11 Year Old Son with Red Acne like Bumps Around Scalp

Updated on May 03, 2017
J.T. asks from Cedar Park, TX
10 answers

My son has been using dandruff shampoo for years due to dandruff issues. During the last several months, he's developed red bumps similar to acne all around his scalp. We tried switching from Head & Shoulders to Selsun Blue but the bumps haven't gone away. I guess that's a side effect of using dandruff shampoo? Is there a brand of dandruff shampoo that won't have that side effect? He washes his hair every other day since he's not all that athletic.

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answers from Dallas on

I would take my child to the dermatologist and get a diagnosis and method of treatment.

Maybe it is s form of acne, maybe not but I wouldn't waste money on different dandruff shampoos, I'd get a medical opinion,

At his age, it will begin to effect his self confidence and self esteem at some point. Teens go through enough already.... avoid issues if you can!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Springfield on

Our 10 year old had really bad dandruff last year. At first the ped just told us to use dandruff shampoo and said that there wasn't much more we could do. Since it didn't go away and seemed to get worse, we asked for a referral to a dermatologist.

You could be absolutely right that it's just acne (he's certainly at an age for hormonal changes), but it could be something more. Better to have it checked by a professional, just in case.

Our son's dermatologist had us spray his head with vinegar water and let that sit for about 5 minutes, in addition to the dandruff shampoo. You just never know what a dermatologist might see and what might be helpful to do!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

See a dermatologist. If it is cystic acne you want to get ahead of it before it scars.

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answers from Washington DC on


At 11 years old? That's way too young for dandruff.

Your son needs to be seen by a dermatologist. ASAP.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When I was your son's age, I developed little red bumps along my hairline as you describe. Mine were like tiny pimples (very small) and didn't amount to anything really. Heat bumps? Not sure what they were. My sister let me use her (back then) Clearasil soap and it took care of it.

I think they developed because I had bangs and I was probably becoming a bit more oily.

So I'm wondering if they have anything to do with the shampoo so much as it could be that he does have a little bit of pimples. My teenage son has been using dandruff shampoo for years and he has not developed what you mention - and it would be odd for your son to be having a reaction now to it.

Hope you figure it out :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Tea tree oil works wonders.
You have to try it out with a small area to see if he does not react to it.

If he is fine with it put it on his scalp and the bumps will disappear. Tea tree oil is antiseptic.

The only problem is the strange smell.
Just put it on when not in school.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Definitely take your son to a dermatologist. It sounds like acne and with the meds available today there is no reason for kids to suffer with this condition.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

He's at an age where it's not 'acne-like' anymore - it's acne.
His hormones are surging (which also causes more bacterial growth (and a need for deodorant)) and his oil production is ramping up.
Those pimples sound like blocked pores with a lot of oil backed up behind them.
He might have to wash everyday.
His skin will probably get worse before it gets better.
I find that adding an un coated aspirin to the bit of shampoo he washes his hair with can help with the dandruff.
It might also be time for Sea Breeze and/or other acne stuff to help keep his pores open.
A visit with a dermatologist will be a good place to get some info on how to keep it from flaring up too badly.
Try rotating dandruff products - use one that works for a week or so, then another for a few weeks, then a 3rd, before switching back to the first.

As a teen I was told to not wash so often as it was stimulating more oil production.
I tried it and it was a total crock of manure.
Hormone surges cause the oil, not the washing.
I was the answer to the 70's oil crisis and washing several times a day was the only way to keep my skin from breaking out.


answers from Washington DC on

Thank’s for your question J..

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Medical questions may be asked, however, please know that the first and best source for the answers to all such questions will alway be an appropriate certified professional. Please always consult such a professional in these matters first and foremost.

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answers from Boston on

No, it's not a side effect of dandruff shampoo - not a normal side effect, anyway. It is likely acne. I agree with the recommendations to bring him to a dermatologist.

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