Skin ulcer on ear getting worse, no clear diagnosis. Help.

Posted by smcgrath48 @smcgrath48, Apr 11, 2020

daughter: started with a very small dry patch of skin on outside of right ear 8 months ago. she moisturized but it developed into somewhat of an ulcer, after three trips to urgent care, one dermatologist that did a biopsy which showed superficial skin ulcer, two more rounds of antibiotics, topical steroid cream, steroid ear drops because they didn’t know what else to do, silvadine ointment, topical antibiotic cream the open area healed, but then another one started. the ear is very painful at times (cartilage ) the back of the ear has had an open area, the lymph node is swollen behind that ear and the right eye has started swelling at night which may not be related. all the labs are normal, lupus, shortens, all inflammatory markers normal. so why don’t the doctors keep looking when the labs are normal but there is obviously something going on??? Why do I and daughter have to search for answers on the web when you all know that doctors don’t want us doing that. the rheumatologist didn’t give any help. Has anyone experienced the above symptoms or can shed some light?

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smcgrath48 Im so sorry for your daughter and I know as a Mother how concerned this is . I dont have any answers to why Dr,s left you hanging . I would suggest to you find an Infectious Dr in your area and go to him /her . See if they can help . You do need a specialist is my opinion to help your daughter . Please let us know how she is doing we care here at connect . Good luck


thanks for your kind words, I appreciate it much


@smcgrath48, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It is frustrating when answers to medical issues are not easily found. It often takes many pieces of the puzzle to come together to help find solutions. That includes the part that you and your daughter play. I'm glad that she has you to help advocate for her. It is exhausting to continue the search for answers when one isn't feeling well. Clearly there is something not right with your daughter. How old is your daughter if you are comfortable sharing that info? Does she sleep predominantly on the side that is affected?

What specialists has you daughter seen besides a rheumatologist?


I am sorry for the lengthy process for a successful diagnosis and vigorous treatment. I hope you will be referred to a dermatologist and/or an oncologist as soon as possible. In the past 20 years, I have known two friends with unusual skin disorders who needed specialist care sooner, not later


Hi @smcgrath48 Sorry to hear of the skin ulcer. I hope you have been turned to the right direction for a diagnosis. Is perhaps the ulcer a decubitus ulcer? Did it develop by being in the same position for a long time, or friction being the cause? I had sores on the cartilage of my ear. I had put antibiotic cream on it and left it open to air. It would heal on its own. Within a few years, it reappeared about 3 more times in different locations on the cartilage before permanently going away. I never did see a doctor and I know the cause was not positional.

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