An Overview of Ear Deformities

Some parents learn that their child’s ears have not developed normally or completely within the first few weeks of life. While it’s understandable for parents to feel anxious over this diagnosis, please know that we help families like yours each day with effective treatment.

20-30% of infants are born with a degree of ear anomaly, which can range from very minor to almost no ear at all.  These differences are subcategorized into ear deformities and malformations. Deformities are fully formed, but misshaped ears, whereas malformations have an absence of skin and/or cartilage. A small percentage of deformities can self-correct, though the majority do not. Most ear deformities and some mild malformations are good candidates for ear molding. Most severe malformations, such as significant microtia, will still likely require surgical repair..

Some common ear anomalies include:

Lidding or Lop Ear: In many cases the lack of support or absence of superior crus in the upper portion of the ear causes the top of the baby’s ear to fold over.

Stahl’s Ear: Has an extra cartilage fold creating a pointed, flat, or “elf ear” appearance.

Constricted ear: An auricular deficiency in skin and/or cartilage creating abnormalities such as wrinkling, dimpling, folding, or cupping of the helical rim.

Helical Rim Deformities: Are any irregularity of the out circumference or curvature of the helical rim.

Prominent conchal crus: this is where there is an abnormality of the cartilage that crosses across the center of the conchal bowl.

Cryptotia: Is where the upper portion of cartilage of the helical rim is buried under the skin of the scalp.

Prominent Ears: Have increased projection causing them to protrude more than normal.

Microtia: Is when the outer ear is not fully formed. It can range from mild to almost complete absence of the ear.

Wellspring Pediatric Plastics encourages patients to contact our practice at or by calling (512) 600-2888 for a consultation.