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Painful lump on the neck below the ear growing in size

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 12677 Questions
Hello, on the left side of my neck approx. 2 inches below my ear I have a bump. It was small but over the weekend it has grown 3 times in size and is painful when you press on it. It is not red. It is so large I keep my hair down. I did have a fat deposit the size of a quarter on my leg a while ago. I have been under a great deal of stress. I am approx 5 feet 1 inch and weigh 100 pounds
Posted Sat, 23 Jun 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 22 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
A lump on the neck below the ear which is gradually increasing and is painful is likely to be due to an infection- it can be a lymph node swelling or an abscess.
Skin abscesses are normally caused due to inflammatory reaction to an infection like bacteria or parasite. Abscesses may develop because of obstructed sebaceous or sweat glands, inflammation of hair follicles.

You can apply warm compresses to the area for about 30 minutes, four times daily.
You also need systemic antibiotics and drainage of the abscess if there is pus inside. Please consult your physician for an appropriate treatment.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Painful lump on the neck below the ear growing in size 5 minutes later
Hello Dr. Thank you for being so prompt. What concerned me is that it grew so large over night. It is only painful when you press on it. Usually with cysts isn't it red and painful all the time? Thank you
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 23 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
Since the swelling is progressive, infective cause is likely. It is not a very serious condition but in case the pain and swelling increases along with fever, then systemic antibiotics are necessary after a physician consultation.
You can do a hot fomentation meanwhile and see if it improves.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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