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Dermatology/Raised bump on scalp

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Scalp bump
Scalp bump  
Hi Dr., I just noticed a small raised bump on my scalp a little over a week ago. It's located about two inches above the tip of my right ear and is slightly oval in shape. It's a speck over one centimeter long and about one centimeter wide. It feels smooth like plain skin and slightly gives a little when pushed on. It's only slightly raised in the middle with the edges only slightly raised. The top of it feels a little bigger than the bottom. I only noticed it because I was scratching my head next to it and my finger caught on it. There was a little dry skin on the one side of it and I scratched it off which left a small red spot, but since then it has gone away. It looked mostly flesh colored until last night I put some antibiotic cream on it and now today it looks a tiny bit pink. It looks darker in the picture. It doesn't hurt, itch or anything else. I would never know I had it if I hadn't found it. I'm a healthy 50 yr. old female with no history of skin cancer and none in my family either. Do you have any idea what this could be? Thank you!

Answer
Trichilemmal cysts also known as a wen, pilar cyst or isthmus-catagen cyst, is a common cyst that forms from a hair follicle. They are most often found on the scalp. The cysts are smooth, mobile and filled with keratin, a protein component found in hair, nails, skin, and horns. They are, however, clinically and histologically distinct from Trichilemmal Horns, which are much more rare and not limited to the scalp. Trichilemmal cysts may run in families and they may or may not be inflamed and tender, often depending on whether or not they've ruptured. Rarely, these cysts may grow more extensively and form rapidly multiplying trichilemmal tumors, also called proliferating trichilemmal cysts, which are benign but may grow aggressively at the cyst site. Very rarely, trichilemmal cysts can become cancerous. The only way to remove them is by surgical excision.

Dermatology

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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