What is Chondrodermatits Nodularis Helicis?
Chondrodermatitis, ‘CNH’ or Winkler’s Disease for shot, is a little known but widely spread condition which is gaining prominence around the world. The reason for this prominence is a combination of more understanding of the condition, better treatment options and a general aging of the population. As this is a condition which primarily affects older people, an aging population means that more and more people are beginning to suffer from it, and to seek out treatment.
CNH is, simply put, an ear pressure sore. It is chronic, progressive and will not resolve itself without intervention. It derives part of its name from the area of the ear which it affects, that is the ‘helix’ part of ‘helicis.’ The reason it appears on the helix of the ear is because that is the part of the ear that generally remains in continual contact with the pillow when a person is sleeping. This continual contact imparts friction and pressure on the ear which gradually wears down the skin.
If you’re an older person, your skin is less resilient to damage and less able to repair itself. This leads to a gradual deterioration of the skin, ultimately resulting in an ear pressure sore, also known as chondrodermatitis.
How do I know if I am affected?
Chondrodermatitis initially presents itself as a small red patch of skin, often accompanied by small flakes. This red patch will be very tender to the touch and will be exaggerated by extremes of hot and cold.
If the ear sore is not treated, the red patch will noticeably deteriorate. Its pathology will follow the same profile as a traditional bed or pressure sore.
The second stage occurs when the sore begins to dig deeper into the skin. The area will be swollen and noticeably warm. It may be pus-filled and oozing. Recovery at this point takes between 3 days and 3 weeks, depending on the severity at this stage.
At the next stage the sore has eaten its way through the skin and is now affecting the layer of fatty tissue beneath. At this point the CNH may be showing signs of infection and will be extremely painful. At this stage healing will take one to three months to heal.
What can I do about it?
While this all sounds rather horrific, the reality is CNH ear need never get anywhere near this severe. There are a number of treatment options available. However, by far the best and most effective, regardless of the time-frame or stage in at which the CNH was discovered, is to remove the source of friction and pressure. It is this friction and pressure that is the cause of CNH, its removal is also the cure.
Therefore, the best treatment for chondrodermatitis (CNH) is a pillow with a hole in the middle. This kind of novel pillow enables you to sleep comfortably without having the ear impacted by rubbing. After a couple of weeks the body heals itself quickly and safely.