Can RA cause hard nodules on your face, neck and scalp?

These often occur in a flare. They are painful, swollen hard nodules that sometimes have puss cores in them.


Community Answers
  • bick58
    9 months ago

    Almost two years ago I noticed a large bump on the side of my nose closer to my eye which after several weeks did not go away. I went to an ENT and he was not sure what it was but he was not concerned however he did say if it got larger to come back. I was not satisfied with the wait and see approach since it was so close to my eye and so noticeable on my face. I ended up going to six doctors who were either ENTs or dermatologists with most of them saying it was probably a cyst which could get larger but they didn’t seem to want to do anything about it. My family doctor agreed that I should not just wait and finally I found an ENT who also agreed that I shouldn’t wait and he referred me to another ENT who specialized in facial surgery and he felt that I needed surgery to remove it. The surgery went well and the pathology report indicated it was most likely a rheumatoid nodule based on my medical history. It was such a relief to have it removed so I was able to stop worrying about whether I would wake up some morning and it would be significantly larger. If that happened it might have interfered with my vision or what if it had been cancer and I would have just be waiting as so many doctors told me to do.

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi smckee81,
    This is a great question and we are glad you reached out. To echo Richard we do encourage you to speak with your Dr. (if you haven’t already done so) about how best to treat/work with your nodules, espeically if they get worse.

    As skin issues associate with RA is common, I thought this article would be helpful- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/skin-issues-associated-ra/ Keep us posted on your health. Thanks for being part of our community. Warmly, Lauren (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Richard Faust moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi smckee81. As with any new symptom, if you haven’t already, make sure to bring this to the attention of your doctor. I honestly am not familiar with all the aspects of nodules. Hopefully, some other community members will chime in with their experiences. Also, this article from our editorial team looks at RA nodules: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/what-is-ra/ra-nodules/. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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