Small, Hard, Painful lump in Earlobe: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Earlobes are an often overlooked body part. You adorn them with earrings and earplugs. Many consider them an erogenous zone which titillates the senses during nibbling, sucking, or licking. However, what happens when a hard lump in earlobe arises? You probably fret and worry about the cause of the lump. You fear it might be cancer, but usually, the lump is non malignant.

Common Cause of an Ear Lobe Lump

  • Abscess: An ear lump that arises from a boil or an abscess might require antibiotics, lancing, and drainage.
  • Teeth: A lump around the earlobe can even indicate tooth abscess that arises from sick wisdom or molar, Even an impacted tooth can lead to swelling.
  • Jawbone: Arthritis and temporomandibular joint disorders cause swelling in the ear’s region.
  • Traumatic Injury: Any type of traumatic injury can lead to swelling.
  • Bug Bite: A spider, ant, scorpion, or bee bite.
  • Sebaceous Cysts
  • Cancer

Causes of Hard Lump in Earlobe

The dreaded earlobe cyst is a common complaint. You might mistake the blemish for a pimple or zit, but it probably hurts terribly so you worry that it’s something else.

The painful lump might even feel hot to the touch. A painful lump in earlobe region is far from a nuisance, it is actually a sore and unpleasant condition.

Painful Lump in Earlobe: Sebaceous Cyst

The sebaceous cyst is a hard lump that hurts unbelievably bad. The painful lump in earlobe is common. The sack-like blemish occurs when dead skin cells flake off and mix with oils to clog a gland. Sometimes they occur on the earlobe, below the jaw, near the jaw, in the ear canal, on the scalp, or directly on the earlobe.

Lump Behind Earlobe: Epidermoid Cyst

The epidermis cells are naturally shed, but they might shed deep in the skin and accumulate. The cells end up building walls that secrete keratin. The keratin fills the walled-in area to form a lump behind the earlobe that hurts. Sometimes hair follicles that become damaged act as a reservoir for oil buildup. This form of cyst is genetic and runs in families. A warm compress might help and if surgery could become a necessity. Sometimes they take months to disappear when the lump behind the earlobe swells to a large size.

Cancerous Lump Types

Not all earlobe lumps are benign.

  • Bowens disease
  • Melanoma in situ
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basel cell carcinoma
  • Mycosis fungoides

Lump Inside Earlobe After Piercing

Ear piercing is exciting but also rife with danger. You can develop an infection and scarring. If your ear swells, turns red and oozes pus then you need to seek medical help. After healing, a lump inside the earlobe is normally just scar tissue that forms around the piercing hole. It feels like a firm nodule. If you do not wear earrings frequently, then oil and dirt can build up in the hole and form a blackhead.

Skin Cancer and the Earlobe

You can get skin cancer on your earlobe, as mentioned above. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to prevent metastasis to other regions of the body.

Common treatments include:

Surgery to remove the lump and any surrounding spread may include the following:

  • Excision
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Shave excision
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation
  • Cryosurgery
  • Laser surgery
  • Dermabrasion

Radiation therapy both external and internal

Chemotherapy both internal and topical. Basal Cell Carcinoma is usually treated using only topical fluorouracil (5-FU).

Photodynamic therapy (a relatively new and requires the use of a photosensitizer that is combined as a duo with a photosensitizing agent. Certain light wavelengths are then targeted to pick up the oxygen being excreted by the cells.

Targeted Therapy involves using a signal transduction inhibitor. Both Vismodegib and sonidegib are signal transduction inhibitors are also regularly used to treat Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Immunotherapy (boosts your immune system using biological therapy to attack the cancer cells)

Chemical peel

Fluid or Firm Lumps: Understanding the Differences

One key to diagnosing an earlobe lump is to figure out if it is a fluid or firm lump. A dermatologist can palpate the area to determine the lump’s consistency. They might also require a biopsy to rule out a malignancy. If the physician suspects that the lump is because of an oral situation then he may refer you maxillofacial surgeon or a dentist for follow-up care.

Traumatic Head Injury Emergency

An ear lump that arises because of infection or trauma will subside without additional care. After applying an ice pack, heating pad, or taking a hot shower will soothe the area. However, if the lump is because of a head injury and your ear canal seeps blood, then it is imperative you seek immediate life-saving medical help because it could indicate a brain injury or a hemorrhage.

Acne Around Earlobe

There is a reason your mother would always warn you to wash behind your ears. The area along your hairline and in the back of your ears is rife with sebaceous glands that ooze oil. The oil traps dead skin cells to clog pores and hair follicles. Eventually, you develop a small lump, blackheads, whiteheads, and painful pimples. The sensitive skin around the earlobe is highly susceptible to such breakout occurrences. Regular washing and using an acne-fighting topical gel helps eliminate the lumps.

 

 

Article References:

  1. https://www.cancer.gov/types/skin/patient/skin-treatment-pdq
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321247.php
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/types/skin/anyone-can-get-skin-cancer
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001033.htm
  5. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/drugs/skin
  6. https://www.cancer.gov/Common/PopUps/popDefinition.aspx?id=46090&version=patient&language=English&dictionary=Cancer.gov

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