Lump on Back of Head, and Neck, Behind Ear, Right Side, Left Side, Causes, Hurts, Hard

Do you have a lump on back of head and neck? Is it behind the ear on the left or right side of your head? A lump or bump on back can be hard and hurts when touched. What is the cause?  If you find a lump on back of head and neck, take a deep breath and read on to learn more. Below, we are going to look at what causes lump on lower right, left side, behind ear, and under skin.

You should not get too worried when you notice a lump on back of head. Appearance of a bump in this area is not always an indication that something is wrong in your body. Bumps and lumps occurring in this area may be caused by a variety of factors.

Lump on back of Head

Lump on back of Head

You may, for instance, have bumped into something unknowingly. We will also look at hard lump on back, with headaches, that hurts, lump not painful, and lump on back NHS.

Lump on back of head right side

A lump on back of head that has formed near your right side of the neck and one that keeps appearing and disappearing could be a major source of concern and worry. Hard lumps appearing on the back of your head and those that do not easily go away may have been caused by lipoma or sebaceous cyst. A medical and physical examination is required for the right diagnosis to be made.

This type of lump may have been caused by abnormal tissue growth in the area behind your head. The lump can also be painless depending on whether that lump is benign or malignant. You can only ascertain the actual cause by having a medical examination performed.

Painful lump on back of head left side

Several different phenomena may be behind the formation of painful lump on the back of your head. It might be due to inflamed lymph nodes or enlarged salivary glands. Underlying causes may be as mild as an allergic reaction, and they could also be as severe as mouth cancer.

You can always rely on proven home remedies to do away with the bump. It is, however, essential to ensure that a medic checks out this bump. Bacterial conditions could be the reason why the lymph nodes close to the neck have become swollen.

Viral conditions have also been known to cause swelling of lymph nodes found in this area. They include:

  • German measles or rubella
  • Herpes infections
  • AIDS
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Viral pharyngitis

Additional conditions that may also contribute to swelling of this area will include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Hodgkin disease
  • Drug allergies
  • Mouth cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Food allergies
  • Leukemia
  • Thyroid food allergies

Lump on back of head NHS

Many swellings and lumps appearing on back of head tend to be harmless and can, therefore, be left alone. It is however recommended to see a medic anytime a new lump develops so that proper diagnosis can be performed. Painful swelling or lump on back of head appearing suddenly within a day or two may have been caused by an infection or an injury.

It means that it has been caused by an infection if the area around it is red and warm. You can always receive instructions on how to care for it from a medic. A lump in the neck or back of head can be caused by:

  1. Goiter—is the abnormal swelling of your thyroid gland located around the neck region. It often causes a lump to start forming in your throat.
  2. Swollen glands—often indicate that you have an infection, e.g., glandular fever or a cold. The glands will usually go down upon successful recovery.
  3. Skin tag—is a harmless, wart like growth hanging from your skin and one that can be left alone
  4. Cyst—fluid-filled bump with the potential to disappear on its own. It does not require any medical treatment.

What causes a lump or Bump on back of head?

Many people do not think about the back of their heads until they notice something different in that area. It could happen when you are brushing or styling your hair or when having a haircut. The causes include:

1. Lipoma

This is a tumor that is primarily made up of fat cells. It will normally grow a hard capsule on the outer part making it appear and feel like a very hard lump. Its causes are unknown though it is suspected to be genetic.

Its symptoms include:

  • Small but can grow large with time
  • Feels like a soft and doughy lump
  • You may experience some pain as it continues to grow

2. Sebaceous cyst

They are small cysts that appear when your sebaceous glands become clogged. They are normally harmless meaning that you should not have to worry about them. It is, however, vital to ensure that all cysts are examined by a medic especially when they start to change in appearance, size, or shape.

The symptoms include:

  • It may drain the fluids with time leaving a dry crust behind
  • Scalp flakes may be noted in that area
  • A cyst could in some cases close off and become a hard bump
  • Cysts may become inflamed with pain, swelling, and redness

3. Ingrown hair

That hard lump you recently noticed at the back of your head could be nothing more but an ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs come about when you shave your hair, or a hair breaks off. This hair that has broken off will continue to grow inside your skin near the follicle.

The condition is very common among men who regularly shave their hair. You should check the ingrown hair for any indications of an infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Painful lump on back of head erupting like a pimple

4. Gout

It is a condition where uric acid levels in your blood begin to rise. The condition is a form of arthritis that also causes pain in the joints. This uric acid can end up forming crystals that will then be deposited into your body.

The crystals that are deposited into the body are known as tophi.  Tophi can develop in areas such as the head, fingers, near your joints, as well as on your earlobes. Tophi is known to be very painful but will usually resolve as the uric acid levels in your blood starts to drop.

Common symptoms include:

  • Painful joints
  • Swelling and redness in the area that has been affected
  • Fever
  • Trouble walking

5. Pilar cyst

They are cysts that form in the area around your hair follicles. Cysts are similar to keratin which is the same material which grows to form your hair. They mainly affect the scalp but can be found in other parts of your body as well. Many medics will prefer to remove the cysts to ensure that they do not form tumors.

Pilar cysts also pose a risk of developing a rare case of cancer. Its symptoms include:

  • Presence of a hard lump on your scalp
  • Pain
  • Inflammation

6. Lyme disease

It results from being bitten by an infected tick. The ticks normally reside in trees and can sense your oxygen from your breath. The tick can be able to drop from a tree branch and deliver a bite to the back of your head. You may not even be aware that you have been bitten until you notice a lump on back of head.

It normally takes about seventy-two hours for the bite to turn into a lump. The symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Rash at the site of this bite

Lump on back of head and neck

A lump on back of head and neck is also referred to as a neck mass. The bump appearing at the back of your neck could be large and visible, and there are cased when it could be too small to see it. Many lumps appearing in this two areas tend to be benign.

Lump on Back of Head behind Ear

Lump on Back of Head behind Ear

There are instances where the appearance of a lump on this area could also be an indication of a cancerous growth or an infection. Such lumps can be soft, tender or non-tender, or hard. You can find it under your skin, or it can be from the organs and tissues that are within your neck.

A lump origin will normally play a prominent role in determining what it is, and whether you should be worried. Many tissues, organs, and muscles can be found near your back of head and neck. They include:

  • Arteries and veins
  • Neck muscles
  • Cervical vertebrae
  • Lymph nodes
  • Salivary glands
  • Larynx

Enlarged lymph nodes are deemed to be the primary causes of lumps appearing on back of neck. The nodes have cells that assist your body in fighting off infections and can also help in attacking the cancerous cells. Lymph nodes become enlarged when you are sick to help your body fight off infections.

Additional causes of enlarged lymph nodes may include:

  • Strep throat
  • Sinus infections
  • Dental infections
  • Ear infections

Lump on back of head behind ear

A lump on back of head behind ear may have been caused by enlarged lymph nodes. The nodes are an essential part of your immune system whose role is to drain and filter out all your tissues. They normally swell when they are presented with foreign objects from nearby infections.

Swollen lymph nodes should go down on their own. Ear or skin infections are the primary causes of a swollen node. It is recommended that you seek medical attention if a bump lasts for more than fourteen days or if it comes with additional symptoms.

A lump behind your ear can also be caused by:

  • Acne
  • Lipoma
  • Cyst
  • Mastoiditis

Lump on back of head causing headaches

Bumps on the back of your head that are causing headaches may be due to an injury that you sustained recently. It could also be because of torn or strained muscle tendon. Symptoms to look out for will include:

  • Swelling near your neck
  • Tender spots in your neck and back of the head
  • Pain in your shoulders, back of your head, and upper back
  • Stiffness in the neck

Lump on back of head hurts to touch

When you notice a lump at the back of your head that hurts to touch, it could mean you have either of the following:

  1. Dermoid cyst—it can have a deep extension inside your bone. It is, however, benign and can at times be a bit tender when it has a mild infection.
  2. Osteoma cutis and Osteoma—they are noncancerous growths that are known to appear in this area

It is vital to consult a medic so as to receive a proper diagnosis. A surgical incision may need to be performed depending on what has caused the lump on back of head.

Hard lump on back of head not painful

The appearance of a lump at the back of your head can be a cause for concern even when the bump or lump in question is not painful. You should visit a healthcare facility for a consultation with a medic instead of waiting it out. The medic may need to perform some scans to determine what caused its appearance.

Hard Lump on Back of Head

Hard Lump on Back of Head

It is possible for a cyst to form at the back of your head and remain there for months or even years. Cysts forming in this area tend to be hard but movable. Even though the cyst in many cases tend to be benign, it can still be scary not knowing what is behind its emergence. A clogged hair follicle can also be behind the appearance of such a bump.

Lump on back of head lower left side behind ear

Lumps appearing behind your ear may have a number of different causes. They also tend to come in varying shapes. Lumps on back of head lower left side behind ear can be negligible, while others could be a clue that there is something serious going on in your body.

A lump occurring in this part of your body can be caused by:

1. Acne

Pimples behind your ear can emerge when a pore or hair follicle becomes clogged. Even though it is rare for them to occur in this area due to its isolation, do not rule out the probability of getting acne pimples behind your ears.

2. Infection

Infections that may cause swelling in your throat may also cause bumps to appear in the region behind your ears. Mononucleosis is a condition that mainly occurs with throat swelling and is accompanied by swelling of the nodes behind the ears. The severity of the condition will typically affect the kind of concern that is given to the lump in your ear.

3. Abscess/ cysts

Abscesses and cysts are quite alike in that they are both enclosed capsules that are filled with fluids. The differentiating factor is that abscess are often filled with pus. Abscesses can develop around infections or foreign bodies on or in your ear.

4. Sebaceous cysts

They are also known as epidermoid cysts. Sebaceous cysts are known to originate from the sebaceous glands that have been filled with sebum.  Sebaceous cysts can also form behind your ear in rare cases.

5. Mastoiditis

There is a bone known as the mastoid bone that runs directly in the region behind your ears. An ear infection can in some cases spread to this bone. The result of such an infection will be swelling and the appearance of bumps behind the ear.

Lump on back of head lower right side under skin near neck

You should not always be worried when you notice a lump appear under your skin. Many tend to be harmless and will disappear without having to take any medication. Bumps in this region have been known to develop for various reasons as mentioned above.

You are likely to feel the nodes along the side of your neck. Nodes in this region can also swell leading to the emergence of bumps and lumps. There are instances when you may experience itching or pain in the region surrounding that lump.

When to see a physician

Emergence of a lump behind your ear should not be a source for concern. You should therefore not have to rush to an emergency room when you notice such a bump. But, you should seek medical advice if you notice the following:

  • Experiencing discomfort or pain
  • Have difficulty swallowing
  • Bump does not fade on its own after a few days
  • Accompanying symptoms have refused to go away

Article Resources:

  • Enki Village. (2015, August 6). 7 causes and treatments of lumps behind ear

  • Mayo Clinic. (2015, August). Epidermoid cysts

  • NHS UK. (N.D). Lump behind ear

  • Cancer Research Center UK. (2014, July 31). Cancer of the outer ear

  • Mayo Clinic. (2015, January 22). Lipoma: Definition