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Strange purple lump on infant’s head is rare case of protruding brain tissue, case report says


The lump, pictured above, was purple in the middle and surrounded by a circle of long, dark hairs. (Image credit: Image courtesy of JAMA Network ® / © 2023 American Medical Association)

A boy who was born with a purple lump on his head had a rare skin defect and a bit of brain tissue spilling out of his skull, a new case report says.

The lump, which was on the right top of the boy’s head, measured around 0.5 square inches (3.2 square centimeters) in area and had a ring of long, dark hairs surrounding it. This ring of hair, known as the “hair collar sign,” can point to a type of neural tube defect, which happens when the neural tube — the structure from which the brain and spinal cord originate — doesn’t close properly as a fetus develops in the womb. Such defects can cause protrusions of brain tissue to form lumps on the scalp. 

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