Cyst behind Ear, Sebaceous, small, Causes, Pictures, Symptoms & Treatment

Have you noticed a cyst behind ear? This is most likely a sebaceous cyst otherwise known as epidermoid cyst. Read through as we explore more about the cyst, the causes, the symptoms and treatment option to relieve the pain and get rid of them. We have also provided some images to help you understand how the lumps looks like.

A cyst is a soft lumps formed when keratin gets trapped in the sebaceous gland. As the skin pores block due to damaged hair follicles or excess secretion of sebum, they accumulate oil, dead skin cells and other fluids from a soft lump we are calling a sebaceous cyst. These lumps are benign they are neither cancerous nor harmful. Mild cases will usually clear up on their own when you do not scratch or pop them.

Cyst behind Ear
Cyst behind Ear

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Cyst behind Ear Symptoms

Depending on what is causing the sebaceous cyst, the appearance in terms of size and shape will vary. Those with weak immune system or diabetes are likely to have large bumps whereas those presumed healthy will have small bump. Otherwise the following are common symptoms accompanied with sebaceous cyst behind ear:

  • Swollen lymph nodes behind ear
  • Itchy bumps behind ear and around the neck
  • Painful lumps
  • Skin sores may appear around neck
  • Skin around neck and back of ear start to change to reddish
  • The bumps may start to spread to other body parts

Cysts behind Ear Pictures, Images or Photos

Below are some images to help you understand how the cyst behind ear appear or look like. The size, color and texture of the bumps will differ from person to person depending on what is causing the bumps in the first place. Most people have problems differentiating between the cyst and acne bumps. The difference is, a cyst will only become painful when infected.

Picture of Cyst behind Ear
Picture of Cyst behind Ear
Infected Cyst behind Ear can be painful
Infected Cyst behind Ear can be painful – Image

What Causes Cysts behind Ear?

The most common cause of an epidermoid cyst is the blocking of the sebaceous gland. The trapping and accumulation of sebum, dead skin cells and other fluids is what leads to the formation of these bumps we are calling sebaceous cyst.

Apart this, a keratin cyst may also be triggered by hormonal imbalance and the following medical conditions discussed below.

1. Mastoiditis

Mastoiditis is an ear infection of the mastoid bone found behind the ear. When untreated for long, it might develop into a more serious condition. It might cause pus-filled cyst that develop behind the ear. The skin around the ear may turn red, cause ear pain, swelling and inflammation. Some people may also experience fever, severe headache and hearing loss.

To remedy this, you may use oral antibiotics and pus ear droop to help drain the pus. Also few drops of olive oil and garlic oil can help soothe the ear and reduce the pain.

2. Lymphadenopathy behind ear

Lymphadenopathy is the swelling and inflammation of the lymph node caused by infection. Lymph nodes refers to a system in the body that works to fight infection. Through lymphatic fluids, the antibodies able to move from one point to the other. When infected the lymph node will become swollen, at stage they can no longer function properly thus putting you at the risk of an attack.

Swelling of the lymph nodes can also be caused by cancer. A common example is a case in lymphoma and leukemia (the cancer of blood). Depending on what infection is causing the swelling, proper treatment option can be devised. For example antibiotics will be used for swollen nodes caused by bacterial infection.

3. Lipoma

Lipoma is the accumulation and collection of fatty tissue within the dermis of the skin. The result is the formation of bumps or cyst. A lipoma bumps is harmless and can develop anywhere on your body. Unless the lumps grows larger, they are usually hard to detect.

Unless the bumps begin to hurt, no treatment is required. In case they do hurt, or they become very large and cause discomfort then a surgical operation maybe used to get rid of them.

4. Dermatitis

Dermatitis behind ear can also cause the growth of sebaceous cyst. Dermatitis refers to the buildup of dead skin cells accompanied by inflammation and redness. The common cause of these condition include stress, environmental condition, and fatigue and yeast infection.

Too treat dermatitis you can apply lotion and topical cream on the infected parts of the skin. Anti-fungal cream can also be useful in preventing and treating fungal infection. At home baking soda or raw oatmeal can be used to relieve the itching and inflammation.

5. Otitis media

Otitis media is a type of ear infection which can cause the buildup of fluids and swelling behind ear. The infection can be caused by virus or bacterial infection. To relieve the itching, swelling and inflammation antibiotics and topical ointment may be used.

6. Acne vulgaris

Acne is a common skin condition for both males and female-adults and children. They are bumps that form on skin when the hair follicles become clogged. For some people the bumps may be small soft and painless whereas to others the bumps are large, hard and painful.

Mild case of these bumps can be treated with a warm compress and applying salicylic acid. Apple cider vinegar can also be a good remedy when getting rid of the acne cyst behind ear.

7. Benign tumor

A benign tumor is not a cancerous tissue build up. As such it cannot spread to the adjacent tissues and cells. The lumps may be painless and may or may not grow in size. They may appear as lump beneath the skin. Common system will include hearing loss, drainage in the ear and general feeling of dizziness.

Treatment will only be for cosmetic purposes. The bumps are harmless and not life threatening.

8. Cancer behind ear

Cancer is malignant tissue growth. Common symptoms are painless lump behind ear. The lumps may start to appear on other parts of the face and body. The skin may turn red and become itchy.

Early diagnosis of cancer can be helpful in treating the cancer. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, treatment may include radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy.

9. Abscess

Another common cause of bumps behind ear is abscess. An abscess refers to an area within body tissue that contain an accumulation of pus. The bumps can be itchy, painful and inflamed. An infected abscess may also be painful and irritating.

10. Auto immune disorder

An auto immune disorder is a common disorder of the immune system that causes it to mount an attack on healthy body tissues and cells. An auto immune disorder may cause body organs not to function properly. For instance, it may cause the sebaceous glands to secret excess sebum which can be trapped and clogged in the hair follicles causing sebaceous cyst behind ear.

11. Throat infection

Throat infection caused by bacterial and viral infection might cause the swelling of the lymph nodes behind ear. From this it is possible to have the sebaceous glands swollen and clogged with keratin to form epidermoid cyst.

You need to know that swollen lymph nodes will go back to normal when the bacterial and viral infection is treated from the body. No treatment is thus required for this.

Cyst behind Ear Removal

As started earlier, a cyst is a painless and harmless pimple-like bump formed when sebum gets trapped beneath the skin surface. For most people the cyst will clear up on its own. You have to avoid scratching, popping and irritating the cyst. This is because, when a cyst is ruptured, it opens the skin for a viral or bacterial attack.

Unless infected, there is no need to remove the cyst. However, when the cyst becomes large, or the pain becomes bothersome to the extent that you cannot perform other duties then removing the cyst become a viable option. The cyst might also cause the swelling of the lymph nodes around neck and behind ear. This becomes a direct attack on your immune system, the body defense against infection causing pathogens.

Cyst behind Ear Removal – Video

To remove a cyst, you need to have a doctor examine it first. After the cause of the cyst has been establish the removal can then follow. For cancerous bumps, a doctor may prescribe surgical removal, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. For other causes such as acne, antibiotics, topical ointment and corticosteroid injection maybe used to relieve the skin of the inflammation, swelling, itching and irritation caused by the sebaceous cyst.

A cyst can also be remove by popping and daring. To do this, you need to make sure the needle, razor and the syringe used are clean and sterilized. Puncture the cyst on sides and then squeeze or drain the contents out using the syringe. Make sure to wash the remaining wound with antiseptic solution such as methylated spirit or hydrogen peroxide, over the wound with a clean bandage for some time to ensure easy healing.

Small Cyst behind Ear Lobe Smells

What will cause a cyst behind ear lobe to smell? A sebaceous cyst behind ear is formed by the accumulation of sebum, dad skin cells and other fluids such as blood. These contents form a mixture that is semi-solid. The content become a good breeding ground for bacterial and other microorganisms. Keratin is made up of Sulphur that together with the other contents forms pus. This is what causes the fouls smell when the cyst oozes or pus drains out.

Cyst behind Ear Popped – Should I Pop?

A common rule among most skin bumps is that you should not pop them. Doing so opens the skin to possible bacterial and viral attack. The other thing is that, when popped, the cyst will leave a very bad scar. This can be detrimental to the way your skin appears especially for the lady’s.

Popping a cyst is painful, most people will start butt fail to drain out the entire content of the cyst, and this can cause a wound to appear on skin. We have said that a cyst is harmless, painless and most will heal on their own. Why then risk an infection and your skin will be ok in no time?

For a popped cyst, make sure you wash the area around with an antiseptic solution such as hydrogen peroxide and cover the cyst with a clean cotton bandage.

Painful cyst behind Ear Lobe

A typical sebaceous cyst is harmless and painless. The cyst maybe small or large. Some may form on the skin surface or underneath the skin—blind pimple. A painful cost is clear indication of an infection. Other symptoms used to spot an infected cyst will include inflammation, swelling of the lymph glands around neck and behind the ear and an irritating feeling around the cyst.

An infected cyst should be a cause of worry. It warrants removal of the cyst. Please visit a professional health care provider, most likely a dermatology to the cyst examined and removed.

Sebaceous Cyst behind Ear Lobe

A sebaceous cyst behind ear, also called an epidermoid cyst  or a keratin cyst is formed when the sebaceous gland become clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, blood and other body fluids to form a  pimple-like bump. The cyst can appear on the skin surface or under the ski as is the case with blind pimple.

Damaged hair follicles and irritation of the epidermis of the skin behind ear can all lead to the formation of the sebaceous cyst.

What Causes Sebaceous Cyst behind Ear?

Apart from the blocking and irritation of the skin, sebaceous cyst can also be caused by the following conditions:

  • Cancer a malignant issue growth behind ear can cause damage of the sebaceous glands which will intern cause the formation of sebaceous cyst. Cancer is a serious condition which calls for immediate medical attention.
  • Lipoma, a benign tumor of fatty tissues can also cause the formation of epidermoid cyst.
  • Auto-immune disorder which occurs when the body’s immune system lunches an attack on healthy tissue is also another possible cause of cyst formation due to excesses secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands. As the immune system become hyperactive, it produce histamine which may alter normal body organ functionality.
  • Mastoiditis a bacterial infection that affect the mastoid bone behind ear. This can cause swelling of the lymph node behind ear and around the neck.
  • Otitis media caused by bacterial or viral infection is another common cause of cyst behind ear.

Sebaceous Cyst behind Ear Removal

A sebaceous cyst behind ear can be removed by popping, draining with a syringe, a surgical procedure. Radiation therapy, chemical therapy and topical ointment can also be used to shrink and get rid of the bumps.

It is important to note that, unless a sebaceous cyst is infected, most will heal on their own without popping, draining or removing through a surgery. Using a cold compress you can part the cyst and it will heal slowly with no pain.

Sebaceous Cyst Removal – Video

Cyst behind Ear Treatment                                              

Medically a cyst can be treated in the following ways:

  • Using antibiotics for those caused by bacterial infection. This can be either injectable, oral pills or topical creams
  • Steroid injection to get rid of the inflammation, swelling and itching
  • Large pus filled cyst can be drained using a sterilized syringe.
  • Topical ointments such as anti-itching, anti-inflammatories and anti—fungal creams can all be applied on an infected sebaceous cyst behind ear.

How to get rid of Cyst behind With Home Remedies

Apart from the medical treatment offered above, a sebaceous cyst can easily be treated and removed at home. To do so you need proven natural remedies that can soothe the skin, reduce the itching and irritation and provide a cool healing environment.

The following are among the most common home remedies used when treating a sebaceous cyst.

  • Apply aloe Vera gel on a ruptured cyst to dry and prevent bacterial infection. Aloe Vera contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial property that will facilitate faster healing and prevent fungal infection.
  • For swollen lymph nodes caused by the sebaceous cyst, you can apply a cold or warm compress twice or thrice in a day to relieve the swelling.
  • Washing the sebaceous cyst with witch hazel is the other best way to get rid of the sebaceous cyst. Witch hazel contains a chemical compound tannins which helps remove excess skin oil and tightening the skin
  • Another effective anti-inflammatory you can apply on the epidermoid cyst behind to remove them is tea tree oil. This is especially good for acne caused bumps behind ear lobe.
  • For an infected sebaceous cyst try applying apple cider vinegar. It has the ability to drain the pus out of a sebaceous cyst.

Sources and references

  1. Lumps behind ear:
  2. Treating sebaceous cyst behind ear:
  3. Symptoms of lump behind ear:’svisit4
  4. Cyst treatment:
  5. Underarm cyst home remedies:
  6. Sebaceous cyst:


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