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The lump on the head is usually not very serious and can be treated easily, often with just pain relief medication and observation of the lump's progress. However, if you notice that there are more lumps or that there has been an increase in size, it is important to seek medical help, as it can mean more serious conditions whose treatment is more specific, such as an infection or cancer, for example.
The presence of a lump on the head usually does not cause symptoms, but it can cause a lot of discomfort, especially when combing the hair, for example, which can become a very painful action.
The appearance of the lump can be due to several situations, such as seborrheic dermatitis, sebaceous cyst and even urticaria, and the diagnosis is made by the dermatologist from the observation of the lump and the characteristics of the scalp.The main causes of a lump on the head are:
1. Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common cause of a lump on the head and is characterized by a thick yellow or whitish crust on the scalp that is usually itchy. The area around the lump is usually tender and painful when touched. Understand what seborrheic dermatitis is and how home treatment is done.
What to do: Usually the treatment recommended by the dermatologist includes the use of shampoos or ointments containing antifungals or corticosteroids, in addition to the indication of frequent washing of the head and not using gels, caps or hair sprays. Learn more about treating seborrheic dermatitis.
2. Blow to the head
Normally, blows to the head lead to the appearance of lumps, which are indicative that the body is trying to recover from the injury.More traumatic injuries, such as those that occur due to car accidents, for example, lead to larger, more painful lumps and bleeding. Learn about the types of brain hemorrhage.
What to do: After a blow to the head, it is important to go to a medical emergency so that imaging tests can be performed to visualize the skull and detect signs of bleeding for example. However, lumps that appear on the head after a blow are usually not a risk and disappear after a few days.
3. Sebaceous cyst
The sebaceous cyst on the head is a fluid-filled lump that arises due to clogged pores with dirt, dust or natural oils from the skin and hair. The presence of the cyst on the head can cause pain when the person washes or combs their hair, for example. See how to identify the sebaceous cyst.
What to do: The treatment of sebaceous cyst is usually done through surgery and, although in most cases it is benign, part of the cyst is sent to the laboratory for a biopsy.
Folliculitis on the scalp is difficult to happen, but it can be caused by the development of fungi or bacteria at the root of the wires, leading to the appearance of lumps. In more severe cases, there may be hair loss in the region, being called folliculitis decalvans or dissecans. Learn more about 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 orientation of the dermatologist and the causative agent of folliculitis.
Urticaria is an allergic reaction that usually affects the skin, with red, itchy and swollen patches being observed. However, the symptoms of urticaria can also be noticed on the head, through the appearance of small lumps that are usually very itchy.
What to do: The treatment of urticaria is carried out according to the dermatologist's guidance and, in most cases, is done with anti-allergy drugs, such as Loratadine, for example, or oral corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, to relieve itching and swelling. Understand how to identify and treat urticaria.
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 on the skin that grow slowly over time. In addition, small bumps on the head accompanied by spots can be identified by the dermatologist, which is also indicative of basal cell carcinoma. Learn more about this type of carcinoma.
What to do: When noticing the presence of spots around the lump on the head, it is important to go to the doctor so that the diagnosis can be made and, thus, start the treatment. Treatment is usually done through laser surgery or application of cold to the injury site.In addition, it is important to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, wear caps or hats, and apply sunscreen periodically. Understand more about skin cancer treatment.
Lipoma is a type of cyst or lump formed by fat cells and has a rounded shape, and can appear on the skin of the head, neck, back or any other part of the body, and normally does not cause symptoms. However, in some cases, pain or discomfort may arise when touching the lump.
What to do: the main treatment for lipoma is surgery, and as it does not usually cause symptoms, in most cases, surgery is performed for aesthetic reasons, in addition to relieve symptoms of pain or discomfort when they are present. It is important to consult the surgeon or dermatologist to rule out the possibility of malignancy. Learn more about lipoma treatment.
Hemangioma is a benign skin tumor, formed by the abnormal accumulation of blood vessels, which can arise mainly on the face, neck or scalp, causing the appearance of a swollen area, with a reddish or purple spot.Hemangioma usually appears in childhood and disappears around 4 or 5 years of age.
What to do: in case the hemangioma does not disappear after 5 years of age, a dermatologist should be consulted for a clinical evaluation and more appropriate treatment, which can be done with surgery to remove the hemangioma.
Fibroma is a benign tumor formed by connective or fibrous tissue, which can appear in any part of the body, such as the head or neck, for example, and usually does not cause symptoms. However, depending on the type of fibroma, symptoms such as pain or itching, for example, may appear.
What to do: a dermatologist or general practitioner should be consulted for an evaluation of the lump on the head and, if necessary, tests to rule out malignancies. Surgical removal of the fibroid on the head is usually done for cosmetic reasons, or to relieve the sensation of pain or discomfort.
When to go to the doctor
It is important to see a doctor when any of the following conditions are noticed:
- Appearance of more than one lump;
- Increase in size;
- Emergence of spots;
- Change in the color of the core;
- Outflow of fluid such as pus or blood;
- Intense headache.
The diagnosis of the cause of the lump on the head is usually made by a dermatologist, but it can also be done by a general practitioner. The doctor will evaluate the characteristics of the lump, as well as the scalp, so that he can close the diagnosis and start the treatment, which varies according to the cause.