improper diet
    • Allergic reaction
    • Exposed to hot temperature/ too much sun exposure

How CBD Treats Scalp Acne

Studies over the years have suggested CBD could be effective in treating acne. Cannabidiol is the most studied non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. It has little to no significant side effects.

CBD slows the production of sebum. Excess sebum that can be the cause of acne. The reason why it works effectively in slowing sebum production is that CBD oil breaks down fats. CBD kills stubborn, harmful bacteria that causes acne, without damaging good bacteria. It also slows cell proliferation. This means CBD slows down the life-cycle of the cell. The cell does not die as often, so dead skin cells do not get trapped in pores.

CBD can also regulate the causes of acne. It can heal the gut from inflammation, and it also reduces stress as an anti-anxiolytic agent. It has calming effects. Phytocannabinoids are helpful in stress reduction. You can use CBD oil in ways, after washing your hair:

  1. Take CBD oil internally: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an essential system in our body. It regulates various body vital functions to help keep our body running the way it was designed to run. If you take CBD oil, it may improve your body system’s functions. This should eliminate some factors that cause acne.
  2. Treat affected areas with CBD topically: CBD products mixed with skin soothing essential oils, such lavender, chamomile or neroli, can heal and counteract the infected areas of the skin. This spot treatment is also recommended.

The cause of scalp acne and the treatment of it with CBD is not well researched. Therefore, we must suggest visiting a professional dermatologist with proper training when you encounter this skin condition. It is highly recommended, as he/she is the one who can ultimately help you identify its underlying cause. CBD requires individualized dosage, so using CBD as treatment is only recommended with the approval of your doctor or dermatologist.

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