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Bump behind ear


Lump behind Ear on Bone, Lymph Nod, Pea Sized, Lobe, Hard, Painful, Pictures, Causes, Treatment

Why a lump behind ear? In many cases when a lump develops behind your ear it is not a cause of concern. The lump may have formed just from simple things like a clogged pore or an enlarged pimple due to some illness and it may soon subside as the illness disappears. However, in other cases, they may signal a need for medication, if an infection is involved, but they rarely are a sign of a dangerous or life-threatening problem.

It is important also to have a close monitor to your bumps, rashes and knots behind or around ears as they may indicate symptoms of conditions that could be serious. For example, a number of symptoms may be experienced other than pain and the bumps feeling hard or tough. With viral and bacterial infections, you are likely to experience a sore throat, sore neck, fatigue and dizziness as well.

Common symptoms of a lump behind ear

  1. Sore to touch or hot to touch

Bump behind ear

Some bumps behind your ear may feel sore to touch especially those caused by irritation. If, for instance, you get a pimple behind your ear that feels hot to touch, it could be caused by irritation and trying to pop it may cause you more problems. Infected lumps and bumps can also feel hot to touch and sore.

  1. Itchiness around the lump

Itchiness also will come from a lump behind the ear that is infected or irritated. Some infections and allergies can cause the skin around ears to become itchy. The cause for a small, itchy lump behind your ears is likely to be acne, eczema or psoriasis. Eczema is a more common cause with possible small lumps forming on the skin. They may present as raised lumps that feel like a bruise, inflamed, scaly and dry bumps on the ear bone.

  1. Hearing loss

In severe cases, a large lump around your ear may affect even your hearing. This is a sign that you are suffering from a very serious infection that require argent attention. In this case it is important that you run to your doctor. Also, ear infections can show symptoms even on the outside of the ear. Acoustic neuroma, chronic sinusitis, Meniere’s disease and cauliflower ear are some of the ear problems that can cause ear loss and bumps or growths on the external ear.

  1. Lumps that keep coming back or won’t go away

Lymphoma lumps that keep coming back are dangerous and should be treated early enough. In most cases, recurring lumps are a sign of cancerous growths.

Lump behind Ear

Lumps that develop behind your ear can be painful or painless, small or large, soft or hard etc. a number of people may describe them as a pea sized bump behind the ear lobe or enlarged pimple near ear. When swollen, it can hurt or become sore to touch. Very many conditions can cause a lump to develop behind your ear. Stress, hormonal changes during pregnancy and during period, ear cancer, psoriasis, insect bites, thyroid problems and some viruses are known to cause ear lumps, lumps and knots.

Causes of lump behind ear

  1. Sebaceous cysts bumps

These are bumps that form under the skin and they usually form on sebaceous glands under the skin which can also be found behind the ears.

  1. Swollen lymph nodes

That lump behind ear could be an enlarged lymph node, or swollen lymph node, also called lymphadenopathy. These kinds of lumps are described as growths that are common at the back of neck, under the jaw or on the jawline, back of the head and behind the ears. Lumps originating from swollen lymph nodes behind the ear are generally caused by ear infections, viral infections such as flu, colds and throat problems such as tonsillitis.

  1. Cancer lump

Some forms of cancer can cause lymph nodes to swell around the ears and neck. The swelling of lymph nodes behind the ear could be a sign of lymphoma, ear cancer or cancer of the blood. Other malignant growths of cancer can also grow behind the ears. Salivary gland as well as skin cancers commonly show signs such as fleshy growths behind ears.

Ear cancer growths keep growing, won’t go away and may be painless. If you have painless bumps behind ear that keep getting bigger, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Cancers are life threatening but can be treated successfully if the treatment is started early enough.

  1. Benign tumor lumps

Benign tumors are growths in the ear or on the outer ear. They appear as small sacks or nodules and are usually harmless. Benign tumors can feel as movable lumps under the skin. They are common on the scalp, in the ear canal and behind the ear. Sometimes, benign tumors can be found on the earlobe as well.

  1. Lipoma movable lumps

Fatty lump behind ear, also called lipomas, are movable bumps under the skin. These can form behind your ear bone and cause some sort of discomfort.

  1. Ear piercing or earring lump

Cartilage ear piercings can get infected hence causing a red bump on the behind of the ear. Bacterial infections on piercings and earrings can cause the formation of ear bumps and cysts as well.

  1. Psoriasis, acne zit or pimple

Your hair follicles can get clogged to cause acne. Skin pores can also be blocked by excess oil and skin cells. This can result in bumps behind ears. These bumps can easily grow big and feel like painful solid lumps under the skin behind the ear. Acne vulgaris is the type that develops deep in the skin. It can form lumps that will feel hard and painful to touch.

  1. Throat infection, STDs

Viral infections as well as bacterial infections in the throat can cause pain and swellings in the neck and around ears.

Why do I have a Lump behind my Ear?

A painful lump behind the ear can be quite scary to experience as you don’t really know what the cause could be. Some causes are non-threatening and need simple solutions, while others require medical attention. This is why it’s so important to have a lump behind the ear checked out to figure out which method of treatment you require.

A lump behind the ear is an area of swelling, and the name for the specific lump behind the ear depends on what the lump is and what caused it. For example, it can either be a tumor, abscess, cysts, or nodule. Here we will outline the five most common types, symptoms, and treatments for painful lump behind the ear.

What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes behind Ear?

Lymphadenopathy behind the ear can be a result of many causes, some more serious than others. Usually found all over the body, lymph nodes are bean-shaped glands that store nutrients and fluid, and aid in waste removal. They produce antibodies to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other damaging elements in the blood. Once the infection is fought, lymph nodes absorb these elements to filter them out of the body. This process temporarily causes the lymph node to swell without pain or you even noticing.

Causes of swollen lymph nodes behind the ear

There are numerous causes of swollen lymph node leading to a lump behind ear. Some are minor and require minimal treatment while others can be more serious. It is important to bring your swollen lymph node behind the ear to the attention of your doctor.

  1. Infections

Infections, such as fungal infection, bacteria in the mouth, and mononucleosis, can all contribute to swollen lymph nodes behind the ear. Because helping fight off infections is the function of lymph nodes, they become easily exposed to any pathogens in the body. The lymph nodes become enlarged as they produce more and more antibodies.

  1. Injury

Damage to the head or neck area can cause the lymph nodes behind the ear to swell as the body is trying to repair itself. Even if you get a cut, the overproduction of antibodies will cause lymph nodes to swell.

  1. Autoimmune disease

Diseases like lupus and Hashimoto’s disease, along with a few others, can cause lymph nodes to swell because the body’s immune system has become damaged from the disease.

What is a Cyst behind Ear?

A cyst behind ear is just but a collection of all the dead skin cells, which are then observed as a lump behind the ear, or a bulged area. In most cases, earlobe lumps are sebaceous cysts behind the ear. Here are the causes, home remedies, and treatment options available to the people who have painful cysts behind ear.

You will normally find that the most common kind of lump behind ear from cyst is the sebaceous cyst. Often, this type of cyst comes about because of the accumulation of dead skin cells or from the assembly of excess oil, which is normally secreted by the oil glands that are present on the skin surface.

In many cases, you will find that this kind of cyst is not dangerous, but there are cases where you may need to seek medical attention from your primary care physician. Cysts are said to have become dangerous the moment they start affecting major organs in the brain, or when they rapture, or start growing big.

What does it mean when you have a knot behind your Ear?

It can be alarming to find something on your body, such as a lump, that isn’t supposed to be there. However, it may surprise you to learn that lump behind ear are actually quite common.

You may have had them many times in the past, but never noticed because you can’t see that area very often. Lumps behind the ear have a number of different causes and can come in a variety of different types.

Some lumps are negligible; others could be signs of more serious conditions. For the curious or the concerned, here is a guide to what can cause lumps behind your ear and how to treat them.


Lump behind Ear on Bone

Mastoiditis is a condition where you develop a lump on the bone behind ear on the mastoid.  A lump behind the ear in the surface of the scalp may be affecting the skin.  If the lump is caused by acne, it may be painful when pressed. It is likely to be accompanied by other cysts and pimples on the head, especially the face.

Cysts in the scalp tend to be a form known as pillar skin cysts. The lining of the sac is made of hair root cells. Other cysts are made of cells from the surface of the skin, known as epidermoid cysts. Finally, there are also sebaceous cysts, which are less common and contain an oily substance.

Pea Sized Lump behind Ear

A small knot or lump at the back of the head and just below the ear can be described as a pea-sized, either fleshy or fatty cyst, growth or tumor. For most people, it is a strange nodule that appears on the ear bone. The size can differ a lot, with some being small lumps behind ears while others appearing to be large.

What does it mean to have a bump behind ear? In most cases, such lumps and bumps do not mean a serious problem and can be neglected. In some instances though, like when they are infected, it can bean a serious problem that the lump could be a symptom of. This will need treatment.

Swollen Lymph Nodes behind Ear

Lymph nodes are glands that are found throughout the body, most notably in the neck, behind the ears and under the arms. These small, bean shaped glands store nutrients and fluids and help to filter waste material out of the bloodstream and body tissue.

The lymph nodes will also produce antibodies which can help fight off viruses, bacteria and other damaging materials that find their way into the blood stream. Afterwards, the lymph nodes will absorb these materials to help filter them out of the body, causing the lymph nodes to temporarily become swollen. This does not typically cause any pain but the swollen area can feel uncomfortable, as though something is out of place.

Hard Painful Lump behind Ear on Bone

Hard lumps in the neck region and the back of ears can appear in children as well as adults. These are likely to be pilomatricomas – a benign tumor on the skin that forms as a result of calcification in the hair matrix.

These usually start as small hard lumps but end up as large lumps behind the ears. According to, these growths occur mostly during the first two decades of life. Other than appearing on the ear bone, they are likely to form on the neck and head too.


In some cases, the knots won’t go away and will keep coming back after removal. In addition, if they start as small lumps and grow into bigger sizes, see your GP for a biopsy or ultrasound to determine their cause.

Lump behind Ear Treatment

In order to get rid of little lumps near ears, the cause must be identified. Treating the cause is a sure way of getting rid of the symptoms completely. Treatments and cures range from topical cream applications to oral medications. Surgery may also be an option depending on the extent to which the lump will have growth.

Lump behind Ear Home Remedy Treatments

  1. Tea tree oil remedy for sebaceous cysts

If the lumps are sebaceous cysts, tea tree oil can help get rid of them. Here’s how to use this natural home remedy. Dilute tea tree oil with a little water and dip a cotton swab into the solution and make sure it is saturated. Place and hold the swab on the cyst for about five minutes and then remove and wash with an oil-free soap.

  1. Gargling salt water

If the lump behind ear is caused by swollen lymph nodes as a result of ear and throat infections, salt water gargles can help get rid of the bacterial infection. Repeat this home remedy twice a day to relieve swollen lymph nodes behind ears.

  1. Garlic oil and Mullein oil cure

Garlic and mullein oil are also good home treatments for ear problems. If the mastoid bone is infected and has a bump, pour a little warm mullein oil in your ear. It will clear the infection. Garlic oil will also help relieve ear pain or aches fast.

  1. Warm compress and painkillers

Otitis media can cause pain in the middle ear. You can manage the pain using either warm compresses or over-the-counter pain killers. Do not use OTC medications for children with ear problems. If warm compresses are not able to relieve the pain, see a GP or an ENT for proper treatment.

Lump behind ear Treatment

Treatments for hard painful bumps behind your ears caused by mastoiditis, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. These are usually given intravenously. In serious cases, a surgical operation is done to drain get rid of the bony mastoid.

  1. Antibiotics

These treatments are administered if the cause of swollen lymph nodes behind ears is a bacterial infection. In most cases, bacterial infections come with colds, mono, flu and tonsillitis. Prescribed antibiotic medications may be oral or intravenous.

  1. Topical corticosteroid creams

Your doctor might prescribe topical medications such as hydrocortisone cream or calamite lotion. These will help relieve symptoms of dermatitis such as itching, which cause skin rashes and red bumps. If the itching does not stop, you may want to get oral antihistamines. An example is Benadryl.

  1. Surgical excision to remove growths

Cancerous growths behind your ear can be removed surgically. Other treatments for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation and chemical treatment. Treatment will depend on the type of cancer that is causing a hard lump behind ear.

  1. Anti-acne medications

While acne can heal on its own with time, some medications can help it clear faster. Treatment of infected acne pimples may include antibacterial medications. However, you might have to take anti-acne cures.

More references

  1. Causes of lumps behind the ears:
  2. Lump behind ear causes and treatments:
  3. Painful lump behind ear:
  4. Swollen lymph nodes:
  5. Why do I have a lump behind my ear:
  6. Lumps behind my ear:

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