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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 19309
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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head pimples / spots

Customer Question

I have had head pimples / spots (mainly on my forehead) which are spreading and getting worse over the last 7 years. Do you know what may be causing this and how it could possibly be treated? this is effecting my confidence and I am worried it is getting worse.


Links to photos:

Also tried shampoo: Nizoral, Alphoysl, currently using johnsons baby shampoo
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Hi--have you seen a doctor for this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hi yes i have, i was given clarelux recently for my scalp, this seems to have caused the outbreak on my forehead as it was not this bad before i started applying it.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
OK Alan. This looks like cystic acne and for now what I would prescribe you would be Doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for two weeks. That should clear it up.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That sounds great but like other treatment i have tried, the condition will likely re occurr. Please can you advise what may be causing this and what can be done to help prevent it in the first place?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Did it only happen after you were using the clarelux?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have had the condition mildly on my scalp for 7+ years. Yes, my foreahead flared up when i started using clareux for my scalp.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Not sure what you meant by saying the condition will likely recur?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i will try and make this clearer to you.


I only began been using clareux 1 week ago to try and clear my scalp.


I then stopped using this after 5 days as my forehead got much worse.


if the condition on my forehead and scalp clears up after 2 weeks with the medication that you have suggested, it will likely come back as I do not know what is causing it in the first place. I have had the condition for 7+ years (long before using clareux)


so my question is – what could be causing this in the first place and what could I possibly do to prevent the condition?




Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Just to be clear here Alan--when you say you've had the conditions for seven years, which condition are you referring to?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
the spots / pimples on my scalp which are the same as on my fringe line and forehead.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
And what's the diagnosis from your doctor for the scalp condition?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
if i knew this i would not be asking you for help and i thought you were the expert. sorry i dont think you have understood or answered me very well. i will make an appointment to see a specialist.

thanks for trying though
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Trying to help you Alan but just wanted to make sure what was on your photo was also on your scalp. I just wanted to know if a doctor has looked at your scalp?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
I notice that you have relisted the question.
Can you also attach a picture of the lesions in the scalp?
Or does the scalp look exactly like these lesions on the forehead?
I realize that it may be difficult for you to examine your scalp as easily as your forehead, so the assistance of a friend or family member may be helpful.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
I had asked for some further information and have not heard back.

If the lesions on the scalp are similar to the lesions on the forehead, then this is more likely to be a form of folliculitis, which is infection or inflammation associated with the hair follicles. Acne can be thought of as a unique type of folliculitis, but the common acne does not typically cause significant chronic disease of the scalp.

There are actually several different types of folliculitis, and they cannot always be differentiated from exam. It may be necessary to perform cultures or a biopsy to determine the specific type of folliculitis. The most common is a bacterial folliculitis, but would not typically persist for 7 years. A fungal folliculitis is more likely to be chronic, and can be treated with topical antifungals (such as ketoconazole shampoo) or systemic antifungals, such as Diflucan. An inflammatory folliculitis also can be chronic and may respond to an oral anti-inflammatory drug, but also can be treated with phototherapy, doxycycline, minocycline, or dapsone.

It is true that certain forms of folliculitis are more prone to relapse and become a chronic problem, but the usual approach is to use the above interventions to manage the problem, as there is no known other intervention that has been shown to reduce the likelihood of relapse, although good general hygiene is always appropriate.

If you need any clarification, please let me know.