Lumps behind the ears can have many causes, including skin and bone problems.
Swollen lymph nodes, infections, and some cancers can cause lumps.
In most cases, a lump behind the ear is not a cause for concern and usually goes away without treatment.
There are various skin diseases and infections that cause lumps behind the ears.
Lumps form on the skin
The three main causes of tumors behind the ear are:
Acne appears behind the ear
Acne is a common skin condition that causes lumps behind the ears.
In 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 certain 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 forms a lump, it can cause 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 can move freely and do not stay in place. The doctor should check for lumps of skin that cannot be moved from side to side.
Scalp cysts tend to be columnar 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 that are responsible for the oil that moisturizes the skin and hair.
Other cysts consist of cells from the surface of the skin, called epidermoid cysts. Finally, there are sebaceous cysts, which are less common and contain oily substances.
Lipoma is another cause of a lump behind the ear. A lipoma is a benign lump of fat. They are not cancerous, they grow very slowly and do not spread.
They are more common on other parts of the body, but can also occur under the skin, including behind the ears.
A lipoma feels tender to the touch. They are usually painless, unless they press on a nearby nerve.
They usually occur in a limited number of places. In rare cases, some people have multiple lipomas at once.
These lumps are usually small, ranging from the size of a pea to an inch.
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 feel 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 material. 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 is tender, red, and can cause ear discharge.