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Cyst Behind Ear

What does a Cyst behind Ear mean?

Generally speaking, a cyst is just a collection of dead cells that are observed in the form of a bulged area or lump and can appear anywhere on your body. The most common type of cyst found is called a sebaceous cyst, which can result from a collection of excess oil secreted by your oil glands or an accumulation of dead cells. Usually a cyst is not dangerous but there are times that they will require medical attention. A cyst can become dangerous if it affects your breasts or a major organ, if it ruptures, or grows particularly big. Even if they are benign, or non-cancerous, they can still cause problems. In addition to having a cyst behind ear they can also occur inside your ear, on your earlobe, or even in your ear canal.

Identifying cyst behind ear

There are many ways to identify if the bump behind your ear is a cyst but to be sure you should see your physician. Here are some ways that can help you identify cyst behind ear.

  • The growth is very slow
  • Many times it is painless but if becomes infected you may have pain that ranges from normal pain to severe pain
  • It will usually go away on its own after a period of time
  • It is generally a small soft skin lump
  • You may also see a white fluid oozing from the cysts and sometimes there is keratin, which is a strong protein that is a major component in your hair, nails, and skin. If it is keratin that is oozing out of the cysts then it is known as a keratin cyst and can cause an earlobe cyst that is painful

Using your hand is one of the best ways to find the cyst behind ear.

What to Do and What Not To Do

When you have a cyst behind ear there are some things that you should and should not do.


  • Remove any earrings, especially if the cyst is on your earlobe and the earring surrounds the cyst. The germs that may be on the earrings could penetrate into the cyst and make it worse.
  • Wash your hair, which is very important if you have long hair or hair that can rub against the cyst behind ear. If you do not wash your hair the oil that is on your hair could work its way down to the cyst and cause more problems. It is recommended that if you have a cyst behind ear that you use a anti-dandruff shampoo to help clear out the pores.

Do Not:

  • Pop the cysts as it can aggravate the cyst. It can also be very painful
  • Apply any oily products to the skin behind your ear and around the cyst

Pictures of Cyst Behind Ear

cyst behind ear

Cyst behind ear Picture – Big hard lump behind ear lobe

cyst behind ear photo

Picture – cyst behind ear filled with pus

cyst behind ear picture

Picture – small painful sebaceous cyst behind ear

Causes of Cyst Behind Ear

Although the exact cause of a cyst behind ear is not known there are several possible reasons that you might develop one there.

  • Excess oil is secreted by your oil glands
  • Your body has a faster production of oil in your body
  • Excess exposure to the cold environment
  • Enlarged lymph node, which can be due to inflammation, cancer, or infection
  • Hereditary
  • Basal cell nevus syndrome, which is a rare genetic condition that affects your endocrine system, nervous system, skin, bones, and eyes
  • Gardner’s syndrome, which is also a rare genetic condition that can cause non-cancerous growths
  • Mastoiditis, which is infection of your mastoid bone due to an ear infection that is not treated. The infection develops in the bony protrusion behind your ear called your mastoid. This infection can cause a pus-filled cyst behind ear.
  • Abscesses, which is when the area behind your ear becomes infected and as a result your body responds to the infection by trying to kill off the invading virus or bacteria. Your body will send white blood cells to the area and they begin to accumulate in the area. When this happens pus starts to develop. They can be painful and be warm to the touch
  • Lymphadenopathy, which is when many infection-fighting cells build up in your lymph nodes causing them to swell.
  • Acne vulgaris, which is a skin condition where your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells resulting in pimples, bumps, and cysts behind ears.
  • Sebaceous, which is the most common type of cyst behind ear. This type is associated with acne and could be the result of a wound or skin infection. If you have this type of cyst behind ear it emits keratin protein that smells. They usually disappear on their own but if they are exposed to any type of infection they can abscess and cause inflammation and aggravated pain.

Treatment – How to get rid of Cyst Behind Ear

How the cyst behind ear is treated depends on what the underlying cause is.


This will be treated by an antibiotic prescription from your physician

Swollen lymph nodes

The treatment for this cause depends on what is causing your swollen lymph nodes. You will need to see your physician to find out the underlying cause in order to get the right treatment plan. If the cause is cancer early detection will help determine the success of your recovery.

Sebaceous cysts

If you see your physician for this type of cyst behind ear they can do light therapy to get rid of it. This is done by exposing the cyst to artificial or natural light. You may also have to take an oral antibiotic such as tetracycline or use a mild corticosteroid cream. At your physician’s office if the cyst behind ear is irritated or inflamed they may give you an injection of steroid medication into the cyst or the surrounding area. This will help to reduce any inflammation.

Surgical Treatment

If the condition of the cyst behind ear becomes complicated, your physician may recommend that you have surgery to remove the cyst. This is done you making the affected area of your ear numb. A small cut will be made over the cyst to allow the fluid to ooze out and once it is completely drained it will be cleaned and washed using an iodine solution. The empty space where the cyst behind ear was will be filled with antiseptic ribbon. If it was a large cyst you may need a few stitches. You will also have to change the dressing regularly to keep out the infection. Your physician will give you instructions on how to take care of this wound. The cure rate is one hundred percent.

Home Treatment

  • Mastoiditis — in addition to the antibiotics you can treat it at home using a mixture of strained olive oil mixed with garlic oil that has been boiled for ten minutes. To make it use two cloves of garlic that has been peeled and two teaspoon of olive oil. When cooled put a couple of drops in the infected ear. After putting the drops in your ear lean to the side so the liquid does not immediately drain out of your ear. Leave it in five minutes and then you can drain it out onto a gauze pad or cotton ball. You can do this two times a day.
  • Sebaceous cysts — you can take an over-the-counter pain medication if you are experiencing any pain. If you have itching with these cysts you can also take an oral antihistamine. You can also use a warm compress or heating pad on low on the cyst behind ear for fifteen to twenty minutes. The heat will help to melt the hard contents of the cysts so it can be reabsorbed by your body and cause the cyst to gradually shrink and heal. You can also use a topical lotion that has the ingredient aloe Vera and rub it on the sebaceous cyst.

One important thing that you must always remember to do is maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands with hot water and antibacterial soap before you touch the cyst behind ear to avoid passing any germs or infection into the cyst.

Cyst Behind Ear
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