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Have painful area by hairline that is swollen and red. The area is throbbing. Suggest?

Dec 2013
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Practicing since : 2002
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Hi have a painful area by my hairline that is swollen, red and very painful. The area is throbbing. There is no visible bump or head.
Posted Mon, 12 Aug 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 55 minutes later

Welcome and thanks for posting your query to XXXXXXX

As per your history you you have red swollen on the hair line with throbbing pain.

You have not mentioned in your query the exact time since the problem is present. Even then the characteristic feature of "throbbing pain" with red swollen gives us the indication of acute nature of the problem as bacteria infection with pus at the local site.

The area at and near hair line is quite prone for bacterial infection by bacterial contamination as well friction resulting in inflammation of the hair roots. These bacteria are always present on our skin. But due to friction or trivial touching there can be entrance of the bacteria in the skin. Once these enter these proliferate to cause inflammation of the hair roots. The infection then spreads to side by roots and so results in red swollen area with severe pain of throbbing nature. It also leads to moderate to severe nature of pain because of tense and thick skin at scalp area .

For the betterment kindly follow the below:

- Do not scratch or even try to touch the area unnecessarily. This is the most important part in your treatment. Due to touching or scratching or pinching the area, there can be more spread of infection to the surrounding area and so further aggravation of the problem.

- You can do cold water compresses to reduce any discomfort. Do not try to do hot water compress as can lead to more pain.

- stay away from hot and humid climate.

- Do not wear any hat or anything coming in contact with the affected area.

- Apply any antibacterial cream such as fucidin or mupirocin or gentamicin 2 times a day in a very thin layer so that it should not be visible to naked eye.-

- You can take oral painkillers such as paracetamol round the clock to reduce the intensity of the pain.

- A course of oral antibiotic under medical advice can be take for 3-5 days.

- Keep proper scalp hygiene by washing your scalp with mild shampoo daily.

Despite above measures if the things are not better within 24-48 hours then it is better to consult a surgeon/ dermatologist for the immediate management.

I hope these information's will help you. If you have further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish you good health"

Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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