Cryptotia

Also known as: buried ear, hidden ear, pocket ear.

What is cryptotia?

Cryptotia is an ear deformity babies are born with. Specifically, the upper part of the external ear is buried beneath the scalp skin. This makes wearing glasses challenging.

What causes cryptotia?

The exact cause of cryptotia is unclear. There may be a genetic component to the condition.

What are the symptoms of cryptotia?

Aside from the physical symptoms of the ear being malformed, cryptotia typically does not cause any additional symptoms or hearing difficulties.

What are cryptotia care options?

One possible treatment for cryptotia is ear molding in the first few weeks of life. A molding piece is custom made for the infant and worn on the ear to gradually reshape the ear into its proper position. In some cases, surgery is be necessary to correct the deformity. This is typically performed when the child is around 6-7 years of age.

How does ear molding for cryptotia work?

The physician will place a mold in the deformed ear. Over time (typically 6-8 weeks), the molding will apply light pressure to correct the ear shape. The molds should not be removed until the treatment is complete and the physician will assess their progress every 2-3 weeks.  

Baby with ear deformity
Before
Ear molding treatment
During treatment
Ear deformity in baby after treatment
After

The board certified pediatric plastic surgeons at Nicklaus Children's Hospital have extensive experience with children who have ear deformities. All have special training in pediatrics. Whether or not ear molding is the solution, our team of professionals is devoted to caring for your child in a way that best suits his or her needs.


This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:26 AM

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