Possible causes of an ear lump include infections, irritation, trauma and tumors, according to Healthgrades. Ear lumps can be soft or hard, and they typically appear on the earlobe, ear canal and behind the ear.
Ear lumps can be single, multiple, pain-free or sore, states Healthgrades. They may quickly increase in size or stay the same. Local infections often cause the growth of ear lumps in the form of boils or abscesses. Various kinds of infections cause the enlargement of the lymph nodes close to the ears. These swollen glands may feel like small lumps on the skin. The common traumatic causes of ear lumps include insect bites and serious injuries that lead to the buildup of blood in the tissues.
Some ear lumps are benign or malignant tumors of the skin, organs or soft tissues, notes Healthgrades. These types of lumps require a biopsy or surgery to identify the presence of cancer. Some lumps are cysts that are inborn or caused by inflammation, a tumor or gradual damage.
Ear lumps that occur due to an infection, trauma or inflammation often disappear when the cause of the problem is treated, explains Healthgrades. It is essential to contact a doctor immediately if a person has persistent lumps that continually grow for a long period or if an ear lump occurs after a head injury, as these cases may indicate a severe condition.