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Otophyma: A Case Report and Review of the Literature of Lymphedema of the Ear.

Little heard of, and even less talked about is the possibility of lymphedema of the ear. It is commonly associated with Rosacea

This page present specific case histories and an overview of the general condition.


Otophyma: A Case Report and Review of the Literature of Lymphedema (Elephantiasis) of the Ear.

Am J Dermatopathol. 2008 Feb

Carlson JA, Mazza J, Kircher K, Tran TA. From the *Divisions of Dermatology and Dermatopathology, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY; †Advanced Dermatology, Lake Katrine, NY; and ‡Department of Pathology, Florida Orlando Hospital, Orlando, FL. Reprints: J. Andrew Carlson, MD, FRCPC, Divisions of Dermatology and Dermatopathology, Albany Medical College MC-81, 47 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208 (e-mail:

Phymas (swellings, masses, or bulbs) are considered the end-stage of rosacea and mostly affect the nose (rhinophyma), and rarely involve the chin (gnatophyma), the cheek (metophyma), eyelids (blepharophyma), or ears (otophyma). Herein, we report the case of a 57-year-old man who developed unilateral enlargement of his left ear over 2 years. Biopsy revealed changes of rosaceous lymphedema associated with Demodex infestation. Corticosteroid and minocycline therapies resulted in partial reduction of the ear enlargement. Literature review examining for cases of lymphedema (elephantiasis) of the ear revealed that chronic inflammatory disorders (rosacea (most frequent), psoriasis, eczema), bacterial cellulitis (erysipelas), pediculosis, trauma, and primary (congenital) lymphedema can all lead to localized, lymphedematous enlargement of the ear.

Depending on the severity, medical treatment directed at the inflammatory condition for mild, diffuse enlargement to surgical debulking for extensive diffuse enlargement or tumor formation can improve the signs and symptoms of otophyma. Decreased immune surveillance secondary to rosaceous lymphedema may explain why Demodex infestation is common in rosacea and support the suspicion that phymatous skin is predisposed to skin cancer development. PMID: 18212550

PubMed - as supplied by publisher]]

Otophyma: a case report

J Laryngol Otol. 2007 May 22

Daniels K, Haddow K. Department of Otolaryngology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, UK.

Objective: We report a rare case of otophyma.

Method: A case report of otophyma and a review of the current literature concerning otophyma and the more common rhinophyma, are presented.

Results: A 46-year-old male presented with slow growing fleshy growths on both auricles which were excised. A diagnosis of otophyma was made. Although rosacea is more common, otophyma and other 'phymas' are thought to be the end stage of the rosacea spectrum of skin disease.

However, unlike rhinophyma, otophyma is rarely seen and as a result there is little in the English language literature regarding it. Consequently, the management of otophyma is largely based on previous experiences with rhinophyma.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first case report of otophyma in the otolaryngology literature and only the second described in the English language literature. This case demonstrates the difficulties faced in diagnosing this rare condition and our successful management of this case.

PMID: 17517166 PubMed - as supplied by publisher

Otophyma, zygophyma and giant rhinophyma: A rare association

Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 2007 Oct 22

Keywords: Rhinophyma; Otophyma; Zygophyma

Blairvacq JS, Yachouh J, Calteux N, Schmit S, Goudot P. Service de chirurgie plastique et reconstructrice, centre hospitalier du Luxembourg, rue Barblé, 1210 Luxembourg, Luxembourg. A patient, 64-year-old, is referred for the treatment of a giant rhinophyma. He refused any treatment during eight years. The interest of this case report is the size and the weight of the rhinophyma, the obstruction of the nasal airways and the resulting social disturbance. This exceptional clinical rhinophyma was associated with an otophyma, a zygophyma and ophthalmic disease. To our knowledge, this clinical presentation has never been reported before. The management of the rhinophyma and the otophyma was surgical excision, secondary healing followed by a full thickness skin graft associated to a fullface mechanical dermabrasion.


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Otophyma: a rare and frequently misdiagnosed entity

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otophyma_and_lymphedema_of_the_ear.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)