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Hard granular bumps below skin behind ears, swollen, oozes pink sticky fluid. What can it be?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hi. I have several tiny hard granular bumps beneath the skin behind both ears. These seem to move when pressed. Recently, one such lump became swollen (no pain) and settled at the right earlobe. About the size of a small grape and soft to the touch. It simply painlessly burst releasing an odorlessess looking something like oatmeal. An eraser sized sore has formed and is crusty and oozes a pinkish sticky fluid. HELP!
Posted Mon, 9 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query. This white substance that protrudes from this lump can be due to sebaceous cysts. In this small cysts form under the skin that gets filled with a soft, whitish brown material that sometimes oozes out onto the skin's surface. This material is called sebum.

If this protruding is accompanied by pain as well then there is a possibility of infection.

Another possibility although less likely for this could be steatocystoma multiplex which is a rare inherited disorder of pilosebaceous unit and often manifests in adulthood. It is usually seen on the chest, neck, upper arms, face, back, forearm, thigh and sometimes it may develop all over the body. These cysts are small ranging from 2-20 mm, asymptomatic, soft to firm and contains odorless creamy or oily fluid inside them.

I suggest you to get it examined from a dermatologist and get both these possibilities evaluated. Generally no treatment is required but if they are cosmetically unpleasant then surgical excision by traditional wide excision, minimal excision, and punch biopsy excision may be required.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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