Cauliflower ear, also known as perichondrial hematoma or wrestler's ear, is an ear deformity caused by trauma that leads to a collection of blood (like fibrosis) between the perichondrium of the auricle and the cartilage.
The affected ear has an abnormal swollen shape and it is usually folded back on itself. Some of the irregular curves are also visible that resemble the appearance of cauliflower, hence the name of the disorder.
Cauliflower ear can be treated through drainage. However, drainage should always be done by a doctor, even in cases considered to be an emergency. The goal of drainage is the complete evacuation of the subperichondrial hematoma and the repositioning of the perichondrium.
It is not recommended to perform the drainage by aspirating with the needle and the correct method to do that is by cleaning the auricle with an antiseptic solution, anesthetizing the ear and cutting the skin with a scalpel, along the curvature of the auricle. The ear will then be drained and wrapped with elastic support or gauze bandages.
The best way to prevent cauliflower ear is to avoid trauma and injury by wearing adequate protection during contact sports. In the event of an injury, cauliflower ear can be prevented by seeking immediate medical attention.