ZocdocAnswersWhat's this lump behind my right ear?

Question

What's this lump behind my right ear?

Since I was 3 I have had this penny sized bump behind my right ear I'm 15 now I'm also a female. Sometimes it gets sore and can get to about the size of a grape. Its oval shaped and doesn't bother or hurt me. Could it effect my future or something? A friend of mine that goes to another school has the same thing behind his ear, and knows as much as I know about it. Which is nothing.

Answer

Thanks for your question, sorry to hear about your concerns. I recommend that you speak with your doctor. Behind your ear is a bone that is called the mastoid. It is rounded at the tip, and there is a small space at the front of it between the mastoid and the mandible (the jaw). This is a very important anatomical area for many reasons, including the fact that the nerve that moves all of your face comes out just underneath the skin in this area. Behind your ear is an area of skin and soft tissue that often holds lymph nodes. These nodes can swell (like any other lymph nodes) when you are infected, have had trauma, or for other reasons. Most often, the top of the scalp and other regions of your head will drain to this area, and so swelling of these lymph nodes can result in the sensation of feeling a lump behind your ear. Obviously, there are many other things that this could be, some of which are serious. Overall, however, it is reassuring that you have had this for such a long period of time. If it begins to change in character, or remains persistently enlarged, it would be more concerning. Again, please ask your doctor about this.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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