Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is this lump in my ear?"
It is along the fold in my ear cartilage near the top on the left ear. It is a little white lump. Pretty normal sort of a thing or should I get it checked out? Maybe just some kind of a pimple?
There are a number of different potential causes of this finding. I would suggest that you show it to your primary care doctor the next time you have a visit, such as at your annual physical exam. If the lump is growing rapidly or is painful, you should plan on getting in to for an evaluation more quickly. One possibility is that this is a cyst of some sort. Cysts are benign (meaning not cancerous) growths that can occur pretty much anywhere under the skin. They are typically soft, not painful, and they tend to be moveable under the skin if you touch them. Most of the time cysts do not need any specific medical treatment. However, in some cases they may become large, at which point they may be painful or cosmetically unattractive. At that point, they can be removed surgically. Surgical removal of a cyst is generally a simple office procedure that only takes a few minutes. Another potential cause of whitish lumps under the skin of the ears is something called a xanthelasma. A xanthelasma is a deposit of cholesterol under the skin. Often, this is a sign that your cholesterol level is too high, which would be another thing that your primary care doctor can check out for you. Please see your doctor soon.
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