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Red, swollen, itchy, painful spot on scalp, swollen lymph nodes, tender

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Practicing since : 2001
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42, 5'10'', 170. No health issues. Red swollen spot half dollar size on top right side of scalp is itchy and painful off and on. Swollen lymph nodes behind right ear and now into right neck area--very swollen compared to other side.
Lump started behind ear a few days ago--pea size and close to the surface and red. Another developed a day ago very close to original. Very tender to touch. Now lymph node in front of neck just below the two original bumps is small almond size and tender. Spot on scalp continues to hurt to touch--even slight touch to hair can hurt.
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 45 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
The swelling on the scalp that you are having is most likely an infected hair follicle. This infection has caused the swelling in the neck glands. There might be folliculitis with abscess formation which if large might need a drainage.
You need to take oral broad spectrum antibiotics for relief. Taking antiinflammatory drugs like ibuprofen will help in reducing pain and inflammation.
I encourage you to visit your physician to undergo physical check up and also to undergo relevant investigations required in your case so that an early treatment can be initiated.Once the infection is controlled, the neck glands will decrease in size gradually.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Red, swollen, itchy, painful spot on scalp, swollen lymph nodes, tender 55 minutes later
How does one get an infected hair follicle? I want to avoid this in the future. Also, is there something I can put directly on the scalp to help? I understand the antibiotic and antiinflammatory is key. I will follow up with a physician. Thank you so much Dr.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

Applying a local antiseptic cream will help only after the pus has been drained. Doing a hot fomentation can help you. Neosporin is available over the counter though not very specific for hair follicle infection.

Check your blood glucose levels to see if you are diabetic. Maintaining a good hygiene of hair, avoiding excessive sweating and dirt will help in avoiding infection.

Wishing you an early recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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