Earlobe creases

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 inherited syndromes.

Some studies have found that people with earlobe creases are at greater risk for heart attack than others.

More recent research, however, seems to indicate that earlobe creases are more common in older people, and that age, not the presence of creases, accounts for this increased risk.

Other genetic factors such as race and earlobe shape may also determine the presence of earlobe creasing and whether it appears in childhood or adulthood.

Common Causes
In children, earlobe creases are often associated with rare disorders. One of these is called Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

Call your health care provider if
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 health care provider’s office

The health care provider will obtain your child’s medical history. Medical history questions may include:

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

A physical examination will be performed to determine if there are abnormalities present that may indicate the presence of a rare disorder.

If other symptoms or abnormalities are noted, diagnostic tests may be ordered. The specific test will depend on the disorder that is suspected

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Janet G. Derge, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.