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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31329
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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Is it normal to feel a small lump in the nape of the neck where

This answer was rated:

Is it normal to feel a small lump in the nape of the neck where the hairline meets?

Hello Todd,
I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today.

What is the size of lump?
Is it painful, tender?
Can you move it all around?
When did you notice it?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The lump seems to be small. I can't feel it if I touch my chin to my chest or lean my head all the way back. It does move around, but only very slightly. I noticed it this morning.


Hello Todd,

This is likely to be a small lymph node which can enlarge due to various reasons like dandruff, skin irritation or inflammation, scalp infection, hair root infection etc (around the area). Usually this is a self limiting problem and lymph node lump subside on their own in about 10-14 days. The other possibilities of the diagnosis are;

sebaceous cyst
dermoid cyst.

All of these above are benign (non cancerous) phenomenon and are not a significant issue. You may confirm this with your primary care physician.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

Thanks for using Just Answer.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do have a few other enlarged nodes in my neck. None were larger than 1 cm on a ct scan from a few weeks ago. I had one biopsied last week with a fine needle and it came back benign. CT scan of my abdomen was clear. No node enlargement. Blood work was good.


I originally noticed the other nodes with a sinus infection the first week of May. Just noticed the one on the nape of the neck today.

Glad I got the benign needle biopsy, but was concerned when finding the nape of the neck node today.


Should I be concerned? The sinus infection was 6-7 weeks ago.

Hello Todd,

No, this is not concerning at all. Lymph nodes are our first line of defense and do get enlarged off and on and than subside spontaneously. With a benign biopsy and no lymph node more than one cm and abdominal CT being normal; nothing concerning here. I would not be worried.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Got it. Do you think that these could take months to go back to normal then?

Occasionally they may take months to resolve. Touching them frequently to see the size may increase the duration or resolution.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I'll stop touching. Final question and then I'll be done. Will the node that I got the needle biopsy be slower to go down because of the biopsy?

It may or may not. There is no absolute rule, but it may take slightly more duration to resolve.
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