Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis (Pressure Sore on the Ear)

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis:

  • Is caused by pressure from sleeping on one side or holding a phone receiver against the ear for long periods of time
  • Appears as a tender pink 1 mm to 5 mm bump or open sore on the part of the ear which sticks out the most
  • May be very painful
  • Is not cancer
  • Will not turn into a cancer


  • Reduce Pressure to the affected area:
    • Sleep on your other side
    • Cover the affected area with a cotton ball and bandage at night time
    • Use a piece of foam with a hole cut out of the centre as a pillow
      • Rest the affected ear inside the cut-out-area while sleeping so that there is no pressure from the foam on the ear
  • Liquid Nitrogen:
    • A cold freezing spray may help the area heal
    • After a treatment, the area will become swollen and crusted
    • This will heal in about 2 weeks time
    • You may bathe or shower normally after a treatment
  • Cortisone-Antibiotic cream mixtures may help
    • The should be applied to the affected area once daily
  • Intralesional Steroids (Cortisone Injections):
    • The cortisone is injected directly into the affected area with a small needle
    • Only one injection is required to treat the entire lesion
    • The main side effect from the injections includes, but is not limited to:
      • Thinning of the skin in the area of injection, although this is uncommon and reversible
  • Surgery:
    • If all of the above fail, a small piece of cartilage can be removed from the affected portion of the ear
    • This surgical procedure is not performed in my office
      • A referral to a surgeon from your doctor would be required