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Scalp Lesion

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

What do I need to know about a scalp lesion?

A scalp lesion is a bump, blister, growth, or scaly patch. A lesion can also be an area of skin with a different color or texture than the skin around it. You can have a lesion anywhere on your scalp. It may itch, bleed, hurt, or be filled with fluid. Your hair may break off or come out around your scalp lesion.

What can cause a scalp lesion?

The cause of a scalp lesion may not be known, or it may be caused by any of the following:

  • Injury, such as a hit on the head
  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, or cancer
  • Chemicals in shampoos or hair products
  • Vitamin deficiencies, inflammatory skin conditions, or poor circulation of blood

How is a scalp lesion diagnosed?

A scalp lesion is diagnosed by your healthcare provider looking at your scalp. A sample of fluid from your lesion may show bacteria, a virus, or a fungus. A biopsy may show if your scalp lesion is caused by cancer.

How are scalp lesions treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your skin lesion. You may need medicine to treat a fungal or bacterial infection. You may also need medicated shampoos and creams to treat your scalp lesions. You may need to have light therapy. Surgery may be needed to remove the lesion.

How can I manage my scalp lesion?

  • Use a soft brush. Brush your hair gently to keep your scalp lesion from bleeding or becoming irritated.
  • Do not scratch your scalp lesion. You may cause your scalp to bleed. You may also spread bacteria or infection to other parts of your scalp.
  • Do not use chemicals or colors on your hair. Color and chemical treatments to your hair may make your scalp lesion worse. Wait until your scalp lesion is healed or until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • Use a mild shampoo to wash your hair. If you have not been told to use a medicated shampoo, ask your healthcare provider which shampoo is best.
  • Always wear sunscreen or a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun. This will help prevent skin cancer on your scalp.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • Your scalp lesion gets worse, even with treatment.
  • Your lesion grows, is painful, or starts to drain fluid.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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