Preauricular Pits

Also known as: preauricular cysts, preauricular fistulas, preauricular sinuses.

What are preauricular pits?

A preauricular pit is a small hole and tract/cyst under the skin of the face just in front of the ear.   
 

What causes preauricular pits?

The exact cause of preauricular pits is unknown. In some cases, they may be tied to a genetic mutation. They occur before birth while the fetus is developing in the womb.
 

What are the symptoms of preauricular pits?

The majority of preauricular pits do not have symptoms.  If they become infected, symptoms include pain, swelling, fever, redness, drainage of pus or the growth of the underlying tract/cyst. 
 

What are preauricular pits care options?

Preauricular pits that do not have any symptoms can be observed.  If they become infected, they should be removed surgically once the infection resolves.

Reviewed by: Sandeep P Dave, M.D.

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:10:23 PM

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Dr. Yamilet Tirado is employed by Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), the physician-led multispecialty group practice of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. She is a pediatric otolaryngologist/ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist within the Division of Otolaryngology and sees patients at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and the Nicklaus Children's Aventura Care Center.