Know the Causes of Perichondritis and How to Treat It

Perichondritis is an infectious disease that attacks the tissue around the cartilage of the outer ear. This tissue is also called the perichondrium which functions to provide nutrition as well as protect the cartilage.

Perichondritis often occurs in people who have diabetes or weak immunity. If treated too late, perichondritis will cause a deformity in the shape of the ear that becomes like a cauliflower or also known as cauliflower ear.

Know the Causes of Perichondritis

The main cause of perichondritis is infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. This bacterial infection generally occurs as a side effect of ear piercing that penetrates the cartilage (upper part of the earlobe).

In addition to the side effects of ear piercing , there are several other factors that can also increase the risk of perichondritis, including:

  • Insect bite
  • Injuries during sports, such as boxing
  • Injury due to ear surgery
  • Burns on the earlobe
  • External ear infection ( otitis externa )
  • Autoimmune diseases , such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Various Symptoms of Perichondritis

The main symptoms of perichondritis are:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling in the ear lobe

In severe cases, perichondritis can cause fever, discharge of pus from the ear , damage to the shape of the ear. While in cases of recurrent perichondritis, the symptoms that can occur are:

  • The ear leaves look loose ( floppy ear )
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Balance disorder
  • Fluid coming out of the ear
  • Middle ear infection

Treatment of Perichondritis

Generally, perichondritis can be recognized immediately after the doctor asks about the complaint and examines the condition of the ear. However, if the complaint has been felt repeatedly, the doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist to determine if perichondritis is triggered by an autoimmune disease.

How to treat perichondritis needs to be adapted to the cause and severity of the symptoms. Here are some medical treatments that can help overcome perichondritis:

  1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are often prescribed by doctors to eradicate the bacteria that cause perichondritis. Prescription antibiotics can be taken orally or topically, depending on the severity of the condition. Be sure to finish the antibiotic completely so that the bacteria is completely destroyed.

  1. Steroids

In cases of perichondritis caused by an autoimmune disease, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone . This medicine works by suppressing the body’s immune system response so as to reduce inflammation.

  1. Incision and drainage

If there is an abscess or collection of pus on the earlobe, generally the doctor will perform a drainage incision, which is to make a small incision on the earlobe to remove the pus inside.

  1. Operation

When perichondritis causes cauliflower ear , the doctor will recommend plastic surgery to restore the ear to its original shape. In this case, the patient may also be referred to a plastic surgeon.

Perichondritis can be a serious condition even though the cause is simple. Therefore, always anticipate this condition by keeping the ears clean and healthy.

In addition, avoid piercing the earlobes, especially those installed without a sterilization procedure first. If at any time you experience an injury to the earlobe, immediately check yourself with an ENT doctor to get the right treatment so that perichondritis does not occur.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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