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Doctor Bruce
Doctor Bruce, Board Certified Physician
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 75
Experience:  25 yrs Board Certified in Internal Medicine (US), published author, and health educator
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Hard type cyst on my forehead.

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I have a hard type cyst on my forehead. My family Doctor suggest I see a dermatologist. It is slow or not growing but people seem to notice it more and ask me if I have bumped my head. Are easily removed?


Can you tell me is it just firm or bony hard?
Is it movable in all four planes?
Is there any rash or discharge from this lump?
Any other growths anywhere else on the body?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is a bone hard and about the size of a quarter and only the skin moves over and around it. No others.

I will make some assumptions...please let me know if I am wrong. I will assume you are in generally good health, with no major known diseases. (Again, if that's wrong, let me know.) I will also assume you have no history of cancer, particularly no history of lung cancer or prostate cancer.

When you think about it, there is really not a lot of tissue on the forehead. You have your skin, underneath that is a small fat layer, then muscle, then bone. In between these layers are nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue of various sorts. So, a painless lump that appears slowly may be from a collection of material (a "cyst") that is beneath the skin (commonly, the natural oil called "sebum"), a growth of the fat tissue (called a "lipoma"), or potentially (but less likely) a growth of the bone or connective tissue.

Because you say it is hard as bone and doesn't move, some of the more common causes seem a little less likely. Most slow growing, non-serious "lumps" are cysts or lipomas or similar bumps that are cosmetic but not serious.

This may be a bony growth, but my concern would be that sometimes serious conditions like cancer can feel "bone hard." Frankly, this location makes cancer very, very, very unlikely, but I like to cover the bases. There are, of course, many rare things that can do this (for example, a condition called neurofibromatosis), but they are so rare that it's not worth mentioning until you have the basics looked into.

The only way to know for sure is to have a dermatologist examine it, and determine if there is a need for a biopsy, or even possibly an x-ray to see if it is indeed bony.

If this thing is a cyst, or similar growth, removal is generally possible, under local anesthesia. It's an office procedure 99.9% of the time.

Are conditions like this very worrisome? Generally, no. Most of the time, this kind of thing is not serious. But the peace of mind is probably worth having a dermatologist take a look.

Hope that was of some help, but do let me know if any of what I wrote wasn't clear. Thanks and best of luck.

Doctor Bruce, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 75
Experience: 25 yrs Board Certified in Internal Medicine (US), published author, and health educator
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