ZocdocAnswersCould this be more than just a pimple?

Question

Could this be more than just a pimple?

Hello - I have had a painful bump in the upper fold of my ear for over a month. Last night, it woke me up at 3AM... my hearing was fuzzy, I was in pain, and it feels like a lymph node has become swollen directly under my ear. I went to a walk-in clinic, and she said it was just a "pimple" and prescribed oral and topical antibiotics... however, my entire ear is hot, and the top portion is very red and swollen. My lymph node is painful, as well. Could this be more than just a pimple? It is constantly oozing. Thank you for your help!

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have had this problem, and am certainly concerned about it being more than a pimple as well. While these "walk in clinics" can be very helpful, it is certain that they do not replace the thoughtful advice that you can receive from your doctor. In many cases, they are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants who are quite capable, but it is common that problems may arise that are beyond their level of training. If you find that your symptoms are becoming worse or not improving quickly enough, then speaking with a doctor via a regular, scheduled, appointment is appropriate. Even the emergency department may be needed in some cases. From what you describe, it seems that you may have some sort of infection that needs appropriate treatment. If you are diabetic or have other immune system concerns, your symptoms could be especially concerning. Regardless, I would advise you to please speak with your doctor about the matter.

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