Health Symptoms & Causes

Causes and Treatment of Lumps Behind Ear

lumps behind ear

Lumps formed behind the ears are generally painful and swollen skin behind the ears which makes a person highly uncomfortable. Though in most of the cases, lumps behind ear on bone or skin are not serious concern but still one must know the causes of these lumps. Some lumps are even painless and they go away on their own even if no proper medical treatment is given. Any lump or swelling behind the ears for more than 3-4 weeks is generally an indication of some other infection or disorder and medical supervision is needed. In this article we will study the causes and treatment of lumps behind ear and ways to get rid of these lumps.

What are Lumps Behind Ears?

Lumps behind ears are generally tiny outgrowths of the skin right behind an ear which are sometimes painful and result in immense pressure on head and ear. Sometimes, these lumps are caused by allergic reactions; these lumps are either the minor skin swellings or any growing cyst which is needed to be removed. In some cases, swollen lymph node behind right ear only is seen due to infection of ear bone or middle ear.

Signs and Symptoms of Lumps Behind Ears:

Pea sized lump behind ear is either painful or painless are likely to disappear in some days to couple of weeks even if no proper medical treatment is provided. Any lump behind ear lobe which stays longer than a period of one month needs medical supervision as it can be an indication of underlying cyst. The common symptoms of lumps behind ears include:

Signs and Symptoms of Lumps Behind Ears

  • Small soft skin swellings or lumps
  • A little bump which is either painful or painless
  • If the cyst gets infected, patient suffers from fever and chills
  • Abscess behind ear

Causes of Lumps Behind Ear:

Lumps behind ear (hard or soft) are caused by many factors, some factors result in the formation of painless lumps and some contribute to produce painful and uncomfortable lumps behind ear.

  • Sebaceous cysts normally develop around the inflamed sebaceous glands and can result in painless lumps. Lumps behind ear and on neck mostly are due to the blockage of sebaceous glands.
  • A layer of fat sometimes develops behind the ears and is absolutely harmless and painless. Lump under ear lobe behind jaw bone is often due to fat accumulation.
  • Softer lumps are produced often from the saliva producing salivary glands behind the ears; they are painless but extremely harmful as they are form of benign tumors which can damage the nearby tissues. These benign lumps can result in loss of hearing and improper body balance.
  • Some malignant tumors also grow lumps behind ear and neck pain and down neck and medical supervision is needed urgently.
  • Sometimes the lumps also develop due to infection of the tissues and as a response, white blood cells of the body are sent to the infected areas to combat the infection, pus is likely to form in this case and when this happens the painful lumps are formed behind ears.
  • Yeast infection can often result in dermatitis which results in the formation of painful lumps behind ear and on head. If you have a lump behind ear and itchy too, it is possibly a yeast infection.
  • Infection of ear bone or mastoiditis can also result in painful lumps behind ears, in the same way swollen lymph nodes; acne and otitis media (an ear infection) can result in the formation of painful lumps behind ears. Lumps behind ear after piercing are generally caused by infection of ear.

Treatment Options for Lumps Behind Ears:

The treatment options greatly vary depending on the actual cause of lumps. The following treatment options are there depending on the cause:

Treatment Options for Lumps Behind Ears

  1. Abscess:

Simple drainage is needed to remove the pus out from the lumps, sometimes due to complications surgical procedures are recommended.

  1. Sebaceous cysts:

Due to the blockage of sebaceous glands when cyst is produced behind the ear, it is termed as sebaceous cyst and can generally be treated with a warm compress, you need to consult doctor however if the cyst is painful and is there for more than a month.

  1. Acne or dermatitis:

If the cyst is caused by acne or dermatitis, you need to consult a dermatologist for topical ointments to get rid of itching, pain and discomfort.

  1. Swelling in lymph nodes:

When the lump is formed due to swelling in lymph nodes, it is treated with antibiotics and also biopsy is taken to rule out the risk of cancer.

  1. Mastoiditis:

The infection of ear is generally treated with antibiotics and sometimes a minor surgery is needed to take out some bony mastoid and content of middle ear. In the same way otitis media can be treated with antibiotics.


  1. Benign or malignant tumors:

For begin tumors minor surgeries are needed for their removal followed by some medicines to deal with pain or infection which is likely after the surgery. For malignant tumors, surgical removal of such tumors followed by radiation or chemotherapy is needed.

  • When to consult doctor?

Lumps behind ear bone are generally not a serious health concern but it is however important to keep an eye on the associated symptoms. If you are following some of the associated symptoms along with lump behind ear at the back of head, you need to consult doctor. The main aim of consulting doctor is generally to rule out the risk of underlying serious health concerns. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Pain and abscess
  • Loss of hearing and ear tinnitus
  • Improper body balance and vertigo
  • Fever and chills
  • Gradual reduction in weight and excessive fatigue.

Bottom line:

Lumps behind ear base of skull are either painful or painless depending on the cause. In most of the cases, these lumps are not an indication of serious health concern, though medical supervision is needed if some other symptoms are involved such as fever and chills, loss of hearing and body balance. In time medical supervision is needed to rule out the risk of underlying complications.

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About the author

Jennifer K. Garcia

Jennifer K. Garcia is a is a health consultant form last 6 year. She is finally decided to run a blog to help people online.You can contact her via Email or follow her on Facebook. Also add him on