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Painful back lump, swollen lymph node, scalp itchiness, no redness, no flaking

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I have a lump that hurts when i press it on back base of skull/left side; also a swollen lypmh node in the back of my neck under the lump;I also been experiencing overall scalp itchyness/irritation; but no redness or flaking
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Lump in the back of the neck (occipital region) could be of various etiologies.

With this brief history it is indeed difficult to pinpoint exactly the cause of the swelling. The commonest cause of the swelling in the occipital region is lymphadenitis. The lymph nodes get enlarged whenever there is infection or inflammation in the scalp region.

Even a simple seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) of the scalp can cause enlargement of the lymph nodes in the occipital region. Other causes of swelling in the occipital region could be lipoma or sebacious cyst.

In your history, you have mentioned that you are having an itchy scalp, which is one of the features of seorroheic dermatitis. So, the swelling can actually be a lymph node arising because of the former condition(apart from the one which you have mentioned as a lymph node).

Only after a thorough examination of the scalp and the swelling (for consistency, mobility and associated features) a diagnosis can be made.

Other investigations which can aid in the diagnosis are ultrasound and Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) of the swelling.

Hope I have answered your query, if you have any more doubts you are welcome.

Dr. Naveen Kumar.
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