Scalp Lesions Causes, Pictures, Symptoms, in Newborn, and Hair Loss, Care and...

Scalp Lesions Causes, Pictures, Symptoms, in Newborn, and Hair Loss, Care and Treatments

What is the meaning of scalp lesion? What are the causes of scalp lesions? How can I get rid of these lesions on my scalp? Learn more on the lesions on scalp meaning, causes, symptoms, scalp lesions and hair loss, lesions on scalp in babies, treatments and more.

What is a scalp Lesion?

A lesion is an area of tissue that has been damaged or an area of skin with different color or texture than the skin surrounding it, particularly due to injury or disease.

A lesion can occur anywhere in your body including the scalp, brain, face and so forth. It can cover a tiny or larger area depending on the cause. They can also be singular or numerous, localized (confined to specific area) or generalized (widely distributed).

Lesions on scalp can be in the form of blisters, swellings, bumps, rash, cysts, pus-filled sacs, discolorations, hardenings or more changes in or on the scalp skin.

Since there are many causes of scalp lesions, understanding them may be quite complicated, their symptoms can range from relatively harmless to life threatening. According to, lesions may itch, bleed, hurt or fluid-filled.

Causes of Lesions on Scalp

Just as we had mentioned, scalp lesions have many causes. The widespread causes of scalp lesions are injury to the scalp, infectious diseases, allergic reactions or damage to hair follicles. Chronic diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders are also among the common scalp lesions causes. Read on to explore more on the scalp lesion causes.

Lupus Lesions on Scalp

What is lupus? Well, according to, “Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs).” It happens when the body`s natural immune defense system attacks healthy tissue instead of attacking only the invaders such as bacteria, viruses and germs. This will cause inflammation, pain and damage in various parts of the body including the scalp hence lead to lesions such as scalp bumps, cysts, rash and more.

Critical alopecia on scalp caused by discoid lupus erythematosus.
Critical alopecia on scalp caused by discoid lupus erythematosus.

The certainty about what causes lupus is not yet verified but it has been linked with inherited genes in some people. Other factors that are considered to trigger lupus include viral infections and sunlight.

Symptoms for lupus vary widely but common symptoms include swelling, scalp rash, hair loss, fever and more. Over time, patient living with lupus may develop severe symptoms such as disorders of kidney, heart, lungs, blood cells or nervous system.

Lupus diagnosis will include physical examination, questions about your medical history or urine and blood test.

Lupus rash treatment may involve the application Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Antimalarial medicines or Corticosteroid pills or creams.

There are many types of lupus but the most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus and can affect any part of the body including scalp. Other kinds of lupus include:

  • Discoid lupus erythematosus: causes a skin rash that won`t go away easily
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus: this one leads to skin sores on parts of the body exposed to sun especially the scalp.
  • Drug-induced lupus: can be due to side effects of certain medications
  • Neonatal lupus: this is a rare type of lupus that often affects newborns

Allergies/Irritants Causes of Scalp Lesions

Both allergens and irritants are common causes to many skin lesions including lesions on scalp. Common types of allergy that can lead to lesions on scalp include food allergies, allergies to certain medications or contact dermatitis (allergic eczema) such as reaction to certain hair care chemicals.

Hair care products and hair styling gadgets can also cause irritation on the scalp leading to formation of lesions.

Scalp Infections

Scalp lesions can also be caused by bacterial, fungal and viral infections. The symptoms resulting from these infections may vary in their seriousness. Below are the types of infections that lead to lesions on your scalp:

  • Bacterial infections-Folliculitis, impetigo, scarlet fever, meningococcal meningitis
  • Viral Infections – Chickenpox, shingles (in adults) and scalp warts
  • Fungal infections– Tinea capitis and Yeast, Piedra (trichomycosis nodularis)

    Lesions due to tinea capitis that has caused hair loss and scarring
    Lesions due to tinea capitis that has caused hair loss and scarring

Systematic Diseases Scalp Lesions

Systematic illness such as cancer and diabetes can also cause changes in skin color or texture and sore among other lesions. The reason may due to poor wound healing or poor blood circulation on the scalp. These disease can also weaken the body immune system hence making the scalp skin vulnerable to many skin infections.

Scalp Acne Lesions

scalp acne lesion
scalp acne lesions

These bumps on scalp or lesions formed by the collection of excess sebum and dead skin cells that block the hair follicles. When these bumps become infected, the resulting symptoms may be very severe.

They should be treated immediately otherwise they can put pressure on the hair follicles resulting to hair loss.

Scalp Psoriasis

This skin condition occurs due to increased production of skin cells. The exact cause is not clear though it has close link with autoimmune system and genetics. It causes red, flaky, crusty patches skin covered with silvery scales. Both men and women are equally vulnerable to psoriasis.

scalp lesions due to scalp psoriasis
scalp lesions due to scalp psoriasis

Aging Scalp lesions

As people get older, their skin undergoes a number of changes depending on the diet, lifestyle, heredity among other personal habits. Therefore, we find it worth to say that aging can also contribute to the occurrence of scalp lesions.

As you get older, your skin may become dry and very fragile. Age spot mays also appear on any part of your body including the scalp. I hope you understand that dry and fragile skin can be prone to many infections as well as other skin conditions like itching and bruising, and all can trigger lesions?

Injury-related causes of Scalp Lesions

This is also another common cause of scalp lesions. Physical injuries to the scalp can lead to color changes, swelling, or painful sore among other symptoms. It can even lead to bleeding and hair loss on the scalp. Below are physical injury that can lead to lesions on scalp:

  • Physical burns including sunburn
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Too much cold
  • Bruises
  • rough scalp massage
  • Hair transplant

Skin Growths

Skin growth can also contribute to the presence of lesion on scalp. Although many skin growths are benign and harmless, disparity from malignancy is basic. This is due to the fact that certain benign can symbolize systematic conditions. Examples of skin growths that can occur on scalp include:

  • Seborrheic keratoses
  • Nevus (mole)
  • Cherry angioma

Symptoms Occurring with Scalp Lesions

Scalp lesions may occur alongside other symptoms, which may vary depending on the primary, causes i.e. diseases, disorder or condition. Here are the most common symptoms that nay occur alongside scalp lesions:

  • Itchy feeling
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Sores scalp
  • Breathing problems
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Hair Loss

In some circumstances, scalp lesions may be an indication of a severe condition that might require urgent medical response.  So you should seek instant medical care if you or someone near you suffer the following symptoms alongside scalp lesions:

  • Change in level of consciousness
  • Respiratory or breathing problems
  • Sudden swelling on the face, tongue or lips
  • Rapidly developing scalp rash after taking new medication
  • High fever
  • Vision changes or eye pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or lack of appetite

Generally, scalp lesions are diagnosed by a medical expert giving a physical examination to your lesion. A sample of fluid can be taken from your lesion may also be tested to reveal if bacteria, fungus or virus may be the cause. A biopsy of your scalp lesion may also be taken to laboratory to show if your scalp lesion is due to cancer.

Scalp Lesions in Newborn

Scalp conditions are frequently seen throughout childhood actually from infancy all through to puberty. There are several causes that may lead to these conditions.  Usually, rashes, birthmarks and other scalp skin conditions are experienced in infancy and many of the such scalp conditions can just be benign that require no treatment. However, keen evaluation and close follow-up should employed to ensure no negative outcome.

Remember, there are situations where scalp lesions in newborn can pose serious symptoms or can indicate certain life-threatening condition that must be responded to immediately. Below are the conditions to consider in various diagnosis of scalp lesions in newborn:

Trauma from scalp electrode monitor

Usually during labour, a scalp electrode is placed on the baby scalp to continue monitor fetal heart rate. This device requires some skin penetration levels.

Accidentally, trauma can occur during the placement or removal of the electrode and this can lead to open wound. When secondary infections precede this, a large or deep scalp lesion may happen.

Aplasia cutis congenital

Aplasia cutis congenital is another common condition in newborn that lead to small scalp lesions characterized by ulceration. The lesion only affect the epidermis and partly dermis and usually heal perfectly.

Aplasia cutis congenital on a six week old baby
Aplasia cutis congenital on a six week old baby

Unfortunately, the lesions form scarred area that doesn’t grow hair and they can be frequently affected by persistent scaling in childhood. The cause it this condition is not known but have been linked with teratogens and premature rapture of membranes

Neonatal herpes

Vesicular scalp lesions caused by herpes simplex
Vesicular scalp lesions caused by herpes simplex

Going on with causes of scalp lesion in kids, especially newborn or infants is neonatal herpes. This condition is acquired during virginal delivery if the mother is shedding has simplex virus during this stage. The scalp lesion may present with erosions and vesicles that are on the skin surface and crust rapidly.

Apart from these causes of scalp lesions in newborn, more causes could include contact dermatitis, insect bites and stings, physical trauma, infections (fungal, bacterial or viral) birthmarks and more.

Scalp lesions and hair loss (alopecia)

Hair loss also called alopecia or baldness refers to loss of here from the head or any other body part. The seriousness of hair loss can range from small area to the whole head or body.

There are several types or patterns of hair loss. Hair loss can occur with or without inflammation or scarring. Male pattern- hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium are major cause of hair loss without inflammation and scarring. Such causes are usually not usually accompanied with scalp lesions. More causes in the same category include chemotherapy, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and hypothyroidism.

On the other hand, we have causes of hair loss that usually accompany inflammation and scarring. These causes of hair loss can also result to bumps on scalp because of inflammation and scarring. Therefore, this is why a lesion can be a symptom of hair loss or vice versa.

We also have to acknowledge that lesions are mostly are associated with temporary hair loss, the hair will start to grow again after lesions has healed. However, there are cases where some scalp lesions also result to permanent hair loss in the affected areas.

Causes of scalp lesions and hair loss include fungal infections, lupus erythematosus, radiation therapy, Seborrheic dermatitis and sarcoidosis among others

How to Treat scalp lesions?

Treatment varies with the cause of your lesion. You may need medicines to cure a fungal, viral or bacterial infection, psoriasis, allergies or other condition. You may also require medicated shampoos and creams to treat your scalp conditions.

Light therapy or Surgery may be necessitated to remove the lesion but all these will depend on the causes as well as the severity of the lesions.

Since scalp lesions have many causes, it is not easy to do diagnosis at home i.e. using home remedies for scalp lesion. Visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and proper treatment.

How to care for my scalp lesion?

  • Don`t dare scratch that scalp lesion. By scratching your scalp lesion, you will only spread the infection or make the lesion to bleed rather than relieving it.
  • Stop the application of chemicals or colors on your hair. Hair dyes, hair color and chemical treatments to your hair may worsen the lesions; therefore only apply them when your healthcare provider say it ok.
  • Always use a soft brush. Remember rough brushing will only make your scalp lesion to bleed and get more irritated
  • Use the correct shampoo to wash your hair. Before you could shampoo your hair, talk to your doctor to prescribe the best shampoo for you.
  • Always protect your scalp from sunburn. You can wear sunscreen or a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun to help you prevent skin cancer on your scalp.
  • Avoid irritation during shaving. Make sure that when shaving your hair, the lesion is not cut or irritated.

When to contact my healthcare provider?

Usually, many lesions on scalp don’t pose threat but there are few cases when the symptoms can be dreadful and may demand prompt medical care. So make sure to visit your doctor once you develop the following symptoms:

  • Your scalp lesion gets worse, even with medication.
  • Your lesion grows, is painful, or starts to discharge fluid.
  • You start to develop facial lesions or your scalp lesions spread to other parts
  • You start sweating, breathing with difficulties and having high fever
  • You feel the symptom are stopping you from carrying your daily responsibilities
Our References
  1. What’s Causing My Scalp Condition:
  2. Scalp lesions and hair loss:
  3. Multiple crusted lesions on the scalp:
  4. Scalp lesions:
  5. Scalp Lesion:
  6. Sores on Scalp:
  7. Lupus Overview:
  8. What’s Causing This Skin Lesion:
  9. Skin Lesion:
  10. Skin lesion: