The most efficient treatments for scalp sores

Scalp sores are truly one of the most embarrassing and painful skin conditions a person can suffer from, unfortunately, to find the most efficient treatments , you will need to find the real causes! Don’t worry, in this post, I’ll show you what caused my sores and most importantly, how I got rid of them.

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There are many reasons for developing scalp sores; that is why this post is going to look at the most common and recurring ones.

Scalp sores are one of the most depressing and self-esteem lowering skin conditions one can suffer from, they can lead to hair loss and even bleeding and constant itchiness!

They can have varied causes such as:

Viral, fungal or even bacterial infections, but usually, scalp sores are going to happen because of acne or clogged hair follicles, this may lead to cyst formation and pus filled sores that will form under the skin, this is where the your sores are going to become annoying and very painful.

I was suffering from clogged hair follicles!

In children, the most common causes of scalp sores are ringworm and other fungal diseases that can be easily transmitted from one child to another, this is why children affected with scalp sores should be monitored and quarantined from other children as they may infect them.

The most common causes of scalp sores in adults are:

Hair follicliculities, where the hair follicles are going to get infected and filled with pus, they are going to cause an itchy feeling and also painful sores .

Eczema is also responsible for causing scalp sores in adults.

Dermatitis and rash, using the aggressive chemicals found mainly in cheap shampoos and other hair products is going to cause scalp sores.

And various infections, if a person has been battling an internal infection, scalp sores may form and be very painful.

The main causes of scalp sores in adults are eczema and dermatitis, if they are not treated rapidly, they can quickly worsen and lead to problematic consequences like hair loss and even scalp scars!

How to treat scalp sores?

First of all, I’m no doctor, if you want a sure treatment for your scalp sores, then you need to contact a dermatologist, he is the only authority that can do the right tests and prescribe the right treatments for your sores, however, I’m going to share with you my experience in curing and healing my scalp sores.

Most doctors are going to prescribe vasseline in order to cure and treat scalp sores, this may work in some “easy” cases, but for most scalp sores, this would prove inefficient.

The next thing I would like you to understand is that you have to stop scratching them!

When I had very painful scalp sores, I was afraid and ashamed to say that my favorite pastime hobby was scratching them all the time!

I just felt the urge to do it and no matter what I did, my fingers would end up scratching them and hurting them even more!

Stop scratching them for God’s sake! You are simply hurting yourself more and spreading them all over your scalp!

The first step in treating your scalp sores is to start applying white vinegar.

Whenever I tell people to start using white vinegar on their scalps, they start either laughing or thinking that I’m out of my mind, however, you have to understand that most scalp sores are due to fungus, and these harmful tiny creatures cannot live in an acidic environment, when you massage your hair/scalp every day with vinegar, you are going to create an extremely acidic environment for fungus to live in, and soon they are simply going to disappear and your scalp sores with them as well!

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However, you should be cautious when using vinegar because applying too much is going to cause other stressful problems like having a dry and extremely itchy scalp , that is why you need to follow this recipe in order to treat your scalp sores efficiently:

  1. Mix, every day, two tablespoons of white vinegar with a quarter of a cup of warm water, preferably source water, and then simply wash your scalp and hair with it.
  2. Do this every day until the scalp sores disappear, about one week.

The second tip in using white vinegar to treat your scalp sores is to always use a rich oil after you are done.

One of my favorite oils to use on my scalp is jojoba oil, the reason why I advise you to use a rich oil after using vinegar is because your scalp is going to get extremely dry and it may even start becoming itchy and inflamed, jojoba oil is simply going to restore essential fats back to your scalp and help it stay healthy and clear of yeasts.

And jojoba oil is also very rich in antifungal compounds that are going to get rid of the remaining funguses and bad bacteria.

Now, let’s talk about the second way to treat scalp sores, using a unique homemade shampoo.

The shampoo recipe you are going to learn about in this post have been tried by thousands of people, and I have to tell you: it is not mine, I’ve read about it in different forums and different discussion groups on the internet.

At first, I didn’t believe that it would work for me, but after trying it, boy was I surprised!

It is not only going to get rid of your scalp sores, but it is also going to make your scalp and hair extremely healthy.

Here are the ingredients you are going to need:

Before we talk about the ingredients required to make this fantastic homemade shampoo for scalp sores, let me tell you about a fantastic shampoo you can get from Amazon that will help your scalp get rid of sores, rejuvenate and stay healthy, it’s called Free & Clear Shampoo and it’s the one I have used for the last seven years, simply very powerful, it’s a little expensive, yep, about twenty five dollars, but you will save on hassles and pain, and you won’t have to spend a lot on doctors and “experts” who will prescribe a medicated shampoo in the end, trust me, Free and Clear has the same composition as very expensive medicated shampoos and it works.

So, tea tree oil, this stuff is wonderful and should be in every home because it is one of the most amazing antiseptic, antiviral, anti-fungal, antibiotic… essential oil!

And that is it!

Forget about buying tea tree oil shampoos, most of the time, they are going to contain synthetic scents and maybe some few drops of the essential oil, but from my experience, they tend to perform very weak and are extremely poor in helping your scalp!

Of course, there are some amazing shampoos brands you can buy, but if you don’t have the means, just use the one I’ve recommended.

Here is what you need to do: open your Free & Clear shampoo, or any shampoo you have right now, 12 oz / 350 ml container, and add to it thirty drops of tea tree oil. Keep shaking until it has mixed very well, you can use a stick to mix everything.

Then wash your hair and massage your scalp every day with it, withing one week, your sores will be a thing of histroy.

If it keeps tingling and itchiness your scalp, then it is probably “battling” the yeasts and other germs in your scalp sores.

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This is how to treat your scalp sores efficiently, rapidly and cheaply, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to reach me via email or through the comment section, I’ll do my best to help you.

Comments

  1. You are absolutely correct about vasseline because my doctor prescribed it to me and it did nothing.

    • It is true,vasseline is not going to do a lots to your scalp sores, the best thing you can do is apply the tips on this article while also making sure you consult with your doctor first.

    • Oops, didn’t realize this is how to add comment. Here’s my message again written in the Contact form:

      Hi Chris,

      Sorry, can’t find the link to add a comment on the smelly scalp issue so had to use this contact form instead.

      I had bumpy, smelly scalp for many years despite showering daily. I want to add/share my successful cure for it. ASPIRIN did it for me in one treatment. I tried everything I read online but non gave me the relief I am experiencing now with just two tabs of 325 mg. Aspirin.

      I soaked two 325 mg. Aspirin in 3 tablespoons warm water for about 30 min. The coating makes it hard to dissolve the tabs. I then crushed them with a spoon and a tiny knife and threw away the plastic coating out.

      I took a shower, towel-dried my hair and used a cotton ball to spread the Aspirin/water solution all over my head, then, poured the remaining solution on head to spread it around some more including behind the ear areas and the all around hairline . I left the solution in until my next shower which happened the following day. MAGIC, no more smell and bumps! It’s been over a week now and I’m still enjoying a bump-free fresh smelling head. IF smell comes back, I will repeat the process. It’s easy and quite cheap. Hope this remedy helps other sufferers who aren’t allergic to Aspirin.

  2. I’m not really sure about using vinegar on my head! Sorry to say this but I’m not going to do it.

    • Trust me, vinegar is very effective and efficient for getting rid of scalp sores or at least lowering their inflammations, just try it in the safety of your home and you are going to notice very positive effects very quickly.

      • fide chacon says:

        Yes I’ve tried the white vinager 2 tables spoons for every 5 oz of water ..is strong smell but it goes away fast.. make sure u close ur eyes it burns a bet ..it clears ur hair from gels and mousses.. I use mousse a lot 4 my curly hair.

      • As a former hair stylist I can assure you that vinegar is safe to use on your head.
        I dropped an open bottle of baby oil on my head once. Oils are basic and vinegar is acidic. It is the only thing that got the oil out of my hair. Follow with oil as recommended by the author.

      • Candice Lovett says:

        What it you dye your hair? Wont vinegar take the the color out?

      • Frankie Sue says:

        How do you use the vinegar on scalp/hair? Do you recommend putting tea tree oil in the conditioner also?

  3. hi — I came across your website and I like the simplicity of the remedies you recommend. I actually have a mild OCD where I pick my scalp. I know I have it in me to stop … I just need to break the cycle by healing the scabs and sores. I’d like to try the vinegar rinse tonight, but I don’t have jojoba, lavender or tea tree oil in the house. I do have Dr. Bronner’s fresh-pressed virgin coconut oil. I’ve seen coconut oil touted to be good also. Do you think that would that be okay?

    I will look for the Free & Clear Shampoo, but I hope it’s cruelty-free/vegan. Also the tea tree oil. Thanks much Chris.

    • Sorry, don’t use it yet, coconut oil is a little weak, try to get the recommanded oils, they are the best. Good luck.

      • Hi again Chris — ok well it’s been a couple of days and I’m succeeding in breaking the OCD cycle. I clipped my nails and having been wearing gloves at night. I also have been using up a big bottle of Paul Mitchell tea-tree conditioner on my hair. Left it in overnight. Scalp sores are healing I believe (don’t hurt anymore). I do have some itchiness and little bumps especially at the base of my scalp which must be some kind of allergy or nervous condition. I went to several dermatologists a few years ago and they didn’t know what it was and none of the OTC or Rx stuff helped. Back then I ordered some shampoo, conditioner and vinegar rinse from justnaturalskincare.com and it helped diminish the itchiness greatly, but not completely. Now it’s back (maybe because of the cold weather and heat in my apt.) in full force. I’m thinking of ordering that Keracare Dry and Itchy Scalp Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner you recommend, what do you think? I guess I should try the straight vinegar rinse you recommend, with the jojoba oil afterwards. I really don’t want my hair drying out. Anyway, I’m glad I found your site, and will be eternally indebted if any of your suggestions can help me.

        • I’m sure they’ll work. In my opinion, use the oils I recommend with the vinegar rinse, they are not only good for your sores, but are going to prevent your hair from drying. One more thing, I’m really glad you are taking the right measures because if you keep on scratching your scalp, your condition will worsen. Good luck.

      • Oh, one other thing. The shampoo & conditioner products that you recommend here … do you know if they are all vegan? Also I’d like to avoid stuff like laurel sulfate and other toxic ingredients.

        • As far as toxins are concerned, I know that these products are “clean”, however , I cant guarantee that they are vegan as the manufactures don’t mention anything about animal testing.

      • Oh, another question — how exactly to I use the jojoba oil? Do I massage it lightly or heavily into my scalp and leave on overnight and wash out in morning … or can it be left in all day? Having never used it I don’t know how oily it is … don’t want to go out with my hair looking oily. Thanks in advance.

        • It all depends on your hair, for mine, it doesn’t have an oily sensation. This is what I do: I mix one tea spoon of jojoba with one drop of rosemary or lavender oil, massage my scalp gently, my wife does this 🙂 and wait for an hour, then rinse my hair with warm water until I feel it’s not very oily. Good luck.

      • Mbali SINCERITY says:

        Can I use olive oil instead ?

  4. Is there any particular brand of Jojoba Oil (or even the other oils) that you recommend? I’ve read on the internet that the cheaper ones are as good as the expensive ones. I’m thinking of buying Aubrey. How about Desert Essence?

    Also, I haven’t gotten to a store yet that sells the essential oils, but I did get some vitamin E oil just today and have applied it on the itchiest parts of my scalp. It seems to have some suppressive effect.
    Thanks Chris.

    • You’re welcome Patty, and for the brand of jojoba I use, it’s very cheap, it’s call NOW and it’s available on the Amazon 🙂

  5. Hi there.

    I have been diagnosed with Pompholyx. Eczema of the hand and feed and for some reason I have sores in my head. Its is forming bump like feeling. Its very itchy and nothing seems to work. Do u think I can use the mixture you’ve recommended.
    I live in SA and we don’t have the same brand shampoo as the usa. Any alternatives.

    • I’m really sorry, I cannot recommend other brands because I don’t know their effects, I only use the ones recommended in this post, and as far as your condition, the mixture is definitely going to work with you, the most important thing is to try it out and see whether it is going to have rapid results or not.

  6. hi uhhmmm can i still use vinegar tho my sore is open???

  7. DJ Smith says:

    I have OCD on my scalp. Last week my doctor gave me some antibiotics and something made of prednisone drops. My scalp became very hurtful and so I refused to use the prednisone drops. You won’t believe this but I have tried bacitracin, emu cream, Bag Balm, 1% cortisone cream and also coal tar shampoo. OMG nothing helps. Maybe the bag balm was more soothing. I am going to try your vinegar rinse and then the bag balm (since I don’t have access to jojoba oil tonite). I will let you know how it works. I may take up knitting just to keep my hands busy 🙂 Thanks!

    • This would be fantastic, another advice is to read The Power Of Now, it is a fantastic for this condition.

      • I am back again. The vinegar rinse was soothing but when my scalp starts to dry it gets stiff and I can feel it tighten then I tend to rub or scratch it again.
        But the latest I have tried and is working very well with me is Rosemary Oil from our local Health food store. I massage it in and my scalp feels so much better and no painfulness. Smells decent and isn’t greasy.
        Just wanted you to know,
        DJSMith

    • Antibiotics are just about the worst thing to give for this condition. A lot of the time this scalp condition is caused by a gut infection – an overgrowth of candida. Most general practitioners look at you like you’re nuts if you say this.. but go to a holistic doctor and they’ll listen. Conventional doctors push pills to mask your symptoms instead of curing the underlying condition. Good luck.

  8. Have you ever tried Castile soap?

  9. Hello~
    This is long, please hang in. It might help u help me.
    I hope u can. No worries if u can’t. No one has. I’ve already tried all the mixtures mentioned.
    I have a SEVERE issue w/ my scalp & my hair.
    Back story:
    No one but my husband, believes that I’ve never had this problem before. In ’06, I and 12 other vehicles were hit by a semi, medivacted out, wasn’t supposed to live, I was 105 pounds, 32yrs, 2 kids, husband, athletic, co-ed softball game weekend after wreck (played 2nd base.) Now permanently handicap but it doesn’t show. Lots of pain meds, no less than 8, no more than 12 kinds @ the same time. Lots of surgeries & pain. dr.s kept upping the doses or adding/changing them, pain remained.
    Side effects… weight gain. I went from 105 in ’06 to 292 (& gaining) by early ’13.
    I was done, mind was foggy yet no relief from pain, ever.
    TOLD all dr.s to ween me off meds…not a good idea blah blah. Said I’d cold turkey if they didn’t, said 6 months, I gave them 2. I won, mind was clear. Weight started to come off, within 3wks metabolism kicked in, as of today I’d lost exactly 192 pounds but put 10 back on. I’m 40yrs old & I looked ill @ 100. I easily maintain 110.
    Here’s the kicker…
    While my weight was returning to normal. A pale light yellow, soft, itchy lumps started to form on my scalp that would dry and would get worse. Like a build up, rise away from my scalp. No flakes. Truly itchy but I never scratched.
    Woke up with a 50 cent size circle of that ick on my pillow only it took all the hair with it. Only one that size. Bald spots formed all over. The weird skin stuff was everywhere and skin in my ears dried up. I would push on my scalp out of fear that if I scratched more hair would fall out. I’m Italian, I have/had super thick hair. Six months later dermatologist said I had plaque psoriasis on my scalp. The liquid ointment couldn’t get to my scalp due to all the hair that was left. Had to shave head, lumpy bald, my hair was past mid back. It cleared up and only needed to spot treat.
    Then it came back pissed off. My hair is mid back again but I lose so much hair it glogs the shower drain every morning, the skin chunks take hair with it during the day. Now I have super thin long hair & u can see where it gets thicker from where the regrowth is. But it won’t go away & to much hair falls out daily. Oh and I had perfectly straight hair even if I didn’t blow dry my hair. It’s curly if I air dry it and completely straight if I blow dry it. I use organic coconut shampoo and coconut oil (no laureth,sp?, anything in it) & T-Sal every other day. HELP!!!
    Sorry so long. I don’t know what info you need.

  10. Hi Chris, glad I found your website. I have been having a sore scalp almost 2 weeks now. It’s not flaky, no bumps, but it’s a little itchy. It’s sore even when I move my hair from one side to another. I am a cancer survival (breast), just finished my radiation few weeks ago. It’s been almost 4 month since I finished chemo. When my hair grew out I shaved it two times, this is my hair growing for the 3rd time, It’s curly strong shiny and healthy looking. I only use Castile body wash for shampooing, never used any conditioner. But I’ve been using Aquaphor Healing Ointment after shampooing. Recently I got EMU oil for my radiation burn, it’s working wonders on my skin, I read a lot about it and found out it’s good for nails, stretch marks, and hair/scalp. So I started pouring on my scalp and rubbing on it. I’m not exactly sure when the sore scalp started, before or after I started the EMU oil. Do you have any idea about EMU oil? And is white vinegar rise ok for my case? I’ve tea tree oil but scared to try as I’m not sure if my scalp is still very sensitive from the Chemo. Thanks in advance Chris.

    • Hello Judy 🙂
      First, let me congratulate you and wish you a strong health and a very happy cancer free future. Don’t use tea tree oil, this stuff is strong, it may hurt your scalp. Emu oil is wonderful, I’ve used it many times and it can help your case, but personally, if I were you, I’d not use anything, just let my scalp recover and after some few months, start adding one drop of tea tree oil with one table spoon of emu oil, this stuff smells horrible 🙂
      white vinegar is another option, but it may not work in your case, better stick to using emu oil from time to time and let your scalp recover, it’s not easy what it has endure.
      Good luck and if you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  11. correction, I finished Chemo 7 months ago.

  12. Thank you Chris 🙂 I appreciate you taking your time to respond. And thanks for your good wishes. Ok I will wait few months, but in the mean time, do you suggest anything to help with the sore scalp? my scalp doesn’t look red or anything, it just hurts, like it hurts when you have sinus kind of pain. But it’s bearable. I will probably need to wash it less often.
    Thanks again 🙂 bless you

    • you’re welcome. That would be the best thing to do, don’t wash it often and if the itchiness persist, you can use vinegar rinse from time to time.

  13. La'nae campbell says:

    Hey Chris….I been reading you’re page and I wanna know what I should do about my problem…about 4 days ago my hair was sweaty and my head itched bad….not thinking….I scratched my scalp continuously in one area….now I have a bad sore with clear puss draining from it and it hurts really bad….I took my braids out and now it feels a little better but I need my scalp to heal fast….what should I do

    • You need to give it time, some few days will suffice, and don’t scratch it. For the puss, try to use a salicylic acid rich shampoo, it will help get rid of the pain and decrease the inflammations.

  14. Hello!! I find these articles interesting!! First I want to inform you of my scalp sores! There are more than 5 pea sized areas on my scalp. Some are flat & red, while others are raised pimple like sores with a yellow middle. All are scratched raw!! Since I read NOT to use vinegar on open sores, how can I find immediate relief from the constant itchy feeling I have??? So far I take benadryl caplets. I have used Dermarest medicated shampoo, & t-gel shampoo. Also I have used neosporin, bacitracin, hydrocortisone cream (ultra healing) & desonide cream. NO RELIEF!!! I’ve even used peroxide before I applied any ointments!! I wear bandanas quite often. I still find myself rubbing the sores Until they hurt & burn!!! I’m DESPERATE!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

    • Your real problem is psychological, you seem to be scratching your sores a lot, use a salicylic acid shampoo or cream and let your scalp heal, try to wear gloves to keep yourself from scratching it.

  15. I wanted to know if you suggest any other oil other than jojoba oil or have any experience with other types of oils? I know jojoba is the best but I’m not too big a fan of the smell; could sweet almond oil be an option? Just curious, thanks!

  16. hi, Chris, my scalp has been itching uncontrollably for over 10 years and i consulted with different dermatologists. no flakes but sometimes i experience sores with an itchy burning sensation especially on my tempel. some time i get so stressed up. the more i scratch the more my hair thins and falls. please advise

    • You seem to be having an issue with fungus, that’s just a guess, but to make things safe for you, why not try to apply a vinegar rinse, it may help you feel an almost immediate relief.

  17. Alona Young says:

    Hi Chris,
    a couple of months ago, I had a bad reaction to a perm and dye. My scalp has not been the same since. I cut all my hair short, I have a head full of scabs, it’s itchy and now forming raised bumps with small scabs on top. So you think your remedies will help me? I’m just miserable!

  18. Hi. I have had scalp sores since 2012 don’t know why I started getting them. They are red and sometimes bleed. Sometimes some heal and then I get some in another area. I went to the dermatologist and their stuff helped for a bit but I haven’t gotten rid of my scalp sores. They are red and some of them bleed probably because I can’t my hands off them sometimes. I am trying. I am using Clear shampoo and conditioner and its been the best one so far. I also have tree oil but it doesn’t have a dropper so its hard to measure. I might have to get one. What do you recommend?

    • Use the tips provided in this post, they will help you a lot, you already have what it takes in terms of products and oil.

  19. Hi Chris,
    I ,ve sebborheic dermatitis its associated with fungus and yeast overgrowth and causes both stubborn dandruff and horrible scalp sores or more likely acne spots that burst on there own and form sores.
    I have used the vinegar rinse and it inflamed like u said since i didnt use the oil .I was too scared about using the oil treatment because i reffered to another site that fungus actually feeds of oils put on the scalp.Would jojoba oil help the fungus feed or just help it heal the same. I wash my hair everyday.

    • Jojoba is good, but I prefer using tea tree oil, and please, stop washing your hair every day, once every three days is more than enough.

  20. Have been doing the wash treatment for scalp sores for four days, see great results already. When is it best to wash hair with Free&Clear/Tea tree oil mixture? Right after vinegar/Jojoba treatment, while hair is wet, or wait until hair is dry to shampoo?

  21. Was wondering if the sores could come from sunburns? i was out in the sun all day on Saturday, and woke up to a red scalp, with a very sensitive area around the bang area of my head. It was pretty “crusty”, but when I washed it the next day it was a little better. It was very hard to wash my entire head, because the area is pretty large, and with every move of a hair strand, I had pain near the infected area. I put antibiotic ointment on it, but don’t think it got close enough for it to fully work. (I have a lot of hair)

    • Yes, sunburns can cause inflammations in your scalp. Better use the treatments provided in this post, they will help you tremendously.

  22. hi, chris,

    “Free & Clear Shampoo container and add to it thirty drops of tea tree oil. ”
    Does thirty drops of tea tree the same on all bottle size of Free & Clear Shampoo container?–thanks

  23. … i forgot to mention I bought 12 fl oz of Free & Clear Shampoo container and wondering if the same 30 drops of tea tree needed in the bottle?
    Free & Clear Shampoo comes in different size container.–thanks!

  24. I am in tears to find this site and read that I am not alone… I have such a problem with sores on my scalp. It is so embarrassing, stress makes it worse, and I pick and pick at them when I am under stress. I have spots of bald, some spots bleed… It hurts to wash and comb my hair. I don’t know how to stop and let them heal! They seem to never heal.. It is so frustrating. I haven’t gone for a haircut with a stylist for many years because I’m so embarrassed. I get petrified and nervous when people stand above me or behind me, afraid that they show. I will try some of the things you mention, I am desperate. Is there a vitamin/supplement (pill form) you recommend also? Thanks so much…

    • I’m so sorry to read about your condition, I know how it feels, I was having hair problems five years ago and it made me feel terrible! The best supplement in my opinion for rapid hair growth is biotin, try it and if it doesn’t work, send me an e-mail with all the details and information you can think of about your condition, I will try to help you as much as possible.

  25. Greetings! I’ve had issues with dry, itchy scalp problems for years. Scratching and picking myself sore. Don’t know if it’s a condition or a bad habit. I know I should just go see the Dr, but I like to try natural remedies before prescriptions. I tried the vinegar water thing and left it in for two minutes. Then followed up with putting tea tree oil on the sore spots with q-tips. I feel immediate relief!!! Not when I did the vinegar- that burned a bit, but the tea tree oil is very soothing. This simple, natural solution is such a blessing to me and makes out very easy for me to forget my painful had habit. I know I can keep my hands busy doing something else much more productive. I’m a little concerned about how my hair will smell tomorrow, but tonight? Nothing but relief.:) thank you so much!

  26. Hey Chris 🙂
    I’m not sure what it is, but my scalp is really itchy and it itches even more when I scratch it. I THINK there might be sores or something, not sure what to do. Should I let it air by doing cornrows or something? I think it’ll become raw. Help?

  27. Hi,
    My friend constantly breaks out from hair products. Most recently from cream of nature products with Aragon oil. He ears and scalp get small bumps that puss out. What can she do?

    • First, she needs to stop using old hair products and creams immediately, most of them are not reliable, after a period of at least two weeks rest, she needs to start applying a mixture of one teaspoon of olive oil and two drops of tea tree oil, then, simply rinse with warm water.

  28. Hi Chris,
    I found your site because I have had some scalp sores/scabs for a few months. If I leave them along – they do much better of course but I haven’t been able to entirely get rid of them. I have scratched and made them bleed but am trying not to do that now – understanding that I could get them infected by doing that. I was thinking of using the vinegar rinse tonight and had some questions: Do you rinse it out after you have finished massaging it in your scalp? If not, does the vinegar smell remain or dissipate eventually? (I don’t want to smell like a salad when I go to work tomorrow!) I will also try the jojoba oil but can I do a light shampoo afterwards to avoid the oily look I think I will get once I leave this in my hair? I don’t want to have to wash it in the a.m. as I will be rushing to get out of the house to work in the a.m.

    Can you tell me more about what you improved in your diet that helped? I am currently on a low carb (really low sugar is more like it) diet. My doctor has me keeping track of the sugar by deducting the grams of fiber from the grams of carbs and then dividing by 5 to arrive at the number of teaspoons in a serving of anything I eat. Of course, I am doing a lot of free or low carb veggies (like Spring Mix and the normal salad components like tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, radishes, onions etc.) and use his list of how much sugar is contained in the veggies or fruits I eat. He has instructed me to eat no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day (including these sugars and any others I ingest) so I document everything. I did this to lose weight and have lost 50 lbs since 8/1/2014….Less than 6 months! I drink a gallon of water per day as well per his instruction. 3 oz of protein are eaten at each meal and 1 oz of protein for each of the 3 snacks I am supposed to eat. I can add fruit or veggies to the meals or snack but must count all sugar grams. (Not what the label says as sugar but by using the method above. I don’t think it is related to diet. I am allowed olive oil and there are a lot of free foods that I can have.

    Any help you can give me will be much appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Jewel

    • Yes Jewel, rinse after thirty minutes, shampoo is ok, and as far as diet, I became completely vegan, whole food diet, with beans and nuts for my protein, fruits and veggies for added health and whole wheat bread for energy 🙂 It works wonders!

  29. I have really bad seborreica dermatitis I have tried everything I came across your article because I had a sore on my head along with the dermatitis. I’ve always known about tree tea oil but everything else I had always read about apple cider vinegar and it really never worked
    So after reading your article I was skeptical so I went and got everything made my free and clear shampoo. Just waiting on my oil. But I put the vinager in a spray bottle and sprayed my hair and left it in for a little and I could feel it really tingling after about 20 minutes I washed with the free and clear with the tee tree oil mixed with it. For the first time in years I don’t feel like I have a hard helmet on my head. I plan on doing this daily for a week at least to see the outcome. It doesn’t make my hair dry either. Just want to thank you so much.

    • Thanks for your kind words, they made me very proud and so happy to keep this website alive and growing 🙂 Expect new posts very soon, bye bye and good luck.

  30. Hi Chris, I have been reading the posts. My scalp sores do not itch. They start out with the scalp being sore and then I get a red bump. I have a very bad habit of pulling the hairs out and sometimes when I do pull hairs on the end has a white tip on it. I have tried medicated shampoos, expensive shampoos, cheap shampoos and nothing helps. I do color my hair, if I try the vinegar and oil treatment will that hurt my color?

    • Yes, it will discolor your hair quite a bit! Try to stop from harming your scalp, don’t dye your hair for at least six months and stop pulling your hairs!

  31. Hi Chris,
    I have followed your vinegar rinse for 72 hours now and must admit to a marked improvement in my scalp sores which I have endured for 2 years now.
    I had tried all sorts of oils and shampoo’s to no avail.
    I wanted to ask you if malt vinegar is a suitable alternative to white vinegar?
    I also want to know if you should leave the vinegar to settle for a period of time on the scalp, or wash it off before applying the jojoba oil?

    • Leave the vinegar for at least twenty minutes, and no, only use white or apply cider, these are the ones that work most of the time.

  32. Ok this might be lengthy but I have to share. I have tried prescription shampoo, ointment, creams and every lotion made, tried a zillion natural treatments as I am chemical sensitive and now at 60 years old I have finally found what works for my itchy scaly flaky skin and scalp sores. I have done the right eating eliminating all processed food, meat, dairy, sugar, went GF, now only eat organic and healthy foods and take high quality supplements. I have tried goat milk products also. But still had skin issues. Now finally no itch, no oozing of scalp sores, no flaking on my face. I bathe in epsom salt and wash all over head to toe with the serious bar from Windrift http://www.windrifthill.com/index.html . I let my body and scalp soak that in then when done with bath I apply witch hazel to face and neck and put a little on the spots on scalp that give me issues. Then I use Windrift http://www.windrifthill.com/index.html goat milk lotion all over my body and face and I use a little goat milk lotion on hands to run through my hair to control frizz and help hair curl with a dab of aloe vera gel. I don’t feel like I have lotion on at all, it feels so light and it doesn’t take a lot either. Also this is healthy for my body to absorb as I am very chemical sensitive. It only takes a little compared to other lotions you have to glob on. This is a bit pricey for me as my only income is social security but it works and I have found relief. I literally have spent a fortune over the years on products that didn’t work. This is not the most expensive or cheapest goat milk lotion, it is fairly priced and the products are the absolute best out there. Believe me I have tried it all. If someone just wants to take care of the great skin they have this is the best but for those that have skin or scalp issues like me and have done the proper eating and vitamins and still cannot get relief this is it. Itchyiotisis, scalp sores, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis are all things I have been told I have and this works. I am so so happy to finally have what works and no longer be a flaky itchy mess. I have relief and my face looks 10 years younger after using only 2 weeks and I wake up without a flaky face and no itchy scalp or body. I am hooked, on these products and a forever customer. Mona

  33. Hi Chris,

    I’m really excited that I’ve come across your site. I’ve been battling scalp sores since puberty along with acne. I’ve been prescribed several different medicines, however, the side effects weren’t worth eliminating the scalps sores for.

    I’ve recently began living a natural lifestyle and use essential oils as remedies for everything, so I’m glad to have found your website.

    In this post you mentioned once the scalp sores are gone to discontinue the vinegar wash. If they comeback do I just begin the process again?

    I love jojoba oil and use it as a moisturizer everyday! Do you think it would be fine if I add tea tree oil and/or a blend of oils for a healthy scalp such as rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, lemon or lavender? Would it be just as effective to use Argan or Sweet Almond oils?

    Lastly, I know you suggest Free & Clear Shampoo, however, what is your opinion of using Dr. Bronner’s Catisle Liquid Soap and adding tea tree oil to it to use as a shampoo?

    Looking forward to hearing your feedback!’

    Thanks,
    Mark

    • You’re welcome Mark, when they do come back, use the wash again, jojoba and tree oil combined can be a little strong on your scalp, use olive oil instead.
      Sorry, I’ve never used this shampoo 🙂 so, I can’t really talk about it, but if it’s organic, has few damaging chemicals and has healing properties, then use it.

  34. Earthbound says:

    I’m curious what your thoughts on Castor Oil are. I am a HUGE advocate myself!

  35. Indeed, I think you are suffering from a yeast problem as well.

  36. Castor Oil Chris, good or bad?

  37. Have been experiencing painful sores on my scalp for almost a year.I tried ketaconozole shampoo,candid shampoo,aloe vera natural juice,terbinafine tablets for month…..not yet disappeared.

    • Hi Musyoka, have you tried tea tree oil? I suggest you give it a shot, I’m sure it will help you a lot.

  38. Patricia W Graham says:

    Do you put the vinegar rinse then oil and then shampoo. I did not understand the steps kinda confusing to me. I have had this scalp issue for years and going nuts with it. Very depressing. I have tried the Braggs vinegar as a rinse but it did nothing. I am now back using the Clean and Clear Shampoo. I do not like it because my hair does not do as well with that shampoo. I just received today Just Natural Shampoo for Scalps. Please pray this helps. I got frustrated with the dermatologist all those trips and no better at all. She did nothing to help, in face what she gave me made it worse. I know I am allergic to shampoo because when I wash my hair the scabs are worse and yes, I do pick. Just a nervous habit.This new shampoo has several essential oils in it.

  39. Hi Chris, I feel like you’re giving some conflicting information. On the one hand you’re saying to wash hair everyday with you shampoo mixture but in the comments you’re saying you should only wash hair once every three days. Which is correct?

    • Sorry if you felt confused, indeed, some situations require particular usage, but in general, you need to wash your hair after using the mixture.

      • Would you agree that head bumps can be caused by overwashing ones hair with shampoo?

        • It depends if you are using bad shampoo with aggressive chemicals.

          • Is your head still clear of bumps? I have folliculitis and I’m trying to figure out which of your methods is better? I’ve tried vinegar before and it worked at first but it came back. I didn’t use the jojoba oil after. They mostly for on the upper back part of my scalp. I’ve tried so many things. Please help.

          • Hi Brett, of course, no bumps, I used tea tree oil. Can you elaborate more on your issue, this will help a lot.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hello I have been on your website and I was wondering if I used the vinegar technique on my daughter would it work? I mean because the skin is broken and its just spreading over her scalp.

  41. Hi Chris- I continuously get bumps similar to pimples that itch in the back and side of my head. Mostly smaller but sometimes more like a boil. It happened once last year and I was given an antibiotic and they went away for about 11 months. Then this year it happened again and I can’t seem to get them to go away. I don’t want to take antibiotics again if I can help it. I’ve tried white vinegar and they went down for a little bit but they hang around and eventually I’m back at having 5-6 of them. I know there must be a root cause, but I’m not sure what it is

    • When I cut down completely on dairy, it helped me a lot, so, I urge you to do so even if it’s a little difficult. Now, seems like your problems are caused by some bad bacteria, do you scratch your scalp often? Is your scalp smelly? Itchy? Do you have flakes? This is very important to understand your situation more.

      • Hi Chris,

        I have been consuming more diary over the last 6 or so months. Perhaps that is related. I have been scratching it sometimes from the itch of the sores. I don’t think it’s smelly. I don’t really have flakes or dandruff, but if I take an up close photo on my phone with flash on, it shows some brownish/yellow flakes. They just don’t seem to shed. Does that make sense?

        • Yes Brett, you know what you have to do, no more dairy, no more scratching, and get free and clear shampoo, you will use it everyday.
          Now, the fun part, everyday, take one teaspoon olive oil and mix it with six drop tea tree oil, then massage your scalp with it, leave it for 25 min and rinse with free and clear.
          Please, feel free to ask me if you need anything.

          • I’ve already bought the free and clear today and added the tea tree oil to that as well. Is that okay?

          • Yes, that is great, good luck and please, don’t hesitate to ask me if you need something.

  42. Hi..I can’t thank you enough for all of your great advice. I am having a tough time finding the oil you talked about I was wondering for the mean time if I could use Udderly Balm ?
    Please advise.
    Thank again for helping so many people

    • Hi Becca, thanks a lot.
      No, don’t use anything that the recommended oils, I have tried them and I know they work. Have you checked Amazon.com?

      • Hi Chris,
        I was able to order things and found things at GNC. Chris I can’t thank you enough for all of your AMAZING advice.
        Everything you said and info on products was spot on. Chris I could cry you have changed my life. For years I have had this problem and now just like you said in a week it would all clear up and it has. I can’t thank you enough from the bottom of my heart for helping soany people and most of all for helping me. I have been sharing your info with my other people how GREAT YOU ARE..I was ashamed of how my scalp looked with sores and I have thin and very little hair coverage on the top middle of my head so you could see my bad scalp. Well now because of your amazing help my scalp is all cleared up. I will get the oil that you spoke out for thinning hair. Chris you changed my life and how I feel about myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Chris.
        I even will be getting the Free and Clear hair gel and hair spray.
        Thanks again for changing my life in the very most amazing way.

        • Thanks Becca, this is very nice from you.

          • Hi Chris,
            Your so very welcome.
            I have my scalp all cleared up.
            What should I do to keep my scalp to keep it clear and moisturized so it doesn’t get dry ?
            Thank you so much Chris
            Thanks Becca

          • Hi Becca,
            Your usual routine plus using a good oil once a week, like argan. That’s everything you need.

  43. Hi Chris,

    Can you recommend any treatments that won’t discolor color-treated hair?

    • If you are suffering from scalp issues, then most treatments are going to interfere with your chemical color, so better focus on getting better, apart from this, you should try Free and Clear, it’s very powerful.

  44. Hie there….I plaited weave a week ago but I now have scalp sores. I need help because it’s really painful and I can’t flex my neck anymore. My movements are limited. Please help with what I must do to heal since you dismissed vinegar on open sores.

    • So sorry to read about your issue, my first advice is to use cold water as much as possible, second is to avoid heat treatments, shampoos and conditioners for at least fifteen days, cold water should help ease up the inflammation a lot.

  45. Chris, I am having the same issues that a user you helped named “Buffy” but her post was way back on August 13th of 2014. When I saw her post it was just like reading my own story of what I am going through now. I’m 33 years old, I’ve been dealing with a lot of health problems. I’ve had 27 surgeries in the past 5 years, I’ve been to every dermatologist around and all they tell me is i have dermatitis. They throw creams or antibiotics at me and send me on my way only for my condition to worsen. I used to have really thick hair but that’s just not the case anymore (hasn’t been for awhile). I use organic shampoo and conditioner but the thing that is strange to me is that I only have breakouts on the top of my scalp and sometimes on the sides but I also know that I am not making it better with me picking at them when they itch but then they end up hurting worse than what they did after I pick at them. I get nervous or anxious and that’s when I start picking at them. I already have a scar on the top of my head from my hair falling out and where my hair used to be there it is not growing back at all. I’m embarrassed, depressed, anxious and im just hopeless. Can you help me? I’ve done the tea tree oil, jojoba oil, vinegar treatment, peppermint oil and rosemary (of course not at the same time but throughout the past 2 years) I don’t know what to do but I became a bit hopeful a while ago when I saw this website. The only difference between me and Buffy is that she said that she had been on all pain meds and took herself off of them but I’m not and haven’t been on pain meds. I’m just on ALOT of antibiotics, hormone replacement therapy medicine, anxiety medication and sleep medication. I didn’t know if you needed to know about my meds but I thought that it might help for you to know just in case.

  46. Hey Chris, about a week ago I got scabs on my scalp from scratching my head too hard. I ordered the free & clear shampoo to use, but is there anything else you would recommend doing to get rid of the scabs/sores? I think it’s too early for me to be using vinegar on the sores. Also, could I suffer from balding spots or other damage from these sores? I have some other questions about my scabs, so I was wondering if it would be okay to email you.
    Thanks

    • Don’t worry about your hair, stop scratching your scalp and use the shampoo for now, at least for 15 days, use once every two days, I’m out of the country for now, I don’t check my emails that often, it’s very time consuming, just post your questions here.

  47. Thanks for great post! Here is my story, I had very dry skin on my scalp last year hairdresser spotted it. I thought it was eczema as I did suffer from it. But doctor confirmed that diagnosis. Since taking levothyroxine the dry patches have disappeared. I did suddenly have a rash at the base of my neck within a few weeks of taking the tablets but that’s gone as well. My hair has become very thick now and unbelievably the regrowth is my natural 🙂

  48. I have horrible scabs on my scalp that bleed and hurt. Of course I pick them too. Can you please give me the exact steps to do and stuff I need to get rid of them? I’m desperate. How often should I do this? I have breakage in my hair and font want to wash too often so please advise how often to do vinegar wash and the routine step by step. I appreciate it.

    • Of course Lisa, first of all, no more picking, stop it, it’s bad, second thing is to use a cold water bottle on your scalp when you feel the need to pick it up, now to the good part, what to do? So, everyday, apply a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with one tablespoon of warm water to your scalp, massage for three minutes, no picking, and before going to bed, apply one tablespoon lemon juice mixed with one tablespoon warm water, cover with a shower cap and go to bed.

  49. Hi Chris,
    I’ve had an itchy head for a while now, with bumps and scabs all over. I do pick but it’s because my head itches so badly. I do not have dandruff at all. My scalp gets oily by 2nd day, but ends are dry. I also have very itchy ears (inside!), but didnt used to. I’m not sure if this is related. I highlight my hair (blonde), which is very fine hair. I’ve started using sulfate free products, per hairdresser’s advice. No change in the sores and itchiness.
    Since I can’t use vinegar can I use the free and clear with tee tree oil? What essential oils and products would you recommend? Thanks!!

    • Hello Jen,
      Yes, give the shampoo and tea tree oil a try, but if I were you, I’d stop highlighting my hair and I’d stop fat and dairy consumption, to limit fatty buildup in your scalp.

  50. What kind of items could I use if I didn’t have any actually oils in my house tonight. I want to try the vinegar but is there anything other than just oils that will keep the vinegar from burning and drying out scalp?

  51. New here! I’ve had scalp sores for YEARS. I took an antibiotic once and it went away, but it came back. I’ve tried two prescription shampoos, Tasal, a topical solution, even tea tree oil. Nothing helped. I’m about to start the antibiotic again, but, I need to prevent it. So, if I do the vinegar solution and add jojoba oil (how do you do that again?) do I still do the free and clear on top of that or wait? I have tangly hair so I usually use a 2/1 or shampoo then conditioner and detangling spray. I’m ready to try anything, and yes, keeping my hands off will help.

  52. Hi Chris,

    I have been experiencing itchy burning sores on my head, nape of my neck and behind my ears for about 6 months now. They have even spread to my chest. I first thought it was an allergy, but they don’t seem to go away. They start healing and almost subside, but then reappear. I have stopped coloring my hair, as I thought that may have been the cause, but still continue to get them. I have changed my shampoo to one with no sulphates in but still no relief.
    Please could you offer some advice.
    I will try the vinegar solution and the tea tree and see if that improves.

    • Hi Mercia,
      This is quite strange, I have doubts that it may be psoriasis, maybe I’m wrong, I can’t really tell. Can you please upload a picture of your neck, or any area affected with the sores?

  53. is it necessary to wash the vinegar with warm water or will cold water do the work?

  54. I am currently taking antibiotics for my scalp infection. The sores feel so tight that applying pressure on them is the only relief or washing my hair. What about aloe Vera gel??

    • Try it, if it helps, then by all means go for it, if I were you, I’d try to apply cold water to my scalp, it will help as well.

  55. I got my hair braided, it was so tight it ripped my hair. Now I’m left with a painful lump that I cannot burst. What can I do??

    • Don’t burst it, relax and let your scalp heal it, but first you need to give it a little help. Stop using chemicals on your hair, no shampoos or conditioners and please, no relaxers, then I want you to use cold water on it daily, for some few minutes, until it’s relaxed/numbed, no more pain, soon, in 15 days, you will feel much better.

  56. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for being interactive. I tried the vinegar treatment and did feel some relief. I washed my hair with Free and Clear (with the tea tree oil) afterward. I couldn’t get any jojoba oil so I used sweet almond oil all over my scalp after washing. Unfortunately, my hair is even itchier than usual and I suspect it’s the oil. I plan on continuing the vinegar treatment but now I’m wondering if I should just skip oiling my scalp and only put it on the hair strands.

  57. Hi Chris

    I posted before (see Brett above) and unfortunately the tea tree oil shampoo/stopping dairy did not change anyhting for me. My head still is red with periodic sores that hurt. Any more suggestions? What did Becca do to cure hers?

  58. Jacqueline Miller:-) says:

    Hi I was wondering if I dye my hair black will the vinegar effect the color ? Also am I correct in the steps vinegar 30 minutes then oil and then shampoo?

  59. Judy Welman says:

    Hi Chris, For 8 months now I have had very itchy scalp with very tiny little amber colored things that dry hard on my scalp, usually the size of a grain of salt, sometimes a little bigger. At times bumps under the skin feel soft and squishy and when I press on them with my finger they flatten somewhat. I had been using Clear shampoo and conditioner for quite some time before this started, then I switched to all natural called MONAT. Scalp is no better but hair is healthier. I then got pine tar shampoo, which feels tingly and relieving when I am using it, but after a few hours the itching starts all over again. Which of the regimens you have mentioned above do you recommend for me?

    • Hi Judy, my advice is to lower fats from your diet, this one step has helped me the most, I know that it sounds so difficult, but I really want you to try it, one more very important thing, you need to start using tea tree oil more often, it helps the scalp as well.

  60. Gladys Lajara says:

    Hi Chris,
    Can I leave the jojoba oil on my scalp or do I have to shampoo it out? If I have to shampoo it out how long do I leave it on my scalp for?

    Thank you!
    Gladys

  61. What about Castor Oil I start using it the other day.I wash my hair and then I use it to oil my scalp but it still itches and I have sore all over my scalp what am I not doing.

  62. Mbali SINCERITY says:

    Well I tried hair dye and it is by far the worst experience to date . Bled and released pus , washed my hair about once every week and every wash was nothing short of painful , but I had to , because the pus and blood had created layers and my hair was stuck to each other . 3 weeks later the pain went away , and I gladly washed my hair with shampoo and left it unmosturised , but it felt itchy , so I applied hair food only to wake up to a painful head full of sore that hurt with every touch . Well I’m open to any remedy because the pills I’m taking only make me nauseous and sleepy , I hope the vinegar works , but the only oil I have is olive oil , and I’m not sure on its utilisation in this case ? Do you advice it?

  63. Paul Neighbors says:

    What do you think about spot treating sores with products like Apple cider vinegar, aragonol oil or deluited Clorox ?

  64. Paul Neighbors says:

    I seen where you posted that peppermint oil was good for your hair. I take biotin but still losing my hair. I’m a 50 year old male that had extremely thick hair until my late 20s and it started getting thin. I know my diet is horrible and I wash my hair every day or two which ain’t recommend. Any other supplements or products you might recommend, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks for your help.

    • No, stay away from supplements as much as possible, instead, try to work on your diet, it’s the most leverage you can use to have healthy scalp and hair.

  65. Sheena marie mejellano says:

    Hi chris, im glad i was able to pass by on your website. Atleast now i know that i am not the only one suffering for scalp sores for years. I just want to ask if what specifically types of vasselin that you are talking about in the article?

  66. So I’ve had scalp sores come and go… Haven’t had an issue with them until a month or so ago now… A bunch came up and I got antibiotics to help they have started clearing up again but have left bald spots and it is so embarrassing because a couple are almost visible right on top if my hair moves at all. Are there any remedies you suggest to help regrowth? I’m also going to start free and clear shampoo now that I’ve read your advice. Thanks.

  67. Christophe says:

    Hey Chris once you apply the vinegar solution are you supposed to leave it in or rinse it out with water?

  68. I have scalp scabs for the last 3 months & never healed ( I must admit I peeled them + sometimes they bled )
    My question regarding the white vinegar ( apple cider vinegar ) remedy

    Do I wet my hair 1st – then apply the vinegar/water recipe – then leave it on for 20 mins ?
    After that : can I rinse it off with Johnson baby shampoo as it is a mild shampoo ?
    Do I have to ( or must I have to ) apply the jojoba oil after that ? Can I not apply the jojoba oil ?

    • don’t wet your hair, use it directly, massage very gently, just use lots of water to rinse it, don’t apply anything else.

  69. I have scalp scabs for nearly 2mths
    I tried neutrogena therapic and nizola shampoo .. not working either . Wondering if it was because I kept on picking on the scabs.

    Can I use apple cider vinegar ?
    Do I apply to the scabs spots only and leave for 20 mins ?
    Do I rinse off the vinegar ?
    If so can I use johnson baby shampoo after rinsing off the vinegar ?

    • Do not pick your scalp, wear gloves as much as possible, trim your nails, yes, vinegar is good, apply to all your scalp for 20 min, rinse with water.

  70. Hello Chris,
    many thanks for the tips. My 3 year old daughter has been having strange bumps along her hairline – regardless of if its in a braid or bun – and recently they opened up to painful sores. I diluted an antiseptic and used it to sterilize the area, the covered it in shea butter. This treatment only works shot-term! I intend to try out what you have recommended and really hope it works because i’m at my wits end.
    Thanks!

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