Encyclopedia Home / B / Benign ear cyst or tumor

Benign ear cyst or tumor

  • Definition

    Benign ear cysts are noncancerous lumps or growths in the ear.

    Alternative Names

    Osteomas; Exostoses; Tumor - ear; Cysts - ear; Ear cysts; Ear tumors

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Sebaceous cysts are the most common type of cysts seen in the ear. They are bulging, sac-like collections of dead skin cells and oils produced by oil glands in the skin.

    They commonly occur:

    • Behind the ear
    • In the ear canal
    • In the earlobe
    • On the scalp

    The exact cause is unknown, but cysts may occur when oils are produced in a skin gland faster than they can be released from the gland.

    Benign bony tumors of the ear canal (exostoses and osteomas) may be caused by excess growth of bone. Repeated exposure to cold water may increase the risk of benign tumors of the ear canal.