Q:

What can cause pain in the outer ear cartilage?

A:

Quick Answer

Pain in the outer ear cartilage may be caused by several factors including ear piercings, cuts to the ear, trauma, complications from surgery and a rare condition called polychondritis, according to WebMD. Damaged cartilage takes longer to heal than other tissues because cartilage lacks its own blood supply.

Know More

Full Answer

A similar condition known as perichondritis affects the skin surrounding the cartilage of the ear. One of the most common infections of the ear's skin comes from the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Skin inflammation may also occur due to burns and acupuncture, notes MedlinePlus. Ear piercing is the one of the most common ear injuries that causes perichondritis. This condition can get worse if untreated, and a skin infection may cause chondritis if the infection spreads to the cartilage itself.

Ear piercings that go through the upper third of the ear are more prone to infections than piercings of the earlobe. Abscesses can form and worsen the infection, which may eventually lead to the cartilage falling off completely, according to WebMD. Complications from surgery may occur when part of the ear cartilage is reconstructed or when a lesion in the ear is removed and painful inflammation results. Relapsing polychondritis is a rare condition delineated by repeated inflammation within cartilage throughout the body, including the ears. The cause of polychondritis is unknown, but it most commonly affects patients in their 50s and 60s.

Learn more about Pain & Symptoms

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What could cause pain in your left groin?

    A:

    Groin pain is caused by a number of factors, including muscle strain, an inguinal hernia and kidney stones, reports Healthline. Contact a doctor immediately if the pain spreads, or if there is blood in the urine.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can cause leg and foot pain?

    A:

    Leg and foot pain can be caused by a number of different issues, according to WebMD. Some common explanations for leg pain include muscle cramps, shin splints, broken bones, a sprained ankle or knee, torn tendons or muscles, and blood clots. The Mayo clinic lists a number of possible causes for foot pain, including a broken toe, bunions, poorly fitting shoes, Achilles tendinitis, gout, calluses, ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can cause severe leg pain?

    A:

    Severe leg pain can be caused by Achilles tendon problems, an ACL injury, a broken leg, bursitis and a herniated disk, according to Mayo Clinic. Leg pain can also be related to sciatica or gout.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can cause a pain in the head behind the left ear?

    A:

    There are numerous causes for pain behind one ear, some of the most common of which include cervicogenic headaches, extracephalic idiopathic stabbing pains and cold-stimulus headaches, as listed by the Severe Headache Expert. This type of pain may also result from mastoiditis, according to WebMD.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore