Red spots on the scalp


Many people have red spots on their scalp. Red spots are not a disease in their own right, they are just a symptom. There are a number of ways in which these red spots are caused.One of the most common causes is seborrheic dermatitis, an itchy skin condition caused by an oily scalp due to increased sebum production. The red spots can just as often indicate a fungal attack on the scalp, especially in summer when you sweat a lot and you are exposed to a warm and humid climate. In addition to the red spots, there are usually white scales that loosen when the scalp is dry and become visible in the hair and on clothing. Not only fungi, but also infections with viruses or bacteria can lead to red spots on the scalp.

With red spots on the scalp in children, typical childhood diseases such as chickenpox, measles or rubella should be considered. Many of these diseases are contagious, which is why if you suspect a childhood disease you should see a doctor immediately and avoid kindergarten or school.

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But other sometimes chronic diseases such as psoriasis can repeatedly lead to red spots on the scalp. If red spots appear on the scalp in the absence of other diseases, it may also be an allergic reaction to a shampoo or something similar. Physical or psychological stress can also lead to such skin reactions.

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In some cases, acne can also cause the pimples to spread to the scalp.

Due to the wide variety of causes of red spots on the scalp, a doctor should be seen if they do not improve after a few days, or if severe itching, pain, or other symptoms are added. Usually it is a harmless cause, but serious triggers for the red spots on the scalp are also possible.

Red spots and itching

Red spots on the scalp accompanied by itching can become very annoying.

There are many causes that can make your scalp itchy. Parasite infestation (e.g. through head lice), Fungal infections, frequent Wash hair, Hairspray or Hair gel, allergic reactions or even stress can be both strong itching, as well as Red stain cause on the scalp.

The itching is caused by certain messenger substances (e.g. histamine), which are released in the skin and send a signal to the brain, where the itching is felt. Typically you respond with Scratch, however, it can damage the skin and exacerbate symptoms.

Even with head lice or other parasites, the tiny injuries when sucking blood and the subsequent immune response to the saliva of the animals sometimes lead to severe itching. At the same time, the parasites cause small, extremely itchy, reddish spots on the scalp.

Another cause of red spots on the head and itching can be Seborrheic eczema be. The Seborrheic eczema occurs mainly on skin areas with many sebum glands, such as the scalp. Typical are red, rounded spots with yellowish scaling and pronounced itching.

It is assumed that the disease has a family history. Are there any external factors such as Stress and climate change, the eczema breaks out and causes described red spots.

Also one Allergic reaction can make the head itchy. Many hair products contain it Fragrances or preservatives. Sensitive people can be allergic to these ingredients.
Red spots and persistent itching develop on the scalp, especially after washing your hair. If you suspect you may already have one Change of shampoo help. Nowadays there are numerous low-fragrance hair care products that are specially designed for sensitive scalps.

Causes- What can it be?

Red spots on the scalp can have a number of causes

Red spots on the scalp are a symptom of a variety of skin diseases. Allergic reactions, genetic or hormonal factors can play a role. The most typical skin disease is acne, which causes pimples and red nodules that can also appear on the scalp.

Neurodermatitis is also a widespread, chronic disease. The scalp is often dry and flaky, and severe itching can occur. Psoriasis leads to inflamed, red plaques on the skin that are covered with white scales and can also be very itchy, with the scalp being a very common localization of psoriasis.

Read more on the topic: Psoriasis of the scalp

An allergic reaction to medication or food can lead to so-called hives. Very itchy wheals form on the skin, which can also be triggered by pressure, heat or cold. Red spots on the scalp are often caused by an infection with a skin fungus. Visible dandruff often develops and the scalp itches. But parasites such as mites can also cause red spots on the scalp. The so-called scabies, which causes a very itchy rash and is highly contagious, is common. It can also be head, dress, or pubic lice that cause the red spots on the scalp.

In addition to skin diseases, infectious diseases such as shingles, Pfeiffer's glandular fever, syphilis or hepatitis can cause red spots on the scalp, but the diseases can also occur without a rash.

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Another skin condition that focuses on the face and scalp is called seborrheic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis. This leads to red spots with blistering, which can burst and lead to scabs and scales. In babies, seborrheic dermatitis is often confused with the so-called cradle cap. The disease is likely due to genetic factors. However, the accompanying symptoms such as severe itching can be treated with suitable methods.

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Red spots on the scalp from lice

Small red spots on the scalp, on the back of the neck, or behind the ear can indicate this head lice be. They arise from the smallest bites of the lice and cause pronounced ones itching.
Especially behind the ears (retroauricular) the red spots are often visible first. Scratching the scalp can make the red spots worse. Sometimes, however, the smallest injuries occur, which can serve as an entry point for bacteria.
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On the other hand, lice can colonize our scalp almost unnoticed. The small animals only become visible when you look closely or visit the hairdresser.

Unpleasant, but important in treating the lice infestation, is to coat the hair with one Nit comb comb out. The lice and their eggs (nits) get caught in the fine teeth. The use of a special shampoo is also recommended.

Therapy - When do you have to see a doctor?

Therapy at red spots on the scalp takes place depending on the cause of the discomfort. The red spots are a symptom and can speak for many diagnoses. It is important that a doctor is consulted if the red spots on the scalp do not go away on their own. A visit to a doctor is also advisable if the spots appear suddenly and for no apparent cause. There are other symptoms such as fever, Shortness of breath or Pain it may be a serious illness, in which case a doctor should be consulted immediately.

In order to determine the cause of the red spots on the scalp and to initiate the appropriate treatment, a detailed discussion is first held (anamnese) and examined the rash on the head. If the cause is not yet clear, you can Blood tests as well as a Tissue sample or a swab of the affected scalp may be necessary. In the event of an infection with bacteria, viruses or fungi, appropriate drugs and ointments can be considered for therapy. If an allergic reaction is suspected, a Allergy test be performed. Diseases such as psoriasis require regular treatment and regular follow-up care.

Red spots on the scalp in children and babies

The typical Teething problems can almost everyone with red spots go hand in hand on the scalp. For example, the Three-day fever A rash can develop after the defrosting, which is mostly localized on the neck and trunk, but can also extend to the scalp. At chickenpox are red blisters expected to be very itchy. The typical rash at rubella begins on the scalp behind the ears and spreads from there over the whole body. Also with the Scarlet feverIn addition to the typical throat and swallowing problems, there is a fine-spotted rash that can appear as red spots on the scalp. The Ringlet rubella-Infection initially resembles a cold, later it comes to the characteristic ring-shaped, red and itchy skin rash, usually initially on the cheeks and head area. Also the measles usually lead alongside the flu-like symptoms fever, to cough and sniff red spots, an itch like chickenpox does not usually develop.

But infections with parasites are also common in children. Mites, lice or Fleas should be recognized in good time and treated consistently due to the high risk of infection.

Red spots and flakes on the scalp

The most common cause of Red stain and dandruff on the scalp represent different Fungal skin diseases represent. These are under the generic term of the so-called Dermatomycosis summarized. Fungal infections usually cause severe scalp itching, red spots, Dandruff and blistering.
Such fungal skin diseases, which are accompanied by increased dandruff, can in most cases be treated well with consistent therapy.

Another condition associated with dandruff and red spots on the scalp is that psoriasis.
When you get sick, the skin cells form much more quickly, which causes more scales to form and the skin underneath to be visible as red spots.

Red spots and hair loss

Many diseases that affect the scalp can affect hair growth or become too Hair loss to lead. For example, if there is excessive dandruff due to a Fungal disease hair loss on the scalp because the hair roots no longer receive enough nutrients. Red stain on the scalp are a non-specific symptom, but many triggers of the spots can also lead to hair loss. A special disease that is associated with hair loss and severe itching is the so-called Trichodyniawhich is likely caused by stress. It comes to Sensory disturbances on the scalp, of light tingle up to painful Burn. The subsequent scratching usually leads to red spots on the scalp and the disease is accompanied by hair loss. Trichodynia is usually treated with muscle relaxation methods, whether with scalp massages or muscle relaxing medication.

Further information

more information about rash:

  • allergy
  • Scarlet fever
  • measles
  • rubella
  • Ringlet rubella
  • chickenpox
  • Three-day fever
  • Skin fungus
  • red spots on the abdomen
  • Stress rash

Further general information on this topic:

  • Rash red spots
  • Itchy rash
  • Skin changes

An overview always under: Dermatology A-Z.