Where to Go to Remove Infected Lipoma?

I have a lipoma in my head. A friend of mine told me that she had one and she poked it with a needle. I got a sterilized needle and I poked it but it got infected. Now the lump is hard and hurts. What type of doctor should I go to and what can I expect after I see the doctor? Will they remove it in office?

Doctor Answers 2

Infected Scalp Lipoma

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You cannot be sure that it is a lipoma. It could be an infected sebaceous cyst which are more common in the scalp than lipomas.

You can to to a general surgeon, a plastic surgeon, an otolaryngologist, a facial plastic surgeon.

First you need to stop touching it without washing hands, start oral antibiotics. Your physician will then see you after the infection has resolved. At that point you will be scheduled to undergo lipoma/sebaceous cyst excision in an operating room under either local anesthesia, twilight sleep or full general anesthesia.


Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Infected lipoma of the head

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You should go to a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon, all of whom should have experience with infected lipomas. Depending on the severity they may perform a minor procedure to incise and drain the infection, place you on antibiotics and local care, allow this to heal by what is called "secondary intention", that is without suturing (because of the high risk of reinfection). Once it has healed without signs of persistent infection,, any residual lipoma can safely be excised. Lipomas cannot be "drained" and need to be excised. This also could have been a lesion called an epidermal inclusion cyst which also must be drained and probably are more common on the scalp. Either way, get it attended to before you develop more problems and local hair loss.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.