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Child having small lumps behind ear. It is tender to touch. What is this?

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ENT Specialist
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My one year old son has two small lumps behind his left ear, I noticed it about 2 weeks ago, they seem tender when I touch them, he pulls away, he has not been sick or teething
Posted Wed, 24 Oct 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. This two small lumps behind his left ear are most likely enlarged lymph node. I am assuming that the skin above them is normal.

2. There are about 300 lymph nodes normally present in the head and neck region. They are normally not palpable. After enlarging during inflammation or infection they rarely regress to their normal size and then can be felt (palpated). During active infection or inflammation, they are tender to touch.

3. If you are apprehensive about the lumps, see a Pediatrician and an ENT Specialist who can palpate the lump and examine the left ear and scalp for any signs of infection or allergy (are you using any cap or head scarf?). He may have scratched his ear or scalp on that side. Very rarely, these could be small cysts.

4. You need not worry if they are not growing or increasing in number. Sub-centimeter lymph nodes are considered reactive. A course of medication including a local ointment should be given by your physicians before any further investigations are done.

I must emphasize that there is no cause for worry.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child having small lumps behind ear. It is tender to touch. What is this? 6 hours later
What are some things I should keep an eye on or when is there cause for concern
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 17 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. You need to see that the lumps are not growing and whether there is any change in the color of the skin covering them. Look out for excessive scratching of the ear or scalp, any ear discharge, constant crying or fever.

2. Get a Pediatrician and an ENT Specialist to rule out any scalp, ear infection or a cyst. See to it that they prescribe a course of medication including a local ointment.

I must emphasize, again, that there is no cause for worry.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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