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Movable lump behind the ear. No infections. Should I be worried?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6596 Questions
Hi there,
I found a lump around 2cm diameter behind my right ear. Its located above my ear lobe and half way up towards the tops of me ear, its around 1/2 cm away from the back crease of my ear.
The lump feels as though its moveable (although I think thats just because the skin on top moves around quite easily anyway). Its not rock hard, but is very worrying. I havent had any recent infections / allergies or anything like this what so ever either. Its just appeared for no reason!
Please help, any advice would be really appreciated.
Posted Tue, 26 Jun 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for the query.
Lumps behind ears are not always cancerous, as many people fear them to be. There are several other reasons that can also lead to the formation of a hard lump behind the ears, which can be painful or painless. 
The most common causes for lumps are
Recurrent scalp infections
Local cyst
Lymph nodes swelling due to any local infection like sinus infections,cold,ear infections,allergies and local injury 

While less common causes may include
Syphilis etc
The treatment differs according to the cause of lump.
You must consult your doctor and get the relevant investigations like blood tests,x-ray etc done to arrive at the diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
I hope to have answered your query however you may revert to me for any other query.
Best of luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Movable lump behind the ear. No infections. Should I be worried? 43 minutes later
Hi Doctor,

I have been to my GP and he said that its nothing to be concerned about as it would be due to a impending viral infection. But I havent had any form of virus.
Your answer is quite generic and I have found this information off the internet, please could you be more specific in what you feel it could be based on my circumstances?

Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 15 minutes later
In the absence of any detail from you whether the lump is painful or painless,or there is any cold or sinusitis,or there is Any local injury or not,or any scalp infection or not and in the absence of facility of physical examination,I can only provide a general information to you.
Since your GP has seen you personally and has said that every thing is normal,I would advise you to follow him.
Please do write in case you have something more to ask.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Movable lump behind the ear. No infections. Should I be worried? 6 minutes later
Hi Doctor,

Thank you again for your reply.
My GP didn't know what it was and said it 'doesn't seem sinister' but this is why I am looking for a second opinion.

The lump is painless, I haven't had an injury to it, I have no scalp infection, I have no cold or virus, nothing, which is why I am very concerned.

Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 4 hours later
Since there is no history of injury or local infection ,it rules out many routine and common causes.
My suggestion would be to wait it out for a couple of weeks to see if it changes in size. If it gets smaller, it was nothing. If it happens to get bigger, then make an appointment with your doctor. Even then, I'm sure it's nothing, and it may turn out to be just an ordinary sebaceous cyst.
Please do write back if anything you wish to ask.
Best of luck and relax

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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