For people with normal earlobes it is sometimes difficult to appreciate how disturbing abnormalities of the earlobes can be to a person. The shape and size of earlobes varies between people. In addition, the lobes are usually smaller within woman than man. Interestingly, African-Americans tend to have smaller earlobes than Caucasians.

The normal Caucasian earlobe should not exceed 15 mm in total height and creates a gentle curve at the bottom. The non-attached lower earlobe measures ideally between 1 and 5 mm. Although these sizes are interesting, the artistic facial plastic surgeon understands that accepting mathematical data as rigid guides is unjustified for our facial features.

The earlobes are unique within the human’s body in that they are devoid of skeletal and structural support. Instead, they represent a pendulous organ of fatty tissue surrounded entirely by skin except on top where the earlobes connect with the remainder of the auricle. These distinctive anatomical features are responsible for the lobe’s exposure to mild injury from ear piercings. It also explains why their shape can change easily with face lift procedures.

In addition to the more common abnormalities discussed within this website, the facial plastic surgeon encounters more uncommon problems such as entirely absent earlobes, either congenitally, after trauma or after surgical removal for cancerous lesions.

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