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Pain upon touching behind earlobe, oozing pus, bruising lumps, headaches. What could it be?

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Posted on Sun, 9 Sep 2012
Question: I have had a sharp pain on the back of my ear for a while now but only when I touch it. It is right behind my right earlobe. Before there wasn't a bump or anything but it just felt like there was a bone poking underneath my skin when I touched it and it would only hurt when I touched it. A few weeks ago I noticed pus was coming out of it and had been all day. It stopped and has since become a bigger lump that is bruise colored. I've also been having frequent headaches and I'm wandering if it is related. It does not hurt at all to touch but is definitely worrying me. I have an appointment for the doctor in two days but was wondering if I could get a quick idea of the possibilities of what it could be.
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Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav (1 hour later)
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
You are most probably suffering from mastoiditis or a mastoid abscess.
The bone behind the ear is called the mastoid bone and internally it's related with the middle & inner ear and any ear infection can easily spread to it causing it to get inflamed , cause pain and swelling.
If neglected and untreated it may turn to a mastoid abscess which can cause even more pain, pus discharge , affect hearing and at worst spread to the cranium or inner ear or other inner neighbouring structures causing significant damage .
The headache is most probably due to the same .
You may also experience fever, dizziness if it further progresses to the inner ear.
It's best to get it immediately treated by an ENT surgeon who after thorough assessment can start appropriate antibiotics with or without drainage of abscess as per the need.
Though you have an appointment with your doctor ( i assume a physician or GP ) after 2 days , if feasible and convenient it would be advisable to show a Earnosethroat( ENT) specialist (surgeon) in a urgent care facility right away.
I understand that you are not experiencing unbearable symptoms but nevertheless the earlier it's treated the better is the prognosis .
It's not advisable to self medicate or start any drugs without a physical examination by the doctor in such a case.
However simple antiinflammatory analgesics like acetaminophen may help you to decrease the pain temporarily .
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer in case you have no further queries.
Regards



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Hema Yadav

Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1528 Questions

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Pain upon touching behind earlobe, oozing pus, bruising lumps, headaches. What could it be?

Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
You are most probably suffering from mastoiditis or a mastoid abscess.
The bone behind the ear is called the mastoid bone and internally it's related with the middle & inner ear and any ear infection can easily spread to it causing it to get inflamed , cause pain and swelling.
If neglected and untreated it may turn to a mastoid abscess which can cause even more pain, pus discharge , affect hearing and at worst spread to the cranium or inner ear or other inner neighbouring structures causing significant damage .
The headache is most probably due to the same .
You may also experience fever, dizziness if it further progresses to the inner ear.
It's best to get it immediately treated by an ENT surgeon who after thorough assessment can start appropriate antibiotics with or without drainage of abscess as per the need.
Though you have an appointment with your doctor ( i assume a physician or GP ) after 2 days , if feasible and convenient it would be advisable to show a Earnosethroat( ENT) specialist (surgeon) in a urgent care facility right away.
I understand that you are not experiencing unbearable symptoms but nevertheless the earlier it's treated the better is the prognosis .
It's not advisable to self medicate or start any drugs without a physical examination by the doctor in such a case.
However simple antiinflammatory analgesics like acetaminophen may help you to decrease the pain temporarily .
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer in case you have no further queries.
Regards