Why Do I Have Big, Small, Red Itchy Bumps on My Scalp? 

Itchy bumps on the scalp often cause a lot of distress and may bring about the urge to scratch or pop them Popping or scratching will flare up more snags! What are the causes of them? Is there anything I can do to get rid of them?

This issue can be due to a number of factors including various skin conditions, allergies, insect bites, and infections among more conditions. Here is a complete article on causes, types, their symptoms and how to get rid of itchy scalp bumps


In case you are experiencing itchy scalp bump, understating the underlying causes will help you find the right treatment solution. Usually, causes aren’t that severe though, they can still be annoying and bothering and even lead to serious complications if not treated in time. Here is a focus on the most common conditions that may make them develop:

1. Natural build-up on scalp

The build-up of dead skin cells, excess oil and hair products can definitely cause itchy scalp bumps. Such build-ups can block the pores on the scalp skin leading to the formation of acne. The early symptoms may be small itchy raised and red bumps on the scalp. Remember scratching or popping such bumps can upsurge irritation leading to secondary infections. “The excess sebum will clog pores and result in an acne bump that might itch from time to time”, confirms stronghair.org. This condition can result to small or large itchy bumps on scalp that can be very embarrassing.

2. Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis)

It is authentic that, if you are suffering from dandruff then you are liable to develop itchy head or scalp. The itching is an early warning before you could start discovering some flakes starting to appear on the scalp. Dandruff trigger itching that will urge anyone to scratch the affected skin. Scratching will therefore be the beginning of the whole menace! During scratching, you will damage your skin leading to formation of bumps that can be very itchy especially if they get infected.

3. Allergies and skin reactions

They are also often caused by allergens, irritants or other environmental factors. A person can be allergic to certain foods, medications, hair shampoos, hair dyes and colors and even insect bites. Irritants that may come into contact with the scalp skin can also cause them. Those that occur due to allergens and irritants are described as small itchy red bumps on the scalp or the itchy red welts (Hives).

4. Parasites and insects

In many instances, parasites and insects that burrow or bite the scalp can also lead to this issue. Head lice are the common insect that is known worldwide to trigger many conditions, talk of scalp rashes, bumps and scalp scabs. Its main activity on the head it to feed on the blood and laying eggs on the hair shaft triggering allergic reaction hence leading to small lumps. Resulting bumps in these case are not hot to touch and don’t seem to store some pus. The lice cause itchy red bumps on the scalp without dandruff.

5. Folliculitis

This is the inflammation or bacterial infection of the hair follicle. It is usually known to cause bumps that can be very itchy. The most common type of scalp bump common with this condition is the hair bumps. Razor bumps are usually seen around the neck while the hair bumps occur on the back hairline. These are usually itchy painful bumps on scalp. In case the folliculitis is due to bacterial infection, it can be accompanied by small scalp sores or pimples in your nostrils and other parts of the body.

6. Ringworm

Ringworm or tinea capitis is usually a mild fungal infection more prevalent in children but can also be experienced in adulthood. It appears as scaly spots and patches of broken hair on the scalp. This kind of infection can be transited from one person to another through direct contact with contaminated people or objects such combs, pillows and sofas. According to Skinlight.com, “scalp ringworm appears as one or more round to oval areas covered with gray sheets of skin (scale) and is often accompanied by hair loss. The patches may be red and inflamed, and small pus-filled bumps (pustules) may appear.”

Ringworm bumps are usually itchy, hope you remember that?

7. HIV and lupus disease

Usually, psoriasis and tinea are a usual condition with HIV patients. This is due to the weakened immune system leading to hypersensitivity to many infections.  So, most of the time you will find HIV patient struggling with itchy red pimple bumps.

Lupus on the other side is accompanied by itchy bumps on the scalp and face, and open painful sores. The bumps are typically described are itchy soft bumps on the scalp.

8. Shaving bumps

Having hairless scalp makes one feel nice and look smart, agreed? But do you know that this often comes with a price? After shaving, the curly hard hair may grow back into the skin penetrating the hair follicles. This will cause irritated and inflamed follicles leading to the formation of little red bumps (razor bumps). These bumps are clinically referred to as pseudofolliculitis barbae.  They can be extremely burning and itchy.


Treating itchy scalp with bumps will require you to contain a prior knowledge about the primary causes. The severity and medical history or even the age of the patient will also dictate treatments options. The treatments range from natural home remedies to medical treatments (either over the counter therapies or prescribed medications). Here are the common and effective treatments that are usually applied to treat this condition:

Home remedies

Before you could spend a lot of money trying to treat your itchy scalp bumps, just spare one minute. I will show the most powerful, natural and readily available home remedies that can quickly heal them. Read about to explore the wonderful remedies many dermatologists have recommended for not only itchy bumps but also many types of skin lesions.

A). Tea Tree Oil

With its powerful natural antifungal, anti-inflammation and antibacterial characteristics, this oil is capable of perfectly relieving itchy scalp with bumps. First, it will clear up the bacterial infections that could lead to itchy scalp acne bumps. This product can be applied in many ways including:

  • Add about 15 drops of tea tree oil to ½ a cup of baby shampoo and apply the mixture on your scalp. Apply the remedy until you get satisfied with your scalp condition.
  • Alternatively, dilute 3 drops of tea tree oil in one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Use this remedy to heal them. It can be applied for a week or two weeks.

B). Baking Soda

Another perfect and excellent natural home remedy that can help you relieve your itchy scalp bump is baking soda. It very vigorous to itchy scalp dandruff that will eventually lead to the development of bumps that itch. It performs this by exfoliating the scalp hence doing away with the worrisome dandruff. Here is how to apply this remedy.

  • Before applying baking soda, massage your scalp using olive oil
  • Mix water with baking soda to make a paste
  • Apply the paste on your scalp
  • Wait for about 15 minutes and then wash away using water

C). Apple Cider Vinegar

This natural product balances the pH of the scalp hence relieving the itchiness and dryness. It helps in killing the fungus that may cause this problem hence rendering your scalp infection-free.  The acetic acid contained in this product also help in unclogging the pores hence preventing the occurrence of scalp acne that may lead to bumps that may itch.

  • Add equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then you can spray your scalp and hair using the mixture. You should properly saturate it with the mixture and then cover using a clean towel. Leave it to sit for almost an hour and then was using water

D). Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is another excellent product to will manage itchy scalp bump. First, it helps in the soothing dry skin that might lead to itchy bumps. It also has glycoproteins in it that act as a lubricant and protective agent. Other properties include exfoliating and antibacterial properties to treat cases of fungi or yeast hence making it perfect scalp acne treatment. How to use aloe vera:

  • Obtain fresh aloe gel by cutting a slice of aloe Vera using knife
  • Wash your hair using shampoo and water to get rid of the already existing build-ups
  • You can then massage it using this gel and leave it to sit for 10 minutes
  • Rinse your hair using water

E).  Coconut Oil

This oil is very effective for moisturizing the skin hence can treat conditions that can lead to itchy scalp with bumps i.e. severe dry scalp skin.

  • Massage it with a little coconut oil after having washed your hair. Leave the oil to stay there for about 30 minutes and then rinse off using a medicated shampoo for itchy scalp. Repeat this remedy thrice in a week
  • Another alternative it to warm coconut oil so that it melts. Add it to your hair shampoo and then wash your hair using the mixture.

F). Lemon juice

Lemon juice has antiseptic properties that enable it to treat itchy and very dry scalp skin. It is particularly thorough when dealing with dandruff. To apply this product:

  • Apply the fresh lemon juice, leave it on for few minutes and then wash your hair using shampoo. You can dilute the lemon juice if you have itchy bumps without dandruff.
  • Another option is to mix this juice with yogurt and then apply it on your scalp for a few minutes before washing it and hair with medicated shampoo. This process should be repeated until the itchiness and skin dryness relieves.

Medical Treatments

When the above natural remedies fail to give a satisfying result or your itchy scalp bumps persist even after applying them, you should immediately see your doctor. Remember in such cases, the itchy bumps may too due to hidden medical conditions may be involving internal organs such as heart, kidney or liver. Here are some medications that your doctor can prescribe:

  • Antihistamines can be applied to cure those caused by allergic reactions
  • Corticosteroids can be applied to treat itchy red bumps on the scalp. The affected areas may be covered with cotton dipped in the corticosteroids.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors can also be applied in cases of small ones. They are the best alternatives for corticosteroids
  • Antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) may also help to relieve itchy scalp bumps

There are more treatments options that your doctor will recommend depending on the causes and the severity of the underlying symptoms. Another brainer idea is to treat the underlying diseases i.e. kidney disease, thyroid problems or other disorders of other internal organs.

In summary, itchy scalp bumps are usually mild but you should seek immediate medical attention when the natural home remedies and over the counter treatments fail to bear fruit. Another important issue you should always remember is not to scratch or pop any of bumps.  If you feel you can to bear with the situation, call your doctor immediately for advanced treatments