Red Bumps on My Hairline

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If you notice red bumps around your hairline, you may be dealing with an acne condition that is specific to the hair and scalp. Acne located around the hairline can itch and produce dry, flaky skin in the affected area. Ridding your hairline of the red bumps requires acne remedies that treat the hair and skin alike.


Also known as scalp folliculitis, the red bumps or pustules are actually an inflammatory disorder that develops around your hairline. According to DermNet NZ, the condition is often worse around the frontal portion of the hairline. In some cases, crust may form around the red bumps, especially with constant scratching that may cause the pustules to break open and ooze sebum.


Red bumps around the hairline are often the result of excess oils produced by the scalp. These scalp oils are also responsible for any dryness that develops around the acne. According to the Acne Resource Center Online, causes for the condition can also be hygienic in nature. Improper cleaning around the hairline where dirt and oils collect can result in clogged hair follicles or fungal growth. Acne-fighting treatments used regularly can help resolve the condition.


Shampooing daily with a dandruff shampoo that contains ketoconazole can help cleanse the scalp and hair of excessive oils. According to, the use of a cleanser that contains salicylic acid will combat the buildup of oils, debris and dead skin cells in the area around the hairline, resulting in less breakouts. In cases of severe itching, antihistamines or steroid creams can calm the skin and relieve the itch.


Scratching itchy red bumps around your hairline can lead to infection. When you scratch the red bumps, your fingernails can break the skin or cause minor fissures. These open wounds in the skin are prone to bacterial infection. If you notice the red bumps around your hairline becoming severely swollen, painful or discolored, consult your physician. He may recommend the use of a topical or oral antibiotic to resolve the problem.

Expert Insight

The red bumps that develop with scalp folliculitis are quite contagious when bacteria or fungus is the cause. In such cases, the PennState Milton S. Hershey Medical Center explains that sharing razors or other personal hygiene items can transfer the condition from one person to another. It is also a good idea to stay out of hot tubs if you have the condition. Hot water is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.