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Preauricular Ear Pit
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Jenneralize posted:
I was born with a preauricular ear pit. For those who don't know what this looks like, feel free to google images for "preauricular ear pit."

It is basically a pin-sized hole near the top of the ear. When I was young, this pit got infected. I had 3 surgeries on the ear between the ages of 5-10. In 2006, when I was 23, the pit got infected again. This time, a chicken nugget-sized abcess began to form underneath the incision/scarring from my previous surgeries. I saw a few different specialists, had an MRI done, got put on antibiotics (Augmentin), and almost had the incision/draining procedure done. However, the abcess popped/drained on its own.

My ear pit has become infected twice since then (I am currently dealing with it and it is very painful), and I'm just writing to see if anyone else out there can relate to my experience. Of course, I've had doctors tell me that they want to operate on it to take out the pit, but from what they've also told me, it's a very delicate, high risk surgery, as there are many nerves in that area -- along with many other possible complications.

Anyone have any advice or related experiences which would help me get through this? I've googled preauricular pit forum, preauricular pit infections, etc. and I can't seem to find a forum/community of sorts for support.
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Did you read this article?

emedicine.medscape.com/article/1118768-overview
 
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31inFL responded:
I have an indent on my left ear that is slight and is closed up. On the right ear I have an open hole, lie an earring could go though. It is deep enough to stick an earring though, and i have to clean it out about 1-2x per month. I put either alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on it. I have never really had an issue, but having met other people with the pit- everyones holes are a bit different I think.

Good luck!
 
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LUSTROUSWINGS responded:
it may be a bit late replying to this but I just found this page. I had preauricular pits bilaterially but during my pre-teen years the right one got infected so much. I swapped from kelflex to a stronger antibotic and when that didn't work I had it drained with a syringe at my ear nose and throat dr's. Afterwards I as put on antibotics to calm the area down but I did get the surgury to remove my right preauricular pit. Ever since then it's been fine. sometimes it gets a little itchy but I didn't have complications. I was warned though, there was a possibility that one of my major nerves might be cut and I'd be unable to shut my right eyelid if that was the case. However, 14 years later, my left one is getting infected a bit. No cyst yet, but showing warning signs of being tender and having more discharge. I'm doing warm compresses atm. gl and hope your preauricular pit infections have been resolved.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LUSTROUSWINGS's response:
It is never too late to comment....when you do a new posting, it will pop right to the top so that people can read it and respond if they choose.

Please see the ENT again if your preauricular pit does not settled down, but right now, you are doing the proper home management.
 
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stacie1229 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
My daughter has a preauricular ear pit. She is 9 years old and it has never become infected until a couple of days ago. We took her to see our family doctor today and he prescribed an antibiotic. He didn't seem familiar with what she has, so I didn't feel very confident with his treatment. I'm not sure how deep her pit is but there is nothing coming out, it's just very swollen and tender to the touch. My sister also has a preauricular ear pit and hers always had discharge coming out of it, so I wondered why my daughter does not. Is it more dangerous for it not to be coming out? She said she has squeezed it (she won't let me near it) and that there is nothing coming out. I plan to make an appointment with an ENT tomorrow, but is there anything we can do for her in the meantime to relieve some of the pain?
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to stacie1229's response:
Ibuprofen. Hot compresses.And, not squeezing it. It is okay to clean it with peroxide or another antiseptic solution; and put some topical antibiotic ointment on it.

I am glad you are seeing the ENT. Some "pits" are problem-free, but others, if you will excuse the pun...."the pits", and will need to be surgically corrected.
 
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stacie1229 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you so much for the advice!!
 
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MommaCheese09 responded:
My son is 3 and he is having surgery to remove his preauricular pit on Tuesday 01/15/2013. Pediatric ENT told me that about 2% of the world's population have ear pits and only 10% of that original 2% have infections/problems with it. My son's got infected this past summer and again in the fall. After the second infection in 4 months my regular doc sent me to this ENT at Children's Hospital. I hope no one else is as "lucky" as we are to be that 10% of the 2% that have issues. His hearing is fine, his kidneys are fine, he has hardly ever been sick and this is the only thing that ales him so far in life. He has pits on both ears but the left one is problematic. The right one is barely even there and has minimal to no discharge. The left was pushing white "dead skin cells" out in the size of a pea or bigger once a week or even more often than that before it was infected. No one in my family to my knowledge has these pits on their ears but it's said to be genetically passed on.
 
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Belle_09 replied to MommaCheese09's response:
My dad has this and I am the lucky child that he passed it down too. As a child, everyone thought it was a piercing - all of my friends, anyway. With both mine and my day's "holes" as we call them will itch and then we rub them and smelly discharge comes out. My dad's never gets infected, he just gets the drainage. Mine does get infected. It got infected a lot while I was in high school and I would do the hot wash cloths, alcohol, and push on it so the stuff would come out. If that didn't work my mom would "pop" kind of like a pimple and a whole bunch of stuff would come out. I'd clean it, it would feel better. It happened a lot in high school and then not at all for 2-3 years not its been happening a lot again. frustraring. When it gets infected it gets very sore and swollen and you can tell just by looking it. Often times, it will hurt down into my neck. I never really knew it had a name or anything - it was just something I had and my dad had. It's always been manageable except for when it gets infected. I try to keep it clean and allow it to drain often. I've never had any hearing trouble or kidney trouble. It's just been annoying more than anything. Unless its infected, then it hurts to lay on that ear or anything. I don't think I would want to have surgery because I've heard of problems after surgery and that it's pretty high risk? Is that true?
 
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cterrell76 replied to Belle_09's response:
I have two boys ages 16 and 5 and both of them have pit holes in one ear each and they haven't had any problems with theirs so far. I also have 3 sisters with pit holes too and my nieces and nephews have them too and no one has had a problem with it. For along time I didn't know what it was. My mom use to call them stingy holes. But we haven't had a problem so far, hopefully we won't, but good luck to all of you.
 
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Kanfetka10 replied to MommaCheese09's response:
Are you in Chicago by any chance? My 3-year old daughter has the preauricular pit and I want to see a good Pediatric ENT who has dealt with this a great deal. I want to understand the necessary preventative maintenance to avoid infections. She constantly has colds. Is there a connection? I squeezed it once, for the first time when she was 3, and white stuff just kept on coming out, so I stopped and just put peroxide. I guess I'm worried about what I don't know about it.
 
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Dawn132 responded:
I was born with it too, I had two of them. One on each ear, when i was little the one on my left ear got infected and got a augmentin. My mom popped it and stuff came out of it. She taken me to the hospital where a lot of doctors were talking about what to do, i dont remember what happen after that. Where the pin hole should be is a big scar going down the side of my ear. I still have the one on my right ear, sometime i even forget that its even there. Everyone on my dad side of the family has one or two of them. Its not until lately since i started to look it up to see what it was that i remember that scar on my left ear.
 
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hrahman replied to MommaCheese09's response:
Hi, Would you please provide update on the surgery? Was the surgery successful? My daughter is 4, and her preauricular pit is infected, and ENT has recommended to have the pit surgically removed. Thank you.
 
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hendhaddad responded:
Hi my son have two of them one on each ear! i was wondering if it causes any other problems other than infections, kidney or heart problems , adhd, add , autism or learning disabilities/ difficulties ? specially learning difficulties ? did u exprience any learning difficulties ?? as i am a teacher and one of the slowest kids in my class came to talk to me and i notice the pit in one ear ?? so iam concerned about my son, i do not know if it is a coincidence or i should worry


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