The causes and symptoms of a bump on the head The causes and symptoms of a bump on the head

The causes and symptoms of a bump on the head


Any lump, protrusion, puffiness, or localized swelling under or on the head's skin is considered a bump. It is common for head bumps to develop after injuries or forces, though some can form without prior trauma, such as cysts, infections, or bone spurs. Mild head bumps will likely heal on their own, but if you suffer a severe head injury, have significant symptoms, or suffer a concussion, you should see a doctor immediately.

What Is This Bump on My Head?

It is common to experience swelling, puffiness, pain, or tenderness in one specific area on your head when you have a bump on your head. Bumps often result from head injuries, such as falls and car accidents. Head swelling is usually obvious in these situations. Nevertheless, other head bumps may arise from underlying illnesses or conditions.

How do bumps and lumps on the scalp, head, or forehead develop?

Bumps on the head can be caused by various factors, depending on where they occur and the severity of the swelling. The following are the most common causes of head bumps:


Acne occurs when oil accumulates on the scalp, bacteria infect the skin, or hormone fluctuations fluctuate. The result is red, skin-coloured, or white bumps on the skin's surface or lumps underneath the skin. All ages can be affected, but teenagers are most likely to suffer. A person can get acne all over their body, including on their forehead, scalp, or head. For some people, acne is painless, while it may be itchy or tender for others.

Injury or trauma:

Swelling and pain can result from a head injury-also called a bruise, contusion, or hematoma. The bump usually begins as a small bump and becomes tender and swollen over time. Your only symptom may be a small, painful bump that will resolve on its own. Head injuries that are accompanied by severe headaches, loss of consciousness, vomiting, vision changes, or severe neck pain should be evaluated by a physician.

Bone spur:

A bone spur, or exostosis, occurs when bone grows too much around a joint, usually in the neck and back of the head. Osteoporosis or arthritis usually causes these, but excessive pressure on an area of your spine (such as the base of your head) can also result in them. Although bone spurs are usually painless, they can be uncomfortable, as they create a hard, bony mass.


A cyst is a fluid-filled sac under the skin. They are common on the forehead, face, and scalp and can grow almost anywhere around the body. The patches are generally yellow, white, or skin-coloured but can become red, inflamed, or warm to the touch if irritated or infected.


Inflammation of the hair follicles is known as folliculitis. Itchy, red, sore, and swollen bumps form from these follicles, creating pus-filled, pimple-like bumps.

Insect bite or sting:

A bite or sting from an insect, such as a mosquito or bee, can cause a swollen bump on your head. There can be a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colours of bug bite bumps, depending on the insect, the environment, and the skin's reaction to the bite.


The texture of a lipoma is usually soft or rubbery to the touch because it is made up of fatty tissue under the skin. People around 40-60 will most likely suffer from them, but they are relatively common. There are many places on the body where lipomas can form, such as the forehead, the back of the head, and the neck. It depends on the proximity to a nerve, whether they are painful or not.


The appearance of swelling over the bridge of the nose, in the eyelids, and between the eyes can be caused by a severe sinus infection, also called sinusitis. The condition is also known as Pott's Puffy Tumor but isn't cancerous or a tumour. A sinus infection usually results in sinus pressure, but severe cases can result in head swelling. IV antibiotics and medical imaging are required for this condition.


There is a possibility that a bump on the skull could be a tumour, although it is very rare. Many benign tumours exist, but some may be cancerous in rare situations.

Head Bumps Symptoms

The cause usually determines symptoms associated with bumps around or on the head. Here are some symptoms you may notice around the affected areas:

  • Warmth to the touch

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Drainage

  • Bruising

  • Itching

  • Hair loss

  • Tenderness


There are more severe symptoms that may accompany concussions or underlying conditions, such as:

  • Speech, vision, or hearing impairment

  • Dizziness

  • Discharge or blood coming from bump.

  • Clumsiness or trouble with coordination

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Headaches

  • Confusion

A healthcare professional should be consulted if you experience any of these symptoms.

Diagnosing a Bump on the Head

Many head bumps, including acne, insect bites, inflamed hair follicles, and minor injuries, don't require a medical diagnosis. When you go to your doctor about a bump on your head, they will ask you questions and perform a physical exam to diagnose it.

The bump on your head may be diagnosed by specific testing (such as neurological and imaging exams) in rare cases, such as those with suspected tumours.

Treatment for a Bump on the Head

Depending on their location, severity, and underlying cause, you should treat bumps on your head, forehead, and surrounding areas in a specific way. You must determine the best treatment for your head bump's cause.

Surgery can be performed on certain head bumps (like cysts and lipomas) if they grow larger, become obstructive, or cause cosmetic distress. Some skin conditions, such as acne and folliculitis, may require special care from a dermatologist.

Minor head bump treatments are primarily designed to reduce pain, inflammation, and irritation associated with the bump or its surrounding area. Based on the cause of your head bump, you may want to try these treatments on your own:

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain-reducing medication:

 If you are experiencing pain associated with your head bump, you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other OTC pain medications.


Get more sleep to relieve pain and speed up the healing process of your head bump. The painful area should not be put under pressure or tension by hairstyles, accessories, or hats.


 Some head bumps, especially those caused by injuries, can be relieved by ice because it reduces inflammation.

Warm compress:

 Certain types of cysts and folliculitis may benefit from warm compresses.

Physical therapy:

 Physical therapists can recommend exercises to relieve pain and/or strengthen joints if you have a bone spur.

The following treatments may be recommended if your head bump is moderate or severe:

Surgical removal of bump:

If you have a head bump causing significant discomfort, pushing on other structures, or cosmetically undesirable, your doctor may discuss removing it.

Prescription medications:

Antibiotics may be prescribed for infected head bumps, such as severe folliculitis. Antifungal medications or ointments may be helpful for other types of head bumps.

For tumours, continue treatment as needed:

If your head bump is diagnosed as a tumour, your doctor will decide what treatment to administer according to its location and type. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or tumor removal are additional treatment options.

Risk Factors and Complications

There are several reasons why people get bumps on their heads. Many cases will be resolved by themselves or with simple home treatments. Various factors can cause head bumps, so specific risk factors cannot be identified.

Infection, spread, or growth are all possible complications of head bumps. Acne or cysts can lead to infection if you pick at them. Concussions and more serious brain injuries can result from a head bump caused by trauma. If a head bump is caused by trauma and other symptoms are present, you should talk to your doctor.

When to See a Doctor

Head bumps do not always require medical attention. Usually, within a few days or weeks, swelling, pain, or redness around the head disappears on its own.

A doctor should be consulted if you or someone you're caring for experiences any of the following symptoms in conjunction with a lump on your head:

  • Discharge coming from ears or nose

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Weakness or numbness

  • Severe headache

  • Abnormal lethargy

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Difference in the size of pupils

  • Confusion or disorientation

  • Speech, hearing, or vision impairment

  • Seizure

A brain injury or accident may result in these symptoms, but an underlying mass or brain condition may also cause these symptoms. Medical evaluation should be sought if these symptoms occur.


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