You might have seen this tiny hole on someone’s ear before. Very often when you see it, it’s there on only one ear. A few people have two. But what is it and what does it do? It’s got to be there for some reason, or?
It’s called a preauricular sinus. That’s a bit of a mouthful. Let’s try pronouncing it first. It goes like this: PRE AURI-CULAR SIGN-OUS.
So what is it?
Well, it turns out that a preauricular ear pit is some sort of a hereditary defect. It appears when a secondary ear hole occurs while a baby is forming in the womb. So the tiny ear pit you see outside is actually like a closed entrance to a small hollow chamber hidden under the skin (a sinus), just in front of the ear.
Sometimes, people who have it also have other hereditary defects in their body, such as kidney abnormalities which also occur while a baby is forming. That’s just sometimes. Some can have it without any hereditary problems.
But don’t worry yet, just in case you have one of these tiny holes on your ear. In the vast majority of those who have it, the preauricular sinus is as insignificant as it is small. In most people, it will be there as if it’s not there, and it will never lead to any complications.
For a small percentage of people who have it, the small ear pit can get infected if bacteria get inside, resulting in a little pain and swelling. Usually, this can be treated easily with antibiotics.
On rare occasions when it’s getting infected too often, surgery will be required. A surgeon who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems will examine and take care of the infection and if necessary, do a surgical removal of the preauricular ear pit by cutting it out.
But that’s just on rare occasions.
If you’ve got a preauricular sinus, you should avoid getting bacteria inside. Fidgeting with it using your hand, or poking objects inside, is not advisable. And avoid thinking of fixing an earring inside that tiny hole. That should keep you safe.