Perichondritis is an infection of the skin and tissue surrounding the cartilage of the outer ear. Perichondritis is usually caused by injury to the ear as a result of:
- ear piercing
- sports injury
- ear surgery
Perichondritis can cause severe damage to the ear structure if it becomes chondritis — infection of the cartilage itself.
Repeated infections of perichondritis can lead to a condition informally called "cauliflower ear." If your child has this disfiguring problem, plastic surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital's Cosmetic Surgery Program can help.