Our team of medical experts are ready to help

Your questions answered

Nametso asked...

I've got a lump on my head

I've got a lump on my head, my friends cannot see it but I can feel it, slightly itchy.. once in a while I get a headache. What could it be?

  • mother-thermometer-doctor-at-hand

    Do you need to see a GP ASAP?


    Would you like to speak with a doctor by video or phone at a time that suits you?

    Our Doctor@Hand service, delivered by Doctor Care Anywhere, offers a doctor appointment by video or phone at a time that suits you.

The answer

Thank you for contacting us with your question. We're sorry to hear your concerns about a possible lump on your head and understand that it also feels slightly itchy at times.

While it’s not possible to diagnose the exact cause without an examination there are some conditions that could possibly be causing the sensations and problems you are having. In terms of the scalp with the most common conditions being the following:

Folliculitis: This is quite a common cause of a lump on the scalp and can cause itching and irritation,it happens where one of the hair follicles grows in instead of out and can lead to itching, pimples and rashes sometimes with crusting. Treatment for this can consist of either topical or oral antibiotics if the area is infected and causing problems.

Sebborheaic dermatitis: This is another common skin condition that can cause itching often with a rash and scaling of the skin which could feel like a lump if there is a quantity of the skin flakes building up. Treatment for this is usually straightforward with special shampoos your Dr would guide you on and lotions that can be applied if necessary.

We understand that a lump is not visible to your friends when they look on your head for you but that you can feel something there, sometimes this is just a build up of dead skin cells or a small acne type spot that can develop, both of these could also cause the itching you experience.

The types of lumps that can form on the scalp and are more usually visible include something known as a pilar cyst, this is where a cyst forms under the skin and it is made up of cells which are similar to hair follicles and is commonly found on the scalp. Epidermal cysts are another type of cyst that can form and these are usually made up of keratin and fat cells and are more commonly seen in the upper body and chest. Both of these are benign and can disappear without treatment, however, if they become infected or cause problems then treatment with antibiotics and occasionally excision will be given. There are other types of cysts that can form including something called lipomas these are comprised of fatty tissue but they are rarer on the scalp and aren’t usually associated with itching.

In terms of the headache you occasionally experience it’s not possible to know if this is related to your scalp issue but headaches are usually not a symptom associated with lumps found on the head and scalp.

The first step would be to make an appointment to see your Gp who will be able to examine the area of your head where you feel the problem and assess this for you, they will then be able to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend any treatment that is necessary. We do hope you will find this information of use and best of luck in getting this resolved quickly,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses