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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Noticed painful swollen lump below ear. Is this contagious?

I noticed a swollen lump directly below my left ear yesterday afternoon. At first it was just sore to touch but it s now cause the left side of my face to swell up and it is hurting all the time. It feels like it s going to explode and my ear feels like it needs to pop like when on a plane. We are having guests with a. Baby round today and I want to make sure I m not contagious.
Wed, 6 Feb 2013
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Thanks for posting on HCM

From your description, it sounds like you have developed an abscess/boil with radiation to the left side of your face. It is also possible that a tumor is developing there.

You will need the lump examined by your primary care doctor to determine the actual cause.

Not being able to see the mass myself and determine its characteristics make it difficult to tell the actual cause of the lump. If developing abscess, then you might require a course of antibiotics such as cloxacillin and antiinflammatory to reduce the pain and the inflammation.

If abscess later on collects, it will require incision and drainage then continuation of antibiotics to improve complete healing. To answer your question about its contagiousness? It depends on the type of microbe that infected it. Most at times it is staph or strep or other common bacteria that are hardly contagious. But it could be some other atypical bacteria. Avoiding direct contacting the affected person in most instances is the best approach in case the microbe is contagious.

Hope this helps
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