Causes of Scabs on Scalp

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Causes of Scabs on Scalp

On November 16, 2014, Posted by , In Uncategorized, With Comments Off on Causes of Scabs on Scalp

Last month while walking along the beach, I came across a group of young tourists having fun. Although the group comprised around 10 people, one caught my eye. His head was partially shaved and I could notice a little scabbing on the scalp. From my perspective, the scabs were due to some form of skin infection given that they were spread across the scalp. Out of curiosity, I thought about researching on the possible cause or causes of scabbing of the scalp and a found quite a number.

Scalp folliculitis

This is an infection of the hair follicle. The follicle is the small pore from which an individual hair emerges. It results from bacteria or fungi multiplying within the follicle causing inflammation and infection. As such, the hair follicles appear as red pimples which can be filled with pus and or blood. The follicle might break by itself or through scratching to relieve the itching. Tiny scabs will gradually develop around the areas where the skin was broken as it heals.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. There’s no exact known cause of this condition only that the white blood cells suddenly attack skin cells causing them to multiply abnormally fast. The result is the development of red raised patches of skin that appear scaly. This condition won’t directly cause scabs on scalp. However, the inflammation can result in itching and breaking of the skin.

Oily scalp

Studies show that people with oily scalp tend to experience scabbing more than those with normal or dry skin. Although the oils won’t cause scabs, they provide the perfect breeding ground for fungi responsible for several scalp conditions including dandruff. These conditions usually cause an itch in the hair which can lead to breakage of the skin.


Although commonly affecting joints such as knees and elbows, eczema can also affect the scalp. This skin condition is characterized by development of thickened and extremely itchy skin. There isn’t an exact known cause for the condition. However, allergic reactions to certain chemicals and asthma have been linked to the development of the condition. In most cases it will go by itself.


This skin condition is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox and usually remains dormant in the body. It’s not common for this condition to develop on the scalp. However, if it does scabs can develop as a result. One symptom of this condition is the development of itchy blisters on the skin. If they break through scratching or combing, scabs will form as the skin heals.

Ringworm of the hair

This is the common name given to the condition known as tinea capitis. This is a fungal infection that usually develops in areas of the scalp where the skin is broken. Growth of fungi in this area can cause extreme itching and potential hair loss. Common symptoms include the development of round scaly patches of skin that are inflamed and at times filled with pus.

As seen with these named conditions scabs on the scalp are mainly caused by scratching and not the condition itself.

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