Read below about one-sided scalp swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your one-sided scalp swelling 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 One - Sided Scalp Swelling Causes

  1. 1.Skin Cyst

    An epidermoid cyst is a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. It is caused by trauma or surgery.

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    scalp bump, small scalp lump, skin-colored scalp bump, marble sized scalp lump
    Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst:
    scalp bump
    Symptoms that never occur with skin cyst:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  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 / 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
  5. 5.Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and tissues underneath it. It is most commonly caused by Group A strep and typically enters the body through a break in the skin.

    Dependent on severity of infection

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, scalp pain, scalp redness, head injury, painful head swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    scalp redness, area of skin redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    One - Sided Scalp Swelling Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having one-sided scalp swelling.

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  6. 6.Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

    There are many different cells of the immune system. At times, there can be too many of one or more of them.

    Uncertain

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, severe fatigue, fever, unintentional weight loss
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold resolves within 7 to 10 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache, sinus pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is generally a lifelong condition

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.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
  10. 10.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About One - Sided Scalp Swelling

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

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our one-sided scalp swelling symptom checker to find out more.

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One - Sided Scalp Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced one-sided scalp swelling have also experienced:

    • 11% Scalp Pain
    • 7% Scalp Bump
    • 5% Scalp Itchiness
  • People who have experienced one-sided scalp swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 34% Less Than a Week
    • 32% Less Than a Day
    • 21% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced one-sided scalp swelling were most often matched with:

    • 5% Skin Cyst
    • 5% Concussion (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury) Needing Imaging
    • 5% Skin Abscess
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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.

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