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What does swollen scalp means? Does it cause any difference in height measurement?

Jul 2012
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Answered by

Practicing since : 1993
Answered : 1196 Questions
Dear Doctor,

This might sound a bit strange and funny, but please bear with me. Thanks in advance.


1. What does it actually mean by 'swollen scalp'? Someone told me that even if I don't notice any redness or rash on my scalp, my scalp can sometimes be swollen. Is that true? If my scalp is swollen does it mean it goes in more than usual when I press it?

2. Does swollen scalp make your height measurement come out different? Some of my friends told me when they press the vertex of their scalp, it is a bit soft and presses in more than other parts. If I press my scalp inward very hard, it goes in a tiny bit, would that be around 0.3cm? (from the skull) Should I deduct that from my height?

I really need clear explanation. Thank you very much.
Posted Mon, 3 Sep 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 27 minutes later
Hi there XXXXXXX Scalp is compressible as a tissue being endowed with a lot more vasculature than other skin regions is true. Hence cuts on the scalp bleed faster & heal faster too. In a new born it is true that certain areas of the scalp are compressible more than others as the suture lines' take time to fuse. These areas are known as fontanelles. However at your age 'swollen scalp' sans any redness or rash or trauma albeit can happen physiologically & theoretically is not an entity that deserves mention. Hence height measurements will not come out different as they are taken with respect to a given fixed point. At your age (28) all the fontanelles that have to be fused would have done so unless there is some bony or soft tissue defect. I disagree that you should deduct that from your height. Having lots of hair (thick hair) vis-a-vis bald pate would be a similar analogy. Back in our school days, we had guys shaving their head off just before sports day trials to get into a lower category to win prizes as there was some convoluted formula involving height, weight & age. Personally i dont subscribe to such minor or subtle differences as they seldom have a role to play in the bigger picture in life. This explanation was as clear as i can construct at this point. I do hope it suffices. Your friend may be right in saying sometimes the scalp may be swollen sans redness or rash but the depression & height change is negligible. Cheers & best of luck to you & your friends & do hope this helps you settle your differences. Cheers!
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