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What are the different types of ear shapes?

Our ears provide two extremely important functions, both of which we would struggle without. Regardless of ear shapes, their first job is to allow us to hear. After this, they play an important role in our ability to balance. Ear infections or other problems can often lead to dizziness and there is also the chance of hearing loss if issues with our ears are not addressed. That being the case, for many of us, it is not the function of our ears that we are concerned with. We are concerned with different ear shapes and how these may appear. 

Misshapen ears and protruding ears can often be the cause of embarrassment. Although irregular ear shapes are not a medical concern, the impact on people’s emotional wellbeing can not be ignored. For some, they are born with misshapen ears. For others, the shape of their ears is caused by surgery or a trauma of some kind. In both cases, there is the option to explore otoplasty, pinnaplasty, or ear reduction surgery

What different ear shapes are there?

As with other areas of our bodies, there are a whole variety of ear shapes. Medically, the important point is that our ears are healthy in terms of hearing and balance. However cosmetically, different ear shapes can cause people to experience a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. Some of the most common ear shapes are:

At times it is possible that these different ear shapes will compliment someone’s overall appearance. It may well be that protruding ears are actually a feature of someones look at that they are accepted and liked. In other cases, there is the chance that people will be self-conscious of their ear shape. With how insensitive children can be, it is often the case that people are bullied through childhood because of how their ears look. 

What are protruding ears?

One of the most common ear shapes that people are keen to correct is protruding ears. If your ears stick out from your face by 2cm or more then they are classed as protruding. For the who have this feature, it is usually something that is present at birth rather than a result of any trauma to the ears. The main causes for ears that stick out are:

As protruding ears are often present at birth, there are ways of addressing these in early life. If a baby is under 3 months old, it is possible to have moulds taped to their ears. These are present for 6-8 weeks and are a way of correcting protruding ears without the need for surgery. If a baby goes over the age of 3 months, surgeons will generally not take any action until the child reaches at least the age of 6.

How to correct misshapen ears

When people are looking to change the shape of their ears, they need to consult with a surgeon who specialises in otoplasty. This type of surgery allows the shape, position, and size of the ears to be changed. This is something that can not be carried out until the ears have matured and reached their full size. This generally happens from the age of 6 meaning that children of at least this age through to adults of all ages may be suitable for this procedure. 

Otoplasty may be suitable where someone feels that their ears are too large in proportion to their head. It may be irregular ear shapes that are an issue and what needs to be addressed. The procedure can be carried out within around an hour and although there is likely to be scarring, this is usually hidden within the creases of the ear.  Consulting with a specialist can allow you to explore if otoplasty is the right option for you.

Can I correct my protruding ears?

One of the most common complaints when it comes to ear shapes is protruding ears. When ears stick out it is often the case that children tease other children. Even as adults, people become self-conscious about how their ears stick out. Although some may have the chance to cover their ears with their hair, this is not a permanent solution and not everyone is able to do this. 

A pinnaplasty procedure is used to reduce protruding ears. It is also known as ear pinning. The ears are pinned back so that they no longer stick out. As we have seen, before children reach the age of 3 months there is the opportunity to correct protruding ears without surgery. After this time, surgery is the only permanent option available to people. 


Another consideration when it comes to ear shapes is ear lobes. These can define the overall appearance of your ears and so impact your overall look. It is usually the case that how our earlobes appear is a matter of genetics and something that we inherit. However, things that we do can also affect their size and appearance such as wearing heavy jewellery. Then there is the ageing process. As we get older our skin loses its elasticity and this can lead to earlobes drooping or sagging. 

Ear shape repair or ear shape reduction surgery can be used to target earlobes. It can be used to reshape, resize, and repair earlobes. Where the appearance is affected due to the ageing process, it is possible to use the likes of derma fillers to reduce any sagging, but surgery will provide a longer-term solution.

Finding the perfect solution 

If you are unhappy with misshapen ears, protruding ears, or irregular ear shapes, the team at Cadogan Clinic are able to assist. By making contact you can book a consultation with one of our experts who will be able to guide you towards the treatment that will best meet your needs. 

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