Painless lumps behind the ears are pretty common and usually harmless. Small or big, these bumps or nodules can affect both women and men, children and adults. Although they’re usually painless and harmless, some can be dangerous and may require medical attention.
If you often notice these lumps forming behind your ear(s), it’s time to learn the difference between safe and dangerous lumps.
To get to the types of different nodules behind ears, first we need to understand their causes. Usually, these lumps are caused by one or a combination of several different factors, including:
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Fatty deposits
Types and Treatments
There are various types of nodules behind ears. Most are completely harmless and are best left alone, however, sometimes they can be a sign of something more sinister and may require medical attention.
These lumps develop because of ‘malfunctioning’ sebaceous glands that produce sebum, or oil. Instead of finding its way through the pores and on to the skin, the sebum gets trapped around the gland, forming a cyst. Although harmless, this cyst can be painful and uncomfortable to touch.
The best way to treat it is to visit a dermatologist who can drain it. Or, you can leave it alone and wait for it to pass.
This is a fatty lump that can develop anywhere on the body, but most people complain about lipomas behind their ears. Lipomas are harmless and painless to the touch.
The best way to treat a lipoma is to leave it alone. However, you may want to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
Although not that common, the lumps behind the ears can actually be abscesses. These form when cells become infected and the body responds by sending white blood cells to the site, trying to kill off the invaders. This leads to the accumulation of white blood cells, which then leads to pus. Abscesses are often very painful and uncomfortable to the touch.
The only way you should be treating an abscess is by leaving it alone and visiting a doctor or a dermatologist.
Although rare, the lumps behind the ears can sometimes be tumors. The only way you can know for sure if your lump is a regular bump or a tumor, is by visiting a medical professional. The doctor will physically inspect the ear and maybe request a biopsy.
In any case, the sooner you get yourself checked, the better, no matter the type of the lump you may have.