It is common for a lump to develop on the forehead and under skin. While a number of conditions can be responsible, cysts are the most common causes.
Most lumps on the forehead and under skin do not require medical treatment. Given enough time, they will heal on their own. Recovery can however be sped up with various treatments and home care measures.
This article contains information on the most common causes of lumps on the forehead and under skin. It also treats on available treatment options. Your doctor will however be in the best position to prescribe the best treatment option.
Lump on forehead under skin; cysts
Cysts are pockets or sac-like structures that form under skin. They are filled with fluid or pus and in some cases gas. A cyst can appear in form of a pea sized lump on the forehead or a massive lump under skin. Most of them are benign.
Normally, cysts develop due to clogging of sebaceous glands. These are known as sebaceous cysts and are most common causes of cystic lumps on the face and a lump on the vaginal lip. If bacteria invades the clogged gland, pus will form, which then gets enclosed in a sac-like structure under the skin. With time, a tough lining of keratin will develop around the sac.
Other possible causes include:
- Hereditary factors
- Birth defects
- Inflammatory conditions
Most cysts are smooth to touch. Unless infected or popped, they generally are not painful. Rarely will a cyst develop overnight. Most of them will start as a tiny bump and develop into a massive lump on forehead or the skin region on which they occur.
Diagnosis and treatment
A cyst can be noted by its symptoms. Most of them rarely disappear completely without treatment. Surgical removal is perhaps the best treatment approach. It ensures that the cyst will not keep coming back after removal. Surgical removal should be done by a doctor.
Corticosteroids can be used for massive lump on forehead caused by a cyst to reduce inflammation. Injections are more powerful but come with a number of side effects. Remember to ask your doctor for more details on the same.
Other possible causes of lump on forehead under skin
An injury sustained on the forehead is likely to result in a painful lump, known as a hematoma. This is a natural reaction and usually resolves after a day or two. Lumps formed this way are not dangerous. To reduce swelling, try cold compressing with ice.
It is common for women to experience acne flare-ups about 10 days before their monthly periods. In acne-prone women, the zits may appear in form of large soft lump on forehead. The condition improves gradually as soon as the bleeding starts.
A small bony lump on the forehead may be due to a condition known as forehead Osteoma. It is a medical condition that results in formation of bony lumps on the forehead over time. Osteoma lumps are removed surgically.
Accumulation of fat cells under skin results in a condition known as lipoma. Lipoma will appear in form of a pea sized lump on forehead. Lipoma lumps are rubbery and soft to touch. They also are movable when pressed with a finger. The actual cause of lipoma is not known. All the same, the condition is benign, painless and resolves on its own. If bothersome, the lumps can be surgically removed by your doctor. Lipomas are common causes of lump behind nipple in women.
Dermatofibromas are quite rare on forehead. They occur in form of round red growths on skin. The lumps are usually hard and immovable. In most cases, dermatofibromas will be accompanied by symptoms such as itchiness and pain. Some are however painless. If a dermatofibromas lump is pinched, a dimple will appear.
Cherry angioma leads to formation of a smooth lump on the skin. The lump will be cherry-red in appearance. They are more common on the trunk of the body than on the forehead. Most cases are reported in individuals over 40 years of age. If not bothersome, cherry angioma lumps can be left without treatment. For cosmetic reasons, removal with lasers can be done. Electrocautery is another removal option.
The skin contains hair follicles, including on the forehead. These hair follicles can get inflamed due to infection or irritation. This results in a condition known as folliculitis. It is more common in obese individuals, diabetes patients and people with compromised immunity. Folliculitis is characterized by symptoms such as itchy skin and formation of multiple red pustules. A painful hard lump on testicle can be caused by infected hair follicles on the scrotal sac. Treatment is done with antibiotics. Affected areas are best left unshaved and free from abrasive clothing.
This is a genetic disorder that causes benign tumors on the nervous system. It is accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, vision problems and muscle weakness.
Swollen lymph nodes
There are no lymph nodes under the skin on your forehead. However, a number of lymph node terminals are located near the forehead. This includes the back of the neck on the hairline and behind the ears. A lymphoma lump develops when lymph nodes swell, mostly due to an infection. Cancerous lumps are also common causes of lymphoma lumps. In case of cancer, a hard painful lump under armpit, in groin area and throat are likely to develop.
A hard lump on the forehead can also be caused by calcification. A calcified lump develops due to accumulation of calcium on body tissues or organs. Calcification is less common on face. It mostly occurs on organs such as blood arteries and kidneys. A lump on left side of stomach no pain can for example be due to calcification in the left kidney. A calcified lump requires surgical removal.
Can a hard lump on forehead be cancer?
Skin cancer can appear on any part of the skin. This includes the face, especially because the face is usually exposed to direct sunlight.
Skin cancer lumps are in most cases dark colored. If cancerous a hard lump on forehead will develop. It may resemble a mole initially. With time, the lump will increase in size. Cancerous lumps are typically rough on the surface and with irregular borders.
If you are to notice gradual changes in a mole-like lump on forehead, have it checked by your doctor. Melanoma is a deadly type of skin cancer but can be treated successfully if diagnosed early enough.
How to get rid of a hard lump on forehead at home
A hard lump on the forehead is most likely a form of a cyst. Below are a number of home removal techniques you can try:
- Warm compress for about 10 minutes twice a day. This softens the surface of the cyst and draws fill-in material to the surface where it can drain.
- Place your face directly above a basin of hot water. The heat from steam helps unblock skin pores, thus discouraging cases of blocked sebaceous glands.
- Use medicated soap to wash your face. If a cyst occurs on hairline, consider using medicated shampoos. Avoid over-washing your face, for it can lead to skin irritation.
- Never pop or drain a cyst at home. Also, avoid picking at the cysts. This is to avoid spread of bacteria and possible infection.
Consider learning more on topics that cover common types of lumps and their treatments. You may also find other diagnostic tools such as lump on forehead images or lump on labia minora pictures very helpful. This is partly because some lumps under skin are closely related and tend to recur.
Treating and removing lumps on forehead
A hard lump on the forehead due to an injury can be improved by putting pressure on the lump. This is best done with a clean piece of cloth, especially if the skin is broken. The technique is said to help reduce swelling and discourage internal bleeding.
Surgical removal is perhaps the most widely considered removal option. The best thing with this method is that it completely gets rid of the lump. Lumps which have been surgically removed are less likely to come back. However, surgery will most likely cause scarring. Internal lumps such as lump in the lower left abdomen respond better to surgical removal.
Steroid injections are effective in reducing the size of a lump on forehead. Their main drawback is the fact that they cause a number of undesired side effects. Lumps treated with steroid injections show a tendency of coming back or growing large again.
Painful and itchy lumps on the forehead can be eased with painkillers and anti-itch medications. While such medications are widely available over the counter, it is always good that your doctor be the one to prescribe.
When to see a doctor for a lump on forehead
If a lump on the forehead is not causing any form of discomfort, suspicion or cosmetic concern, it can be left to resolve on its own.
See your doctor if:
- You have sustained a serious injury on your head
- Are experiencing pain, constant headaches, memory loss, impaired vision or blurred speech
- The lump is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills and swollen lymph nodes
- The lump persists for more than 2 weeks
- The lump has developed on the forehead of your child