Cyst in the ear

This lump is a benign cyst (perichondrial cyst) which need proper drainage.


Our outer ear is made up of cartilage. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels. It takes nutrition from the thin outer membrane called the perichondrium.

As the lump contains liquid in between the cartilage and the perichondrium, there is a risk of cartilage being deprived of nutrition resulting in cartilage damage. This may lead to a deformed ear.

The fluid that has collected should be removed immediately.This has to be done under sterile conditions by an ENT Surgeon. The skin of the ear is thoroughly cleaned and anaesthetised. A crescent-shaped piece is removed. When the fluid is drained, the perichondrium will again settle tightly upon the cartilage and restore the nutritional requirement. This cut should be dressed and kept firmly bandaged for about five days.

Antibiotics and painkillers are given during this period. If the bandage is too tight, inform the doctor. When the bandage is removed after five days, you will see that the ear has healed. Sometimes, the wound may need dressing for between two and three days.

If the lump is punctured with an unsterilized needle to remove the liquid, the cartilage may become infected leading to an abnormal shaped ear which is called a cauliflower ear.