Please confirm the nature of your finding by direct clinical examination by your physician. It is probably a lymph node it occurs in a lymph node region, however this must be confirmed by your physician. The preauricular lymph nodes are located in front of the ears. They drain the eyelids and conjunctivae, temporal region, pinna. Common causes of enlargement include diseases of the external auditory canal. The submandibular lymph nodes are located along the underside of the jaw on either side. They drain the tongue, submaxillary gland, lips and mouth, conjunctivae. Common causes of enlargement include infections of head, neck, sinuses, ears, eyes, scalp, pharynx. Abnormal lymph node enlargement tends to commonly result from infection / immune response, cancer and less commonly due to infiltration of macrophages filled with metabolite deposits (eg, storage disorders). Infected Lymph nodes however, tend to be firm, tender, enlarged and warm. Inflammation can spread to the overlying skin, causing it to appear reddened. Sometimes, following infection lymph nodes occasionally remain permanently enlarged, though they should be non-tender, small (less the 1 cm), have a rubbery consistency and none of the characteristics described for malignancy or for infection. These are also known as 'Shotty Lymph nodes'. Upon evaluation your physician may watch and wait for a 3-4 week time period to see if there are any changes or treat with a course of antibiotics if he/she suspects an underlying infection. An increase in nodal size on serial examinations is significant. I would suggest an evaluation by your physician.
Theresa Jones, RN