Imagine you are combing your fingers through your hair and you notice a lump on your scalp. You will probably pause and try to explore it with your fingers. You may discover that it is painful, or not. It may be large or small and it will almost always give you a bit of concern. Luckily, most causes of this condition are easily treatable either with simple remedies or outpatient procedures that the doctor's office. However, the first step towards identification may be going to the doctor in the first place.
When you have a lump on your scalp, it may be large and oval-shaped, or it may be a series of small bumps. It can be painful, or even itchy, but not always. It can be hard to see the color if you have hair covering the lump. Some have no coloring, others are darkish in color while still others can be red if irritated.
There are so many causes of a lump on the scalp, and each one has slightly different symptoms. Here are the most common reasons you may find yourself scratching your head due to this medical condition!
The most common type of cyst to have on your scalp is known as a Pilar Cyst. This is a fluid-filled sac that can develop and ranges from the size of a pea to the size of an apple! You will definitely want to get this taken care of at the doctor because a pilar cyst can cause hair to fall out in that area. Luckily a cyst is usually benign and can be removed or drained pretty easily.
While you may generally associate HPV with sexually transmitted diseases, any virus that causes warts is known as HPV. You can get it anywhere on your skin! What usually happens is the viral infection may follow an injury that allows the virus into the surface layer. Warts on the scalp are not serious and are easy to remove by your doctor. Warts might give you the creepy crawlies but they are really not a big deal at all.
A mole on the scalp is a pretty common occurrence. It's important to monitor any moles that you may have because when they grow or change shape you might have cause for concern. It's better to just remove it before then which is easy through a doctor. Most adults have 10-40 moles, which tend to develop during the first 25 years of life, and many believe they are related to sun exposure.
Lice is a very contagious condition but thankfully one that does not have significant health risks other than irritation and the potential for transmitting them to others. These little bugs are common in children but are hard to get rid of these days because they have developed resistance to the traditional methods of killing them. However, if you persevere with over-the-counter lice treatments and regular combing using a special comb you will eventually find they disappear. Lice can cause small lumps on the scalp that are red and itchy. They won't be the large ones like with a cyst, but are very annoying. If you have lice, ask your doctor for the best methods to get rid of them.
Seborrheic Keratoses is more than just a mouthful! It is basically a skin mark that is tan or dark brown in color. They are often called barnacles because they have kind of a scratchy appearance. The growths are completely harmless and can be removed if they become bothersome. Sometimes as they develop they start to itch depending on the location, and it's not too hard to remove it.
The most common person to get a cancerous growth on the scalp is a bald person. That's because they are typically caused by exposure to the sun and hair helps to hide that from the world. The sun causes cancer which is why it is important to bring sunscreen with you and wear a hat to protect your scalp. Without this you'd be exposing your scalp to direct sunlight and allowing those harmful rays in. If you have an irregular lump on your head its important to get it taken care of ASAP. Luckily, if you catch skin cancer early enough it is not that serious!
The most common way to remove a lump on scalp is probably a surgical method. This is the fastest way to do it and is not too much of an invasive surgery. Lumps can be removed by dermatologists in most cases, but sometimes may be worked on by an oncologist or other type of doctor who specializes in your specific type of scalp lump.
In some cases, cryotherapy can be used to treat a lump on the scalp. This is when a doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze a lump, typically a wart, and then it simply falls off. It's really quite easy and with local anesthesia is very painless. It's not a big deal at all even though it sounds kind of intense.
Medications are also commonly used to treat a lump on the scalp. However, the type of medication used depends on the cause of your lump. If it is cancerous, cancer-fighting drugs can go directly into the lump or be taken in a number of different ways. Other medications work well for the other conditions that cause a lump on the scalp.
Cosmetic procedures like laser therapy to lighten the color of spots and lumps is also possible. These would most typically be done at a med spa or plastic surgeon's office.
If you have a lump on your scalp, don't worry! You're not alone. Plenty of patients have had this typically benign condition and have had it easily taken care of, and you can too.