What is cauliflower ear?

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Cauliflower ear is when there is a deformity of the ear due to injury or blunt trauma. Untreated injury of the ear causes blockage that damages the tissue and stop the blood from flowing in the ear. This results in a lumpy appearance on a part of the ear that looks like a cauliflower.

Cause of cauliflower ear

Cauliflower ear is, usually, caused by damage to the ear such as a powerful hit or recurring hits to the ear. These result in the clotting of the blood or hematoma that stops the blood and nutrients from flowing.

The ear’s skin, when pulled away from the semi-rigid cartilage can also cause cauliflower ear. The cartilage is the semi-rigid tissue that is responsible for giving the ear its shape.

An infected ear lobe can also cause cauliflower ears.

Most cases of reported cauliflower ear come from sports injuries. But any trauma on the ear can also result in cauliflower ears.


A person with cauliflower ear may experience the symptoms that an individual experiences when they have sustained blunt trauma in any of their body parts.

The area is swelling or is bruised. Patients who have had their ear hit once or several times and suffer from bruises or swelling in the ear must consult a doctor immediately. Cauliflower ear can be prevented.


Individuals can prevent the development of cauliflower ear. A person whose ear has a blockage will need prompt medical attention to prevent a cauliflower ear from developing.

The treatment’s goal is to release the blockage on the ear to allow nutrients and blood to flow freely again. This can be achieved by a doctor who will make a small incision to either drain the accumulated blood or to remove the clot.

The doctor will then stitch the skin together and place a special bandage to the incision to apply more pressure. The patient must keep a special bandage on the incision for a few days up to a week.

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