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Spectacle granuloma

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

This is a lesion that arises due to pressure from a spectacle frame.

Presentation is with:

  • a nodule on the posterior aspect of the helix
  • there is a central groove in the nodule; this may ulcerate

Differential diagnosis

  • basal cell carcinoma


  • generally requires specialist review regarding confirmation of diagnosis and treatment plan treatment
  • options for chondrodermatitis nodularis include:
    • no intervention/pressure relief chondrodermatitis nodularis helicus is benign and so only those who suffer pain require treatment (1)
      • once diagnosis is confirmed - adjustment of spectacles so that the pressure is taken off the nodule
    • topical treatment options include lignocaine gel applied before retiring to bed and potent topical steroid ointments
    • steroid injections into the nodule may lead to prolonged improvement in about one third of patients (1)
  • surgery
    • excision of the papule and a sliver of the cartilage beneath and adjacent

Click for an example image of this condition


  • Dermatology in Practice 2004; 12 (2): 28-30.
  • GP (16/4/99), 63.

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