• chondrodermatitis nodularis;
  • external ear


Background  Chondrodermatitis nodularis (CN) is a common painful ear condition, most commonly seen at the apex of the helix. Many different treatment methods for it have been advocated but excision of cartilage alone has been shown to be therapeutically and cosmetically effective.

Objectives  To describe and present our experience of a simplified and minimally invasive method of cartilage trimming for CN with sutureless skin closure.

Methods  A retrospective review of all cases of CN seen in our department treated by this technique.

Results  Of 34 patients treated over 12 years, 19 were men (mean age 61 years; range 47–83) and 15 were women (mean age 65 years; range 48–92). Right (= 18) and left (= 17) ears were almost equally represented. One patient required treatment for both ears. The antihelix was involved in seven cases; the remainder involved the helix. All patients were reviewed at 4 months. An excellent response with no discomfort or clinical recurrence of CN was observed in 32 (94%).

Conclusions  Our simplified technique of cartilage trimming and sutureless skin closure is a rapidly performed, minimally invasive and highly effective method of treating CN.