Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Grow your own Auricular Cauliflower!

Hey doesn’t Auricular refer to ears? What do cauliflower have to do with ears anyway?
The answer is somewhat disgusting and can be annoyingly painful. I’m talking about a common wrestling/rugby/boxing injury that can become a deformity if left untreated. It is also easily preventable through wearing proper head gear. It can also occur from ear infections due to piercings or accidents.

Cauliflower ear is when the ear through either blunt trauma – Boxing champ, Mani Pacquio has them so Jesus likes them too?.Or through repeated abrasion like in wrestling or rugby which are sports that create opportunity for ones head to get caught. The forcible removing of one’s head from this lock causes the ear to rub hard and extensively enough to become damaged. Each incident potentially damaging blood vessels in the ear causing Auricular Hematomas.

Treatment is as simple as just draining the fluid that builds up from the leaking blood vessels. It’s a simple enough procedure that any one with a steady hand and fearless control of using a syringe could do, hygienically of course.It’s useful to drain due to the extremely painful tenderness that it inflicts. Most wrestlers are impatient and stubborn and want to be able to perform relatively pain free as quick as possible. It feels like a deep blister under the skin(dermis) and can make one play with it like a bubble from a poor application of screen protector on a mobile.

If left untreated, the bloody fluid clots and hardens, creating scar tissue on the cartilage. This is permanent and reminds me of ear transplants from a (vacanti) mouse’s back to be a possible plastic surgery fix. Its so common now that there are loads of post drainage therapies such as (before injury) molded ear splints to wear to encourage and maintain original shape. Ideally one would just train in some head gear that is comfortable for both wearer and training partner.

Some athletes though regard cauliflower ear as a badge of honor. Similar to military medals as it shoes the  years of service and commitment. The only other achievement piece to show off is one’s belt – side note: suspenders are more functional than belts.

If you were wondering what one looks like popping, I will end with a GIF which I warn not to click if you didn’t enjoy  this blog. See this GIF of Leslie Mann from a MMA fight from Nov 2014.


2 comments on “Grow your own Auricular Cauliflower!

  1. Adam
    April 28, 2016


    I feel that this blog is trying to tell two different stories that are quite different. You start with the idea that martial arts promotes agression in kids, which is really interesting and could make a great blog. Then you go into your own ideas around this and cauliflower ears. The second half doesn’t really have as much scientific framing as I would expect.

    I suggest going with one or the other, talk about agression or cauliflower ears. I am sure there is some science around the cauliflower stuff.

    Also, make sure to have someone check spelling and grammar. There were several mistakes that I found as I went through.



    • joshykloog
      May 5, 2016

      Updated whole blog to just talking about cauliflower ear. I originally thought to do one on aggression promotion but the article and the overall idea just failed to excite me, I decided to segue into something which was bothering me more at the time of writing.


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This entry was posted on April 14, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm.

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