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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Large, swollen, extremely itchy lump on forehead.

 squakwacker - Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:18 pm

I have a recurring rash almost blister type outbreak on my forehead that was once diagnosed as impetigo, then as "I don't know", then as a form of the herpes simplex virus, but it is unlike any of these. It's swollen approximately 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch above skin level in line with nose and starting at eyebrow level and going to 1 1/4 inch below hairline, being about 1 1/2 inches wide. It itches twice as bad as poison sumac, and is somewhat painful. It appears to spread once it breaks out, and looking like a pimple, squeezing and breaking, then it takes off at a phenominal rate. It originated by the rather stupid act of raking my head across the carpet when I was eight years old, and has recurred once a year (at least) around july or when it has been exposed to extended heat or sunlight. This most recent one started at football camp the night before leaving as a very small area, and when I scratched at it during sleep, I woke up to the itching feeling that has so familiarized itself. In less than a day, it was 3/4 it's current size and by morning of saturday, it was massive. In the past, it has not responded to medications very well, lasting up to a month at times. The itch is unbearable and debilitating, causing a complete lack of concentration. And this time there is also swelling in the glands immidiately forward of my ears and at the base of my jaw below the ears, and these are painful to the touch. I'm seventeen and, as is apparent, something this large and noticeable is rather embarrassing, even for someone who doesn't get embarrassed. The swelling is compareable to being hit in the head with a baseball, and the itch to poison sumac on steroids. Unlike impetigo, it is recurring and doesn't start with scabs. And unlike the HSV-1 virus, it is not red and blistered, and only scabs if the skin is broken, with the scabbing more like a puss, yellowish and crystalized in appearance. Any reccomendations and/or diagnosis would be highly appreciated, as it is worse than a deep laceration or broken bone, getting my wisdom teeth removed (six, bottom row impacted) was more enjoyable than this stuff. Thanks.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:18 am

If this lesion has been recurring for about 9 years, it must have been examined by more than one doctor or dermatologist. What were their opinions? Was a culture or biopsy ever done? As you are aware, dermatological lesions require exmination and cannot be diagnosed on the net.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine

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