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Weathering nodules of ear
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Weathering nodules of ear

Contributors: David O'Connell MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Weathering nodules (WN) of the ear are small (approximately 1-3 mm), skin-colored or pale yellow / white, asymptomatic papules found along the free margin of the auricular helix. They are typically bilateral, begin in the fourth decade of life, and become more overt with pressure to the adjacent helical rim. They are most often observed in men with skin phototypes I and II with a history of chronic sun exposure. The condition seems to affect women less frequently, theoretically due to longer hairstyles that serve to protect the ear from chronic ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Cases in younger individuals have been described in association with previous radiation therapy to the area.

While the exact etiology is uncertain, WN are strongly associated with age, chronic UV exposure, and thermal injury. Radiation therapy to the ears is another possible risk factor.

Codes

ICD10CM:
H61.90 – Disorder of external ear, unspecified, unspecified ear

SNOMEDCT:
767264001 – Weathering nodule of helix of ear

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis – A very tender, usually solitary nodule on the helix or, less often, the antihelix. Central minute ulceration with scale or crust is often present.
  • Gout – Whitish, chalky papules often accompanied by papules or nodules on other joints. Usually seen in the setting of established hyperuricemia.
  • Solar elastosis – Tend to affect the anterior crux and adjacent antihelix instead of the helix.
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Nodular basal cell carcinoma or Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
  • Primary amyloidosis of the ear – A rare disorder that usually affects the conchal bowl, but other parts of the external ear may be involved. See Lichen amyloidosis.
  • Sarcoidosis / sarcoid nodules
  • Familial multiple discoid fibromas

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed:12/04/2019
Last Updated:01/09/2020
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Weathering nodules of ear
A medical illustration showing key findings of Weathering nodules of ear : Helical rim of ear
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.