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Earlobe creases
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Earlobe creases

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Earlobe creases are superficial lines in the otherwise smooth earlobe of a child or young adult.

The earlobes of children and young adults are normally smooth. Creases are sometimes associated with rare syndromes that are passed down through families.

Some studies have found that people with earlobe creases have a greater risk for heart attack than others. More recent research suggests that earlobe creases are more common in older people, and that age, not the presence of creases, accounts for the increased heart attack risk.

Other genetic factors such as race and earlobe shape may also determine who develops earlobe creasing and whether it occurs in childhood or adulthood.

Note: Having one small abnormality in facial features, such as an earlobe crease, is not uncommon, and is usually not associated with a serious medical condition.

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  • Considerations

    The earlobes of children and young adults are normally smooth. Creases are sometimes associated with rare syndromes that are passed down through families.

    Some studies have found that people with earlobe creases have a greater risk for heart attack than others. More recent research suggests that earlobe creases are more common in older people, and that age, not the presence of creases, accounts for the increased heart attack risk.

    Other genetic factors such as race and earlobe shape may also determine who develops earlobe creasing and whether it occurs in childhood or adulthood.

    Note: Having one small abnormality in facial features, such as an earlobe crease, is not uncommon, and is usually not associated with a serious medical condition.

  • Causes

    In children, earlobe creases are sometimes associated with rare disorders, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional

    This finding is usually discovered on a well-child examination.

    If you notice that your child has earlobe creases and are concerned that they may be linked with an inherited disorder, see your pediatrician.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit

    The doctor or nurse will examine your child and ask questions about his or her medical history and symptoms. This may include:

    • When did you first notice the earlobe creases?
    • What other symptoms or problems have you also noticed?

    Tests depend on the symptoms.

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Review Date: 11/12/2012  

Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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