Mild Scalp Swelling Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand mild scalp swelling symptoms, including 5 causes & common questions.

Mild Scalp Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your mild scalp swelling

Contents

  1. 5 Possible Mild Scalp Swelling Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

5 Possible Mild Scalp Swelling Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced mild scalp swelling. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp, face or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. The exact cause of this condition is not known, although doctors think that some common skin yeast organisms, called Malassezia, may play a role in some people.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, rash with well-defined border, scalp skin changes, cheek skin changes

Symptoms that never occur with seborrheic dermatitis: fever

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin's ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family hi...

Read more

Mild Scalp Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your mild scalp swelling

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain

Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis: facial redness, area of skin redness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Skin cyst

A cyst is a small sac or lump, filled with fluid, air, fat, or other material, that begins to grow somewhere in the body for no apparent reason. A skin cyst is one that forms just beneath the skin.

It's believed that skin cysts form around trapped keratin cells – the cells that form the relatively tough outer layer of the skin.

These cysts are not contagious.

Anyone can get a skin cyst, but they are most common in those who are over age 18, have acne, or have injured the skin.

Symptoms include the appearance of a small, rounded lump under the skin. Cysts are normally painless unless infected, when they will be reddened and sore and contain pus.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination. A small cyst can be left alone, though if it is unsightly or large enough to interfere with movement it can be removed in a simple procedure done in a doctor's office. An infected cyst must be treated so that the infection does not spread.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump

Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst: skin-colored armpit bump

Urgency: Wait and watch

Skin abscess

A skin abscess is a large pocket of pus that has formed just beneath the skin. It is caused by bacteria getting under the skin, usually through a small cut or scratch, and beginning to multiply. The body fights the invasion with white blood cells, which kill some of the infected tissue but form pus within the cavity that remains.

Symptoms include a large, red, swollen, painful lump of pus anywhere on the body beneath the skin. There may be fever, chills, and body aches from the infection.

If not treated, there is the risk of an abscess enlarging, spreading, and causing serious illness.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

A small abscess may heal on its own, through the body's immune system. But some will need to be drained or lanced in a medical provider's office so that the pus can be cleaned out. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Keeping the skin clean, and using only clean clothes and towels, will help to make sure that the abscess does not recur.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess: rash with bumps or blisters

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mild Scalp Swelling

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Did you get hit in the head?
  • Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Were you hit or injured anywhere on your face? If so, where?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your mild scalp swelling. These questions are also covered.

Take quiz

Mild Scalp Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced mild scalp swelling have also experienced:

  • 24% Scalp Pain
  • 12% Scalp Numbness
  • 8% Scalp Itchiness

People who have experienced mild scalp swelling were most often matched with:

  • 50% Cellulitis
  • 25% Seborrheic Dermatitis
  • 25% Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

People who have experienced mild scalp swelling had symptoms persist for:

  • 34% Less than a week
  • 34% Less than a day
  • 20% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Mild Scalp Swelling Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your mild scalp swelling