If NOT, try one of these:


Causes of Skin Lumps

Lumps that are a Normal Part of the Body

Common Objects Used to Guess the Size

When to Call for Skin Lump

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Redness spreading from the lump with fever
  • Groin swelling and painful
  • Age less than 12 months and on scalp. (Exception: normal bump in back at base of skull)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Redness spreading from the lump without fever
  • Boil suspected (painful, non-itchy, red lump)
  • Age 12 months or older and on scalp. (Exception: normal bump in back at base of skull)
  • Can't move nearest joint normally (bend and straighten completely)
  • Swelling is painful and cause not known
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Large lump more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) and cause not known
  • Small lump lasts more than 7 days and cause not known
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Small lump present 7 days or less and cause not known. Reason: Probably due to insect bite not observed.
  • Breast bud - normal lump under the nipple
  • External occipital protuberance - normal lump on back of head
  • Mastoid process - normal lump behind each lower ear
  • Xiphoid process - normal lump at bottom of breastbone

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

Call Doctor During Office Hours

Self Care at Home


Care Advice

Treatment for a Small Lump or Swelling

  1. What You Should Know:
  2. Cold Pack for Swelling:
  3. Steroid Cream for Itching:
  4. Allergy Medicine for Itching or Swelling:
  5. What to Expect:
  6. Call Your Doctor If:

Lumps that are a Normal Part of the Body

  1. Breast Buds - Normal Lump Under the Nipple:
  2. External Occipital Protuberance - Normal Lump on Back of Head:
  3. Mastoid Process - Normal Lump Behind the Ear:
  4. Xiphoid Process - Normal Lump at Bottom of Breastbone:
  5. Call Your Doctor If:

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Copyright 1994-2017 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC. All rights reserved.