Auricular cartilage refers to the cartilage of the ear's auricle, located at the base of the ear's corolla lobe. It is specifically found in the cartilaginous area of the pinna, as well as in the auriculate, the external ear's visible cartilaginous structure. Auricular cartilage is flexible, grisly connective tissue, sometimes referred to as gristle. This type of cartilage is known as elastic cartilage. It contains no nerve cells or blood vessels, and is semiopaque. Auricular cartilage is permanent cartilage as opposed to temporary cartilage, meaning it remains in one's body for his or her entire life. It supports the external ear, allowing the ear bones to develop. Although many people find it fashionable to pierce their ear cartilage, this can lead to infections such as pseudomonas auruginosa. Such infections can cause significant necrosis and perichondritis of the ear's auricular cartilage. These conditions can result in reconstructive challenges, which are difficult for even the most skilled maxillofacial surgeons to treat, as well as in permanent disfigurement.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Auricular cartilage