An earlobe cyst is a round, small and hard bump that appears in the earlobe or behind the ear. Even though the word “cyst” may sound a bit scary, earlobe cysts are not considered dangerous.
Earlobe cyst is actually a type of sebaceous cyst, and it is a sac formed below the skin, filled with puss. It can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the pain involved and the size of the cyst.
Causes of earlobe cysts
It is not completely clear what exactly causes earlobe cysts. One explanation is that the cysts are caused by overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous cysts. These glands, located underneath the skin, release the oil called sebum, which lubricates the skin. When they produce too much oil, it collects underneath the skin, forming a cyst.
Other possible causes of earlobe cysts include skin trauma and swollen hair follicles.
Treatment for earlobe cysts
Earlobe cysts sometimes go away on their own, but if they get infected, they can cause pain and discomfort and need to be removed before any complication may arise.
There are two treatment options for earlobe cysts, surgical and non-surgical.
In the surgical procedure for the removal of an earlobe cyst, the doctor first uses a local anesthetic to numb the area. He or she then makes an incision with a scalpel in the center of the cyst, after which the fluid is squeezed out. If it is not possible to drain the cyst that way, the doctor will remove it with a forceps.
After the cyst is removed, the area is cleaned, disinfected and stitched. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent possible infections.
There are many different non-surgical methods for treating an earlobe cyst. Some doctors recommend using heating pads or warm water. The heat brings the pus and the bacteria closer to the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove the cyst. The heat should be applied two or three times a day for a week. As a result, the puss, which is waxy, will transform into an oily fluid that can be absorbed by the body safely and the body will dispose of it on its own.
Another way to get rid of an earlobe cyst is to apply turmeric or tea tree oil. These help dry up the fluids in the cyst. In the tea tree oil treatment, the oil is applied for five minutes with a cotton pad on the affected area that has previously been cleaned.
For the turmeric treatment, a pinch of turmeric powder is mixed with some water to form a thick paste, which is then applied to the cyst once a day for 20 minutes until it goes away.