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Have small painless lump in outer ear. Is it a concern?

Aug 2013
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 1025 Questions
Hi ! I have a small lump in my outer ear (less than the size of a pimple) . It was a bit painful at first (2 weeks back) . Now it is just a small lump with no pain what so ever . Is it a concern ? Or should i wait for a couple of weeks for it .
Posted Sun, 13 Oct 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Wait and watch

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXX and welcome to XXXXXXX

I am Dr Sriram Nathan an ENT surgeon whose dealing with lumps in the ear, nose and throat has crossed more than three thousand!

At the offset let me tell you that any lump which is less than two weeks duration and is painful initially points to an infected lump (most possibly a SEBACIOUS CYST OR LYMPH NODE) and thus you have nothing to worry about. So firstly do not worry and do not think that it is cancer.

There are a few things which you need to do. Let us go through it one by one:
1. Watch out for any signs that the lump is not benign. These include increase in size, shape, increased pain. If any of these happen then you may consult an ENT or just take a snap shot of the lump and send it to me.

2. Since you mentioned that the lump was initially painful, I would assume that the lump is due to an infective cause. I would usually in this case give a course of antibiotic like amoxycillin-clavulanate combination to my patients for a period of at least one week. Your doctor will know about this.

3. Do not meddle or touch or try to palpate the lump every now and then

4. Wait for a period of at least three weeks and then if the lump does not disappear then go to any lab and get a test called the FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) of the lump and get back to me or an ENT doctor with the report

Once again let me mention that over ninety percent of these lump are benign and over ninety five percent of these lumps disappear if given sufficient time.

So wait for another two more weeks and then either get back to me with a snap shot of the lump or any other ENT

Hope your mind is at ease and your doubts are clear

I would be more than happy to answer any more questions that you may have


Dr Sriram Nathan
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