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Scabs on Scalp

Scabs on Scalp

Discovering scabs on your scalp can be a distressing experience. Whether you've noticed small, itchy flakes or larger, crusty formations, these unwelcome occurrences can leave you wondering about their origin and how to address them effectively. Fear not, for this comprehensive blog is here to demystify the causes behind scalp scabs and provide valuable insights into managing and preventing their reoccurrence. From common skin conditions to lifestyle factors, we'll delve into the root causes and offer practical tips to promote a healthy scalp and regain your confidence. So, let's embark on this journey together, as we unravel the mystery of scalp scabs and embrace a renewed sense of scalp health and well-being.

What Causes Scabs on the Scalp?

Scalp scabs can be triggered by various factors, and understanding their origins is essential to effectively address the issue:

Skin Conditions: 

Conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can lead to excessive scalp flaking, causing scabs to form. These conditions are often linked to an overgrowth of yeast or fungus on the scalp.

Scratching and Picking: 

Persistent scratching or picking at the scalp can cause small wounds to form, leading to scab formation. This behavior may be a response to itchiness caused by dryness, dandruff, or an allergic reaction.


Bacterial or fungal infections, such as impetigo or ringworm, can infect the scalp and result in scabbing. These infections are often contagious and require prompt treatment.

How to Treat Scabs on the Scalp?

Treating scalp scabs requires a multi-faceted approach to promote healing and prevent reoccurrence:

Gentle Cleansing: 

Use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your scalp regularly. Avoid harsh scrubbing, which may worsen the scabs. Gently massage the scalp with your fingertips to loosen any debris.


Apply a soothing and moisturizing scalp oil or serum to alleviate dryness and reduce scab formation. Look for ingredients like tea tree oil or aloe vera, known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Topical Antifungal Treatments: 

For scabs caused by fungal infections, use over-the-counter antifungal creams or shampoos containing ketoconazole or selenium sulfide. Follow the instructions carefully.

Avoid Scratching: 

Resist the urge to scratch or pick at the scabs, as this can prolong healing and increase the risk of infection. Trim your nails short to minimize damage to the scalp.

Medicated Shampoos: 

If your scabs are associated with conditions like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, use medicated shampoos containing coal tar, salicylic acid, or zinc pyrithione as recommended by your dermatologist.

How to Prevent Scabs on the Scalp?

Preventing scalp scabs involves adopting healthy scalp care practices and lifestyle changes:

Regular Hair Washing: 

Wash your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. However, avoid excessive washing, as it can strip the scalp of its natural oils, leading to dryness.

Use a Hydrating Conditioner: 

Follow each shampoo session with a moisturizing conditioner to keep your scalp and hair adequately hydrated.

Avoid Allergens: 

Identify and avoid any hair care products or ingredients that may trigger an allergic reaction on your scalp.

Protect Your Scalp: 

Wear a hat or use a scarf when exposed to extreme weather conditions like harsh sun, cold winds, or pollution.

Stress Management: 

Practice stress-reducing techniques, as stress can worsen existing scalp conditions and increase the likelihood of scab formation.

What Kills Scalp Fungus Naturally?

Natural remedies can be effective in managing scalp fungus, but consult a healthcare professional for a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Some natural antifungal options include:

Tea Tree Oil: 

Known for its antifungal properties, dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the scalp.

Apple Cider Vinegar: 

Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and use it as a scalp rinse to restore the pH balance and inhibit fungal growth.

Coconut Oil: 

Apply coconut oil to the scalp to soothe irritation and prevent fungal growth.

Aloe Vera Gel: 

Aloe vera's natural antimicrobial properties can help alleviate scalp inflammation and itching caused by fungal infections.


Crush garlic cloves and mix with honey before applying to the affected areas. Garlic contains allicin, which has antifungal properties.

Take Away

Discovering scabs on your scalp can be distressing. They may arise from skin conditions, infections, or scratching. Gentle cleansing, moisturization, and antifungal treatments can aid healing, while regular hair care and stress management help prevent scab formation. For natural scalp fungus management, consider tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar.


Q: Can stress cause scabs on the scalp?

A: Stress can exacerbate existing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, leading to itching and scratching that may cause scabs on the scalp.

Q: Does apple cider vinegar destroy scalp fungus?

A: Apple cider vinegar's acidity can help create an unfavorable environment for some scalp fungi, but it may not completely destroy all types of fungus.

Q: How long can fungus live on the scalp?

A: The lifespan of scalp fungus varies depending on the type and environmental conditions. Some fungi can persist for weeks or even months if left untreated. Prompt treatment is crucial to prevent further spread and complications.


Scabs and Sores on Scalp: Causes and Treatment,  By Ann Pietrangelo, July 3, 2023

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