Swollen earlobe

Ear cartilage infection: What are the signs?

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An ear cartilage infection is strikingly the same as a skin infection. The outer ear is comprised of cartilage and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue known as the perichondrium.

As the ear cartilage infection involves the perichondrium, perichondritis develops after trauma or injury to the cartilage, incorrect ear piercing in the cartilage, boils on the ear and surgery in the outer ear. In most cases, the bacteria staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas are involved.

Swelling, pain and redness

The indications of inflammation are likely to manifest with an ear cartilage infection. The reddened and sore ear is the usual sign of infection. The discomfort might affect the cartilage region of the ear.

The redness borders the site where the injury has ensued. The swelling of the ear lobe can occur with an infection of the cartilage

The indications of inflammation are likely to manifest with an ear cartilage infection.

Changes in shape

The pus might buildup amidst the ear cartilage and surrounding perichondrium in cases of a severe infection. The accumulation of pus can oftentimes result to the death of the cartilage. This occurs since the cartilage acquires its blood supply and nourishment from the perichondrium which leads to a deformed ear.

If a severe infection is left untreated, the shape of the ear might change and result to a cauliflower-shaped deformity.


In severe cases of ear cartilage infection, it results to drainage, fever and itchiness of the ear. A severe infection can result to crusting in the affected area and drainage of pus.

The infection from the ear might involve the soft tissues of the neck and face. If the symptoms of ear cartilage infection are present, seek immediate medical care to prevent any complications.

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