In most cases, a lump behind the ear is not a cause for concern and usually goes away without treatment.

There are various skin conditions and infections that can cause a lump behind the ear.

Lumps form on the skin
The three main causes of a tumor behind the ear are:

skin cysts
Acne appears behind the ear

Acne is a common skin condition that causes lumps behind the ears.

During acne, the pores of the skin become clogged with oil. Sebum is an oily substance secreted from areas at the base of hair follicles.

Oil mixes with dead skin cells to form a layer called a comedone.

If some bacteria enter the comedone, the pimple will become infected and inflamed.

Inflamed acne can become enlarged and, in its most severe form, form a lump called an acne cyst.

If the pimple is a lump, it causes pain when pressed. Other cysts and pimples on the head can accompany pimples or cysts behind the ears, especially on the face.

Cystic acne is an unpleasant condition that causes scarring. However, doctors can help fight cystic acne with effective treatments.

A cyst behind the ear

Cysts can appear anywhere on the skin, including behind the ears.

A skin cyst is a fluid-filled sac. They form a raised, dome-shaped area on the skin. Sometimes there is a black spot called a dot on their upper part.

They move freely and do not stay in place. The doctor should check for lumps of skin that cannot move from side to side.

Scalp cysts are glandular skin cysts. The lining of this type of follicle is made up of hair root cells.

Sebaceous cysts may also occur. They are produced in the glands responsible for moisturizing the skin and hair.

Other cysts are made up of cells from the surface of the skin and are called epidermoid cysts. Finally, there are sebaceous cysts, which are less common and contain oily substances.


Lipomas are another cause of lumps behind the ears. A lipoma is a benign lump of fat. They are not cancerous, they grow very slowly and do not spread.

They are more common in other parts of the body, but can also occur under the skin, including behind the ears.

Lipoma is tender to the touch. They are usually painless unless they compress nearby nerves.

They usually occur in a limited number of places. In rare cases, some people have multiple lipomas at once.

These lumps are usually small, from a pea to an inch in size.

Plastic surgeons can remove unsightly lipomas, but it’s safe to leave them untreated. If necessary, the surgeon can remove the lipoma.

A cyst and a lipoma are the same type of lump. Compared to cysts, lipomas are located deeper in the skin and are softer.

Enlarged lymph nodes

Swollen lymph nodes can cause a lump behind the ear.

Lymph nodes grow behind the ear. They are part of the immune system that filter and filter out cells.

The lymph nodes located behind the ears are called posterior auricular lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes can swell when exposed to foreign bodies. This can happen, for example, due to a nearby infection. Its official name is lymphadenopathy.

Swollen lymph nodes should go away without treatment. Skin or ear infections are common causes of swollen nodules.

If the lump persists for more than 2 weeks or is accompanied by other symptoms, see a doctor.

The body responds to the infection by sending white blood cells to the affected area to fight the invading cells. This causes fluid to accumulate in the area and cause swelling.

Otitis media, or ear infections, can cause this.

The part of the skull behind the ear is the mastoid. If bacteria infect this part of the skull, it can cause a condition called mastoiditis.

Infection takes place in the air space of the bone. The mastoid has a honeycomb structure. Bacteria infect these air cells.

Mastoiditis is more common in children than in adults. This is a serious infection that requires medical attention. Swelling behind the ear can be tender, red, and produce ear discharge.

Clusters can cause other symptoms, including:

ear discharge
hearing loss is possible
high temperature
discomfort and irritation
The cause of mastoiditis is usually untreated otitis media.

A doctor will treat mastoiditis with antibiotics to fight infection. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor sometimes treats the infection with surgery.

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