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Cauliflower Ear

Treatment of Cauliflower Ear

If you experience an injury that causes a blockage in the tissues of your ear, there's still a chance you can avoid developing cauliflower ear. The goal of treatment is to ease the blockage so that blood can again flow to the affected tissues.

A doctor can accomplish this by making a small incision and draining accumulating blood or removing a clot and preventing further bleeding. He or she may need to reconnect tissues using stitches and apply a special bandage to put pressure on the area. This pressure dressing may need to stay in place for several days to a week. The site will require monitoring for signs of infection or signs that additional treatment may be needed. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics.

Prevention of Cauliflower Ear

The most important thing you can do to prevent cauliflower ear is to wear the appropriate head gear when engaging in activities that increase your risk for ear trauma, such as wrestling, boxing, rugby, and other close-contact sports. It's crucial to get a proper fit for protective head gear. A helmet that's too loose can slip out of place, leaving you vulnerable to injury. One that's too tight may itself be damaging to the ears, especially as you repeatedly rub it against your ears putting it on and taking it off.

Athletes should remember to use protective gear during practices. And those thinking about high ear piercings may want to talk with their doctor first.

Another important step in the prevention of cauliflower ear is to be aware of the risks and to have a doctor evaluate any trauma to the ear, even if it seems superficial. Treatment can help prevent the unsightly, often permanent, cosmetic effects of cauliflower ear. But it has to be done very soon after the injury occurs to be effective.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 20, 2013

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