Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Bump on head?"
I have a large bump on the top of my head. It feels kind of sore, like a large pimple, but it has been there for over a month. I can't tell if it's gettting larger. What is it?
There are several things that this bump could be, but it would be impossible to tell you with any certainty exactly what it is without actually looking at it. One of the simplest ideas would be an epidermal inclusion cyst, known also as a sebaceous cyst or a wen. These are small bumps that can form, often on your head or neck, and can be somewhat tender, grow slowly, and are filled with a pus or cheese-like fluid that can be released or sometimes oozes spontaneously. Some people have a tendency to develop these, although it is not clear what causes them. The fact that they happen in areas of the body with sun exposure and can occur in areas where acne is also present suggests that these could be factors for some people. If it is an epidermoid cyst, it can be incised and drained in your doctors office (although it may recur), or excised in a simple procedure which would be more definitive. Depending on your age, health history, and other risk factors, there are many other things that this bump could be as well, all of which would require a physical exam. In general, any growth or bump on your body should be examined by a physician, as it is difficult to say specifically if it is benign or something more concerning.
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