Ear lumps and bumps

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Ear lumps and bumps, which are known as “auricular masses” or “auricular swellings”, encompass various abnormalities affecting the external ear or earlobe. The ear’s delicate structure and proximity to critical anatomical features necessitate a careful evaluation by an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist.



Types of Ear Lumps and Bumps

These growths can differ in size, shape, and texture, and while they are often harmless, they can sometimes signal a more serious health condition. Understanding the nature of these lumps and bumps is crucial, as some may require medical intervention from an ENT doctor.


  • Cysts: Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form on the earlobe or behind the ear. They typically arise from blocked sebaceous glands and are generally benign. Although they’re usually painless, cysts can become inflamed or infected, leading to discomfort.

  • Keloids: Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that can develop after ear piercing or injury. These raised scars are more common in people with darker skin and can be cosmetically concerning or uncomfortable, especially if they grow large.

  • Skin Tags: Small, flesh-coloured growths that can appear on the ear or surrounding area. Skin tags are benign and typically don’t cause pain unless irritated by clothing or jewellery.

  • Benign Tumours: Benign ear tumours, such as osteomas and adenomas, can develop on the outer ear or within the ear canal. These growths are non-cancerous and may not present any symptoms, but their location and size can sometimes lead to hearing impairment or discomfort.

  • Malignant Tumours: Although rare, malignant tumours can occur on the ear. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are types of skin cancer that can present as lumps or bumps on the ear.

When to See an ENT Specialist for Ear Lumps and Bumps

If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, it is especially advisable for you to consult an Otolaryngologist, such as Dr Ker Liang from Aglow ENT Centre.

 

  • Persistent or Growing Lumps: If you notice ear lumps or bumps that are persistent, growing in size, or causing discomfort, it’s advisable to see an ENT specialist.

  • Painful or Tender Lumps: Lumps in the ear that are painful, tender to touch, or associated with redness and warmth may require evaluation by an ENT doctor.

  • Hearing Loss: If you experience changes in hearing along with ear lumps or bumps, it’s important to seek medical attention from an ENT specialist.

  • Recurrent Infections: Ear lumps or bumps that are associated with recurrent infections or drainage should be evaluated by an ENT doctor.

  • Concerns about Cancerous Growth: If there are concerns about the possibility of a cancerous growth or malignancy in the ear, it’s crucial to consult an ENT specialist for further assessment and management

 

Diagnosis and Evaluation

When a patient presents with an ear lump or bump, Aglow’s ENT specialist will conduct a thorough history and physical examination. The specialised evaluation may include palpation of the lump to assess its texture, mobility, and tenderness. Diagnostic imaging, like ultrasound, CT scans, or MRIs, can provide detailed views of deeper structures and help assess the lump’s extent and impact on surrounding tissues. In certain cases, a biopsy might be necessary to rule out malignancy, especially if the lump’s nature cannot be conclusively determined through imaging alone.

Treatment Options

The treatment for ear lumps and bumps varies widely based on the underlying cause:

  • Cysts and benign tumours often require no treatment unless they cause discomfort, interfere with hearing, or are cosmetically undesirable. Surgical removal is typically a straightforward procedure.

  • Keloids may be more challenging to treat and may require steroid injections, laser therapy, or surgical removal to improve appearance and relieve any discomfort.

  • Malignant tumours necessitate a more aggressive approach, possibly including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, depending on the cancer type and stage.

  • Infections causing lumps or swelling may be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications, according to the pathogen involved.
 
 

Prevention and Aftercare

While not all ear lumps and bumps can be prevented, maintaining good hygiene, avoiding unnecessary ear piercings, and protecting the ears from extreme cold or sunlight can reduce the risk. After treatment, following our ENT specialist’s aftercare instructions is crucial for healing and preventing recurrence. This may include wound care, avoiding sun exposure, and monitoring for any signs of regrowth or other complications.
 
 

Conclusion

Ear lumps and bumps can range from benign, harmless growths to signs of more serious conditions. Recognising the symptoms and understanding the importance of specialised evaluation is vital. With modern diagnostic tools and various treatment options available, ENT specialists are well-equipped to manage these conditions effectively. If you notice any new or changing lumps on your ear, it’s essential to consult with an ENT doctor to ensure the best possible outcome.

When should you see an ENT specialist in Singapore?

Please consult an ENT specialist if you are suffering from any ear, nose, or throat symptoms. It is also advisable to visit an ENT doctor if you experience persistent mouth breathing due to a chronic blocked nose or encounter snoring issues.

Dr Ker Liang sees adults and children for general ENT conditions and provides comprehensive management in a broad range of Ear, Nose, and Throat, as well as Head and Neck conditions. She has a special interest in treating throat and voice conditions, including persistent sore throat, voice issues, snoring, and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

Medical Teaching

Assistant Professor Ker Liang has a passion for teaching and is an Assistant Professor with NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLLSOM). As the NUS-NUH Otolaryngology Department Undergraduate Medical Director, Dr Ker Liang supervises the training of medical students from YLLSOM, NUS. She is actively involved
in the training of postgraduate junior doctors and residents in the Head and Neck Surgery department. She was conferred with an Undergraduate Teaching Award by the National University Health System in 2016 for her outstanding efforts as an Otolaryngology educator.

Medical Teaching

Assistant Professor Ker Liang has a passion for teaching and is an Assistant Professor with NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLLSOM). As the NUS-NUH Otolaryngology Department Undergraduate Medical Director, Dr Ker Liang supervises the training of medical students from YLLSOM, NUS. She is actively involved
in the training of postgraduate junior doctors and residents in the Head and Neck Surgery department. She was conferred with an Undergraduate Teaching Award by the National University Health System in 2016 for her outstanding efforts as an Otolaryngology educator.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Dr Ker Liang
ENT Surgeon

MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edin),
MMed (ORL), ACGME-I (ORL)

Specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the

ENT system, our doctor brings expertise, compassion, and a personalised approach to

every patient interaction. From common concerns such as allergies and sinus issues to

more complex conditions like hearing loss and throat disorders, our ENT specialist is

equipped to address your unique health needs with skill. 

Title Here

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Hello! I'd like to inquire about products/services you offer!