Have you noticed that you lump your ear? These bumps can be very varied. Some hurt, and others do not. They can itch, bother, or even be there and not cause any symptoms. Either way, a lump behind the ear can be worrisome.
First of all, you have to be clear that most of these lumps are not dangerous. However, you have to be clear about the warning signs. If you wonder why I lump my ear, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we will explain what the leading causes are and what treatments you can carry out to eliminate them.
Table of Contents
Lump behind the ear: lymph nodes
The swollen lymph nodes are one of the leading causes of packages behind the ear. The ganglia fulfill immune functions since they participate in defense of the organism when it detects the presence of germs, viruses, or other microorganisms that can affect our health. When there is some infection in our body, these nodes swell due to its action.
When the nodes behind the ear become inflamed, we will likely notice a lump in that area. In any case, you should know that this is not worrisome. It is a good sign since your body is acting on this infection.
Be that as it may, what you should not do is touch or knead them since it could hinder their function and recovery. If everything follows its ordinary course, once whatever is causing your inflammation has disappeared – probably an infection in the throat, mouth, or some injury – the lymph nodes will also disappear after a few days.
Lump under the ear due to sebaceous cyst
They are medically known as folliculitis to infection and subsequent inflammation of the follicles of the dermis. In the case of folliculitis, when they are not treated or when they worsen, they can lead to a sebaceous cyst. These cysts are nothing more than accumulations of sebum under the skin that grows there since they cannot come to the surface because the follicle is obstructed. In the vast majority of cases, sebaceous cysts are painless. However, if it were to become infected, it could cause pain, redness, and inflammation behind the ear, if that is where it is located.
Most of the time, these cysts appear on the scalp. However, they can also frequently appear on the face, behind the ears, the scrotum, or the back. In terms of size, they can vary significantly from one to another, although if it is not removed, they can be considerably large.
Among the cysts’ characteristics, we must highlight their firm elasticity. We notice how they can move under the skin if we touch them, although they do not cause pain.
The treatment of sebaceous cysts will depend significantly on their symptoms and severity. If it is not very developed, it will probably disappear with an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic therapy. However, surgery may be necessary to remove the cyst in more severe cases. The characteristics of the sebaceous cyst must be taken into account as otherwise, it can be mistaken for a lipoma. Later we will talk about lipomas and what differentiates them from cysts.
Lump behind the ear from acne
Acne is a widespread condition caused by very high activity in the sebaceous glands, especially during adolescence. This hyperactivity causes too much fat to be secreted, which accumulates in the pores causing the characteristic pimples. Acne can appear almost anywhere on the body. However, the areas where it usually appears most frequently and in quantity are the face, neck, and behind the ears. Depending on the type of grain and the treatment we carry out, these grains can become infected, causing a painful lump of variable size.
Although it is a condition closely related to puberty, the reality is that acne can appear at any time in life, as it depends on many other factors. Among the leading causes that can cause the appearance of acne, we find:
- Hormonal alterations
- Intake of certain medications.
- An unbalanced diet.
If it is something specific, there is nothing to worry about. However, if it appears recurrently, it would be appropriate to visit the dermatologist to find an effective treatment. If you want more information, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we will talk about acne: causes and treatment.
Lump behind the ear on the bone: mastoiditis
Although somewhat unknown, mastoiditis is a relatively common disease, especially in children. This condition is the infection of the bone behind the ear, something that usually occurs due to a poorly treated ear infection. If the otitis is not treated correctly, this infection can develop until it affects the mastoid bone, one of the cranial bones located behind the ear.
This is a disease that usually occurs in children. In fact, before the appearance of antibiotics, they represented one of the leading causes of infant mortality. However, today it is much more controlled and, if treated correctly, it is not dangerous. Beyond the appearance of a lump behind the ear on the bone, some of the main symptoms of mastoiditis are:
- Discharge from the ear
- Discomfort and pain in the ear.
- Redness of the ear.
One of the main problems with mastoiditis is that it is difficult to treat and can recur. The location of the bone makes it difficult to reach. Depending on which cases, antibiotics must be applied through injections at the beginning and, later, orally. In cases where antibiotic therapy is not practical, it will likely require a surgical intervention in which the bone will be removed, and the purulent accumulation will be drained.
Lump behind the ear from lipoma
When we talk about lipomas, we refer to a type of lump that appears as a result of an accumulation of fat cells in the same place, whose size grows slowly. It must be borne in mind that lipomas are not malignant, nor do they cause any severe symptoms beyond the discomfort it generates depending on where it is located.
You are speaking of location. Behind the ear and neck are two parts of the body where they tend to appear most frequently. Consequently, if a lump appears behind your ear, it will be necessary to see a doctor so that he can diagnose what it is.
As we have explained previously, lipomas can be confused with sebaceous cysts. However, their composition is different. As its name suggests, the sebaceous cyst is made up of sebum. For its part, the lipoma grows by an accumulation of fatty cells. Although its composition is different, the reality is that the treatment is the same for both: surgical intervention or liposuction to remove the lump. In the following article, we will talk in-depth about lipoma: what it is, its causes, and its treatment.
Lump behind the ear: other causes
Beyond the causes that we have already explained throughout the article, there are other less common causes for the appearance of the lump behind the ear :
- Thyroid disorders.
- Lymph node tumors.
- Scalp infection.
- Allergic reaction.
Some of these conditions are serious, while others are not a significant problem. That is why below, we will explain the warning signs in the lumps behind the ear so that you know when to go to the doctor.
Lump behind the ear: when to worry.
As we have already been explaining throughout the article, the lumps behind the ear do not usually represent a severe condition, and they disappear with the days by themselves. However, there are cases where medical treatment is necessary, even surgery. That is why you must consider specific symptoms to know if it is required to go to the doctor. Here’s when to worry about a lump behind your ear :
- The node changes color.
- The projection changes shape.
- The swelling secretes liquid.
- The swelling secretes blood.
- If other bumps appear.
- If the lump hurts.
- If the lump itches.
Lump behind the ear: home remedies
Suppose the lump behind the ear results from a bacterial infection at our disposal. In that case, we have a series of home remedies to combat these bacteria, reduce inflammation and treat some of their symptoms. Here we explain what the leading home remedies for lumps behind the ear are:
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid, an element that is very useful against bacterial infections. Spread a clean bandage with this vinegar and place it on the lump to use it. Subsequently, apply a hot bag to the application and let it act for about 20 or 30 minutes.
Ricin is the main active compound in castor oil. This active compound has great antibacterial power, so it is helpful to fight infections. To use it, you must put a compress with hot water. After removing the excess water, you owe it with the oil and keep it on the lump for 30 minutes.
The sterol present in aloe vera is a chemical component with great anti-inflammatory power. In addition, it has excellent antibacterial properties. If we add it all up, we will find that aloe vera is one of the best home remedies to combat infected cysts. We must cut one of its stems and extract the gel to use it. Finally, you should apply that gel to the skin and wait for the skin to absorb it.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I lump behind my ear, we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair, and nails category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.