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Anon asked...

I have a lump on my head Which over the last couple of months has got bigger it feels rough on the top of the lump.

I have a lump on my head Which over the last couple of months has got bigger it feels rough on the top of the lump.

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The answer

Thank you for writing to us at Ask the Expert.

We will endeavour to discuss some of the possibilities of what could be causing these lumps but would very much encourage you to see your GP as they will be able to look at them and assess what the true cause of these lumps are.

There are a number of conditions that can cause lumps to appear below and on the surface of the skin and in my answer we will endeavour to discuss the appearance and treatment of these:

  1. Skin Cysts- These can appear anywhere on the body and are little pockets of tissue under the skin that become filled with pus, fluid or skin matter as a result of infection or due to the sebaceous gland becoming blocked. The appearance of these are generally smooth to touch and painless and develop over a gradual period of time. These cysts are generally treated by draining of the cyst or by the use of antibacterial creams or lotions. These are usually not cancerous.
  2. Sebaceous Cyst- This is where a cyst develops by a hair follicle. These are often painful on touch and a dark area is visible on the skin surface. Treatment often involves antibiotic creams and removal of the cyst to prevent it returning. Discharge from these cysts often have the appearance of a cheesy white fluid.
  3. Folliculitis- This is inflammation of the follicles due to infection or chemical reaction and is quite common on the face. The area affected is usually red in appearance and pimple like and may include hairs in the centre of the pimple. The skin around the area may also be itchy. Treatment usually involves using antibiotics and antifungal medications but maintaining good hygiene and reducing chemical use eg hair gels, can help too.
  4. Lipomas- This is where there is a fatty deposit under the skin. These are smooth to touch and are harmless and generally do not need treating.
  5. Melanoma- This is a type of skin cancer. The appearance of this is usually the presence of a new mole or the changing of appearance in a pre existing mole. These are usually irregular in shape, multi coloured, can bleed easily and be itchy.
  6. Non- Melanoma Skin Cancer- This is where there is a lump or area of skin which is sore and fails to heal. The lump tends to grow and often becomes scaly and can become ulcerated and bleed easily.

Like we mentioned earlier, we would encourage you to visit your GP to get these lumps assessed and treated as appropriately as soon as possible..

Wishing you all the best,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses