Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis is an uncommon small, painful, inflammatory nodule or growth attached to the cartilage of the outer ear. 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. Often the ear that forms the lesion is the side that the patient usually sleeps on.
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. If this method fails, then surgical intervention is required.
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