As the name suggests, cauliflower ear indicates a deformed outer ear, making it look swollen, bumpy and like a piece of cauliflower. Common among high school, college and professional wrestlers, ear injuries require immediate care to avoid permanent deformity. When the outer ear lobe suffers trauma, a hematoma forms between the cartilage and skin of the upper ear lobe. If left untreated, the blood hardens in the upper ear and causes permanent tissue damage. If you can't get to a physician, you can effectively treat cauliflower ear at home.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Ice pack
- Arnica ointment
Using a dry clean cloth, apply pressure directly on the outside of your injured ear. Cover your ear with the cloth and squeeze or press, especially on the upper portion of your outer ear. Keep pressure on your ear for 15 to 20 minutes following injury. By immediately applying pressure, you'll help reduce internal bleeding and tissue swelling.
Heat two to three cloves of garlic in the oven or microwave until soft. Let the garlic cool to body temperature. Smash one clove of garlic and press it up against your injured ear lobe. You can use a small towel to cover and hold the warm garlic clove on your ear. Keep the garlic pressed on your upper ear lobe for 15 to 20 minutes.
Take the other warm cloves of garlic, squeeze or crush them and save the juice. Keep the garlic juice room temperature and rub a little juice on your upper ear lobe one to two times a day.
Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help reduce tissue swelling.
Place an ice pack, cold cloth or cold cabbage leaves on your outer ear lobe. Cold compresses will reduce ear swelling. Use a cold compress for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, two to three times a day.
Apply Arnica ointment to your injured ear lobe three to four times a day for up to one week. Arnica is a herb that promotes healing. Arnica ointment has been used successfully to treat sports injuries such as sprains, fractures and tears. Arnica also aids in the healing of bruises. Arnica ointment or cream can be purchased at any health food store and is only for topical use.
Tightly wrap a bandage around your head, pressing your injured ear to the side of your head. This wrapping will keep pressure on your ear and promote healing. Rub either Arnica cream or garlic juice on your ear lobe before wrapping. Use a cotton ball on each side of your ear lobe to cushion your ear inside the bandaging.
Avoid further injury to your outer ear. If possible, use athletic head gear designed to protect your ears. Repetitive ear trauma can cause permanent tissue damage, hearing loss and vertigo.
Tips and warnings
- You can buy garlic paste at the grocery store, warm it up to rub on your injured ear lobe.
- Never try to pop and drain cauliflower ear at home---your ear is susceptible to infection. Even when professionally done, there's a risk of infection.
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