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Torn earlobe
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Torn earlobe

Contributors: Art Papier MD, Jeffrey D. Bernhard MD, Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lindy P. Fox MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH, Michael D. Tharp MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

A torn or split earlobe is a fairly common complication of ear piercing. Splits and tears go from the piercing site to the inferior edge of the earlobe.

The condition results from constant pulling, traction, weight, and trauma engendered by heavy earrings. Aside from acute trauma, a split or torn earlobe forms gradually, starting with a lengthening and widening of the pierced earlobe channel, which then progresses to form a complete split. One author has postulated that the high rate of recurrence after surgical repair suggests that allergic contact dermatitis may play a contributory role as a consequence of allergy to nickel or other allergens that make up the earring post.

Codes

ICD10CM:
S09.91XA – Unspecified injury of ear, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
232220000 – Torn ear lobe

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

There are no other diagnoses that mimic a partially torn or completely split ear lobe.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated:11/10/2021
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Torn earlobe
Torn earlobe : Earlobe
Clinical image of Torn earlobe
Fully healed earlobe tear from 17 years ago.
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