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What Causes Scalp Blisters?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Scalp blisters can be caused by several things, including different types of dermatitis. Contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis, for instance, are two common types of dermatitis that can cause blisters on the scalp. These can also be caused by burns, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

An allergic reaction to certain chemicals is one of the most common causes of scalp blisters. This is scientifically known as contact dermatitis, and it can also cause redness and itching. Some of the hair products that can cause an allergic reaction on the scalp include hair dye, shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray.

Fragrances and dyes are some of the chemicals in hair products that can cause an allergic reaction. A person suffering from blisters on the scalp due to an allergy should immediately stop using any offending hair products and note any common ingredients. He can then start using different products. It may take many different products until he finds one that will not irritate his scalp.

Harsh hair treatments, like perms and dyes, can sometimes cause chemical burns on the scalp, which may result in scalp blisters. A severe sunburn can also cause blisters on the scalp. This is typically more common in people with very short hair or shaved heads.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a medical condition caused by overactive oil glands on the scalp. This condition may cause blisters on the scalp, along with redness and itchy, flaking skin. The sores and blisters caused by this condition usually take longer than normal to heal. In severe cases, clear or yellow discharge may constantly seep from the sores. This is sometimes known as weeping seborrheic dermatitis.

Folliculitis refers to an infection of the hair follicle, and it can also cause scalp blisters. This usually occurs when bacteria gets trapped inside the hair follicle, which can cause small to large bumps or blisters, along with discomfort and itching. Antibiotics are usually needed to clear this up.

Tinea capitis, or scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection on the scalp. This is more common in children than adults, and it is very contagious. An itchy red rash with black spots and bald spots are also common in people suffering from this condition. If the rash becomes infected, the area may become swollen and scalp blisters may also develop.

Individuals who have had chickenpox may also be at risk of developing shingles later in life, even after the virus has lain dormant for years. The symptoms of shingles on the scalp are typically only located on one side of the scalp. These symptoms may include pain and itching, along with scalp blisters and sores.

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Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Aug 19, 2013

My little brother suffers from scalp blisters and his doctor couldn't find the cause. We're suspecting that it might be a hormonal imbalance due to his age or a vitamin deficiency.

His scalp has actually started looking better since he stopped eating fast food, sodas and chocolate. So it might be a dietary issue too, or maybe an allergy. He's scheduled for allergy tests next week, so maybe we'll find out the cause soon.

By fify — On Aug 18, 2013

@donasmrs-- Do you apply scalp oils or hair pomades often?

I had scalp blisters once in my life and they looked like pimples as you described. This is actually called pomade acne. It occurs because of hair products and oils clogging pores on the scalp.

If you stop using scalp products, the blisters will go away.

By donasmrs — On Aug 18, 2013

Can scalp blister be a form of acne?

I have acne prone skin and my scalp is very oily. Sometimes I get little blisters on my scalp that feel and look very much like regular acne blisters.

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