The American Academy of Dermatology warns that sweating while wearing a hat or helmet can easily lead to acne breakouts. It’s recommended to quickly cleanse your scalp and hair to prevent pimples from forming. Athletes can be especially prone to hairline acne since they wear helmets or caps for long periods of time. But anyone can get hairline and scalp acne, including those who are susceptible to breakouts, have an oily complexion or don’t wash their hair often enough.
Wash your hair with shampoo every day while you are treating acne on your scalp and hairline. It’s not uncommon for some people to go a day or two between shampoos. However, since pimples are caused by oil-clogged pores, it’s important to remove oils and residue from your hair daily with soap and water.
Use a shampoo containing salicylic acid, like Keralyt Scalp and Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Dandruff Shampoo, if you get breakouts on your scalp. Salicylic acid is a legitimate acne-fighting medication and an ingredient commonly used in dandruff shampoo to remove excess skin cells.
Apply benzoyl peroxide to your hairline. Benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne. It will help break down existing acne and prevent new flare-ups. Apply a few dabs to areas where you frequently breakout and spread over your entire hairline. Do this twice a day.
Apply an alpha hydroxy acid gel or cream directly to the lesions only on your hairline, including the back of your neck just below your skull. The Mayo Clinic explains that alpha hydroxy acids like lactic and glycolic acid work by shedding dead skin cells and helps improve the appearance of skin scarred by acne.
Use a hair conditioner with zinc pyrithione to control flakiness on your scalp caused by excessive dryness. This kind of product will be especially helpful once you begin shampooing daily.
Using a shampoo with salicylic acid is not necessary if you’re only treating hairline acne. You can easily treat these areas with topical medications. Try to avoid wearing a hat or ball cap in hot weather or if you have greasy hair. The grease in your hair can clog pores and cause breakouts.
Because benzoyl peroxide has bleaching characteristics, you want to avoid getting it in your hair. If you do not begin to see a noticeable improvement after about four to six weeks, discuss other options with a dermatologist.