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What is CNH?

Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis, or Winkler’s Disease as it is often known, is a problem which afflicts the helix of the ear. It is a condition which only gets worse as time passes, unless of course there is medical intervention.

How does CNH present itself?

Upon initial inspection it looks like a red patch of skin that is tender to the touch. Over time this red patch develops into a more visible wound. That is to say it becomes a rather prominent lesion on the part of the ear which touches the fabric of the pillow. Scaly flecks may be noted around the lesion. As the condition progresses, the tissue will continue to break down and even the cartilage will be affected. At this point the ear will be extremely painful to the touch and the person in all likelihood will not be able to rest their head on a pillow. CNH’s course from a little red patch of skin to a fully blown pressure sore is long but well charted. However, that is the bad news. The good news is that there is an effective treatment. To understand why the treatment works we must first understand how it is caused.

How is CNH caused?

CNH is caused by friction and pressure acting upon the ear. It affects that part of the ear which is in contact with the fabric of your pillow. Just like a bedsore. If a person isn’t able to turn over often they will eventually develop degenerating sores on the parts of the body which make contact with the mattress. The same occurs here. If you’re a habitual side sleeper and are prone to sleeping on one side in particular then the pillow rubs against your ear, night after night, and this damages the skin.

How does one treat CNH?

Your general practitioner may offer you creams and ointments yet these are largely ineffective due to the fact that the root cause of the problem hasn’t been addressed. There’s no point in applying creams and ointments to your ear if you’re going to rub it all off on your pillow in the evening.

The only way to properly treat CNH is to remove the source of pressure completely. To do this you should use a special CNH pillow.

For more information about CNH and related conditions, please take a look at this link here: