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Have painful pimple on scalp filled with pus. Having itchiness. Noticed swollen cervical lymph node. What can this be?

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Practicing since : 1976
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I recently (about a week ago) started to have very painful pimple like bumps on the left side of my scalp. They are not red and do not seem to be filled with pus. I tried puncturing them but nothing would come out. The bumps were not itchy at all at the beginning, just painful especially when touching them, to a point where i could hardly sleep because of the pain experienced when resting my head on them. Pain slowly got less intense and i am now experiencing a bit of itchiness (feels like a wound that is healing) and some strange shivers that seem to originate from the left side of my scalp.

I also noticed what seems like a swollen cervical lymph node on the left/back side of my neck (about 5 mms long bean shaped lump that wont move and has a hard rubbery feel). I do not think that lump was there before the mentioned scalp issue but i could be wrong , as i do not look for lumps on my neck frequently.

I also have a painful bump behind the left ear just under the hairline that feels like the other painful bumps on my scalp do, but it could be another swollen lymph node.

I am very worried about this whole situation, as i know a lot of these symptoms are experienced in lymphoma cases.
Posted Sat, 20 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rajiv K Khandelwal 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

The painful pimple like bump appears to be an infected area of the scalp which is giving rise to the enlarged lymph node behind your ear and the side of neck. This is the body's way of controlling and localizing the infection at one site. Though you mention that it is neither red nor filled with pus I would suggest that you consult your doctor who shall examine the site and put you on a course of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory to take care of the bump and the swollen lymph nodes. The swelling of the lymph nodes shall take some time to settle down. If the bumps appear frequently then the doctor may get you investigated to rule out diabetes.

Lymphomas are usually painless swelling of the lymph nodes and hence you need not worry on that count.

I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction. Please feel free to revert back in case you need any clarifications or would like to share more facts.

Wishing you an early recovery.


Rajiv K Khandelwal
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