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How to Do Away with Preauricular Skin Tags

Whether you have preauricular skin tags on the ear is often due to genetics. If your child has this condition, prompt treatment is required to prevent them from becoming hearing-impaired.

Close-up of a preauricular skin tag on a girl’s right ear

Did you know that preauricular skin tags are common among newborn babies? Often, they aren’t a cause for concern, but they can sometimes indicate an underlying medical condition.

Read on to learn about possible reasons behind the growth and steps parents can consider to remove them effectively. 

How are Preauricular Skin Tags Different from Ear Pits?

Close-up of an ear pit on the front of a man’s ear.
An ear pit is a small hole in the front of the ear at risk of infection.

Preauricular skin tags are different from pits. They are benign growths of cartilage or skin on the front portion of the ear. 

The latter is a small hole in the front of the ear and opens into a thin tract under the skin. Germs can potentially infect the tract, causing swelling, soreness, and redness around the ear pit.

Reasons Behind the Development of Preauricular Skin Tags 

In Western medicine, preauricular skin tags may be part of a rare genetic syndrome or a sinus tract problem – an abnormal connection between skin and the tissue underneath the organ.   

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that a child may inherit body constitution imbalances associated with the symptom.

“The Kidneys hold sway over the anatomical structure and functional abilities of the ear. Thus, a Deficiency in the organ system can increase the likelihood of a child being born with skin tags. As the small intestine, gallbladder and Triple Warmer (san jiao, 三焦) is located in close proximity to the ears, the development of phlegm and blood clots in these meridians may also trigger its appearance,” explains Real Health Medical’s Senior Physician Brandon Yew.

Are Preauricular Skin Tags Treatable? 

Surgical excision is the recommended clinical approach to remove a child’s preauricular skin tag. It requires a healthcare provider to make a small incision around the base of the tag and cut the cartilage stalk, which is located several millimetres below the skin’s surface.

Traditional treatment involving herbal remedies and acupoint stimulation can also, to some extent, help diminish or get rid of preauricular skin tags. These treatments may also prevent or improve hearing impairment.

Consumption of herbal remedies 

Physician Yew proposes several herbal formulas, including: 

  • Di Tan Tang (涤痰汤): Dispels phlegm and Qi Stagnation to eliminate skin tags, unblock the meridians, and supports auditory functions by restoring and enhancing blood and qi circulation  
  • Er Long Zuo Ci Wan (耳聋左慈): Regenerates Liver blood and Kidney jing, and supports auditory functions by nourishing the ears 
  • Yi Qi Cong Ming Tang (益气聪明汤): Regenerates Kidney jing (essence), Liver blood and Spleen qi, and supports auditory functions by nourishing the ears  
  • Tong Qiao Huo Xue Tang (通窍活血汤): Dissipates blood clots and Qi Stagnation to eliminate skin tags, and supports auditory functions by unblocking the localised meridians to encourage blood and qi circulation  

Self-stimulation of acupressure points 

You can massage several localised points to improve your child’s auditory function, including:  

  • Ting hui (GB2, 听会) 
  • Shang guan (GB3, 上关) 
  • Wan gu (GB12, 完骨)  
  • Ting gong (SI19, 听宫) 
  • Yi feng (SJ17, 翳风) 
  • Chi mai (SJ18, 契脈) 
  • Jiao sun (SJ20, 角孙)  
  • Er men (SJ21, 耳门)  
  • He liao (SJ22, 和髎) 

You can also use distal acupressure points (points that are away from the area of pain or concern, which are away from the ear) such as: 

  • Zu lin qi (GB41, 足临泣)  
  • Tai xi (KI3, 太谿)  
  • Yang lao (SI6, 养老)  
  • Ye men (SJ2, 液门)  

There are several precautions you must take when using alternative treatments to remove preauricular skin tags on your child. “Herbal remedies target specific pathogenic factors behind skin tag development. They also correspond to different body types. Hence, parents should avoid purchasing them without consulting a licensed TCM practitioner. Also, acupressure point stimulation is only meant to supplement acupuncture, which has a more comprehensive and potent therapeutic effect,” advises Physician Yew.

References

  1. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Ear Tags. [online] [Accessed 28 October 2022]  
  2. Nemours KidsHealth. Ear Pits. [online] [Accessed 28 October 2022] 
  3. Mount Sinai. Ear tag. [online] [Accessed 28 October 2022] 

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