What Is That Painless Lump Behind the Ear?
Painless lump behind the ear are common, and most are benign. Some painless lumps behind the ear can indicate a serious condition. It is best to have a doctor check them out, especially if they seem to be getting bigger. If the lump has not gone away by the end of four weeks, the patient should have a doctor examine it.
Sebaceous cysts are caused by blocked or damaged sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil, and they can sometimes get blocked by dead skin cells. Small sebaceous cysts are generally painless and harmless. If the cyst gets infected, it can become painful. A rapidly growing cyst can indicate cancer.
Sebaceous cysts can generally be left alone, unless they get infected or otherwise cause problems. Infected cysts can be treated with medications, most of which are injections. Doctors may also drain the cyst or surgically remove it. Some doctors use lasers to remove cysts.
A lipoma is a fat deposit that develops under the skin. It will feel soft and rubbery. Lipomas tend to be small and range from 0.4 inch to 1.2 inch. They usually do not grow. Lipomas are most often found behind the ear, but they can also develop on the back, arms, neck, shoulders or thighs. Lipomas are benign growths that are found mostly on adults. They often go away on their own.
Lipomas are usually removed through surgery, especially if they are large. Since they are a type of fat deposit, they can also be removed through liposuction. Doctors can use steroid injections to shrink lipomas, but such injections won’t remove them.
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Benign tumors are non-cancerous growths. They develop when cells in the body divide and grow more rapidly than normal. Under normal conditions, the body can balance the number of new cells with that of old and dying cells. In a tumor, the old cells don’t self-destruct and get reabsorbed. Instead, they continue multiplying.
Tumors behind the ear generally involve the salivary glands, mastoid bone or skin. Symptoms vary depending on the location and size of the tumor. Benign tumors can affect hearing and cause dizziness.