MSD Manual

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Quick Facts

Perichondritis

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
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What is perichondritis?

Perichondritis is an infection around the cartilage of your ear. Cartilage is the stiff but flexible material that gives your ear its shape.

  • Perichondritis is usually caused by an injury, piercing, burn, or bite

  • If you have diabetes or a weak immune system you’re more likely to get perichondritis

  • Your ear will get red, painful, and swollen

  • Pus may build up under the skin of your ear

  • Doctors will give you antibiotics and, if needed, make a small cut to let any pus out of your ear

What are the symptoms of perichondritis?

Symptoms include:

  • Redness, pain, and swelling of your ear

How do doctors treat perichondritis?

Doctors will:

  • Give you antibiotics by mouth

  • Remove any objects from your ear, such as earrings or splinters

  • Give you pain medicine

If you have an abscess (a collection of pus), doctors will:

  • Make a cut in your ear to drain the pus

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Anosmia is the total loss of smell. Most people with anosmia can taste sweet, sour, salty, and bitter substances but cannot distinguish among specific flavors. This is because the sense of smell makes it possible to distinguish among flavors, not taste receptors as many people erroneously believe. Which of the following is NOT a common cause of anosmia?
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