Life Parenting

Red Swollen Ear Lobe – What Happened to His Ear!


Yesterday, my son came up to me and said “Mommy, I think I have a hive on my ear”. I took one glance and said OH MY WORD!

His ear had swollen up like two times the normal size and he looked like Dumbo.

Of course as a mommy I freaked out, but before rushing my son to the doctor I called my mom. Mom’s know best, and luckily for me, my mother is a nurse.

I tried for 5 minutes trying to explain what his ear looked like… ear lobe, cartilage, “No mom, it’s on top of the ear but not going into the ear” LOL I couldn’t get my point across.

LUCKILY, my trusty phone was available to snap some quick and clear photos of my son’s ear to show my mom. I love the Samsung Galaxy S III so much, the photos are perfect and it was so easy to text them over to my mom for viewing and diagnosis.

swollen ear

My little man is quite okay today.

We came to the conclusion that he was bitten by a bug, perhaps a mosquito, and had a small allergic reaction to the bite. After Benadryl and a good nights sleep he is looking much better today.

 You gotta love the scares that these little ones put us through!



About the author


Hi! I'm Amanda, a Kansas City Lifestyle Blogger, mom of two little people, social media addict, travel junkie with a slight obsession to baking and fitness.

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  • Thank you so much. This happened today to my 23 months old and I got scared and was searching the Google. Thank God. Your site confirmed my thought. My LO earlobe looked exactly like this. I got scared as soon as I saw it but he didn't felt pain when I touched his ear. Thought something might have bite him. I used Caledryl now. Hopefully it should be OK by tomorrow. S
  • How did it heal? My son has one ear double the size of the other. He's 10..happened yesterday (the swelling) but son said it was itchy a day or 2cprior...maybe he scratched a bite? Anyway.. Today it is no longer red but still as swollen. How long did it take to make the swelling go down.
    • Hi Victoria! I gave him some benadryl and the swelling went down in about a day. We suspected a bug bite, was the weirdest thing! Haven't experienced since that time.
  • My son woke up like this too I was freaking out! It's swollen and there's a red spot on the back of it. I want to take him to get check but my husband thinks he'll be okay.
  • This story sounds all too familiar! My 13 month old sons ear looks exactly like this today when he woke up. I called my mom and had trouble explaining it so I sent a photo. She immediately thought bug bite but I took him in just in case. I was worried because it was very warm to the touch and I wanted to be certain it wasn't infected. But sure enough, the doctors diagnosis was bug bite!!
  • Hi Amanda. My son's ear has looked exactly the same as the pics that are posted. It looks almost twice the size. He complains it feels hot too. It has happened at least 6 times over the years. The last two times, he has had a blister that weeps on top of the outside of the ear. I have just used benadryl cream on it. There were only like 3 weeks in between the last two times his ear swelled. No idea what it is... just figured bug bites. It hasn't always happened during summer so I knew figured it was from the sun...
  • Hi - my son is 19 months old and now has woken up 2 mornings in a row with a hot, red, swollen ear. The first time, it was on the top half of his ear and this morning it is all of his right ear except the lobe. He's fine otherwise - no pain, fever - he's acting completely normal. From you posts this could be a bite (which I can't seem to find one), allergic reaction, excessive heat or anxiety? Whichever combonation this might be, it is minor and goes away fairly quickly and does not damage his ear or hearing?
  • My son has suffered from this for sometime now, first it was only the right ear now it could occur on both. Originally I thought he had been bitten by something or he was sunburnt but it has occurred many times since the first episode two years ago. I would book him into the doctors only for the swelling and redness to go down by the time i got him there (usually the next day as our clinic is very busy). Frustrated and not getting any real answers I also took photos (my partner actually thought your sons photos were the ones i took of our son). With this info I went back to the doctor who referred me to an allergist and was told to create a food diary. Lots of money later we still have not tracked down what he is allergic too, as it does not occur regularly and when i think i have figured it out and cease that food source he gets it agin. The allergist said a combination of nerves/anxiety (6y/o also have anxious moments), heat and allergic reaction could be the cause. One thing she did point out and you probable already know is that if it is an allergic reaction, be alert and aware for any signs and symptoms of swelling of the airways.
    • Hello Monica, I have a little brother he is six years old too, and began with the ear swelling at four years old. It has happened three times between that age range. He has been seen by a rheumatologist twice now and prescribed him some intense medication. Steroids typically brings the swelling down (administered at a hospital of course), benadryl did not do the trick. It is hard for my family to just brush it off as "oh it might be a bug bite." Especially when there is a possibility that this swelling can occur in his throat or chest area which can lead to difficulty breathing. It seems that the rheumatologist has an idea of what is going on to give him such narrowed down medication, and during our first visit she noted how rare this occurs. Now I am looking to the internet for possible answers as no one seems to have a accurate diagnosis for my brother.
  • This has happened to me twice this summer... on the same ear! It's most definitely a mosquito bite. And the top of the ear is, in my opinion, the worst place to get a bug bite. It was nearly impossible to scratch! Hope your son's ear is feeling better and back down to human size.
  • Mine do that if I touch pampers wipes... I figured that out after washing my face with them.. My ears swelled up like that first then my face. I also just recently had the same incident with Luvs wipes.. usually anytime I touch something that I am allergic too my ears are the first to swell up and they look just like his did. Even if my ears didnt touch the product ( like with the luvs wipes) always the first to swell.. and NEVER my hands which touch it! Kelli Wood recently posted..MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Kit Review and GIVEAWAY!!
    • So crazy Kelli! I've been checking him out all over and on his ears looking for a bug bite but couldn't find one. He even has a little blister on his ear that just popped today. Does it ever get worse? Or just the same each time you touch those things?
      • I get the little blisters all over my ears and face! Its about the same if I touch them. Never worse. I usually end up having to get a steriod shot and last time I ended up having to go back cause the first shot did nothing! I would just keep giving him the medicine but if you see it spreading to anywhere else I would take him to the doctor! I usually wait till I am pretty covered because I hate going to get shots and I know its coming. I pretty much have to be forced to go to the doctor by my husband if I have one of these issues.. Luckily the incident with the luvs was the first in a few years.. I stay clear away from pampers wipes! I even put on my sons stuff he is allergic to them just so I don't come in any contact with them.. My nieces and nephews all have huggies for me when I have to change them! Kelli Wood recently posted..MyMemories Digital Scrapbooking Kit Review and GIVEAWAY!!
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