Bumps in Ear Causes: Itchy, Cartilage, Earlobe,Treatment

Lumps inside the ear often appear overnight, causing discomfort and making it difficult to hear in some cases. Although an ear bump is not usually a sign of serious conditions, some of the bumps can be cancerous. Your doctor can determine the proper course of treatment for your bump after examining the type and cause of your growth.

Why do I have Bumps in my Ear?

Bumps can form at any point in the ear canal. They may be soft or hard, depending on the type. Some bumps in ear may be painful, while others may be painless, but can affect hearing if they block the ear canal.
Signs of bumps in ear

You may find a bump in your ear after you notice an uncomfortable feeling in your ear. Sebaceous cysts may be painful, especially if they are infected. If you notice a decrease in hearing in one ear, a large bump that blocks the ear canal may be to blame.
Hearing loss can as well occur if wax builds up around the bump. Otitis externa may be accompanied by itching, drainage, pain in the ear lobe and swollen glands in the neck.
An ear lump may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease or condition. Certain conditions that cause ear lumps may also involve other body systems. An ear lump may be accompanied by other symptoms including:

  • Itching
  • Pus or discharge
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sweating
  • Unexplained weight loss

Serious symptoms might indicate a life-threatening condition. In some cases, bumps in ear may occur with other symptoms, which might indicate a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you or someone you know has any of the following symptoms:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Profuse or uncontrollable bleeding

Bumps in Ear Causes

While ear bumps are likely to form at any point of the ear, when they occur inside the ear canal, they become uncomfortable, painful and sometimes obstructive to hearing for some people. These bumps are normally soft or hard.
In numerous occasions, the location of these formations is associated with other characteristics such as being sore or painless. For example, in the ear canal, they can be sore and painful while pimple next to piercing can be hard and painless.
They are also called sebaceous cysts inside the ear, made up of dead cells and skin oils. They can develop overnight and are said to be the most common cysts that form in the ear. Here are some of the causes.

  • Ostitis externa, also known as infection of the ear canal, which often leads to the swelling inside the ear. This can feel like a bump or a lump.
  • Non-cancerous extoses and osteomas, which are additional bone growths inside the ear, may cause small hard bumps in ear.
  • When cancer develops in earwax cells, it can cause ear bumps as well. While one of the most common symptoms is their manifestation on the outer ear, there are types of growths that happen in the ear canal as well. If you suspect in any way that this could be the cause, see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Ear infections can also be the source of bumps, pimples, zits and scabsin ear.

As with acne that develops on other parts of the body, bumps can strike in, on, around, and near the ear as well. You can even develop bumps in ear’s cartilage or a pimple in the ear canal—it’s still skin and it can become clogged if proper hygiene isn’t observed. Other reasons for acne and pimples include:


Talk to your doctor if you believe your recurring pimples are because of a hormonal imbalance.


Learn how to cope better with stress in your life by meditating, doing yoga, or talking to someone you trust about what’s going on. A short 30-minute walk can also clear your head and lower blood pressure.


An allergic reaction to cosmetics, medicines, and vitamins can cause pimples inside the ear and elsewhere.


Greasy, fast food, processed foods, and foods with many additives can wreak havoc on the body and the lack of nutrition may exhibit itself in the form of acne. Try to eat nourishing, natural foods to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs, including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, grains, nuts, and dairy.


These can cause pimples in the ear because of the pressure applied when the helmet is rubbing against the ears. Wash the inside of the helmet with a face wipe or a cloth with some soap and hot water. Pay particular attention to the areas around the ears. And be sure to clean it each time someone other than you uses the helmet.

Ear buds:

These are notorious germ collectors and many people don’t give much thought to cleaning them. But they should be cleaned so as to avoid a buildup of dirt, oil, and germs that can be reintroduced to your ears each time you put them in. Wipe ear buds down regularly with a cotton pad lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol.

Why do I have an Itchy Bump on Ear Cartilage

The pressure between your pillow and head at night is sometimes enough to cause your ear to form a painful bump on ear cartilage. The bump inside the top of the cartilage is just a benign lump.
A hurting pimple on your cartilage occurs in people who sleep predominantly on one side. It can be activated by minor trauma, such as tight headgear, telephone headset, or by exposure to cold.

Winkler Disease

When this condition affects the inner rim of your ear, it is called Winkler’s disease, otherwise known as chondrodermatitis nodularis chronica antehelicis. Doctors say that this condition can last for months or even years and is easily confused with cancer of the ear.

Benign cyst on ear

Benign cysts on the cartilage of the ear are small bumps that characteristically form on the top of the ear but on the inner side. It starts as a pimple and you may want to pop it, but you will find that nothing comes out of it.

Cystic acne in ear

Another common condition with a bump inside ear canal especially when it is painful is simply a pimple forming under your skin inside the ear. Though small, it can easily cause headaches and pain in the ear especially when you talk or do movements. A small lump on ear cartilage that hurts may simply be caused by cystic acne.

Cancer causing ear bump, tumors and cysts

It is known that both benign and malignant tumors can easily cause lumps in the ear. These include melanoma, lymphoma and fibroma. Moles on the skin are also a type of tumors that are considered the cause of these bumps.
In some cases, having these bumps could be a symptom of cancer, which is a life-threatening condition that should be treated immediately. A biopsy can help your dermatologist or general practitioner with the diagnosis.

Keloid bump on ear piercings

These are common with piercings. The process of making a piercing on the earlobe leaves a scar. The scar is a normal tissue growth that extends beyond the initial point of injury as it heals. If you describe your lump or bump as a huge or big bump in ear next to a piercing, then you are likely to be describing a keloid.
The affected area may only be a few millimeters wide, but to lie on it causes exquisite discomfort. There is often a tiny central core which may discharge a small amount of scaly material. It may persist for months or sometimes years, and may be confused with a skin cancer.

Can you get an Itchy Bump on Ear Lobe

Pimple on earlobe may be painful and in some patients they refuse to go away easily. This depends on the underlying several causes. Earlobe pimple next to piercing should be treated with care to avoid blockage and piercing infections. Cysts, pimples, lumps removal on the ear or behind the ear lobe are as follows.
The various types of ear piercings including the ones on the earlobe and the cartilage can lead to a bump on your ear, especially in the area that has been pierced. When a piercing is infected, it may cause a bump on it or around it. It is always good to take care of fresh piercings and clean them as often as possible.

Earlobe Cyst

Sebaceous cysts are common growths that can occur in any part of the body. The cyst will be a random growth that displays pocket-like form, similar to blisters that occur on the skin.

  • It is a type of growth that can be brought about by the ruptured sebaceous gland, though most sebaceous cysts are caused by damaged hair follicles, the skins inability to shed surface cells or injury that has occurred to the skin.
  • When sebaceous cyst forms on the ear, it is likely to be in the form of a painless bumps on ear found behind your earlobe and is noticed very quickly due to the thinness of the surrounding tissues.

As this cyst begins to grow, you may start to feel a distinctive circular bump or knot located just beneath the skin. Depending on where it has been situated, you could be able to move this growth around.
This is not an uncommon occurrence and can occur anywhere on the surface of the ear including inside the ear canal. Pimples in ear can sometimes be itchy causing ear aches or infections. Ears are a potential fertile ground for development of acne as the area in and around the ears are filled with sebaceous glands.

Itchy bumps in Ear Canal Causes

The skin of the ear responds to the same hormonal stimulations. It is important to note that, having pimples in ear is not uncommon and should be able to respond to pimple treatment like those in other areas. The point of concern comes when the pimple turns sore, becomes itchy and refuses to go away even with treatment.
Most ear pimples can go unnoticed for a while until they start to itch or are touched without knowing. The skin on the ear is very sensitive; once they start to hurt, you will surely feel it. Once a pimple starts to hurt it would be right to assume that it is no longer acne but a boil or furuncle.

How to Treat Bumps in Ear

Skin of the ear is almost like the skin that is found on any other part of the body. It contains pores that may also become blocked; develop into pain, even hard to reach bumps in ear, or even bumps. They may be more difficult to reach or even see however, there are also a number of very effective treatments that you can apply to get rid of the bumps inside the ear.
Touch the bump with clean hands
Before touching the bump, ensure that your hands are clean. Touching the bumps with the unclean hands can lead to the bumps getting worse, since dirt as well as oil may further block the pores.
Wipe the bump using alcohol
A single way to begin healing of the bump is to wipe it clean using an alcohol pad. This also assists to keep it away from getting infections and stopping of the spread of any irritation.
Clean the area using witch hazel
Witch hazel is also another disinfectant that may also help to clear up and even prevent any bumps in ear. Wipe the ear area using a cotton ball or a swab that is coated in witch hazel.
Wash the bump in ear
Wash the area that has the bump with water that is as warm as you may withstand it. Also apply natural soap or even an oil-free cleanser. The cleanser must have Salicylic Acid that helps to unclog pores and even heal bumps. For inside of the ear, apply a warm or also a hot washcloth or even a Q-tip to clean and massage thoroughly the pimple. Do not try to rub the bump as that can lead to further irritation.
Apply acne cream
To assist reduce the level of the bump; apply an acne cream which has two to 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. Ensure that you let the cream to dry on the pimple
Let the bumps in ear heal naturally
Ear bumps tend to be brought about by a buildup of the dirt, the shampoo, and even earwax. The key to stopping the infection is to leave the bumps alone and they will just heal.
Don’t try at any moment to pop it, even if this is what you normally do with the bump in ear. Aural bump (bump in ear) is not only painful when they are squeezed, but if they are on the fleshy lobe of the ear or even inside the ear, they can thus bleed for a longer time afterwards and lead to more problems.

Home Remedies

Here are ways you can remove bumps in your ears at home;
Make a hot compress
This is a way to speed up the natural way of popping of the bump is by use of a hot compress. Wipe the bump using alcohol. Cover the bump using cellophane and thus secure. Soak a washcloth in the hot water, and then squeeze gently out any excess water. Place it on the pimple. Leave the hot compress on for some few minutes. You can repeat this process for about three to four times a day.
Use black tea
Wet a black tea bag using the hot water. Place carefully the tea bag on the bump and cover it with a hot and wet washcloth. The tannins when combined with the heat may assist to reduce any inflammation.
Milk contains the alpha hydroxyl acids that help to unclog the pores as well as get rid of dead skin. Soak the cotton ball in the milk, and then gently squeeze it. Wipe the milk along the bump. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then wash clean the area using lukewarm water. You can repeat the process for about 3-4 times a day.
Use tea tree oil
Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties that may do away with the bump leading to bacteria. It also assists increase the healing process. Spread the tea tree oil mixture on the bumps in ear using a cotton ball. Always dilute the tea tree oil. Use one part of the tea tree oil with other nine parts water.
Apply aloe vera gel
It contains antibacterial properties that may help get rid of bump in ear and reduce the swelling. You can apply the gel from the inside of the aloe vera leaf or even gel from the pharmacy. Use the gel to the bump in ear and leave on for about 30 minutes. Then rinse using lukewarm water. Repeat the process at least twice a day.
Apple cider vinegar

It has antiseptic properties that can greatly help to prevent infection and even the bacterial growth. It also assists to shrink pores. Soak a cotton ball in the cider vinegar and then wipe it over the bump in ear. Leave it for about one minute, and then rinse using cold water. Do this process for about three to four times in a day.

How to Prevent 

Some other people usually find that water, soap, hair spray, etc. that gets into the ears may lead to irritation or even itch. The particular itch can lead to poking or scratching of the ear canal using a finger or even a cotton wool bud. This can badly damage the skin in the ear canal and lead to inflammation. Inflamed skin may easily become infected.
Therefore, you can prevent the infections of the ear canal by applying the following:

  • Try not to even scratch or stop poking of the ear canal using the fingers, the cotton buds, towels, etc.
  • Do not at any time clean the ear canal using cotton buds. They can scratch or even irritate, and therefore push dirt and the wax further deep into the ear. The ear will however clean itself, and bits of the wax will on itself fall out now and then.
  • If you have very sensitive ears, try keeping the ear canal very dry, and avoiding any soap or shampoo from getting in. You can do the process this when you are in shower by placing of a piece of cotton wool that is coated in very soft white paraffin in the areas of the outer ear.

Do not apply the use corners of towels or even cotton buds to try to dry the water that get into the ear canal. This can only push the water and wax further in. Let the ear dry itself naturally. When you also swim try to keep the ears dry as a way of preventing bump in ear and other infections.
You may also do this by trying to wear a tightly fitting cap which covers the ears. Some of the swimmers use silicone rubber earplugs. But, only use them if they do not in any way irritate the skin in the ear canal.