A lump on your head is usually not very severe and can be treated easily, often with pain relieving medications and observing the progress of your lump. However, if it is noticed that more lumps appear or have increased in size, it is important to seek medical help, as it may mean more serious conditions whose treatment is more specific, such as an infection or cancer, for example.
The presence of a lump on your head usually causes no symptoms, but can be very annoying, especially when combing the hair, for example, which can become a very painful.
The appearance of a lump may be due to several situations, such as seborrheic dermatitis, sebaceous cyst and even urticaria, being the diagnosis made by the dermatologist based on the observation of the lump and the characteristics of the scalp. The main causes for a lump in your head are:
1. Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common cause for a lump on your head and is characterized by a thick yellow or whitish crust on the scalp that usually itches. The area around the lump is usually soft and painful when touched.
What to do: Usually the dermatologist's recommended treatment includes the use of shampoos or ointments containing antifungals or corticosteroids, as well as frequent head washing and no gels, caps or hair sprays.
2. Trauma to your head
Usually, head blows can lead to lumps, which are indicative that the body is trying to recover from your injury. More traumatic injuries, such as those caused by car accidents, for example, lead to larger, more painful lumps and bleeding.
What to do: After a blow to your head, it is important to go to a medical emergency so that imaging can be done to see the skull and detect signs of bleeding for example. However, lumps that appear on the head after striking are usually not risky and disappear after a few days.
3. Sebaceous cyst
The sebaceous cyst in your head is a lump full of fluid that arises due to clogged pores with dirt, dust or natural oiliness of the skin and hair. The presence of a cyst in the head can cause pain when a person washes or combs their hair, for example.
What to do: Treatment of the sebaceous cyst is usually done through surgery, and even if it is benign in most cases, part of the cyst is sent to the lab for biopsy.
Folliculitis on your scalp is difficult to occur, but can be caused by the development of fungus or bacteria at the root of your hair, leading to the appearance of lumps. In more severe cases, there may be hair loss in the region, which is called decalvating or dissecting folliculitis.
What to do: Treatment for scalp folliculitis can be done with the use of antifungal shampoos, such as ketoconazole, or the application or taking of antibiotics, such as mupirocin or cephalexin, according to the advice of the dermatologist and follicular causative agent.
Hives is an allergic reaction that usually affects the skin, with itchy red spots that become swollen. However, the symptoms of urticaria can also be noticed in the head by the appearance of small lumps that usually itch a lot.
What to do: Treatment of hives is carried out according to the dermatologist's recommendation and most often is done with anti-allergic medication such as Loratadine or oral corticosteroids such as Prednisone to relieve itching and swelling.
6. Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and is mainly characterized by the presence of small patches of skin that grow slowly over time. In addition, small bumps on the head accompanied by blemishes can be identified by the dermatologist, which is also indicative of basal cell carcinoma.
What to do: When you notice the presence of spots around the lump on your head, it is important to go to the doctor so that the diagnosis can be done and treatment started. The treatment is usually done by laser surgery or cold application at the injury site. In addition, it is important to avoid prolonged sun exposure, to wear caps or hats and to apply sunscreen periodically.
When to go to the doctor
It is important to see your doctor when any of the following conditions are noted:
- Appearance of more than one lump;
- Increased size;
- Change in the color of the stone;
- Fluid output, such as pus or blood;
- Intense headache.
The diagnosis of the cause of the lump in your head is usually made by a dermatologist, but can also be made by a general practitioner. Your doctor will evaluate the characteristics of the lump as well as the scalp so you can close the diagnosis and start treatment, which varies by cause.