How on earth did I get a contusion???
June 19, 2012 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Small raised contusion behind my left ear. No idea what this is or how it happened! Hitting hypochondriac panic mode! Help!

YANMD, I know, but I went to bed last night perfectly fine and woke up with a dime-sized raised bump behind my left ear. It's sore when I touch it--which, with my insane brain given to scares, has been a lot--and it's freaking me out. The ouchiness I associate with banging my shin or bumping my head...and I can tell you I definitely did not do the latter before going to bed last night.

Any thoughts? I tried to take a picture but it isn't easy when it's just you in the house.
posted by Kitteh to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bug bite? Pimple? Cyst? Almost definitely nothing potentially fatal.
posted by empath at 4:06 PM on June 19, 2012

Insect bite? Acne, or similar?
posted by Petrot at 4:07 PM on June 19, 2012

My money's a sebaceous cyst (they commonly show up behind the ear). Try putting a warm compress on it a couple of times a day to see if that helps.
posted by scody at 4:10 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Bug bite. Or, were you wearing glasses/sunglasses in a new way? I regularly go through this--you'd think I'd figure it out by now--when I've gone a long day wearing sunglasses which are sort of tight.
posted by jessamyn at 4:14 PM on June 19, 2012

Yep, bite or cyst.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:14 PM on June 19, 2012

Not ruling out bug bite but it would have had to happen while I was asleep. Examination doesn't reveal any tiny bite marks and it isn't itchy. No sign it's a pimple. And I've never had a cyst so I wouldn't know if this is one.

As for Jessamyn's suggestion, I wear a sleep mask most nights, but the elastic is so stretchy I can't imagine even in its state it might have caused this. I've put a compress on it now, but it's warm and throbbing...but that's probably because I keep prodding it like an insane person.
posted by Kitteh at 4:20 PM on June 19, 2012

Is it possibly the lymph node behind your ear? I'm on my phone, but a quick google should show you if that seems right.
posted by crabintheocean at 4:50 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Try putting antibiotic/pain relief cream and a bandage over it overnight.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:51 PM on June 19, 2012

I get swellings just like you describe sometimes, they usually go away after a few days/weeks. I've always assumed it's a swollen lymph node.
posted by randomnity at 4:55 PM on June 19, 2012

I had a VERY similar thing happen once and it turned out to be an ear infection. The bump was a swollen lymph node.
posted by Saminal at 5:03 PM on June 19, 2012

I got a mosquito bite behind my ear once, right near the lymph node, and it swelled up LIKE A ROBIN'S EGG. It was very tender and itched like a mofo. The mosquito saliva or whatever you react to by getting the "bump" for the mosquito bite made the lymph node go berserk and multiply that times a billion.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:14 PM on June 19, 2012

I'm going to guess lymph node. I have a similar one right now. No idea why mine is swollen, probably just from a nearby zit. The swollen lymph node happens to me frequently. I am not dead yet. Hope yours is just as minimal!
posted by k96sc01 at 5:17 PM on June 19, 2012

Called Info Sante here in Quebeca and the nurse seems to think it's a swollen lymph node. Provided that I am not feverish or exhibiting adverse symptoms that require a trip to ER, her advice was to mark the size, apply cold compress, and if it gets worse, go to a clinic. She thinks it might be an allergic reaction to the bee sting I received on the top of my head yesterday.
posted by Kitteh at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2012

I was goin to say lymph node too; I had the same lump behind my ear caused by a single pimple on top of my head.
posted by saucysault at 6:53 PM on June 19, 2012

I had a big bump behind my ear; impressed my doctor. It was a swollen lymph node. Your immune system is doing its job.
posted by theora55 at 9:52 PM on June 19, 2012

Ha, yes, nthing the lymph node hypothesis. I know it is totally gross and weird! But this is supposed to happen when there's an infection on your head. I went to the doctor for mine and he gave me azithromax but told me I didn't really need to take it, the fact that the lymph node had "popped" indicated my immune system was on top of it.
posted by town of cats at 10:15 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

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