Swollen Forehead Causes: Painful or Not

Forehead swelling can be caused by various reasons. Most of the time it’s not life-threatening or serious and will heal on its own after a few days.


This is swelling caused when the forehead is injured. Injury to this area, also known as a goose egg, causes fluids to build up in the injured area leading to swelling. This is not considered a health risk and will resolve on its own after some days. If the swelling hardens due calcium deposits beneath the skin, then it becomes a calcified hematoma that requires medical attention.

Applying a cold compress to the area will alleviate the pain. This can be done using ice packs or a cold damp towel. Apply the compress for 20 minutes or more, remove it and wait another 5 minutes before applying another. Repeat several times throughout the day. Eat proteins to help with tissue repair and speed up the healing process. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. This helps with blood circulation and the flushing out of body toxins.

Do not massage the swelling on the forehead. This disturbs the body’s natural healing process and will slow down healing. Do not apply pressure to it or massage. If irritation occurs, apply a cold compress while seated upright.

If other symptoms accompany the swelling like a persistent headache, nausea, dizziness, imbalance, confusion, memory loss, irritability, disorientation or fever, seek medical attention. This could be a sign of a concussion or a serious head injury.

Contact dermatitis

This is an allergic reaction to the skin when it touches substances that irritate it. Some of these irritants of the skin include cosmetics, fabrics, metals or fragrances. If one of these touches your forehead while your skin is allergic, the swelling will occur. The forehead will become itchy, red and swollen.

Treatment can be with topical corticosteroid medications. This helps soothe the reaction symptoms on the skin.


Overexposing your skin to the sun can cause serious sunburns. This can then cause blistering and light swelling of the forehead. To heal the burns, the skin regenerates new cells.

To soothe the pain, cold compresses and Aloe Vera gel can be used.

Sebaceous cyst

If the sebaceous glands produce excessive oil, the oil collects underneath the skin to form a small growth called a sebaceous cyst. The forehead is prone to overproduction of oil and a sebaceous cyst can form on this area. This causes pain and swelling and sometimes irritation.

Treatment involves draining or removing the cysts surgically. The cysts come back if not surgically removed, so surgery is the best option.

Pott puffy tumor

This is a condition where the forehead swells, and one gets a stinging sensation on the swollen area. The swelling occurs when a sinus infection forms an abscess. It is rare in adults and common in adolescents and children.

Pott puffy tumor is caused by head traumas, bacterial sinusitis or intranasal cocaine. The infection can then spread to the brain if one fails to seek medical attention.

Treatment will involve antibiotics which are administered for 4 to 6 weeks. This will help reduce the inflammation before surgery. The infected sinus will then be drained using endoscopic sinus surgery. This will also remove the infected bone.