Q. Do bumps on the outer ear go away on their own?

Answered by
Dr. Ranjit Peter
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 02, 2022

Hi doctor,

I noticed a small bump on my outer ear. I noticed it just three days back, not sure if it was there before or not.



Welcome to

Thank you for sharing the clinical photograph (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity).

Considering the clinical history of three days and in the absence of any other regional lesions; it is most likely to be an epidermal lesion, which should subside on its own. If it increases in size over the period of next one month, it would need further evaluation. If not, then it can be left as it is and avoid traumatizing it by scratching it.

Hi doctor,

Could it be a lymph node? It is over the tragus, I think. Here, I am attaching another photo of two days back.

Could it be cancer?




Welcome back to

I understand your concern.

Thank you for that clearer photo from a slightly different angle (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity).

The two differential diagnosis in this particular area (pre-auricular), close to tragus (as seen in your particular photograph and corelating with your clinical history) would be:

1) Preauricular lymph node, and

2) A skin level lesion/epidermal, such as an epidermal cyst or reactive skin changes in response to irritation.

To confirm a lymph node, it would need physical examination. However, it looks more like an epidermal lesion purely based on the attached photograph.

Having said that, a pre-auricular lymph node can arise in response to any irritant factors such as dandruff in the scalp area, irritation as in excessive scratching over the scalp, dry skin, etc. If you do have any of the factors mentioned such as dry skin or dandruff, it would be prudent to get it under control. I would also like to add that there is hardly any chance of cancer, so you can be rest assured about that.

Best regards.

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