Cauliflower ear may occur after blood collects under the skin (hematoma) of the outer ear after an injury and the hematoma isn't drained properly or becomes infected. Common causes include injuries from sports, such as wrestling, boxing or mixed martial arts.
If the initial injury is ignored, cartilage in the outer ear may then overgrow, resulting in a bulbous deformity on the ear.
If the injury is treated in the emergency room as soon as possible, a doctor may be able to remove the blood built up under the ear skin. However, if the injury is left untreated, minor scarring and deformity of the cartilage may need more invasive plastic surgery to restore the ear's shape. In advanced cases, the ear's shape may not be able to be restored.
Last Updated Nov 2, 2019