Bump On The Tragus With No Piercing (7 Major Causes & Cartilage Bumps)

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Several causes may trigger a tragus bump with no piercing. Some of these include swollen lymph nodes, pimples, Lipoma, skin cysts, skin abscesses, Actinic Keratosis, and Seborrheic Keratosis.

Do you know that your ear helps your brain determine if the sound originates from in front or behind you?

This action is because the tragus directs sound waves to your brain, allowing it to determine the origin of the sound that comes to your ear. The tragus is the pointed part of the ear, at the front part of the ear projecting backward to the meatus.

Sometimes, you may develop a bump on your tragus without piercing.

This swelling happens because piercing often causes some swelling depending on the aftercare you give it after the piercing.

But if you develop a bump on your tragus with no piercing ever done, you may need to take a keener look into its cause. Boils may be a significant cause of painful bumps.

This article discusses tragus bumps with no piercing and what should be done to do away with them.

So, what causes tragus bumps?

People may commonly develop lumps on their face, including in front of the ear. As much as it might be no cause for alarm, it may also be a sign of a serious health condition.

1. It could be swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes swell when you develop a toothache, outer ear infection, or salivary glands infection.

They may even develop pain, and if you have a swollen front-ear lymph node, it could cause the lump you are seeing.

Flue also causes lymph nodes to swell, with minor cases of swelling due to tonsillitis. However, if you visit the doctor and the underlying infection gets treated, the lymph nodes’ swelling disappears.

The lump will then subside and have your tragus bump disappear.

2. Pimples

A man is in pain because of a pimple on his ear

Sometimes a pimple may occur in the tragus region resulting in a bump-like swelling.

The bump will be painful, swollen, and contain pus in the case of a pimple. Although it occurs mostly during puberty, pimples may occur at any time of your life.

The bump may be red or pinkish. If it occurs with white keratin, it forms a white head, and black keratin forms a black head pimple. You will find pimples painful, but they disappear after a short period on their own.

Acne cleansers and over-the-counter medications prove helpful in treating pimple breakout. However, if pimples become a nightmare, a dermatologist will help you reach the ultimate skincare routine to finish them.

You may also avoid fatty, starchy, and sugary food to keep unclogged pores. Non-comedogenic products also help keep pimples and acne away.

3. Lipoma

Sometimes, a fatty tumor may develop on your tragus. Lipoma doesn’t cause any painful experience unless it presses on a nerve.

Some people don’t even treat it since it poses no health threats. Most Lipoma cases run within a family, and they don’t turn out to be cancerous.

So, if the bump bothers you, you may get it removed by a doctor through surgery or liposuction.

The bump forms under the skin and usually leads to skin coloration and may grow to marble size. If it gets bigger than this, you may consider removing it.

4. Skin cyst

A skin cyst causes a red bump and may grow to a golf-sized bump. If it grows on your tragus, then it may be a cause for alarm. Also, it contains a central opening that may lead to pus oozing out after some time.

If a cyst gets infected, it may swell and cause a painful experience. Although cysts don’t pose a contagious threat, they may need to be treated to relieve the patient of pain and uncomfortable situations.

Most doctors perform an excision to remove cysts. With infected cysts, antibiotics and steroids prove helpful to help you heal effectively.

5. Skin abscess

Is the tragus bump pus-filled? Then it could be a skin abscess.

A close-up picture of someone with a skin abscess behind their ear

This pus-filled swelling forms when bacteria enter the skin through a cut or a busted pimple. When our bodies fight the infection, pus forms, and you end up with a puss-filled tragus bump.

A visit to the doctor proves helpful since the doctor drains and cleans the pus-filled area. An untreated abscess might risk your life if the infection spreads to the bloodstream.

6. Actinic Keratosis

This type of bump may occur anywhere on the body where the skin gets exposed to the sun’s radiation.

If the sun chronically damages the skin, a bump will result. If it occurs on the tragus, the skin on that area gets severely damaged by the sun’s rays.

You need to get reviewed for Actinic Keratosis if you get a pink tragus bump with a sand-paper-like feeling when you touch it.

The doctors call them precancerous bumps. If untreated, they could turn out to be cancerous.

7. Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis bumps occur mostly in people over 40 years. They may occur on the neck, back, and head, but they may also appear on the tragus.

They don’t feel pain and may appear brown or black. When inflamed, they get itchy. Don’t worry when you get it on your tragus since they are non-cancerous.

Dermatologists usually squeeze them with liquid nitrogen to get rid of them.

What is a cartilage bump?

A cartilage bump forms on the ear regions after piecing.

You may develop a cartilage bump after tragus piercing, but once the piercing site heals, the bump disappears too.

Nevertheless, it would be best if you took good care of your piercing to prevent infection and bump formation.


What is a keloid bump?

Keloid bumps occur as a healed but raised scar. The scar rises higher than the original skin tissue, thus resulting in a bump.

Can I pop a piercing bump?

No, it’s not advisable to pop bumps occurring on the skin. If they pop, they could introduce the infection to the bloodstream in case they were infected.

How do I get rid of the tragus bump?

You should visit your doctor and get a diagnosis for the cause of the bump.

Then, treating the underlying cause will effectively get rid of the tragus bump.


You should see your doctor if you notice a tragus bump with no ear piercing.

Some underlying causes like pimples may not need treatment. However, some causes like Actinic Keratosis may require immediate medical attention.

Also, never pop a bump on your body since it may become more severe. 

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Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.

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