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.

Reviewed by: Saoussen Salhi, MD

This page was last updated on: 7/4/2018 9:54:36 AM

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From the Newsdesk

Movie Event Celebrates Children with Craniofacial Differences
04/30/2018 — Children who receive care at the Craniofacial Center at Nicklaus Children’s, along with their families, enjoyed an afternoon of red carpet glamour and photo booth fun on April 28. 
March Patient of the Month: Theodore
03/15/2018 — Meet our March Patient of the Month, Theodore. Theodore was diagnosed with cleft palate, cleft lip and a heart problem when he was only 18 weeks old. After he was born, Theodore had to be admitted into the NICU to be able to perform the necessary surgeries for him to live a healthy life.


Chad Perlyn, MD is a pediatric plastic surgeon and Co-Director of the operating room at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.