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Brown discoloration inside left ear. What could it be ?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 304 Questions
I have a brown discoloration inside of my left ear. Can you look at the attached pictures and give me your best evaluation of what it could be?
It is only in my ear, no where else on body. It does not itch. It doesn't appear to be scaly or flakey. I don't have many moles or freckles on my body either. I have not tried and creme or medications on it.
I have already consulted with Dr. XXXXXXX Chawda and would like another dermatologist to also provide an opinion.
I am currently waiting for a referral from my doctor to a local dermatologists.
I am trying to gather as much preliminary information as possible.
Posted Wed, 18 Jul 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rohit Batra 37 minutes later

The pictures sent by you suggests that it is a brown colored pigmentation with ill defined margin.
Such a lesion can occur in post inflammatory hyperpigmentation conditions like after infection, nevus (mole / melanosis). As you mentioned that the lesion is not symptomatic and is unilateral so chances of any infection like a fungal infection is rare. So a nevus is a good possibility
A history of ear discharge leading to such a lesion is a rare possibility.
Ear lesions are common in psoriasis and Lupus but then there should be scaling in both the cases as well as itching at times.
In case the lesion is not increasing in size, unilateral and not symptomatic- it should not be something to worry about.

Let me know if you need any specific explanation or assessment on any condition.


Dr.Rohit Batra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Brown discoloration inside left ear. What could it be ? 1 hour later
Thank you for your response Dr. Batra.

I have not had an infection in the area. Maybe a cut or bug bite last year.
I am pretty sure there was once a small freckle or mole in my ear at or near that location.

Could you clarify what you mean by "unilateral"? Do you mean not in the other ear or the shape of the lesion?

I have not had any ear discharges, psoriasis or lupus.

What type of biopsy would you perform if any? Please briefly explain the procedure.

What are the risks associated with biopsy? Could it cause legion to turn cancerous or spread the legion or infection to brain or lymphs...?

Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Rohit Batra 1 hour later
Thanks for your follow up query.
Unilateral means on one side of body only.
Diseases like psoriasis, lupus etc affect both sides and are bilateral.
A freckle turning this big is never seen or heard of.
Biopsy of the lesion though a minor procedure but given the site of the lesion would not be easy to perform and should only be performed if there is a real suspicion of the lesion growing very fast or turning malignant which at present looks unlikely. For your information biopsy does not turn cancerous or do not spread cancer.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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