Pea Sized Lump in Neck: Do I Need To Worry?

Pea Sized Lump in Neck
Pea Sized Lump in Neck

What is this Pea Sized Lump in Neck?

Most lumps in our body are not much of a concern. If the following characteristics are there of a new bump under your skin and you begin to panic, then the chances are that it is not serious:
  • Soft
  • Move and change form with touch
  • Grow large and painful with activity and get smaller with rest

It May be a Lymph Node

Lymph nodes are movable, pea-size lumps found throughout the body, but are mostly in the neck, groin, armpits, and behind the collarbone. Their role is to get rid of toxins and dead blood cells. When you have a cold or even a minor infection, your lymph nodes may swell because they’re being bombarded with dead cells. If the swollen gland persists or grows bigger than a pea and stays that way for more than two weeks, or if you notice more swollen glands, it’s best to see your doctor to have it checked.

Sebaceous cysts

Sebaceous cysts are a common type of cyst that forms in blocked or damaged sebaceous glands. These glands secrete sebum, which is an oily substance that lubricates your skin and hair.
  • Sebaceous cysts feel like small, soft bumps. They’re usually found on your face, neck, or torso.
  • In most cases, your doctor can diagnose a sebaceous cyst just by looking at it. However, they may do some additional testing, such as a skin biopsy, if the bump:
  • has a diameter larger than 5 centimeters (cm)
  • shows signs of infection, such as redness, pain, or pus
  • grows back quickly after being removed
While sebaceous cysts are harmless, some people prefer to remove them for cosmetic reasons. If you want to remove a sebaceous cyst, talk to your doctor. They can remove it with a minor surgical procedure.


A lipoma is a non cancerous, fatty lump that grows slowly, usually between your skin and muscle. You might have one or several. Lipomas are more common in middle-aged people and usually don’t cause any health problems.

While they can grow anywhere, they tend to appear on your neck, shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, or thighs. 

Lipomas are usually:
  • soft and doughy
  • easily movable under the skin
  • smaller than 5 cm in diameter, though they can grow bigger
  • painful if they contain blood vessels or are large enough to put pressure on a nearby nerve
Lipomas don’t require treatment unless they start to cause pain. If you think you might have a lipoma, your doctor may want to do a quick biopsy to make sure it isn’t something else. They can also help you remove a lipoma, usually either with surgery or liposuction.

When should I see a doctor?

Most of the time, a lump on the back of the neck is harmless. However, it’s important to follow up with your doctor right away if you notice:
  • symptoms of severe infection, such as an ongoing fever
  • a bump that doesn’t go away after two to four weeks
  • a lump that’s hard and not moveable
  • a lump that grows or changes rapidly
  • a lump that’s accompanied by night sweats or unintended weight loss
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