What is the meaning of scalp lesion? What are the causes them? How can I get rid of these them? Learn more about their meaning, causes, symptoms, in babies, treatments and whether or not they cause hair loss.
A lesion is an area of tissue that has been damaged or an area of skin with different color or texture than the skin surrounding it, particularly due to injury or disease.
It can occur anywhere in your body including the scalp, brain, face and so forth. It can cover a tiny or larger area depending on the cause. They can also be singular or numerous, localized (confined to a specific area) or generalized (widely distributed).
Those in this area can be in the form of blisters, swellings, bumps, rash, cysts, pus-filled sacs, discolorations, hardenings or more changes in or on the scalp skin.
Since there are many causes, understanding them may be quite complicated, their symptoms can range from relatively harmless to life-threatening. According to Drugs.com, lesions may itch, bleed, hurt or fluid-filled.
Just as we had mentioned, they have many causes. The widespread causes are an injury to the scalp, infectious diseases, allergic reactions or damage to hair follicles. Chronic diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders are also among the common causes. Read on to explore more on the causes.
What is lupus? Well, according to Resources.lupus.org, “Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs).” It happens when the body’s natural immune defense system attacks healthy tissue instead of attacking only the invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and germs. This will cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body including the scalp hence lead to lesions such as scalp bumps, cysts, rash, and more.
The certainty about what causes lupus is not yet verified but it has been linked to inherited genes in some people. Other factors that are considered to trigger lupus include viral infections and sunlight.
Symptoms of lupus vary widely but common symptoms include swelling, scalp rash, hair loss, fever and more. Over time, the patient living with lupus may develop severe symptoms such as disorders of kidney, heart, lungs, blood cells or nervous system.
Lupus diagnosis will include physical examination, questions about your medical history or urine and blood test.
Lupus rash treatment may involve the application Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Antimalarial medicines or Corticosteroid pills or creams.
There are many types of lupus but the most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus and can affect any part of the body including scalp. Other kinds of lupus include:
- Discoid lupus erythematosus: causes a skin rash that won`t go away easily
- Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus: this one leads to skin sores on parts of the body exposed to the sun especially the scalp.
- Drug-induced lupus: can be due to side effects of certain medications
- Neonatal lupus: This is a rare type of lupus that often affects newborns
Both allergens and irritants are common causes of many skin lesions including one in this part of the body. Common types of allergy that can lead to them include food allergies, allergies to certain medications, or contact dermatitis (allergic eczema) such as reaction to certain hair care chemicals.
Hair care products and hair styling gadgets can also cause irritation on the scalp leading to the formation of lesions.
2. Scalp Infections
They can also be caused by bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. The symptoms resulting from these infections may vary in their seriousness. Below are the types of infections that lead to lesions on your scalp:
- Bacterial infections-Folliculitis, impetigo, scarlet fever, meningococcal meningitis
- Viral Infections – Chickenpox, shingles (in adults), and scalp warts
- Fungal infections- Tinea capitis and Yeast, Piedra (trichomycosis nodularis)
3. Systematic diseases
Systematic illness such as cancer and diabetes can also cause changes in skin color or texture and sore among other lesions. The reason may due to poor wound healing or poor blood circulation on the scalp. These diseases can also weaken the body immune system hence making skin here skin vulnerable to many skin infections.
4. Scalp Acne Lesions
These bumps or lesions formed by the collection of excess sebum and dead skin cells that block the hair follicles. When these bumps become infected, the resulting symptoms may be very severe.
They should be treated immediately otherwise they can put pressure on the hair follicles resulting in hair loss.
5. Scalp Psoriasis
This skin condition occurs due to increased production of skin cells. The exact cause is not clear though it has a close link with autoimmune system and genetics. It causes red, flaky, crusty patches skin covered with silvery scales. Both men and women are equally vulnerable to psoriasis.
As people get older, their skin undergoes a number of changes depending on the diet, lifestyle, heredity among other personal habits. Therefore, we find it worth to say that aging can also contribute to their occurrence.
As you get older, your skin may become dry and very fragile. Age spot mays also appear on any part of your body including the scalp. I hope you understand that dry and fragile skin can be prone to many infections as well as other skin conditions like itching and bruising, and all can trigger lesions?
7. Injury-related causes
This is also another common cause of scalp lesions. Physical injuries can lead to color changes, swelling, or painful sore among other symptoms. It can even lead to bleeding and hair loss on the scalp. Below are physical injuries that can lead to this lesions:
- Physical burns including sunburn
- Cuts and abrasions
- Insect bites or stings
- Too much cold
- rough scalp massage
- Hair transplant
8. Skin growths
Skin growth can also contribute to this condition. Although many skin growths are benign and harmless, disparity from malignancy is basic. This is due to the fact that certain benign can symbolize systematic conditions. Examples of skin growths that can occur on scalp include:
- Seborrheic keratoses
- Nevus (mole)
- Cherry angioma
They may occur alongside other symptoms, which may vary depending on the primary, causes i.e. diseases, disorder or condition. Here are the most common symptoms that may occur alongside scalp lesions:
- Itchy feeling
- Redness, warmth or swelling
- Sores scalp
- Breathing problems
- Fever and chills
- A headache
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Hair Loss
In some circumstances, they may be an indication of a severe condition that might require an urgent medical care. So you should seek instant medical care if you or someone near you suffer the following symptoms alongside scalp lesions:
- Change in level of consciousness
- Respiratory or breathing problems
- Sudden swelling of the face, tongue or lips
- Rapidly developing scalp rash after taking new medication
- High fever
- Vision changes or eye pain
- Nausea, vomiting or lack of appetite
Generally, they are diagnosed by a medical expert giving a physical examination to your lesion. A sample of fluid can be taken from your lesion may also be tested to reveal if bacteria, fungus, or virus may be the cause. A biopsy of your affected area may also be taken to the laboratory to show if yours is due to cancer.
Scalp conditions are frequently seen throughout childhood actually from infancy all through to puberty. There are several causes that may lead to these conditions. Usually, rashes, birthmarks, and other scalp skin conditions are experienced in infancy and many such scalp conditions can just be benign that require no treatment. However, keen evaluation and close follow-up should employ to ensure no negative outcome.
Remember, there are situations where their appearance in a newborn can pose serious symptoms or can indicate a certain life-threatening condition that must be responded to immediately. Below are the conditions to consider in the various diagnosis of scalp lesions in the newborn:
1. Trauma from a scalp electrode monitor
Usually, during labor, an electrode is placed on the baby scalp to continue to monitor fetal heart rate. This device requires some skin penetration levels.
Accidentally, trauma can occur during the placement or removal of the electrode and this can lead to an open wound. When secondary infections precede this, a large or deep scalp lesion may happen.
2. Aplasia cutis congenital
Aplasia cutis congenital is another common condition in a newborn that lead to small lesion characterized by ulceration. The lesion only affects the epidermis and partly dermis and usually heal perfectly.
Unfortunately, the lesions form a scarred area that doesn’t grow hair and they can be frequently affected by persistent scaling in childhood. The cause it this condition is not known but have been linked with teratogens and premature rupture of membranes
3. Neonatal herpes
Going on with causes them in kids, especially newborn or infants is neonatal herpes. This condition is acquired during virginal delivery if the mother is shedding has simplex virus during this stage. The scalp lesion may present with erosions and vesicles that are on the skin surface and crust rapidly.
Apart from these causes in newborn, more causes could include contact dermatitis, insect bites and stings, physical trauma, infections (fungal, bacterial or viral) birthmarks and more.
Scalp lesions and hair loss (alopecia)
Hair loss also called alopecia or baldness refers to the loss of here from the head or any other body part. The seriousness of hair loss can range from small area to the whole head or body.
There are several types or patterns of hair loss. Hair loss can occur with or without inflammation or scarring. Male pattern- hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium are a major cause of hair loss without inflammation and scarring.
Such causes are usually not usually accompanied by lesions on the scalp. More causes in the same category include chemotherapy, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and hypothyroidism.
On the other hand, we have causes of hair loss that usually accompany inflammation and scarring. These causes of hair loss can also result in bumps on the scalp because of inflammation and scarring. Therefore, this is why a lesion can be a symptom of hair loss or vice versa.
We also have to acknowledge that lesions are mostly are associated with temporary hair loss, the hair will start to grow again after lesions have healed. However, there are cases where some scalp lesions also result in permanent hair loss in the affected areas.
Causes of these skin condition and hair loss include fungal infections, lupus erythematosus, radiation therapy, Seborrheic dermatitis and sarcoidosis among others
How to Treat them
Treatment varies with the cause of your lesion. You may need medicines to cure a fungal, viral or bacterial infection, psoriasis, allergies or other condition. You may also require medicated shampoos and creams to treat your scalp conditions.
Light therapy or Surgery may be necessitated to remove the lesion but all these will depend on the causes as well as the severity of the lesions.
Since they have many causes, it is not easy to do diagnosis at home i.e. using home remedies. Visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and proper treatment.
How to care for them
- Don’t dare scratch them. By doing so, you will only spread the infection or make the lesion to bleed rather than relieving it.
- Stop the application of chemicals or colors on your hair. Hair dyes, hair color, and chemical treatments to your hair may worsen the lesions; therefore only apply them when your healthcare provider says it ok.
- Always use a soft brush. Remember rough brushing will only make them bleed and get more irritated
- Use the correct shampoo to wash your hair. Before you could shampoo your hair, talk to your doctor to prescribe the best shampoo for you.
- Always protect your scalp from sunburn. You can wear sunscreen or a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun to help you prevent skin cancer on your scalp.
- Avoid irritation during shaving. Make sure that when shaving your hair, the lesion is not cut or irritated.
When to contact my healthcare provider?
Usually, many cases don’t pose threat but there are few cases when the symptoms can be dreadful and may demand prompt medical care. So make sure to visit your doctor once you develop the following symptoms:
- They get worse, even with medication.
- Your lesion grows, is painful, or starts to discharge fluid.
- You start to develop facial lesions or your scalp lesions spread to other parts
- You start sweating, breathing with difficulties, and having a high fever
- You feel the symptom is stopping you from carrying your daily responsibilities