This is probably a lymph node enlargement. Lymph nodes in this area get enlarged when inflammation or infection occurs in the area drained by them like the scalp,the skin of the neck, and the ear.
Pain and tenderness are commonly seen when the lymph nodes are infected or inflamed. This may be the sole cause (primary) of the node enlargement or in association with another underlying primary cause.
Small lymph nodes <1cm that are mobile, soft to firm are usually reactionary to these inflammatory conditions and are not alarming as they regress when inflammation subsides but do not disappear. While nodes that continue to grow are of concern and need to be investigated properly.
In general physician prescribe antibiotics and follow up in a week or two, if they persist in a considerable size or increase, biopsy is recommended to exclude serious causes like malignancy.
Other causes of swelling in this area is follicles, an inflammation in the hair follicles, or lipoma (benign tumor of fat tissue).
I would advise you to seek direct medical consultation.
Hope you find this information useful.
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This answer does not substitute for direct medical consultation.
Dr. Safaa Mahmoud.
MB BCh, MSc Internal Medicine. MD Medical Oncology.
PhD Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Science.