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What is the cause and treatment of boils on the scalp?

Saturday, 14 May 2005
Answered by: Dr. Kamlender Singh
Senior Consultant, Dermatology and Venereology,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. I am getting small boils on my head. I can find 6-10 boils on my head periodically. Usually the boils form pus and heal after 4-7 days. I feel pain while combing or whenever I happen to touch them. Sometimes pus oozes out if I touch them. I have this problems for the past 2 years now. I have met several doctors, all say it is due to dandruff. They suggested use of shampoo for a specific period. During the usage of the shampoo the problem goes away but starts again if I stop using it. I shampoo my hair with an anti dandruff shampoo every alternate day but I still have the dandruff problem. What is the reason behind the boils? Is it due to any vitamin deficiency? How can I get rid of this problem?

A.  Establish the nature of the so called boils. Are they due to a microbe? For example by smear examination and culture of the pus. Determine whether the problem is primary or secondary in nature. If it is infective in nature, take an appropriate therapeutic agent. The organism should be sensitive to the agent chosen, otherwise there will be partial or no response. This can be found by culture sensitivity. Further, the agent has to be taken till complete eradication of the organism; otherwise it comes back. In addition, look for possible reservoirs of reinfection and eliminate them. Look for possible underlying predisposing factors and treat them. If the disorder is non infective in nature, then a skin biopsy maybe necessary to establish the diagnosis.

A.  Establish the nature of the so called boils. Are they due to a microbe? For example by smear examination and culture of the pus. Determine whether the problem is primary or secondary in nature. If it is infective in nature, take an appropriate therapeutic agent. The organism should be sensitive to the agent chosen, otherwise there will be partial or no response. This can be found by culture sensitivity. Further, the agent has to be taken till complete eradication of the organism; otherwise it comes back. In addition, look for possible reservoirs of reinfection and eliminate them. Look for possible underlying predisposing factors and treat them. If the disorder is non infective in nature, then a skin biopsy maybe necessary to establish the diagnosis.

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