Small lump behind ears are often benign (non-cancerous) and do not cause any pain or discomfort. Many people are likely to develop nodules or lump behind ears due to many factors. Often they need not be treated unless it is caused by specific medical condition. Lump can also be called as nodule or bump or tumor by some people. Lump can be soft in nature or firm. Inflammation of skin cells and infection can cause lump behind ears.
Causes Of Lump Behind Ear :
Some of the major factors that cause lump or nodule behind ears are discussed below :-
1. Bacterial Infection – Infection caused by bacteria or other parasites can cause inflammation of your face and neck region. Strep throat can cause swelling of throat, sore throat and difficulty in swallowing. In addition it can cause small lump behind ears. Similarly infections like measles and chickenpox can cause swelling and lump formation. Mastoiditis is a kind of bacterial ear infection and if not treated promptly it can penetrate deep into the middle ear forming pus filled knots or cysts. Yellowish pus may ooze out of the ears with foul smell.
2. Abscess – Abscess is nothing but small lumps formed on the skin. Body’s defense mechanism gets triggered due to infection sending plenty of white blood cells to the site where infection has developed. These cells get piled up in due course forming pus. Tissues and dead white blood cells get accumulated on the pus leading to abscess or lump behind ear. This condition can cause pain and discomfort.
3. AOM and OME – Two major ear infections by name Acute Otitis Media and Otitis Media Effusion can cause lump with pain in the ear. This condition can be caused by either bacteria or virus. There exists some air filled space behind the middle ear and due to infection this space gets filled with pus like fluid. Both AOM and OME can cause swelling and painful lump behind ear. Common cold, allergy, sinus infection and enlargement of adenoids can cause AOM and when it gets severe it can even penetrate the ear bone of middle ear causing OME. Oral antibiotics and topical antibiotics are prescribed for treating this condition.
4. Swelling Of Lymph Nodes – Lymph nodes are present everywhere in the body and it goes without saying that such nodes do exists in the neck region and behind the ears. Due to infection and many other factors, lymph nodes of the ear can develop swelling leading to the formation of lump behind ears.
5. Lipoma – In rare cases lipoma or fatty lump can form anywhere on the skin. These lumps can be felt by your hand and they are often painless. The lump easily moves when you gently press it with your finger. Lipoma is often non-cancerous and just fatty deposits under the skin. This often occurs on your back, armpit and on the neck. Any dermatologist can differentiate lipoma from other cysts since they are soft and gives rubbery feeling.
If you could see any lump behind ears is growing in size with strange texture it can be a tumor.
- Lump can be identified as small soft skin tissue.
- It is often painless and harmless. In case of abscess or pimple it can cause pain.
- It is soft and pliable.
- It grows very slowly.
- It is colorless and just lies beneath the skin.
Lump behind ear can be easily identified by mere physical examination. Harmless and benign skin lumps need not be evaluated and only if your doctor suspects any tumor, he may order for biopsy.
Lump Behind Ear Treatment :
No treatment is needed for lump behind ears. It often grows slowly and fades very slowly.
If the lump is bothering you for cosmetic purpose you can check with your skin doctor. It has become easy to remove the lump anywhere in the body at doctor’s office. After examining the lump your doctor may apply topical anesthesia over it and gently cut it off with tweezers or shrink it with cryotherapy method. Topical creams are available for treating lump behind ears which would shrink the lump in few days.
In rare cases surgery is done, only if the size of the lump is big. Lipomas are removed surgically using liposuction method. Some doctors use steroid injection for shrinking lipoma. In modern days endoscopic method is largely used for removing lump behind ears. You can visit your doctor if the lump behind ears is irritable and painful.