Perichondritis of the auricle is a fairly common infectious disease that affects the skin and other tissues located above the cartilage of the outer ear.
Cartilage is a dense formation that shapes the nose and ears. It is always surrounded by a thin layer of tissue called the “perichondria” (“perichondria”). This membrane allows cartilage to receive the necessary nutrients.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, remains the most common causative agent of perichondrial infection.
Auricle perichondritis is most often diagnosed after an injury resulting from:
- previous surgery on the organs of hearing;
- ear piercings (especially in cases where a hole is made in the cartilage);
- participation in potentially dangerous contact sports.
Currently, ear piercing involving cartilage is considered the most obvious risk factor. Infection can also enter the body through a burn or damage during an acupuncture session. In addition, the pathological process may be the result of another violation - for example, diseases of the external channel (otitis externa) or the growth of a boil. The risk of infection is especially high in elderly patients and those who suffer from pathologies of the immune system, including diabetes and HIV.
Perichondritis can cause serious changes in the ear structure if it goes into chondritis - actually cartilage inflammation.
Most often, the disease can be determined independently by the appearance of the ear, which becomes red and painful to the touch. Nevertheless, you should consult an otorhinolaryngologist, since a layman almost never suspects auricular perichondritis. Treatment at home, as a rule, begins with the use of ointments and creams against skin infections, but without the inclusion of antibiotic therapy, the inflammation spreads rapidly and covers the perichondria.
Redness is usually localized around the damage resulting from an injury - a cut or scratch. Sometimes there is an increase in body temperature. In more severe cases, fluid is released from the wound.
Perichondritis of the auricle can be diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history and after examination by an expert. If the history of injuries to the head and in particular the ears are recorded, and the ear itself has acquired a red tint and has become very sensitive, the doctor will diagnose tissue inflammation. Changes in the shape of the ear caused by the pathological process and swelling are possible.
If the otorhinolaryngologist is diagnosed with perichondritis of the auricle, antibiotic treatment is prescribed immediately. Medicines are taken orally, in the form of tablets, or obtained by intravenous administration through a dropper. Most often, doctors recommend the use of "fluorokvinolin." If pus has accumulated in any area, most likely, surgical intervention will be needed to ensure the outflow of excess fluid and remove dead skin and cartilage cells.
The patient’s rate of recovery completely depends on whether diagnostic measures have been taken in a timely manner and treatment has begun. To completely get rid of the symptoms of an infectious disease in the shortest possible time, you need to start taking antibiotics as soon as possible - only then the patient’s only perichondritis of the auricle will remain the only problem. Inflammation of the cartilage of the ear, or chondritis, is a serious complication that arises as a result of late treatment (or neglect of the need to diagnose and follow the doctor's recommendations) and requires more intensive and prolonged therapy.
With the development of chondritis, a part of the auricle dies. This fragment must be removed surgically. In this case, most often there is a need for additional plastic surgery to restore the appearance and normal shape of the ear.
When to see a doctor
If you have suffered from any kind of trauma that resulted in a damaged auricle (scratch, bump, piercing), and subsequently this ear became red and painful, make an appointment with a qualified otorhinolaryngologist as soon as possible. You may have to take a course of antibiotics.
1. The best way to prevent perichondritis of the auricle is to not pierce the ear through the cartilage in the piercing salons. The only conditionally safe area for piercing is the lobe. Nevertheless, the popularity of wearing earrings in holes made in the cartilage of the ear has already led to a steady increase in the number of cases of seeking medical help as a result of the development of characteristic symptoms of perichondritis and chondritis. Pay attention to piercing tools: they must be not only clean, but also disinfected. After punching the hole, the damaged area must always be washed with warm water and thereby keep it in perfect cleanliness. Both before and after the piercing, it is advisable to show the ear to the ENT specialist. Perhaps for more effective prevention of such a potentially dangerous disease as perichondritis of the auricle, it will be necessary to apply compresses soaked with liquid antibiotics to the injured area for several days after the procedure is completed.
2. If you have pierced through cartilage, avoid wearing multiple jewelry in one hole.
3. Seek medical advice at the first suspicion of perichondritis of the auricle. Photos of typical clinical manifestations of the inflammatory process can be easily found on medical sites, and one of them is presented at the beginning of our article.
4. If you signed up for an acupuncture session, make sure that the master uses exceptionally clean, single-use needles.
5. Avoid ear injuries. If you engage in contact sports, do not neglect special protective equipment. Potentially dangerous and beloved football and hockey. Wear a helmet while playing cricket and similar games. Wearing a helmet is also necessary when riding a motorcycle - this way you protect your ears from possible scratches and wounds.