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Have brown discoloration in ear. What could be the reason?

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Dermatologist
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I have a brown discoloration in my ear and am wondering what it could be. I have a couple pictures I could send over if someone can take a look.
Posted Wed, 18 Jul 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
 
 
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 12 hours later
Hi!,

Thank you for posting the query & the pictures,

I understood your problem however it would be good if you can answer few of my queries:
1) Is the lesion itchy ?
2) Any other body parts also involved like center portion of chest or back ?
3) Did you observe any scaling over the pigmentation?
4) Have you tried any medications for this?

Your answers to this would help me suggest you better.

I shall address your concern based on your current given information.

Looking at the pictures it seems to be seborrhic melanosis or dermatitis ,as ears are a very common site for this condition.This is a benign condition & is because of excess sebum(oil) secretion .

One can try mild topical steroid for this .You can get this drug prescribed from your dermatologist after his consultation.

However your answers to above questions would help me further to answer you better.

Awaiting for your reply.

Regards,
Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have brown discoloration in ear. What could be the reason? 7 hours later
Thank you for your response.
I have answered your questions below.

1) It is not itchy
2) No other areas of my body have been affected
3) I have not noticed any scaling or flaking even looking at close up pictures
4) I have not tried any medications

Could this be melanoma? I have looked at pictures and melanoma information and am worried about this since it looks quite similar.
How can you tell the difference between seborrheic melanosis and melanoma?

Thanks you.
-Eric Granata
 
 
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 19 hours later
Hi! XXXXXXX

Thank you for the reply,

I have again gone through the pictures you had posted .I would still stick with the possibility of seborrhiec melanosis/dermatitis.Seborrheic keratosis could also be one possibility.
Melanoma is usually not bilateral & ear is also not a common site (especially the part covered from direct sunlight).Even though only a skin biopsy can confirm the diagnosis.

I would advise you consult a competent dermatologist for a skin biopsy and confirmation.

Hope I've answered your query.

Should you have additional concern regarding the same ,I would be happy to address it.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Regards,
Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have brown discoloration in ear. What could be the reason? 7 hours later
Thank you for your responses Dr. Chawda.

Could you please clarify what you mean by "melanoma is usually not bilateral".
What is bilateral about my condition?
I do not have this discoloration in the other ear or do you mean the shape?

What type of biopsy would you perform on a condition such as this?

Thanks!
-Eric
 
 
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 16 hours later
Hi! XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing back,

I am sorry XXXXXXX ..I thought the condition is in both the ears( since two pictures were posted).My apology.

If it is only in one ear ,then a skin biopsy should be carried out.Skin biopsy is a very simple procedure which can be done by any dermatologist .This is done by using a small instrument called punch instrument .This is done under local anesthesia.A very small piece of skin is taken out from the patch and send for histo-pathological examination.The report might take 5-6 days to come.If the lesion is big then a punch biopsy is performed and if it is very small then a excession biopsy is preferred.

Kindly consult a competent dermatologist for the same.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.

Regards,
Dr.Bharat chawda XXXXXXX specialist, Dermatology.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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