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How can the scab patches on the scalp be treated?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
My son has scab looking patches on the side of his scalp, rt side above his ear. It started out as one little spot about the size of a dime or so and the hair in that spot has fallen out. The scabs have spead to the localized area but the spot where it originated has developed small bumps that are full of pus. His doctor keeps telling us that's it's just an unhealthy scalp and said to use dandruff shampoo. But the rest of his scalp is fine (no flakes or itching), it's just in this localized area. The doc also prescribed some cream and that didnt work and then put him on an antibiotic and that's not working either. Do you know what this could be or what we should do?
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

From the description given, it seems that your son might have developed either seborrheic dermatitis or Impetigo.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. It appears as thick, crusty, yellow or brown scales over the child's scalp.

This condition is treated with over-the-counter dandruff or medicated shampoos. Shampoo the hair vigorously and frequently (preferably daily). Loosen scales with the fingers, scrub for at least 5 minutes, and rinse thoroughly. Active ingredients in these shampoos include salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc, resorcin, ketoconazole, or selenium.

Impetigo is caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. Symptoms. It presents as a single or possibly a group of many blisters filled with pus and appear as a golden crusted lesions or filled with yellow or honey-colored fluid.

Treatment is with a prescription antibacterial cream or with oral antibiotics.

You might consult with your doctor or a dermatologist, who can perform a culture sensitivity of the pus and determine the antibiotic that might help to treat the infection.

I hope this helps.

I shall be available for any follow up questions that you might be having.
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