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3 year old has a swollen ear, the helix. Applied benadryl cream. What do you suggest ?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
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My 3 year old son has a swollen ear, the helix. He says it doesnt hurt but i suspect it does itch. I applied benadryl cream and now an ice pack. Im worried. It is midnight sunday and cant reach his ped.
Posted Sat, 30 Jun 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in.
On the basis of the information provided it appears that your son is having a swelling over pinna. I would like to know more about it
a. Is the swelling appears localized over a part of pinna or it involves whole of the pinna?
b. Is it increasing in size?
c. Does he have any fever?
d. Does he have any discharge from the ear?
e. Have you noticed any swelling at the back of his ear?
f. By any chance is it possible that your child had some kind of injury?
g. Does he have any similar history in the past?

I would wait for the answers of above mentioned questions before explaining about the possible cause of swollen ear/Pinna

Waiting for your response

with warm regards
Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 3 year old has a swollen ear, the helix. Applied benadryl cream. What do you suggest ? 2 hours later
It appears to be most of the ear. All of it is warm to touch except for the lobule.lobule is not warm to the touch. I do beleive it appears larger. He does not a fever. He does not have discharge from the ear. The back of his ear is swollen....the ear itself, not his head. I dont beleive he had an injury, as both dad and I have been home all day with, i just had a baby on Tuesday, and he had not cried in pain. He likes to ask for ice when he hurts himself. This has not happened in the past. Thank you for replying.
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 9 hours later

Thanks for your feedback.

On the basis of the information provided, it appears to be the inflammation of the perichondrium (covering of the cartilage) of pinna. It may be infective in origin.

Ice cold compresses and antiinflammatory and analgesics will help in reducing pain and swelling. He may also need an antibiotic to take care of the infection. At the same time examination of ear will also be required. He may need an x XXXXXXX of mastoid to look for the bone at the back of the ear.

I would advise you for an ENT consultation. I would advise you for an early check up as untreated perichondritis may cause harm to the underlying cartilage. I would also advise for a dermatologist consultation keeping in mind his history of Eczema. At times Eczema may also manifest like this.

I hope this answers your query. Do let me know if I can further help you in this regards

I wish him speedy recovery

With regards
Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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