Hard lumps behind the ear can have many possible causes, consisting of issues in the skin or bone. Swollen lymph nodes, infections, and specific cancers can likewise cause lumps.
Several conditions may lead to knots, lumps, bumps, or nodules behind your ears. In order of likelihood, they are infection, mastoiditis, abscess, otitis media, lymphadenopathy, sebaceous cysts, acne vulgaris, lipoma.
Many cases of a lump behind the ear do not present a cause for concern, however, and typically resolve without treatment.
Common Causes of Hard Lump Behind Ear
There is a series of skin problem and infections that can cause hard lumps behind the ear.
Lumps in the Skin
The three main noncancerous causes of hard lumps behind the ear are:
- skin cysts
Acne Lumps Behind the Ear
Acne is a common skin condition that may trigger a hard lump behind the ear.
In acne, pores in the skin become obstructed with sebum. Sebum is an oily substance produced by systems at the base of hair roots.
The sebum blends with dead skin cells and can form a layer called a comedone.
A pimple might then become contaminated and irritated if certain germs enter the comedone.
Irritated pimples can grow and, in their most serious type, benign lumps called acne cysts.
If acne is causing the lump, it may cause pain when pushed. Other cysts and pimples on the head are likely to accompany pimples or cysts behind the ear, especially on the face.
Cystic acne is an unpleasant condition that can lead to scarring. Doctors can help manage cystic acne with regular treatments, nevertheless.
Cysts Behind the Ear
A hard cyst can occur throughout the skin, including behind the ear.
Skin cysts are fluid-filled sacs. They form a raised, dome-shaped area on the skin. Often, they have a black spot called a punctum at the top.
They can walk around easily and are not repaired in place. A doctor ought to analyze any skin lump that can not be moved from side to side.
Cysts in the scalp tend to be pilar skin cysts. In this type, the lining of the sac is made from hair root cells.
Sebaceous cysts can also take place. This kind on the glands accountable for the oily substance that moisturizes the skin and hair.
Other cysts are made from cells from the surface area of the skin, called epidermoid cysts. Lastly, there are also sebaceous cysts, which are less typical and include an oily substance.
Lipoma is another possible cause of lumps behind the ear. Lipomas are safe, fatty lumps. They are not malignant, grow very slowly, and do not spread out.
They are more typical on other parts of the body but can happen anywhere under the skin, consisting of behind the ear.
A lipoma feels soft to the touch. They are not generally tender or uncomfortable unless they continue close-by nerves.
They will generally occur in a limited variety of places. In uncommon cases, some people have many lipomas at the same time.
These lumps are frequently little and range from the size of a pea to inches across.
Plastic surgeons can eliminate unpleasant lipomas, but it is safe not to receive treatment. If required, a cosmetic surgeon can get rid of a lipoma.
Cysts and lipomas are similar types of lump. A lipoma sits much deeper in the skin than a cyst, in addition to sensation softer.
Lymph nodes grow behind the ear. These belong to the immune system that drains and filter tissues.
The hard lymph nodes behind the ear are called the posterior auricular lymph nodes.
A lymph node can swell if exposed to the foreign product. This might take place because of a close-by infection, for instance. The formal name for this is lymphadenopathy.
A swollen lymph node needs to solve without treatment. Skin or ear infections prevail reasons for the node to swell.
If a lump lasts more than two weeks or occurs alongside other symptoms, visit a physician.
The body responds to infections by sending out white blood cells to the afflicted area to fight the invading cells. This can result in fluid accumulation and swelling in the region.
Otitis, or ear infection, can trigger this.
The part of the skull bone behind the ear is the mastoid. If bacteria contaminate this area of the skull, they might trigger a condition called mastoiditis.
The infection takes place in the air areas of the bone. The mastoid has a honeycomb-like structure. Germs can contaminate these air cells.
Mastoiditis is more typical in children than adults. It is a severe infection that requires medical attention. The swelling behind the ear will hurt and red and might trigger the ear to be pushed outward.
Other symptoms might choose the lump, including:
- ear discharge
- possible hearing loss
- high temperature
- feeling unwell and irritable
- a headache
The reason for mastoiditis usually is an untreated middle ear infection.
A physician will deal with mastoiditis with antibiotics to fight the infection. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor might treat some cases with surgery to drain or eliminate the infection.
When to see a physician
Asking a doctor to take a look at a lump is safer than trying to make a self-diagnosis.
It is particularly crucial to check out a physician about a lump if it satisfies the following criteria:
- It hurts, red, tender, or has a discharge.
- It is repaired in place or feels connected.
- The lump changes or grows.
- It appears unexpectedly.
- It accompanies more general symptoms.
A hard lumps under the skin are less commonly result of cancer, but it is always safer to eliminate potentially malignant lumps with a physician’s check out.
If the lump is a growth, a prompt medical diagnosis is essential for the very best possibilities of successful treatment. If a lump under the skin is malignant, it is most likely to be a soft tissue sarcoma.
Diagnosis of Hard Lump Behind Ear
Medical professionals will make a diagnosis by taking a look at the appearance and texture of the lump.
They will ask a series of questions, such as the period of symptoms and how they began. They will likewise describe the medical history of a patient for a full image of health.
Less commonly, a lump needs further examination. This might involve taking a sample of tissue for analysis or carrying out an imaging test.