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Are preauricular pits rare?

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A hole in front of the upper ear, or a preauricular pit, is a relatively common birth abnormality. On rare occasions, it can indicate the presence of a syndrome. That said, most cases are not a cause for concern. Read more

  • Explaining A Preauricular Sinus, A Tiny Hole Above Some People's Ears
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How rare is it to have a hole near your ear?

What is Preauricular Sinus? It is a common congenital malformation characterized by a nodule, dent or a dimple located anywhere near the ear. Only 4-10% of population in Asia and Africa have this anomaly, 0.9 % in UK and 0.1 to 0.9% in US.

Are Preauricular pits genetic?

Causes of Preauricular Pit

Sometimes it's a genetic condition. The visible part of your ear is called the auricle. A baby typically grows it during the sixth week of pregnancy. A preauricular pit forms when the auricle doesn't fuse all the way.

What percentage of people have ear pits?

Generally, they occur in 1 of every 12,500 births. Incidence of spontaneous formation of ear pits in the nonsyndromic population ranges from 0.3-0.9%. (These conditions affect males and females equally and have no race predilection.)

Can a preauricular pit come back?

It presents a high risk of recurrence when treated by a standard surgical technique (simple sinectomy), the incidence of which is reported to be between 19% and 40%.

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Most frequently asked questions

Why do I have holes on top of my ears?

What causes this hole? A preauricular pit is a small hole in front of the ear, toward the face, that some people are born with. This hole is connected to an unusual sinus tract under the skin. This tract is a narrow passageway under the skin that can cause infection.

How common is preauricular sinus?

It is also termed as preauricular pit, preauricular fistula, preauricular tract and preauricular cyst. It has an estimated incidence of 0.1–0.9% in the general population. Mostly it is noted during routine ear, nose and throat examination, though can present as an infected and discharging sinus.

Why is my Preauricular pit swollen?

Swelling, pain, fever, redness or pus in and around the pit, signaling an infection, such as cellulitis or an abscess. A slow-growing painless lump right next to the opening, signaling a cyst. A cyst also raises the risk of infection.

What causes preauricular sinus?

Preauricular sinus may occur sporadically during the development of an embryo or it may be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner with reduced penetrance . Less often, it occurs as a feature of another condition or syndrome . Treatment may include antibiotics for infection and/or surgery to remove the sinus.

What does Preauricular mean?

: situated or occurring anterior to the auricle of the ear preauricular lymph nodes.

Explaining A Preauricular Sinus, A Tiny Hole Above Some People's Ears

What is BOR syndrome?

Branchiootorenal (BOR) syndrome is a condition that disrupts the development of tissues in the neck and causes malformations of the ears and kidneys. The signs and symptoms of this condition vary widely, even among members of the same family.

Can Preauricular pits cause headaches?

Clinical presentations of preauricular sinus abscess are usually recurrent ear discharge, pain, swelling, itching, headache and fever.

What is a sinus tract?

A sinus tract is an abnormal channel that originates or ends in one opening. An orofacial fistula is a pathologic communication between the cutaneous surface of the face and the oral cavity. In the literature, the terms fistulas and sinuses are often used interchangeably.

How do they remove preauricular sinuses?

Recurrent or persistent infection of preauricular sinus requires surgical excision of the sinus and its tract during the quiescent portion of the recurrent inflammatory cycle [5]. In 1990, Prasad et al. [6] first reported a supra-auricular approach with a lower recurrence rate of 5%.

How is an infected preauricular pit treated?

Antibiotics (eg, cephalexin [Keflex], amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium [Augmentin], erythromycin) are indicated in patients with cellulitis from infected preauricular pits. Incision and drainage procedures may be required for patients with abscess formation.

Can you inherit sinus problems?

People who develop sinusitis usually have family members who have had sinusitis. Inheritable disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and cystic fibrosis (CF) can also cause a person to be at risk of developing sinusitis. Allergies, which can worsen sinusitis, also run in families.

Why do we have ears and not just holes?

Our brains learn to differentiate sound entering the canal directly from sound reflected off the structures of the pinna. Reflected sounds are slightly delayed from the direct sound and different surfaces of the pinna offer different delay times. A hole won't do that.

What's the difference between tunneling and undermining?

Undermining generally includes a wider area of tissue than tunneling. Tunneling generally occurs in one direction, whereas undermining may occur in one or more directions. Undermining occurs most often in patient with pressure wounds or neuropathic ulcers.

What is inside a sinus?

They're lined with soft, pink tissue called mucosa. Normally, the sinuses are empty except for a thin layer of mucus. The inside of the nose has ridges called turbinates. Normally these structures help humidify and filter air.

How do you know if a wound is tunneling?

A doctor will probe the wound to determine if there are tunnels, how long and deep they are, and what direction they're heading. Tunneling wounds require careful treatment to prevent them from going deeper and to stop new tunnels from forming.

What is your ear hole called?

The ear canal, also called the external acoustic meatus, is a passage comprised of bone and skin leading to the eardrum. The ear is comprised of the ear canal (also known as the outer ear), the middle ear, and the inner ear.

What is a auricle pinna?

The medical term for the outer ear is the auricle or pinna. The outer ear is made up of cartilage and skin. There are three different parts to the outer ear; the tragus, helix and the lobule.

How common is BOR syndrome?

Affected Populations

BOR/BOS syndrome affects males and females in equal numbers. It is estimated that 1 in 40,000 people have this disorder. BOR/BOS syndrome is found in approximately 2 to 3 percent of children with profound deafness.

Can Fraser syndrome be fixed?

There is currently no cure for Fraser syndrome. Treatment of FS may include surgery to correct some of the malformations associated with this disorder depending on their severity. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

What causes branchial cleft cyst?

A branchial cleft cyst is a birth defect. It is caused when fluid fills a space, or sinus, left in the neck when a baby develops in the womb. After the baby is born, it appears as a lump in the neck or just below the jawbone.