The shape and symmetry of the auricles are decisive for the aesthetic harmony of the face. The angle from which a face is viewed has an influence on the viewer's attention and aesthetic perception. Scientific research suggests that faces viewed in a semi-profile (thirty to forty-five degree angles) are more beautiful. From the semi-profile view, the proportions of the face and ears can be better assessed.
The ear has a complex three-dimensional shape. The shape and size of the ear vary according to age, sex and ethnic origin. The cartilage structure of the outer ear is divided from the outside to the inside into three units: the thickened edge of the auricle (helix) and the earlobe, the ear fold or bulge (anthelix) and the antitragus and ear cavity (concha). The ear cartilage is one to three millimetres thick. At the front, the skin lies firmly on the cartilage, while at the back of the ear, the skin is easily movable. The outer edge of the auricle and the ear fold are the most visible features of the ear. The outer and inner ear folds shape the aesthetic perception of the ear.
An ear correction (earmold) serves to improve the alignment of the ear with the skull. A plastic ear restoration also restores the shape of the ear cartilage, the natural proportions and the symmetry of the auricles. The following malformations are corrected in the CenterPlast Saarbrücken:
- Pocket ear (cryptoty): The upper part of the auricle is underdeveloped and hidden under a skin pocket.
- Lop ear, rolled ear (lop ear or shell ear): This is a malformation of the upper third of the auricle. The longitudinal diameter of the ear is reduced. In pronounced cases, the ear may be slightly lower overall.
- Cup ear" or "constricted ear": There is an excess of skin overhanging the upper edge of the auricle (helix). The upper edge of the auricle and the ear fold are thinned out and lead to a protrusion of the upper auricle.
- Oversized ears (macrotia): The length of the adult ear is 55-65 mm. The width of the ears is about 50-60% of the height of the ears. With oversized ears, these natural proportions are far exceeded.
- Question mark ear: Question mark ears that occur on both sides are a rare hereditary malformation that leads to a "question mark" shape of the ear. In the case of a question mark ear, a gap runs transversely between the middle and lower third of the auricle.
- Spock ear, pointed ear, crinkled ear ("crumpled ear"): The Spock ear has a fold at the upper outer edge of the auricle. The upper part of the auricle is tapered.
- Steel ear deformity ("Stahl's ear"): In the upper part of the auricle, a third excess longitudinal fold has formed.
- Supernumerary ear appendages, preauricular appendages, auricular appendages ("preauricular tags", "polyotie"): A scattering of the original cells in the womb results in the formation of a rudimentary supernumerary auricle. Tissue knots are often found in front of the ear.