Scalp Growths

What are scalp growths?

Scalp growths can be either benign or malignant lesions that arise on the skin of the scalp. The most common scalp growths are cysts, but there are also benign tumors like lipomas or seborrheic keratoses that can form. Depending on the type of tumor, the growths can affect areas of the scalp, like the hair root sheath, different skin layers, and other tissues.

Did you know…

Only 1 to 2 percent of scalp tumors are malignant and comprise 13 percent of malignant cutaneous tumors out there. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma are some of the most common types on the scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes scalp growths?

The causes of benign and malignant tumors depend on the underlying issue and any associated co-morbidities with the patient. However, most scalp tumors come from the cells in the epidermis, dermis, and deep tissue layers. The process of metastases can also cause scalp growths to originate from other cells in the body.

What types of scalp growths are there?

While the types of scalp growths depend on the underlying issues involved, some key features help many dermatologists differentiate between benign, premalignant, and malignant scalp growths.

  • Benign Scalp Growths: A key feature is that these growths don’t invade the nearby tissues or spread to other body parts. These growths can also appear as cysts, which are softer to the touch and are sac-like, as opposed to tumors, which feel solid and firm.
  • Premalignant Scalp Growths: These cells are not yet cancerous, but have the potential to become malignant. These scalp growths are typically diagnosed through a skin biopsy and pathology, using microscopes to study the skin cells.
  • Malignant Scalp Growths: Malignant tumors are cancerous, growing and spreading to other body parts. Due to their malignancy, they’re often unpredictable and need to be monitored regularly to protect the patient. These growths also need to be treated immediately for the best results.
How are scalp growths treated?

There are various treatments available for scalp growths, and your provider will choose the best option depending on the type and severity of your growths. Many benign tumors often pose no significant health risks, but you have the option to remove them through surgical excisions or biopsies to protect you from premalignancy. Some surgeries, such as surgical resectioning, can help treat premalignant and malignant scalp growths. Still, it is essential to speak with your dermatologist and oncologist for the right treatments.