What Causes Large Bumps on the Scalp?

By Regina Paul


The scalp, like the rest of the skin on your body, has its own set of issues. Because your scalp is covered by hair, it may be harder to tell that you have bumps on your scalp unless they are the kind that itch causing you to scratch and then notice they are there. There are a number of different reasons that you might have bumps on your scalp, but the most common ones are relatively easy to treat.


Dermatitis occurs when the skin of the scalp becomes itchy and inflamed. The skin of your scalp can weep fluid which then dries and crusts over becoming lumps and bumps on your scalp. If they itch and you scratch them, you may come away with a yellowish scab under your fingernail. There are styling gels available that are designed to stay in contact with the scalp and treat scalp dermatitis.

Scalp Pimples

Scalp pimples can appear on both newborn and adult scalps. In the case of an adult, they can appear because the oil glands secrete oil around the hair follicle and the hair follicle then becomes inflamed causing a pimple on the scalp. In the case of newborns, their scalp pimples are thought to be from exposure to their mother's hormones during birth. For adults, there are a number of scalp pimple remedies available over-the-counter. In the case of newborns, scalp pimples usually disappear in the first two weeks after birth.


Cysts whether they are an epidermal or sebaceous cyst are caused by a duct at the base of a hair shaft being clogged up. An epidermal or sebaceous cyst is a small sac underneath the top layer of the skin that is filled with greasy white semi-solid material. Typically you would have surgery to remove the cyst and its contents unless otherwise decided by you and your doctor.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer on the scalp is usually on areas of the scalp that are not covered well by your hair. Skin cancer on the scalp can appear as a growth like a bump or mole on the scalp. If you think your scalp bump might be skin cancer, you should see your doctor right away.


Hives are caused by an allergic reaction and can be in the form of large red bumps. These bumps can itch, and sometimes you will have groups of them appear on your scalp, making you think you have one large bump when in fact it's several small bumps together. The best way to get rid of hives on your scalp is to take an antihistamine.

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