I have been getting these bumps in the recipient area of my scalp. They look like pimples, but I don’t think this is acne. Why is this happening?
Seeing bumps on the skin after a hair transplant is actually quite normal. This usually occurs around the third or fourth month when new hair is just starting to emerge.
The bumps are usually manifestations of inflammation. This can occur in a few ways:
(1) sebaceous glands attached to the follicles continue to secrete oil forming cysts under the skin
(2) hairs become ingrown
(3) upward growth of the hair shafts is met with resistance by the skin and irritates the underside
(4) picking at scabs and crust at the graft sites
With each of these scenarios, it is possible for the immune system to become triggered. White blood cells are rallied to engulf and attack any protein that is deemed to be foreign. Therefore, it may be possible to even notice pus emerging from these bumps.
Although the bumps may look like acne pimples, they are not the same. With acne, the sebaceous duct (pore) becomes obstructed by environmentally derived dirt or dead cells that are shed from within the lining.
While the breakouts are fairly common, you still may want to have your doctor examine them. Medicine can be prescribed to improve their appearance. In some cases, they may need to actually be removed through surgery.
As a side note, some patients do not notice the formation of bumps around the third month after their hair restoration procedure. And this causes them to feel worried that their hair is not growing. While bumps are common and natural, they don’t develop in 100% of all patients. And they are certainly not a mandatory part of the hair growth process.
Dr. Sanusi Umar is a pioneer in hair transplant surgery and is widely published and recognized in his field. Dr. Umar is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the founder of DermHair Clinic in Los Angeles, CA.