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What are cysts?

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These smooth, firm lumps can develop in your hair follicles. The follicles anchor each hair to your scalp. Cysts grow slowly and usually don't hurt, but sometimes they can get swollen and painful and may ooze a thick fluid with a bad smell.

Cysts are harmless and usually go away on their own, but if a cyst on your scalp bothers you, see your doctor. She may be able to treat your cyst with steroid shots to ease inflammation, drain it, or remove it.

From: Why Do I Have Sores on My Head? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Contact dermatitis," "Folliculitis," "Ringworm (Scalp)."

UpToDate: "Approach to the patient with a scalp disorder," "Overview of benign lesions of the skin," "Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults."

Cleveland Clinic: "Sebaceous Cysts," "Do You Have an Itchy Scalp? 5 Common Problems and Fixes."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Head Lice: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Scalp Psoriasis: Signs and Symptoms," "Scalp Psoriasis: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Seborrheic Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Treatment."  

CDC: "Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)," "Treatment for Ringworm."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Fungus Infections."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Tinea infections."

KidsHealth: "Chickenpox."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "What Is Pemphigus?"

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on April 27, 2017

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Contact dermatitis," "Folliculitis," "Ringworm (Scalp)."

UpToDate: "Approach to the patient with a scalp disorder," "Overview of benign lesions of the skin," "Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults."

Cleveland Clinic: "Sebaceous Cysts," "Do You Have an Itchy Scalp? 5 Common Problems and Fixes."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Head Lice: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Scalp Psoriasis: Signs and Symptoms," "Scalp Psoriasis: Diagnosis and Treatment," "Seborrheic Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Treatment."  

CDC: "Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)," "Treatment for Ringworm."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Fungus Infections."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Tinea infections."

KidsHealth: "Chickenpox."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): "What Is Pemphigus?"

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on April 27, 2017

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