Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What makes a lump grow in your ear?"
I have a strange, small fleshy lump on the top of my ear, just under the curved part at the very top. It's firm, like hard cartilage, and I never noticed it before a few months ago. What is it? Is it dangerous?
The answer to this question depends a lot on your past medical and family history and most importantly your age. If you are older, have a family history of skin cancer, or if you have needed to take immune system depressing drugs in the past, then you should have this new growth evaluated immediately by a dermatologist. The reason is that this area of you body is a common place for skin cancer to develop since it is exposed to the sun. If you are young (less than 30), do not have a family history of skin cancer, and have not needed to take immune system suppressing drugs, then you can go to your primary care physician to get this looked at. Statistically, this growth is more than likely a growth of cartilage that is benign. These can occur in anyone that has experienced trauma to the outside of the ear which can result in small growths of cartilage like material. In addition, this can be an area where warts develop, which are a common cause of new growths anywhere in the body. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist (see above for which one). He or she can examine you ear, make a diagnosis and recommend treatment if any is necessary.
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