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Q. I have a hard and painless pea-sized lump in front of my ear. Should I get it checked?

Answered by
Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 03, 2020

I have a hard pea sized lump in front if my ear (preauricular lymph node) that is hard, painless and doesnt move. It has been there about 6 months but has become more prominent that a friend noticed it. I have also just noticed this week another lump appear towards the top/back of my ear and have a little bit of ear ache. I am generally fit ans well and have no infection that I know of. I have been seeing the doctor for other symptoms recently such as pain in chest, and difficulty breathing sometimes. More recently i have developed night sweats waking up with the bed and pillow sodden. Is it worth getting these lumps checked?

Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


A lymph node located in the preauricular or lost auricular region usually represents infection in the scalp, temples, the eye or even in the ear. There could be a subtle sub clinical chronic infection of the scalp which your probably not aware of and its always worthwhile to get this area examined by a trichologist or dermatologist. In most cases this diagnosis does get missed and patients are often given otc antibiotics without ascertaining the root cause of the problem in concern. In such a case, recurrence is extremely common.

Alternatively you can also get an fnac done if there is no evidence of infection in the above mentioned regions.

Ear ache of a recent onset could be mainly due to small folliclitis for which you can take tab ciplox 500mg one tab in the morning and evening after food for 1 week.

Night sweats could be due altering blood sugar levels and this is always better evaluated by getting a HbA1c estimation done. Breathing issues and pain in the chest can be due to gerd and lpr (gastroesophageal reflux with laryngopharngeal reflux) and both these components will require step wise long term management.

Please do get an fnac done after taking antibiotics mentioned above for the possible folliclitis in the outer ear. Also do visit a trichologist/ dermatologist and if there is no evidence of an infection in the above mentioned regions, please do get an fnac done. In most cases its nothing that you need to worry about and the reports are usually suggestive of reactive lymphadenitis.

I hope i have answered your query in detail. If there is anything more that you need to know or enquire, please do let us know and we will get back to you ASAP. Warm regards

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