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Various descriptions of lumps and bumps on the surface of the scalp, occurring under different circumstances, are quite frequent. They are more commonly reported in children than in adults, and they are usually not serious.

Is Your Lump a Sign of a Serious Disease?

Several factors need to be taken into consideration in order to answer this question. The bigger the lump - the higher is the risk for it to be a result of a serious condition. The risk also increases if the lump is getting bigger over time.

Small, round shaped, mobile lumps are usually harmless, but if the shape is irregular and if they are fixed, the further examination is necessary.

Color changing, bleeding, or secretion of any kind from the lump is not a desirable property, because it suggests that there is some abnormal activity at a cellular level.

If there is more than one lump on your head or anywhere on the surface of the body, then you should not underestimate their significance and you should refer the problem to your doctor.

If the lump on your head is getting bigger and more painful, if it changes color, bleeds, and/or is associated with several more lumps, please contact your doctor.
However, if your symptoms are not pronounced, the most probable answer is a swollen lymph node.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The most common presentation of this symptom is a small, round, painful or painless lump beneath the skin, located behind the ear. In this case, we are talking about an enlarged lymph node. Lymph nodes are the organs which belong to the lymphatic system, and are responsible for the defense from microorganism and harmful substances. They filter the blood gathering unnecessary substances and also produce antibodies which play an important role in immune system. When a lymph node is swollen, that is a sign of an infection or inflammation, and although it can appear on any part of the body, there are some typical areas where the nodes are the most noticeable. Typical localization for head region is behind the ears, because that region contains grouped lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes behind the ears can enlarge when your immune system is fighting against bacterial or viral infection. That infection can be generalized such as flu, or localized anywhere on the head or neck. Allergic reactions and autoimmune disorders may also cause swollen lymph nodes, as they activate the entire immune system. It is interesting that even neck injuries can cause swollen lymph nodes behind ears because of activation of reparation mechanisms in order to fix the damage.

Is Treatment Necessary?

A specific treatment of a swollen lymph node itself is not necessary. Don't be surprised if the lump lasts for several months, because swollen lymph nodes tend to subside very slowly. Also, lymph nodes are very sensitive to touching and pressure, so make sure not to irritate them until they are gone. The best thing you can do to speed-up the process is to try to treat the cause of the lump.

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