Chondrodermatitis Helicis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 19 21:54 2019 Print This Article

Chondrodermatitis helicis is a common skin disease in which small, painful bumps are found on the borders or elevations of the ears. Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis (in Latin chondro-cartilage, dermatitis-skin, nodule-bump) is a common painful inflammatory small scaly nodule or a spot on an area of the ear. It occurs on the helix of the ear. Repeated serious injuries and sun exposures are the areas that are most affecting from this disease. It mainly occurs in the people who sleep on only one side. Some other causes include cold, pressure due to tight headgear or a telephone headset and it can result into small skin colored or slightly reddish bumps on the upper layer of the ear, bringing necrobiotic changes within the collagen and eosinophilic degenerative changes within the underlying cartilage.

Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis is a common inflammatory condition of the ear’s cartilage and overlying skin. This is most often seen in men over the age of 40. The lesion can be pale or slightly reddish, and is often covered by scale or a small ulcer. This disorder can grow to 2 – 4mm in diameter and can stay unchanged for years. The cause of this disorder is unknown, but may be related to increased sun-exposure, chronic trauma, or frostbite. Treatment is by excision, with importance of removing the inflamed cartilage under the skin to prevent recurrence. An alternative to excision is a cortisone injection into the lesion every 2 to 4 weeks until clear.

Causes of Chondrodermatitis Helicis

Find common causes and risk factors of Chondrodermatitis Helicis

  • Chondrodermatitis helicis is found most often in males and people past middle age.
  • Chronic and repeated trauma.
  • Actinic damage.
  • Sleeping on the side of the involved ear.
  • Cold.
  • Chondrodermatitis helicis may occur when pressure is constantly applied to the same ear, such as when holding a telephone.

Treatment forChondrodermatitis Helicis

Treatment may include:

  • Sometimes chondrodermatitis helicis responds to topical cortisone ointments.
  • Chondrodermatitis nodularis chronica helicis (CNCH) is usually treated by surgical excision, but is prone to recurrence. Cortisone injections can also be used to treat chondrodermatitis helicis.
  • Sleeping on both sides is considered as the best treatment.
  • Collagen injections such as triamcinolone or corticosteroids as creams pr injections may be preferred to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgical excision, if other treatments fail, may be prescribed in some cases to remove the affected skin.
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