Symptoms of cauliflower ear

Cauliflower ear is a condition that occurs once the cartilage of the exterior ear is damaged severely or dies, causing the skin to inflame and form irregular bumps. It is important to note that cauliflower ear is usually caused by constant distress to the ear, particularly in contact sports such as wrestling and boxing. This condition can be treated in a short time frame if managed during the early stages. If left untreated, the cauliflower appearance can become permanent or cause other complications in the ear. If you want to learn more about the treatment options for cauliflower ear, click here.


Swelling is one of the initial symptoms to manifest as blood clots form under the skin. Those who have cauliflower ear usually experience pain and redness around the affected skin. In cases that are not treated, it can lead to a more serious infection. The continuous buildup of blood clots and pus will prevent the normal flow of blood and nutrients to the cartilage. As a result, the cartilage will pull away from the skin, leading to the puffy cauliflower form.

Cauliflower ear

Swelling is one of the initial symptoms to manifest as blood clots form under the skin.


Severe or constant distress to the exterior ear can result to harm to the adjacent blood vessels, ensuing the internal seepage of blood. The blood has the tendency to leak into the tissues of the outer ear or eventually form clots that limit the cartilage of the ear essential nutrients. Take note that external bleeding is also likely to occur if an abrasion or cut was left behind by initial trauma.

Buildup of fluid

The buildup of pus between the skin and the cartilage can occur if the ear becomes infected. Once cauliflower ear is complemented with a wound, the puffiness will only make the wound wider, thus leading to the leakage of pus from the ear. In most cases, the treatment for cauliflower ear includes the drainage of fluid and foreign bodies.

Hard skin

Previous treatment for cauliflower ear can increase the risk for developing a permanent deformity. In case the blood clots as well as the accumulation of fluid are not eliminated, the clogged up cartilage will sooner or later die due to the lack of nutrients. The dead cartilage will start to thicken and hardens into fibrous lumps, thus losing its natural shape. The moment cauliflower ear becomes permanent; it would require surgical intervention for its removal.

Obstructed hearing

Severe swelling of the perichondrium can block the ear canal and disrupt the normal hearing of the individual, particularly if cauliflower ear becomes permanent. The temporary or permanent loss of hearing right after the development of cauliflower ear can also indicate that a serious infection has spread into the inner ear.

Always remember that timely treatment of the condition is vital in order to prevent permanent deformity of the affected ear.