Read below about head bruise, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your head bruise from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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10 Potential Head Bruise Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Bruise of the Face / Scalp / Neck

    A bruise is an area of skin discoloration. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin.

    1-2 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    head injury, head/scalp swelling, head bruise, painful head swelling, warm and red scalp swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with bruise of the face/scalp/neck:
    head injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Concussion (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury) Needing Imaging

    Mild traumatic brain injury requiring imaging is defined as being fairly responsive after an injury to the head but with enough warning signs that a picture of the inside of the skull needs to be taken.

    Mild traumatic brain injuries have good outcomes if seen early enough by doctors. Delay can be dangerous.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light, frequent mood swings
    Symptoms that always occur with concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) needing imaging:
    head or face injury
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Skin Abscess

    A skin abscess is an infection of the deeper skin that's typically due to bacteria seen on the skin. Recently, infections are more frequently caused by Staph. Aureus (puts the "staph" in "staph infections").

    Good prognosis with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful scalp bump, marble sized scalp lump, pink or red scalp bump, severely painful scalp lump, yellow or white scalp bump
    Symptoms that never occur with skin abscess:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Bruise of the Face

    A bruise is an area of skin discoloration. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin.

    1-2 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    swelling on one side of the face, head or face injury, painful face swelling, warm and red face swelling, face bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with bruise of the face:
    head or face injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Concussion Not Needing Imaging

    A traumatic brain injury (TBI), or concussion, happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital, and the worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

    Most patients with mild brain injury recover within hours to days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, irritability, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping
    Symptoms that always occur with concussion not needing imaging:
    head or face injury
    Symptoms that never occur with concussion not needing imaging:
    recent fall from 6 feet or higher, severe vomiting, posttraumatic amnesia over 30 minutes, slurred speech, fainting, moderate vomiting
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Head Bruise Checker

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  6. 6.Non - Specific Facial Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    facial redness
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific facial rash:
    facial redness
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific facial rash:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  7. 7.Whiplash

    Whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck, is the result of a sudden jolt to the neck. This injury most frequently occurs after a car is rear-ended.

    1 week

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, pain in the back of the neck, stiff neck, arm weakness, shoulder pain from an injury
    Symptoms that always occur with whiplash:
    neck pain from an injury, pain in the back of the neck
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Lipoma

    A lipoma is a noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. A lipoma can develop in almost any organ of the body although they are most commonly found in the subcutaneous layer just below the skin.

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    skin-colored scalp bump, small scalp lump, marble sized scalp lump
    Symptoms that always occur with lipoma:
    skin-colored scalp bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  9. 9.Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is a condition that occurs 5-11 days before menstruation that causes depression-like symptoms, where you have depression-like symptoms, irritability, and tension.

    Symptoms of premenstrual dysmorphic disorder can be managed with a healthy lifestyle. In severe cases, antidepressants may be useful.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, stomach bloating, anxiety, depressed mood, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that always occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
    impaired social or occupational functioning, symptoms of depression, anxiety and emotional lability
    Symptoms that never occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
    constant sadness, post-menopausal
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Mild Bipolar Disorder i

    Bipolar disorder, which is sometimes called bipolar affective disorder, is a mental condition where a person's mood swings between two extremes. One extreme is called depression, where people feel low, sad, and blue. The other extreme is called mania, where people feel high, elated, overjoyed, and are full of energy.

    Bipolar disorder I is a chronic (lifelong) mental illness.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping
    Symptoms that always occur with mild bipolar disorder i:
    periods of feeling very energetic and needing little sleep
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Head Bruise

  • Q.Did you get hit in the head?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?
  • Q.Were you ever exposed to a dangerous, violent or life-threatening situation?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our head bruise symptom checker to find out more.

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Head Bruise Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced head bruise have also experienced:

    • 7% Scalp Bump
    • 7% Pain in the Back of the Neck
    • 7% Face Bruise
  • People who have experienced head bruise had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Less Than a Week
    • 35% Less Than a Day
    • 8% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced head bruise were most often matched with:

    • 36% Bruise of the Face / Scalp / Neck
    • 3% Concussion (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury) Needing Imaging
    • 2% Skin Abscess
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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