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What causes pus filled lump behind the ear?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I have a lump behind my right ear that sometimes fills up with pus. What is it?
Posted Thu, 27 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 32 minutes later
Brief Answer: sebaceous cyst Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic There are 2 main possibilities. (1)It is possibly a sebaceous cysts. These are non cancerous lesions that can be found in different parts of the body including face and neck.They are not life threatening but can be uncomfortable if they go too large. They are formed from sebaceous glands in the skin. They occur if the gland or its outlying duct become blocked , this allow secretions to accumulate. They are diagnosed mainly by history and examination by a doctor. Treatment depends on the symptoms. If it is not causing any problems then the treatment is mainly watch and wait, if it is causing discomfort then the cyst is removed. The pus occurs if the cyst becomes acutely infected. In some cases antibiotics may be needed to resolve this acute infection. This is a simple outpatient procedure that is not usually associated with any complications (2) An abscess is an collection of pus that occurs acutely. Whereas the sebaceous cysts is present continually and abscess is an acute infection. Since the lesion has been present for years, the sebaceous cyst is more likely. You can consider visiting your doctor for an assessment. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: What causes pus filled lump behind the ear? 2 hours later
Thank you Dr. Gibson for your reply. It really doesn't bother me until others make a comment. My next ?? are can it or will it ever go away and why does it just drain on it's owe every now and then. Can I do anything to bring it to a head and drain?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: does not resolve spontaneously Detailed Answer: Hi Magnesium sulphate creams would help it rupture when it recollects but once the cyst (sac) remains , it will eventually recollect. The only definitive treatment would be removal of the sac itself by a doctor. The magnesium sulphate should be available at your local pharmacy. Please feel free to contact with any other questions
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