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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Large painful pimples on scalp, swollen lymph gland. What type of medicine will help?

Hi. For a long time I have suffered from large, painful pimples on my scalp and around my hairline. The lymph gland behind my ear is also regularly swollen on the right of my neck (the pimples are usually worse on the right side too). I am seeking an appointment with a doctor but I'm becoming anxious about serious health scares, for example lymphoma. Please advise if this combination of my scalp condition and a swollen lymph is familiar, and what kind of treatment I could be recommended.
Fri, 26 Apr 2013
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Dermatologist 's  Response
Hi,
Welcome and thanks for posting your query to HCM.
The very first thing to tell you is- do not become panicky about the problem it is not at all lymphoma or any other cancerous or precancerous condition. The condition is simple pyodermas/ Folliculitis ( inflammation and infection of hair root)which are quite common in this site (scalp) and lymph nodes/glands are swollen as consequence of same.
Now to explain you scientifically, we have oil glands in our scalp which may get infected anytime because of many a reasons. There is a drainage system of the body which is known as lymphatic system working for body’s defense mechanism which drains various areas. In scalp, area of particular side (right side) is drained into the lymph nodes of right side of neck. In your case the area of scalp which is drained by right side of scalp is over active because of infection. Actually this is the reservoir which prevents the infection to spread into rest of the body and so are swollen glands as you observe. So, now you can get the lymph nodes are swollen because of the infection in scalp and not at all because of lymphoma.
It is a simple treatable condition where antibiotic play the main role. Take full course of proper antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor. The swelling will be decreasing slowly in weeks to month of time once the infection is controlled. But do not wait and take medical help at the earliest.
With best health wishes,
Dr Sanjay K Kanodia
MD ( Dermatology and STD/ Venereology)
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Cardiologist Dr. Anantharamakrishnan's  Response
Hi friend,
Welcome to Health Care Magic

It is unlikely to be Lymphoma... Long duration, obvious focus of pathology in drainage area, limited despite the long time - all speak against. the sure way to exclude is Biopsy only.

Consult a dermatologist and have proper treatment...everything may disappear.

Take care
Wishing speedy recovery
God bless
Good luck
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