It is common to get bumps in and around earlobe. These bumps are called cysts and most of the time are the exact size of a pimple.
A lump or boil behind the ear in most cases are not life-threatening. If the cyst causes unbearable pain and does not go away, it requires a medical help.1
In below paragraphs, a description about the causes of the cyst behind the ear, its symptoms, and few effective remedies to get rid of it are explained.
What Is Cyst Behind Ear Lobe?
A cyst is a sac-like pocket of tissue that contains fluid. Cysts can grow anywhere in your body or on your skin. There are many different types of cysts.2 It can appear like a lump, bump, or a boil occurring behind the ear especially in the lower part.
Most cysts are non-cancerous. So, if you identify a cyst don’t jump to any conclusions or negative assumptions. But, it is advisable to not ignore such an occurring.
A common type of sebaceous cyst appears like sac-like lumps made up of dead skin cells and oils produced by the skin from the oil glands.
A Lump Or Cyst Behind Ear Lobe Pictures
Causes Of Swollen Lumps/Cysts Behind Ear
Although lumps behind your ear may not cause any life-threatening risk, they should not be ignored. Many conditions may lead to swollen nodes, lumps, bumps, knots or cyst behind ears. Most of the pea-sized lumps behind the ear are due to impurified blood.
a. Abscess Or Boils
An abscess occurs when tissue or cells in a certain area of the body get infected. Nature tries to remove waste and morbid matter from the body. When blood is overloaded with waste matter, it deposits it in a weak part of the body. Generally, it occurs as a lump behind the ear or on the bone
At first, there is a small raised area on the skin which is hard and reddish accompanied by pain and burning. Later, it becomes soft, and pus develops in it. Then it becomes a boil. When the boil ripens blood and pus flow out of it.3
The size can be as small as a pea or as big as an egg. Usually, it dries up in 7-10 days, but if proper treatment is given, it can heal by 2-3 days.
b. Sebaceous Cyst Behind Ear
A sebaceous cyst is a non-cancerous lump behind the ear; it develops under the skin. While it can sometimes be uncomfortable, it is not harmful.
The sac of sebaceous cyst secretes keratin.4 But, a true sebaceous cyst originates from oil-producing sebaceous glands and is filled with sebum. The cause of sebaceous cyst occurs when cells move deep into your skin and increase in number rather than casting off.
If you have a damaged hair follicle or oil gland, the abnormal multiplication of cells is linked as the cause; this so forms a painful lump behind the ear.
c. Lymphadenopathy Or Swollen Lymph Node
Swelling of lymph nodes behind the ear could be the result of bacterial or viral infection and inflammation. Small and soft bumps sometimes painful when touched would appear behind the ear, this can be accompanied by fatigue and or fever.
Infection stimulates the body to produce more number of white blood cells. Hence, if you have a cold/flu, strep throat or sinusitis, your lymph nodes behind the ear and cheek tend to swell.
Another cause for cyst behind the ear could be dermatitis. This is a build-up of waxy dead cells or dry skin. It also refers to inflammation of the skin characterized by redness, swelling, pain, and itching.5
It can be linked to people with a high level of stress and infection. People suffering from Parkinson’s disease or AIDS are prone to have a seborrheic type of dermatitis that occurs as bumps behind the ear.
It is a skin condition that is caused by clogged hair follicles in the skin. As a result of blocked pores of the hair follicles, dead skin cells and oil will collect and form a bump known as a pimple.
In some cases, the bumps can get infected making the cysts to grow into bigger, solid and painful cyst behind the ear.
The blood becomes impure, the presence of waste matter in the body due to faulty eating and lifestyle habits. This is the primary cause of acne.
A lipoma is a fatty lump that forms between the layers of your skin. These can appear anywhere on the body and are usually harmless.6
Depending on their size and the layers formed between, a lipoma is not always noticeable. This clears up on its own.
g. Otitis Media
Otitis media is a bacterial or viral ear infection. It causes painful fluid build-up and swelling which can be seen behind the ear.
The mastoid bone runs right behind the ear. Ear infections can sometimes spread to this bone and results in swelling, lumps or pus-filled cysts behind the ear.
How To Identify A Lump Behind The Ear?
For people with a history of acne, it is easy to identify that the lump behind ear as a pimple. For others, it could be a tricky task.
Use your hand to feel the presence of a raised area on your body. If the lump is soft, then it is probably a lipoma, i.e., fatty tissue. If tender and painful it is a pimple or an abscess.
Moreover, if you experience any other symptoms like fever or chills along with the cyst. In that case, the lump could be a sign of infection.
You can also identify lumps by looking. A good look in the mirror can be tricky but isn’t impossible. If the bump is small and fleshy, it must be a lipoma. If the area is localized and inflamed it is probably acne or a pimple.
Check to see if there is any fluid leakage from the cyst. Oil and pus of green or white color come out of an abscess. Keratin from the sebaceous cyst is thick, yellow and foul smelling.
Symptoms Of Cysts Behind Ear
Listed below are some of the symptoms of the cyst behind the ear:
- Continuous pain or irritation from the infected area, the infected area is sore.
- Small soft bumps at the back of the ear, usually a little bit hard when touched.
- When the infection is more dangerous, there are symptoms of fever and chills
1. Sebaceous Cyst
- A round lump underneath the skin that is usually small.
- A reddish, tender swelling.
- Infection-usually after rupture
- A thick, yellow fluid that is smelly in the case of rupture oozes out
- Swelling of skin due to edema.
- Vesicles may appear.
3. Abscess Or Boils
- A swelling that is reddish and full of pain.
- It has a white center of the swelling.
- It oozes in case any pressure is applied to it.
NOTE: Usually cysts are painless and not life-threatening. However, the painful cysts or cysts that hurt when touched need to seek some medical attention to avoid unforeseen conditions.
Is The Cyst Behind The Ear A Sign Of Cancer?
Although the cyst behind the ear might not be painful. In rare cases, it could signal towards a more complicated health problem such as cancer. Skin cancer or salivary gland cancer can grow as malignant cells behind the ear.
Cancer is a more serious condition that requires quick diagnosis and treatment. It is advised you seek medical help if you suspect something abnormal for long.
Common symptoms of neck and head cancer are manifested as cyst behind the ear.7 If you have difficulty in swallowing along with a sore throat that does not heal, it could be a sign of salivary gland cancer.
If you detect something unusual and the symptoms are like the ones listed above, immediately consult a doctor and get a clear picture.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Cyst Behind Ear
We have discussed some very major causes and their symptoms of the cyst behind the ear. Now it is very important to understand that treating these diseases through natural remedies is the best solution.
Natural remedies are the traditional herbal medicines. These have been used by our ancestors for centuries and have given outstanding results without any side effects.
These remedies involve improvement in lifestyle and food habits which are the basis of treating any disease.8 They also involve using medicinal herbs, plants and other elements provided to us by nature. They help purify the blood.
You will find no adverse or side effects of these remedies. These are cost-effective and handy for you. Let’s know more about the treatment through natural ways, for cyst behind the ear.
1. Abscess Or Boils
Fast for at least two days with water and lemon juice. This will remove all the waste material from your body. As long as there is no pus in the boils give steam to them for 10 minutes, 2-3 times a day.
Moreover, do any one of the following home remedies for immediate relief.
In the morning wash it with Neem water mixed with lemon juice. Neem has antibacterial properties it will kill any bacterias developing inside it.
To make neem water: boil 4-5 fresh neem leaves. Let the water cool before use. When the boil has burst, keep a cold, wet towel on it and replace it several times. To protect boil from flies, apply coconut oil mixed with lemon juice on it.
Heat one cup of milk, add three teaspoons of salt in it and a little amount of flour to make a thick paste. Apply it over the boil 2-3 times a day for good results.
It has anti-microbial and antiseptic qualities. It will prevent infection and aid in faster healing.
Take a thick slice of onion place it over the boil and wrap it with a cloth so that the heat of the onion reaches the skin. Carry this out for 2-3 times a day.
Take some parsley leaves and boil them in water. Put these leaves in a cloth and bandage them around your neck. This will help the boil burst fast without causing any infection.
2. Sebaceous Cyst
a. Apple Cider Vinegar
Directly apply some apple cider vinegar over the cyst and cover it with a bandage. Change bandage daily for at least a week, until a hard layer appears over the cyst. Remove the layer and drain out the contents, clean this with the help of a dry washcloth.
It is a natural healing agent with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can break the cyst and bring the skin back to its normal state.
Boil ½ tbsp. Turmeric with 1 cup of water and drink it every night for ten days. Or, you can make a paste of turmeric, water, and honey. Apply it on the cyst for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with water.
Boil few leaves in water and apply it over the cyst. Cover with the clean and dry washcloth.
d. Tea Bags
These have anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce the size of the lump behind the ear considerably.
Soak a tea bag in some milk and keep it over the cyst overnight. Wrap a cloth around it to keep it in place. Remove it in the morning. Regular application of this remedy will cause the cyst to reduce in size and heal soon.
e. Bee Pollen
Take 1-2 tbsp. of bee pollen or take pills containing bee pollen. It acts as a natural blood purifier and is an effective treatment for skin problems.
f. Baking Soda
Make a paste by mixing some baking soda, water, and salt. Apply it over the cyst regularly.
It maintains pH of the skin which helps keep bacterial infection away and heals the cyst faster.
It contains vitamin C in large amount which handles the removal of dead skin cells.
Place a potato slice over the cyst and cover it overnight. You can also apply potato juice over the cyst and keep it overnight before washing.
h. Sandalwood And Rosewater
Sandalwood has anti-fungal properties.
Apply a paste of sandalwood and rose water over the cyst. Allow it to dry and then wash off with cold water. Do this 3-4 times a day.
i. Tea Tree Oil
It has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It will not only aid in faster healing but will also relive down the symptoms.
Take the oil with water in 1:9 ratio and apply over cyst. Or, you can also use 2-3 drops of oil directly on the cyst. It makes a protective covering over the cyst and reduces it in size.
j. Aloe Vera
Squeeze some gel from the Aloe Vera leaf and apply it directly over the cyst. Repeat this process several times a day for a few days till the cyst goes away completely. It will calm down the lump relieve pain and give you a soothing effect.
k. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves have anti-microbial properties which promote quick healing of cyst. It reduces the inflammation and itching.
Boil 3-5 guava leaves with water and use this water to wash the cyst.
l. Castor Oil
Soak a cloth in castor oil and apply over the cyst. Now, place a hot water bag over the cloth and compress for good 10 minutes. This will reduce the size and give you optimum relief.
This is actually detoxifying the body of all the waste to get rid of lumps behind the ear. This is around 10-day detox plan for removing impure blood from the body.
For this, start with fasting for two days with water and lemon juice. Then consume only raw vegetables and fruits and their juices for three days. Later, for 4-5 days consume only fruits and milk. Then gradually come back to a normal balanced diet.
b. Wheatgrass Juice
This juice is filled with antioxidants to prevent the oxidative stress on the body and prevent an array of diseases.
Drink for ten days on an empty stomach for maximum relief.
e. Face Pack
For a week apply this face pack to reduce the redness and swelling of the lump.
For this mix margosa, mint, basil leaves. Ground them and mix it with Multani mud, apply this pack for 15- 20 minutes before washing it finally.
Give steam of water boiled with margosa leaves on the face, 5-7 minutes daily for a week. This will clean up the pores from inside.
g. Face Wash
Mix Basil leaves juice and Lemon juice in equal quantity and uses this as a face wash for a few days. This removes black circles and spots. Do not use soap wash your face and the area behind ears only with this twice a day.
i. Curd And Honey Mix
For a week take a spoonful of curd and add a drop of honey to it, mix well and apply to the face daily.
j. Cinnamon And Honey Mask
Mix 2 tablespoon honey with one tablespoon cinnamon and make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected region for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off with water.
Mash the flesh of papaya to make a paste suitable to apply. Apply it for 10-15 minutes before washing with water.
Grate one potato and apply the pulp or squeeze the juice over the acne. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.
Take a thin cloth and tie some wet mud into it. Apply this pack on your abdomen for half an hour daily.
With this, you should have a controlled diet for ten days. It is basically to remove all the impurities from the blood and remove the cause of lump behind the ear from roots. The diet should be as follows.
Breakfast should include orange or grape juice
Lunch of raw salad, vegetables, and resins. Dinner must include steamed vegetables.
You should avoid white sugar, refined carbohydrates, tea, coffee.
b. Coconut Oil
It has amazing anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties. Apply coconut oil on the affected area daily before going to sleep. Slowly and gradually it will remove the size and redness.
c. Vitamin E Oil
It is one of the best remedies which gives relief from itching and inflammation.
d. Oatmeal Bath
Mix one cup of finely powdered oatmeal in a lukewarm bath and soak in that bath for 15-20 minutes. Repeat for a month.
5. Swelling In Lymph Nodes Behind Ear
Take ½ teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water, mix and use it to gargle a couple of times daily for a week.
Eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves daily. Add garlic to your cooking. Massage garlic oil on the swollen area for a few minutes,2-3 times daily for a week.
Mix 1-2 teaspoons of honey with fresh lemon juice in a cup of water. Drink this twice daily for a week. You can also apply some raw honey on the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing it off. Do this 2-3 times daily.
a. Honey And Flour
Mix some raw honey with some flour and apply the mixture to the swelling. Cover the lump with a paper towel or bandage for 36 hours. Repeat the process five times for a week.
b. Natural Oil And Herb Oil Treatment
Take neem oil, i.e., an astringent, Flaxseed oil rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, so, helps reduce inflammation.
Cooled green tea which is a great anti-oxidant which helps purify the blood. Mix these three to make an ointment and apply on the affected area to reduce the size and appearance of lipomas.
Now, as we have cleared all your doubts and it is evident that having a cyst behind the ear is not as alarming as it seems to be. We want to give you some pointers.
- Drink plenty of water and consume lots of fresh fruits. It is required for the elimination of waste from the body.
- Include citrus fruits, whole grains, garlic, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
- Keep areas surrounding the cyst clean.
- Make use of a clean and dry washcloth to clean the skin.
- If the pus drains apply a bandage and change it twice daily.
- Avoid the urge of scratching or squeezing the cyst to bring pus out, as it may pass on the infection to other body parts. It may also lead to bleeding
- Avoid the excessive exposure to the sun.
- Reduce the intake of salty, spicy and caffeinated foods in your diet
When To See A Doctor?
A cyst behind the ear is not an alarming situation, and in most of the cases, you may treat it effectively at home. But anything that might raise doubt is a cause of concern and shouldn’t be neglected or ignored.
If you think that any of the points given below are present, you should seek medical help.
- If the cyst is causing pain or discomfort.
- You feel difficulty or pain while moving your head or neck.
- The tender area tends to be growing or spreading.
- If the lump does not go away after several days or weeks, even if it is painless.
- If you have discomfort swallowing.
- Any accompanying symptoms don’t seem to lessen over time or instead are getting worse
i. Though all remedies listed here are natural and helpful, we advise consulting a doctor if you think something is not helping.
ii. Please note in any critical situation rush to the doctor immediately.
iii. If you feel that your disease is making you uncomfortable or is reoccurring without any relief, you must seek medical aid.
In the end, the most important of all lessons remains that you need to keep your lifestyle and diet in check. The purity of blood is essential to get rid of any ailment.
Hence, it is necessary that you have healthy and balanced food habits. You should keep your weight in check always and avoid any fatty or junk foods that could upset your system.
Also, it is essential in today’s scenario that we all live a stress-free life. So, be regular with your exercises. Indulge yourself in recreational activities. All these things would help you lead a better and disease-free life ahead.
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|↑5||De Souza BA, Dey C, Carver N. A rare case of a dermoid cyst behind the ear. 2003.|
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