Close

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Protruding Ears

Prominent ears, which have no harmful effect on hearing

  • Present at birth
  • Sometimes runs in families
  • Gender and lifestyle are not significant factors

Some children are born with ears that protrude instead of lying almost flat against the head. If the condition is particularly noticeable, a child may be self-conscious and experience psychological distress, usually from the teasing of other children. The condition sometimes runs in families, suggesting that a genetic factor is involved.

What might be done?

Protruding ears can be hidden by a suitable hairstyle. However, in extreme cases, cosmetic surgery may be recommended. During the operation, a thin strip of skin from behind the ear is removed and then the ear is drawn into the desired position. Scarring is hidden behind the ear. This surgery is not usually performed until a child is at least 5 years of age.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.