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Ears that stick out

 Ears are one of the first parts of the body to reach full size. This is why ears that stick out are particularly noticeable in children.

What can be done in tiny babies

In about two-thirds of cases, sticking-out ears are evident at birth, so can be dealt with straight away. The gristle (cartilage) of a newborn baby is soft, so the ears can be corrected by placing a special small splint of cushioned wire in the hollow of the rim of the ear and taping it back for several weeks (British Medical Journal 2007;334:366–8). This can be done only if the baby is younger than 6 months, and the earlier the better. Parents can buy a kit containing splints with instructions (see Useful contacts).

What can be done in older children and adults

An operation (otoplasty) to correct sticking-out ears is often done when the child is over 5 or 6 years old. However, there is no reason why it cannot be done at any age. The operation does not affect hearing.
Children need a general anaesthetic, but adults can have the operation with just a local anaesthetic. There are several different techniques. In the most common operation, the surgeon cuts away skin and tissue from behind each ear, and stitches it into its new position. The ears are bandaged for about 10 days after the operation, and after that the stitches are removed. You will have to wear a headband at night for the next 2 weeks so that you do not accidentally bend the ears forward during sleep.
As with any plastic surgery operation, it is important to find a plastic surgeon who is skilled at this particular operation. If it is clumsily done, you may end up with a plastered-down look, or with ears that do not look the same. Look at the section on cosmetic surgery for general advice.

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Friday, May 4th 2012


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Comments on this article

Posted by Optional on 29/06/2019 at 02:29

My ears don't actually stick out but I have very thin hair so if I don't have extensions they look like they do. My hairdresser said, correctly, that my hair was breaking off and needed less extensions but she took too many out around my ears and now I feel ugly as I look like an elf. I am not being big headed but I am quite attractive and am used to feeling OK about myself so I have practically had a nervous breakdown about it. I just want to stay indoors and lie in bed. You all have a right to feel bad about this and don't let other people who don't have the problem tell you you are over reacting or being too sensitive. You're not. If you are lucky enough to have thick long hair that covers it thank your lucky stars. If not, I really would go to the doctors whatever your age or gender and say how unhappy this makes you and see what they say. If you are a girl get extensions to cover your ears even more when you wear your hair down, it will help more than you think. I think it's even worth trying to save up the money for an operation if you are in a position to do so. Obviously not everyone has a well paying job. If that's the case and you just have to accept it if you are severely depressed you maybe able to get the operation free if you explain to a doctor it is making you hate yourself and really effects your quality of life. That maybe only true in the UK though on the NHS. Take care all and remember it's what's on the inside that counts, even though society doesn't actually that way.

Posted by Optional on 08/08/2017 at 03:36

Man im 16 years of age and i have big bat ears. I noticed them when i was in second grade and my confidence has been damaged since. Its a struggle and i know ill will eventually get a procedure done, hopefully when im 18. I have respect for yall who accepted your ears for the way they are, dont know how yall do it.

Posted by Optional on 08/04/2017 at 02:42

So im 12 years and my eyes have been bothering me for some time. I don't wear my hair up or tuck my hair behind my ears anymore because of them. I'm ready to get my ears pinned but I'm very nervous to get surgery because that's woulda be my first times. When I'm nervous my hands get sweaty, my heart races, my tummy is upside down and I can't stop thinking out it. I can't take it anymore and I don't know how to deal with my anxiety about it anymore. Ian it even worth it? How do I not be nervous?

Posted by Optional on 23/02/2017 at 07:33

I'm 14 years old and I have ears that stick out pretty badly. The size isn't horrible, but they are a little long. I endured most of the teasing from my siblings as they can be quite horrible. I love to exercise and play sports but I feel as if I can't ever put my hair up because then people will see my big sticking out ears. My mother lies to me and says they don't stick out but I've had multiple people tease me about them and a few trusted friends that have told me the truth. They stick out and are large. I just wish people knew that what may seem like a harmless joke to them can be completely humiliating to me.

Posted by Optional on 29/01/2017 at 06:08

Is there any way to pinback ears without surgery..Pls tell

Posted by Optional on 30/03/2016 at 07:50

I hate my sticking out ears. Students in my class always talk about it whenever im around them, specially the boys. Everyday at night I always ask God that why does it have to be me. I have done nothing for me to be cursed like this. I want a surgery but im only 14 and i dont have much money and i cant just ask my parents for it since were not that very rich. I love to dance but its always a problem when we need to tie up our hair. People will just stare and laugh at me. Everyday is my most embarrassing moment.. And i hate myself because of my big ears. What do i have to do? Please help me!

Posted by Optional on 06/02/2016 at 09:12

I wasn't born with big ears, but when I was a baby my parents let me sleep with my ears folded down. I have a picture of me a few weeks born and there is no sign of big ears. However when I slept that way as a baby that made my ears to protrude. The last time I wore a ponytail was when I was 11 years old. I hate wearing my hair up because of my big ears. I can't do the simple things I love because I am so insecure all the time. In high school I've always wanted to play soccer and volleyball and be on the team, but I couldn't because I was afraid of wearing ponytails. On the beach I can't even swim with confidence because if my hair gets wet my ears stick out. Also on very windy days I am so scared someone will see my ears. I know everyone goes through something, and even though I was very insecure I am slowly getting better. I hope to get an otoplasty in the future, but I can't right now because of money problems. I hope the best for each and every one of you going through this, and I know I am not alone.

Posted by Optional on 11/12/2015 at 01:02

When I was younger I was being bullied at school due to my unusually protruding ears. I remember laying around all day thinking about them and just hating my life. Today marks 7 years from the day I was hospitalized for overdosing on pills. I found myself falling into depression and though ending it all would be best. Don't ever follow the path I took because now at age 23 after having a wife and a daughter I can truly say otoplasty is the solution. To think that my life was almost ended and now I am enjoying it more than ever before is truly a blessing in disguise.

Posted by Optional on 14/11/2015 at 10:29

I have big ears and i want a surgery because im shy and people say bad things to me

Posted by Optional on 14/11/2015 at 05:21

I am 30 years old,i never had a problem with my ear when i was a child so i didnt notice i had an abnormal ear,when i enter the college i overheard the boys commenting on my ear,embarrased i came home look at the mirror stared and i saw how big my ear was ,from then i was selfconcious and feel shy to go out .I worked as a teacher for 1 yr students laughed at me,i quit.i cannot even hide my ear with my hair cos my hair is also ugly.I feel like i dont have the right to smile or laugh.its depressing and i dont have money for the surgery.

Posted by Elyblap94 on 05/10/2015 at 04:06

My name is Elizabeth and when I was younger I was a star softball player, but I hated getting on the field even though I loved the sport because I would put my hair up so it wouldn't block my face, thus revealing my biggest fear, my ears. In high school I was the best on my varsity and knew division 1 offers were coming my way, but I quit after a game at a local St. Paulas Michigan sectional championship highschool game. I was on the mound and the other team chanted stuff like "She has rat ears". I remember pitching and not even being able to see because of the tears. I still struggle with this and want to get it changed, but if you have this problem, keep on fighting. <3 ely

Posted by Optional on 09/09/2015 at 08:49

My name is Mark, when I was in primary school everyone used to tease me and point fingers and laugh at my ears. My ears are a normal size, they just stick out badly and i've been called names such as Dumbo, Gargoyle, and a rat. I finally had the courage to tell my father whom I live with how I feel about them, I told him it is ruining my life and nobody understand what we go through its not like a big mouth for some reason the ears just destroy you mentally. My father was open and accepting and said "if it truly is causing you this much trouble you can have the surgery." I had the surgery this summer and it has honestly changed my life entirely. I feel confident and i'm not sitting home all day on a computer hiding from society.

Posted by Optional on 01/08/2015 at 01:51

will girls like me because my ears are sticking out???

Posted by Optional on 01/07/2015 at 04:09

See and google image adrianna zajdler All these girls are proud of their ears!

Posted by Denisse on 12/06/2015 at 02:25

i have very small ears and they stick out and i always wear headbands and so many people from my school would ask me why u always cover your ears and i would get so scare because i feel like they would start picking on me also i would be so scare cause my sister she has really big ears and they stick out so hers are worse than mines and she got bullied for 6 years and i was so scared if that would happen to me the thing is i dont think my mom has the money for me and my sister?

Posted by Optional on 06/06/2015 at 04:38

Hi. My baby Leo had elf like ears that stuck out when he was born. I thought they were cute by by husband has funny ears and is really self conscious about it. My doctor said if it doesn't fix itself by 1 week it probably wouldn't. My friend recommended a pediatric plastic surgeon who does ear molding in NY, After 3 weeks of molding his ears look perfect!! and the whole thing was covered by insurance! my pediatrician was amazed, she never even knew about molding. Would recommend all moms consider it. It was so easy

Posted by Optional on 28/12/2014 at 03:35

My baby is now 9 months old. Can i still try the earbuddies "splint" which you recommended only up to 6 months?

Posted by Dania on 16/12/2014 at 02:04

I have a problem, when i used to be little i used to sleep on my ears, and i dont know if the shape is the same anymore please reply

Posted by Ear Buddies on 11/12/2014 at 09:18

World ear expert David Gault invented Ear Buddies splints when his first child was born with a Stahl's bar. 25 years later, splinting is now recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons, and Ear Buddies are supplied by some NHS Hospitals. A 2007 review in the British Medical Journal said It is vital that neonatal paediatricians, obstetricians, general practitioners, and midwives are educated about early detection [of ear deformity] and how to initiate treatment themselves." Retweet our campaigns #savemychildanearop and #HappyNewEar2015 for earlier, better advice - per year in the US, Ear Buddies could save teasing for 5 Dallas Cowboy Stadiums full of children!

Posted by Optional on 30/11/2014 at 06:06

Hello I'm Grace I'm 17 and well my ears stick out like a lot ever since I was little people would pick on me because of it and I've become very self conscious I'm always trying to push my ears back wear my hair down anything to make them look flat but nothing works is there any way I could make my ears go back a little bit without surgery

Posted by Hannah on 05/11/2014 at 12:59

I have refused to wear my hair up (without a thick headband covering my ears) since elementary school, when I would suffer through constant teasing because of my mom styling my hair up. I'm a senior in high school, and I still constantly worry about my ear (only my left ear sticks out). It's probably one of my biggest insecurities, and I'm positive that if I had the chance to have it pinned back I'd be more confident. I know that it's something that people probably wouldn't even notice if I wore my hair up..but I wouldn't be able to handle the "seemingly harmless" comments if I did and someone said something.

Posted by ElfEars on 27/10/2014 at 01:37

My ears are normal size, however they stick out at the top. It's really annoying because I don't think I would be allowed surgery as they don't stick out really far, it's just at the top. I feel really self-conscious because of my ears, especially when my hair is up. I also have the problem of a new haircut, it was supposed to be a trim but they cut about 2.5 inches off, and I really don't like it, so my solution is to put my hair up, but then my ears are a problem. I'm wondering if there's any way other than surgery to solve it..?

Posted by Optional on 24/09/2014 at 12:21

I have very small ears and they stick out just at the top. I occasionally get remarks that I look like an elf. I just try to brush it off. I have been thinking that it is not a big deal to have ears that stick out and I should embrace them because my ears are "hear" to stay! If you have ears that stick out, just know that there are others in the same situation as you and not to feel like a fool!

Posted by Optional on 17/08/2014 at 12:17

How long do the bandages have to be on for after surgery?

Posted by Reply to "Big-Eared Guy from NYC who posted on 31/07/2014 at 03:44) on 02/08/2014 at 01:57

Dear i just had my haircut and have the same condition as you have... No matter how much i try to explain to the barber.... they would cut my hairs such that it makes my hair much more prominent. I came home hiding my crying face from everyone.And the same has been happening sonce i was a kid.... I just dont have amy finances to get my otoplasty done and out of fear I could never ask my parents to help me. I wish there is some online society for people like us. Each of us have our own stories which will always remain untold. Anyways if anyone here has condition like mine plz contact me on facebook com/silversetup .

Posted by on 31/07/2014 at 12:31

EDITED Comment by 'Yourbuddyjoseph' from United States: Yes it sucks to have ears that stick out. I've heard all the name's as well; dumbo, monkey. Sure some days I'm selfconscious but at the end of the day thery're still there! Embrace it, sure you can change them with surgery but think about it are you doing it for yourself or the worthless opinion of some random person. Some of you are kids. You should be living your childhood and teen years instead of worrying about this dumb stuff. People are always gonna look for something to bash you for, one thing or another. Love yourself, love life.

Posted by Big-Eared Guy From NYC on 31/07/2014 at 03:44

I've had sticking out ears since I was born and they've affected my life in a really really negative way. The size of my ears is alright but the problem is the angle they stick out at. I've been teased a lot because of them after I went to school overseas (8 years ago) and to be honest the last time anyone talked about my ears was about 4~5 years ago. My biggest problem is that my hair which used to be very smooth started becoming -really- dry. If I grow it for a while it'll start looking like an Afro (note that I'm caucasian) , so I need to get haircuts very often which of course causes my ears to stick out reaallllllly badly. Every attempt I try to ignore my ears and live with them quickly fails when I look at a mirror or at my reflection in a store window at the mall. I try to avoid looking straight at people while walking so they won't see my huge ears (stupid I know) ,. I hope someone actually reads this and I hope that anyone leaves me any suggestions regarding this.

Posted by Optional on 28/07/2014 at 09:21

i am 16yrs old and I have big ears and the worst thing there is that I can't hear with my left ear. Am just so ashamed because people laugh at me and because of that am always covering my ears with my hair...I need help...I just want to look normal like other people...please help me.

Posted by Optional on 25/07/2014 at 09:22

I use nail polish glue To stick my poking out ears back! I use this as nail polish glue is strong and doesn't affect skin! Slowly your ears should stay that shape

Posted by Optional on 24/07/2014 at 02:04

I'm a 15 year old British girl/young lady. I keep thinking about whether I want my ears pinned back or not because they are verrrry pushed forward. Before seeing this page I thought I was one of very few people who had this problem and now, seeing this, I am overwhelmed. I understand where people are coming from when they say they want them pinned back to get confidence and have more self esteem but can you just look at yourself. I was constantly crying because my ears, I wouldn't go swimming, id get detentions every night because I refused to put my hair in pe BUT I am going into year 11 now and I have surrounded myself with friends who l

Posted by Nick on 23/07/2014 at 12:39

My company has just launched a new product called Otostick in the UK. It's a temporary non-surgical prosthetic that holds prominent ears close to the head for up to 7 days at a time. See for more details.

Posted by Optional on 20/07/2014 at 11:45

I have big ears, I guess you could say I have tackled it because recently I haven't really cared about what people's opinions are, I was born this way and have no means of changing or being ashamed of my ears. However, just the other the day my family have made fun of my ears, I mean its one thing to have your friends and other people laugh and flick your ears and another to have your siblings and parents joke about and make fun of me, so I'm stuck in bewilderment of whether I'm over it or not.

Posted by Caitlyn on 16/07/2014 at 10:57

I have had ears that stick out my whole life , I hate walking out of the house with my hair tied up because I was bullied as a child for having it and I'm scared people will still pick on me! I have found wearing my hair down is not so bad but it actually makes me really depressed

Posted by Anonymous boy on 02/07/2014 at 09:06

I have big ears, and ive never really cared until i reached 12-13. At times in school random people flick my ears pull them or just make me feel like shit by saying little rude comments. This is whats wrong with kids my age. They think theyre perfect, have it all, and pick on other people for having things like prominent ears or big lips when its not even your fault. Cant everyone just realise that it wasnt our decision to have big sticking out ears? Thanks to school and my ears, my self esteem has dropped so low lately and i find it hard to look in the mirror and take pictures of me and my family. Im embarassed of myself for having something thats not even my fault. I want to get otoplasy,yes, but im finding it really hard to gain the courage to ask my parents as i know the answer will be something like'why there fine darling are you getting bullied or something?' I dont want this to happen vecause then my parents will make a big deal about it and inform the school then they would make a big deal out of it and everyone in school will hate me. I hate how people my age dont realise what i go through everyday and the amount of insults and bullying i have to put up with in school. Why me? Sometimes i feel like being able to transfer my ears to someone whos bullying me and see if they can take what i have to take every hour of school. I know none of you will probably never read this but i would just like to finally express my feelings and share them with people who take the same amount of pain and bullying as me. Because of my ears i cant have haircuts or get my hair wet otherwise theyll stick out even more and people will mock me and call me things like dumbo or monkey . Sometimes i really hate the life ive been given and i wish i could just pin my ears back in an instance. I wouldnt care if people noticed in school, at least they wouldnt be able to bully much anyways

Posted by anon on 16/06/2014 at 05:42

Crystelle and Olivia... Your ears are fine! :)

Posted by Anon on 28/05/2014 at 11:40

Help I have a ear infection and a ruptured eardrum and my right ear is swollen and its sticking out more then usual. When my ear heals will my ear go back to normal and stop sticking out more? :(

Posted by Crystal on 22/05/2014 at 05:58

This is what is wrong with the world... people are cruel... but apparently what society thinks is physically acceptable is what we're all brainwashed into thinking is ok too... I do not have big ears, but my baby does... My husband, soon to be ex, thinks my son is not his because he has big ears... well we took a DNA test today, and he will see in a few days... I am totally broken hearted by this and decided Is find a way to fix his ears... for me and not my baby... kind of shallow... and after reading this I'm not sure what to do... I don't want him to suffer with bullying... or feel self conscious... but one thing I do know... if it weren't your ears it would be something else... I had my breasts done because I didn't like them... Fixed them and noticed I didn't like my waist... exercised and fixed that.. then I hated my butt... then hated my nose ... then my feet... and I realize we are our worst critics... because the people who pick are going to be in your past one day... you will become a bully to yourself unless you let it go now... These people won't be in your life forever... make sure of that... become greater than they are and one day they'll look back and wish they were nicer to you... you will win that way... I wish I could afford to help everyone... I hate seeing people depressed or sad... sorry

Posted by Frank on 19/05/2014 at 11:20

I am 34 and suffered with emotional issues my whole life due to non stop teasing and bullying over my ears. I never got the surgery until 3 weeks ago, and I wish I had done it MUCH SOONER. It really is amazing, my ears look great. Just so happy that I finally did something about it, better late than never!

Posted by Optional on 03/05/2014 at 08:57

Im mostly made fun of every day when i look at my ears i cry cause i hate them i have tryed to ask my parents if i could get the surgery but they said my ears are fine but they dont know what i go though every day sometimes when my parents ask how my day was i lie and say it was great if i tell my parents the truth than they will think its bullung and eould want me to go to a new school but every school i had ever gobe to has had many people make fun of me and so yeah i wish the surgery was like five dollars im acutally in my room write now cryimg i wish my parents would look and see im lieing to them

Posted by Optional on 26/04/2014 at 03:31

Even though you might hate your ears now, your insecurety might help you like mine did. My mom never lets me wear ponytails to school, so i snuck some. At the time i had a boyfriend. He started noticing, and broke up with me. At the time, a new guy moved to school, and about a month ago we started dating. Yes, i hate my ears, but in a way, they helped me

Posted by lllll on 11/02/2014 at 08:36

I had my ears pinned back when I was 11,after I was taken the mick out of a school almost everyday,the surgery went well and I didn't really suffur the side effects and my self-confidence went through the roof,I was the happiest kid I'd ever been,then people stil took the mick out of me again,and I couldn't understand why,then I realised that although my ears wernt big anymore,there in a wierd shape so I still get pixked on,anyway I can get this fixed?

Posted by Te on 25/01/2014 at 11:03

My ears are horrible and when i have my baby at 20 her ears are going to be horrible too.

Posted by SEXBOMB on 11/11/2013 at 02:44

I have ears that stick out and i am a sex bomb

Posted by Optional on 09/10/2013 at 08:54

Just had my ears pinned back and nurse says no sun or swimming or sunbeds for 12/18 months is this correct . My surgeon never said anything like that at all . Oh and no earrings is she on a power trip or is this true

Posted by Optional on 27/08/2013 at 09:55

Reply to „ Post Dr Merck 5 years“ I ‘d just like to add my comments to this posting. The natural form of the ears is not adversely affected by my “ Dr Merck Stitch Method”, as asserted here in this posting, and the result is always smooth, round and natural-looking antihelix folds. The unnatural edges, depressions and deformations, frequently seen with procedures using the traditional methods, do not occur with my “Stitch Method”, since I don’t work on the cartilage and notably don’t remove any part of it. During the operation, the patient co-determines how close he would like his ear to his head with the aid of a hand mirror. It is not usual to be able to feel the threads. If this is the case here, it is an exception and a sign of thread intolerance where the threads can wander to the surface of the skin. The patient should, in this exceptional case, return to me to have the threads removed and replaced by other ones. The traditional method, with all its numerous risks, is not a recommended alternative to my method., Konstanz, Germany

Posted by Thomas on 08/08/2013 at 01:16

My ears makes me feel embarrassed because, my friends and family make fun of it and it sucks.

Posted by Optional on 29/07/2013 at 02:31

Growing up I like many others with pretruding ears has been teased dumbo, big ears, weirdo etc. I started to feel self conscious when I was in middle school. I always had my hair down and as much as I wanted to tie it up during hot days I just left it. Til this day I get so self conscious about my ears, I dont want to relive what I have gone through as a teenager, I was teased all they way til my freshman year by jerks who judged me by my ears sticking out who didnt take the chance to get to know ME. If I could, and If I had the money I'd definetly consider getting surgery to pin back my ears. It's one of my goals to get done, because when I get married I'd like to have my hair up and be able to walk down the aisle with confidence.

Posted by Post Dr Merck 5 years on 26/07/2013 at 04:48

Dr Merck stitch method, hasnt been as effective in my personal situation. I still feel i have big protruding ears, my right ear swelled during the operation and it has affected the stitching. threads stick out and i can feel it everyday. Not only am i considering removing the threads, i will also have to pay to get the common ear surgery done. Also Dr. Mercks surgery has effected the actual shape of the ear in an adverse way, i hope it will turn back to a natural shape when and once i have it removed.

Posted by Optional on 21/07/2013 at 08:52

This was no help as my parents still refuse to pay

Posted by Anon on 09/07/2013 at 11:00

hi, i have ears which stick out and get teased about it , i have thin hair so im constantly trying to hide them i never wear my hair up because its too embarrasing but in pe you have to tie up your hair but i never do and get told off by teachers . i really want them pinned back but my parents dont have £1000-£2000 to spend like that will i get them for free as im under 16/18? please help thankyou x

Posted by unknown on 11/05/2013 at 07:29

I am 16 and I really want my ears pinned back I cry everyday I can't look in the mirror with my hair up will nhs do it for free?

Posted by Big ears for life on 19/04/2013 at 03:19

People always call me dumbo i have to hide my big ears in class with my hoodie but their always noticeable.their not even big their just sticking in school tell me that i need monster truck earings for my ears.but Worst my head is so small and make my ears look more noticeable.even my parents call me big ears .i can't look straight at peoples face because there always gonna say bad comments.

Posted by Optional on 09/04/2013 at 06:27

how much

Posted by post dr merck op on 04/04/2013 at 04:22

i asked dr merck before i had the surgery and he said that less than four percent of ears ever move from their positions, he said he does a correctional surgery for around 180 pounds if this happens but it's really unlikely. i had the op nearly two years ago and would really recommend his method over the conventional one (did a lot of research beforehand)

Posted by Optional on 03/04/2013 at 01:54

Hello I'm 13 and I have had surgery on my ears i had the bandage on of a week but I had the stitches that disappear and the doctor told me to keep a headband on throughout the night so I don't bend it while im sleeping I had to do that for 6 weeks but then my 6 weeks where over I didn't use it no more and than they started coming forward again he said they would come forward again but go back eventually but there not going back so what shall I do I don't really want to go throw the pain again??

Posted by Optional on 15/03/2013 at 10:29

well i been teased about my ears since i started school. i used to be called an elf a lot b/c my ears were so point and they stick out. i feel like i don't have confidence in myself unless my hair was covering my ears. i tried to tighten up my scarf on my ears so it can be push back but nothing happen. im still not to sure if i was surgery done.

Posted by Optional on 10/02/2013 at 07:45

is there a chance the ear stick out again after the operation ?

Posted by pankhoodi on 03/02/2013 at 06:10

i m an hotel managemnet student ..n i have to tie my hair n bun it up...i feel so shy to show my i cover my ear with my frnd ask me why u always do dis hairstyle..dat tym i m speechless...dis question hurts me a lot...i m searching for ear pinning surgery..i consult the doctor..they told me dat i have to cut my hair very short for dis surgery...but i dont want..plz can n e one tell me what can i do??

Posted by Optional on 30/01/2013 at 02:32

I have been made fun of because of my ear. My left ear sticks out and I don't like. I used to fake sick when I was little just so I would be made fun of. I don't like it but I'm afraid of having surgery.

Posted by dumbo :( on 25/12/2012 at 10:24

What if you dont have money for the operation and cant take it anymore cause u get teased a lot...:( !!!

Posted by Patrick on 19/12/2012 at 02:49

I just wanted to add a link to a very informative web page I think may help others decide what might work for them.

Posted by Patrick on 19/12/2012 at 02:25

My mom opted out of getting otoplasy surgery done at my birth, and this choice had a horrible effect on my self-esteem until at 18 yrs old she offered to pay for the surgery, and I accepted. Best choice ever! My confidence came back and I've not been teased since (over 30 years) I feel absolutely terrible for those who left comments that having ears that stick out is a horrible experience, and I feel their pain, and it hurts, but please know that though so many people are mean and lack compassion and empathy for others, we truly get to choose to think of who we are inside! You are all remarkable human beings and you truly do have the strength to surround yourself with people who can accept you for who you are, not the slight physical difference that others think has something to do with who you are as a person! I do suggest surgery if it does bother you too much, because it did have a huge effect on me as a teenager.

Posted by Optional on 27/11/2012 at 10:39

my ears are fairly big, stick out. i want them picked back because i want my confidence back

Posted by Optional on 25/11/2012 at 11:53

when i was young apparently my ears were folded over or something, my mum taped them back but i think this has caused by ear to have flattened out which makes one of my ears seem sort of elfy pointed. i only noticed it because some people had pointed it out so not good and is embarrassing to have. this is the only article about ears i found on here. any suggestions

Posted by kettikop on 23/10/2012 at 05:22

°̩ HATE!!!my ears cant take it anymore ..Everyone teases me calls me names and ive tried hairstyles it doesnt work. °̩ come home and start crying and in the mornings °̩ think to myself another horrifying day at school. °̩ cant even swim under water without anyone noticing my BIG ears. °̩ get called dumbo, big ears, get asked if °̩ can catch up the radio and if °̩ can hear the aliens from outer space. °̩ cant have a normal life like others im tired of all of this and dont think ill be able to take it any much longer!!!please help me what should °̩ do because im almost writing exams so surgerys out and so are hairstyles cause it doesnt ears are too big....why am °̩ being punnished like this? Why do °̩ have to look like an ELEPHANT!!!!!

Posted by Happy Girl on 06/09/2012 at 01:32

Fourteen years ago I was operated on by Dr Merck with his stitch method. I only had one protruding ear, but it gave me a big complex. I didn't like having to see this particular feature of my face in my passport photo all the time. Since being operated on by Dr Merck, my ears look the same. I am very happy and don't have complexes about my appearance anymore. I can highly recommend him and his method. I didn't need to wear a bandage after the operation and could already go back to work one day after the operation.

Posted by Kenzie on 22/07/2012 at 07:10

Hey Hannah I'm 13 too and I have the same problem. I never put my hair up. But I heard about the new treatment called Sorribes Ears and it supposidly works for all ages!!!!!!!!!!! And its not surgery :) It takes 3 to 9 monthes but during the day you can wear these strips that no one can see and after awile they say pinned back without the strips!! I just don't know if I'm brave enough to tell my parents :(

Posted by fred on 30/06/2012 at 03:17

I am the only one in the family born with very hideous stick out ears and a large head,i would like to go into my coffin with normal ears,would it be possible to have op before i die,for peace of mind.I HAVE ALWAYS loathed my ears,i have no hair to cover them.Bad childhood,no social life,live alone,like the elephant man,avoid people,if the sun shines through them,they glow like hideous red lamps.

Posted by Embarrassing Problems team on 21/05/2012 at 10:00

Reposting comment by 'Optional' from United Kingdom (25, male): "Could who ever posted the last post on here please get in contact! The person that had their ears pinned 5 months ago by Dr Merck" - Please note, we do not post comments containing email addresses or other personal identifiers, but you are welcome to discuss your experiences via this forum to help others tackle their problems.

Posted by post surgery on 13/03/2012 at 01:10

i had my ears pinned back by dr merck five months ago and my ears haven't moved at all since the swelling went down after the surgery. in my case it does work and is definitely better than the standard method. I didn't bother wearing a headband after the surgery as it was quite uncomfortable but it didn't seem to make a difference. unless you want to constantly wear a headband for the next twenty years surgery is the only option

Posted by Optional on 07/03/2012 at 05:18

is there any other way to deal up wid my ears except surgery..? ?

Posted by Optional on 06/03/2012 at 09:25

I had been self conscious of my ears for as long as I could remember. I was too afraid to tell my parents because I was embarrassed. I had was also made fun of at school by this girl. She called me donkey ears. I never wore my hair up unless there was no other option such as for basketball games. My mom once asked me if i never put my hair up because of my ears. I told her and she started to look for surgeons. At the age of 13 i had the surgery. Now it's like i never had the problem in the first place and I can do whatever I want with my hair. After the surgery I was in a lot of pain and my ears hurt to the touch for about two months. IT sucked but it was totally worth it. I am so happy my parents let me get the surgery. If you have the same problems, talk to your parents. It might be difficult but there could be the possibility they do something about it. It was hard to tell my parents why i never put my hair up. The surgery changed everything for me. If your parents think you are too young, you are not. My surgeon said he has done this procedure to kids as young as five. It's a problem many people have. I know what you all are going through. It's not fun at all, but there is a solution.

Posted by need help on 29/02/2012 at 10:28

hi my ears stick out too all my life, i see alot of quetions here but no real answers. could somebody wiyh some knowledge on this subject please try and answer some of these quetions please, thank you 1, does dr merck method work 2, has anybodys ears ever returned to their original shape after surgery 3, which method would you recommend dr merck or the original surgical method 4, does wearing a headband at nite work any suggestions would greatly help thanks connel

Posted by Immi on 09/02/2012 at 08:05

I'm looking into this because I'm embarrassed of my ears. When I read this, I know now I can get something done (because my mum said I was too young for this procedure).

Posted by post surgery on 31/01/2012 at 04:32

I had my ears pinned back a few months ago by Dr Merck who uses a much better, less invasive technique. I'd recommend anyone who is set on having surgery to go to him. If you want to see any before and after photos or have any questions just ask.

Posted by hannah on 16/01/2012 at 06:43

im 13 and in year8,i have had ears that stick out for all my life and i can say i HATE THEM! for all those people that think there cute its not when you get called big ears and things like that ... my big ears are outting me down, i hate having my hair down al the time and it up but its almost impossible with my ears. i dont want surgery is there any way that i cold stop them from sticking out? maybe tapping them back when i sleep, or wearing a head band to sleep? please let me know i need help here!!

Posted by Anonymous on 21/12/2011 at 07:28

i have ears that stick out usually i cover them with my long hair but most of the time my parents dont let me grow it and im very self counscious, people have teased me and i know people talk about it. today i told my mom that otoplasty might be free in nhs but she got angry and said no. what can i do i really hate my ears.

Posted by Optional on 14/12/2011 at 08:46

i inherited my grandfather's ears and i was ver unhappy as a child. When i was 12 i called our insurance and asked if they cover an operation. they did back then until the age of 14 (germany). you cant imagine how happy i was. i told my mother about it, i took an appointment with my doctor and with the hospital. she just accepted my decision. Why would a mother be against it!!! i was not asking for breast implants! i was in terrible pain for days after the operation but i would do it again. it was the best thing i ve done for myself. when i got rid of the bandages i got my long hair cut short :) i was happy happy happy... i m pregnant now and i hope he/she wont have these ears and if yes i ll be supportive whatever he/she decides to do.

Posted by Optional on 19/11/2011 at 11:33

for ears that stick out in infants, an old remedy in my family is, put a simple band-aid on the ears .. in other words tape your childs ears to their head. no pain, no harm nothing but an easy and simple fix.. not sure if it would work with older children, but worth a try. maybe just wear the band aids at night only..

Posted by Optional on 08/11/2011 at 08:50

Same prob as u guys here, 12 and I want my ears fixed. They are supposedly missing a peice of cartilage and bend forward, not easily hid with hair! I want to know how much this would cost and how to tell my parents! Help!

Posted by handsome face on 08/11/2011 at 02:35

just were a hat to sleep and were it for about a month your ears will start to get used to it and you'll become a handsome face like me

Posted by ... on 19/10/2011 at 07:06

I am teased at school and really want to get my sticking out ears corrected. I don't know how to tell my parents and is there a risk of death?

Posted by Optional on 06/10/2011 at 06:24 It corrects any infant ear deformity quickly, non surgically and painlessly.

Posted by Anonymous on 03/10/2011 at 07:49

One of my ears stick it at it is embarrassing, with my hair down it isn't too bad, but when I tie it up then I am embarrassed :( Don't know how to tell parents :S

Posted by brit on 19/09/2011 at 10:38

I'm 13 and I'm ears stick out and I don't like people making fun of me I feel like I need to sleep on it to lay it down but it hasn't worked out

Posted by Musik <3 on 19/06/2011 at 05:14

I wish my ears stuck out more. They're small it's like embarrassing. I can't even have gauges cause they'd look weird in contrast with my small ears. Besides, big ears are cute.

Posted by Optional on 12/06/2011 at 12:05

I've always been very aware that my ears stuck out, I was teased at school and even by my own brother and his freinds. So as you can imagine my confidence as a child was pruty low. As I got older I would shy away from people and would not mix you could say to this present day I a bit of a loner, I am happily married with three great kids, but the problem is still with me yo this day, Hate the way I look and can see in peoples faces what they are thinking and by there actions, you could say I become a expert at people jesters in stroking there own ears as they talk to me. I feel that it has made be bitter and unhappy, but again I've become an expert in hiding my feelings.......

Posted by Optional on 22/05/2011 at 02:39

When I was about 11 I was considering having an otoplasty because my ears stick out, but I bottled it at the last minute because the doctors were rattling on about all the things that could go wrong, and I was young and it freaked me. If I could go back I would do it now, but because it was with the NHS if I had it now I'd have to pay like £3000 =/ Does anyone know if those Ear Buddies or anything actually work? I know they're supposed to be for babies but I'd really like to get them fixed, and I don't have that much money...

Posted by Optional on 13/04/2011 at 02:17

Im a pregnant lady with big ears will my unborn child have big ears too??

Posted by Optional on 21/03/2011 at 04:45

I'm 14 and I asked my mum if I could get my ears pinned back and she said fine and we got it for free on BRITISH HEALTH CARE. But, apparently one was fine so I only got one ear done. If you live in the UK and your ears stick out more than 2cm you can get it free on the NHS. I had to waitsix months but saved thousands.

Posted by Ajax on 08/03/2011 at 02:42

my ears also stick out but i am a blonde so my ears are covered up the whole time and noone notices my ears,when i was little all these people use to say i have big ears and i was like "I KNOW!!! gosh just leave me alone!" and after a while i grew long hair and cover up my ears and everything was good.until now i just got my haircut i loook like a total big ears guy.i want to ask my parents about the surgery but im am scared that they will say my ears are fine,you look cute.that always got my spirits up until i was like 11 when i got my haircut,then my ears showed.but does anyone know how much a regular surgery on the ear to make it smaller costs?

Posted by jake on 28/02/2011 at 06:44

im fourteen years old and i a have small ears, but they stick out? I Would have surgery but im scared to tell my parent. Does anybody know any ideas that REALLY WORK To get your ears pinned back at home??? :(

Posted by Optional on 12/02/2011 at 01:30

Another bad problem that can cause ears to form differently is called ‘Spock ear’ Yeah, like our old friend from Star Trek, and can make the ears form with a spreaded fat look and slightly pointed at the top. This can make the ears look like the type y at a joke shop! Everybody has unique ears and most ear problems or deformities can be fixed by your surgeon. One way to help sticky out ears is this firm at however not all reports are good with type of approach and you do, however, need to discuss your expectations for and treatment or surgery with them to ensure that what you are hoping for is realistic. It might be that really radical differences cannot be achieved, and if you aren’t going to be happy with the result then the surgery is pointless in the first place. Jessica soames

Posted by Optional on 29/01/2011 at 06:30

I married a guy with not only sticking out ears but one is also kinda bent. Once we stared dating at first i was a bit freaked out but after i got to know him i didn't care about his ears. We been married for 6 years now. Love him to death. :)

Posted by Laura on 21/01/2011 at 07:26

My entire life I have been self-conscious about my ears. Not only do they stick out but my hair is fine and straight, so hiding them was always a challenge! My ears were a constant source of misery for me-not only were hair-styles limited for me(that's a big deal for a girl!) because of them, but they also gave kids a reason to tease me. When I was around 20 I decided it was time to make a change. I was a waitress at the time, and obligated to wear my hair up(health-code). As uncomfortable as that made me I didn't want to quit-the money was more than I could've made anywhere else. I was referred to an awesome stylist and explained that I needed a 'do that would camoflage my ears. I had my qualms, but I trusted her to transform me! She stacked it SUPER short in the back and angled it down in the front, about down to my chin. It was perfect! All I have to do is style it w/a thick round-brush to give it volume and it totally hides my ears! That was the day I decided that I could live with my ears the was they are.. Unfortunately, one of my super-adorable sons inherited my ears and just the other day he started telling me that he doesn't like them "because they are too big". :( It absolutely broke my heart to hear this. He is 4 years old, and if anybody has any suggestions or stories about what worked for you I'd love to hear them.. Thanks!

Posted by Jamie on 17/01/2011 at 06:20

ok, well i'm 13 and i don't ever wear my hair up because of my ears, also if i don't shower every day my hair is flat and my ears stick out of my hair . . . this bothers my I would like the surgery but i'm not allowed =( so i was wondering if i put duck tape behind my ears for as long as I need to would it work or at least help them not stick out as bad ?

Posted by Optional on 16/11/2010 at 03:31

I had an otoplasty 15 years ago when I was 11 and my sister 6 years old. We had it done the traditional method where they cut the skin behind your ear to make it smaller, this method always leaves scars. One of my ears was ok but the othe one looked terrible. So when i was 17 I had it done again. It looks ok but not great. Now I have 2 children I was always dreading that their ears will stick out. Few days after my son was born I noticed that this happened. I tried to stick his ears with the tape but people was only laughing at me and alsi it didn't help. I satrted my research when and where to do otoplasty for him. I found Dr Merck in Germany who is doing a stich method. It doesn't involve cutting the skin at the back, it doesn't leave any scars. My son had his ears done on 12/11/10 by Dr Merck and now is 16/11/10 his ears look AMAZING. He went to school today there are no scars, no bruzing. If you are thinking to do otoplasty check Dr Merck stich metod!

Posted by Me on 25/10/2010 at 12:55

I'm 13, and my ears have stuck out my whole life (I got it from my grandad's side of the family). I don't particularly want to ask my mum to get surgery (I'm the sort of person who gets embarassed with things like that). Is there a way to permanently stop them sticking out without surgery?

Posted by anon on 15/09/2010 at 08:19

this message is for rob. did you mean memory foam pillow because you dont lay your head on a mattress. did it really work give us an update on your other ear. oh another thing, how long have you been sleeping on the foam. thanks

Posted by Curious101 on 28/08/2010 at 04:05

Is there anyway i can stop my ears from sticking out without having to have surgery ?

Posted by lozzie on 25/08/2010 at 03:09

My son is nealry 10years old and has ears that stick out he has been like this since he was little over the last few months kids have been picking on him and calling him names he has even came home crying i find this really heart breaking and would like some help and advice on how we go about getting help for him thanks

Posted by Optional on 10/08/2010 at 03:26

Im 15 and my ears stick out, for basically all my life i have been wearing a head band to try and stick them back (also because im self concious) I dont want surgery, but can wearing a head band stick them back? or is there anything else that may help them stick back? im sick of wearing a head band. please help!

Posted by Optional on 14/07/2010 at 01:02

I got an otoplasty, it was such a good improvement to my self-esteem

Posted by Optional on 06/06/2010 at 06:06

Mydaugher is 5 and a half months old with ears that stick out. Is it to late for ear splints. What is the best thing to do.

Posted by Rob on 13/05/2010 at 12:31

I was always told that I had ears like my Great Grandfather. When I finally saw a picture of him, and then compared my ears to his, I about died. Everytime I got a haircut as a kid I would just cry. I finally got comfortble having ears that stick out and let it go. However, totally by accident I noticed my righ ear is now in a normal position. It took me a while to figure out how this is possible, but finally it dawned on my. I purchased a memory foam mattress pad at one of the "clubs" a year ago. because of the effect of not rolling over, I sleep on one side the entire night. I do not move. I have since started sleeping on the other side of the bed and I am noticing a difference on the other ear in just 5 months. Crazy?? You say? I say..I totally worked for me. And appearently you don't have to be an infant with developing or growing cartiledge to see results. I would guess if your a deep sleeper you will have good results. Good luck to anyone that tries it!

Posted by Hello2 on 07/05/2010 at 11:38

I wish girls found ears sticking out cute and kind of sexy. It doesn't help my self confidence at times but plastic surgery doesn't seem the way to go.

Posted by Hello on 07/04/2010 at 09:22

Are you guys mad! I think that sticky out ears are really cute, and kind of sexy. And having a childs ears pinned back is wrong unless there is a serious medical reason for it. It is their body, let them choose when they are older. Also, I'm just curious to know if this surgery can be reversed if the person decides they don't like it?

Posted by help needed!! on 28/03/2010 at 08:04

if anyone can help me! im 17, 18 in just over a month and i would really love to have my ears pinned back as i hate my ears soooo much they stick out alot and im always moving my hair over them ive never had my hair up and were i work ill have to put my hair up when it gets long,its short at the moment and i would love to grow my hair long again but i dont want to put my hair up because of my ears.i just want to cut them off!!! and i always think people are looking at my ears when its windy outside and i was at work the other day and my ears were oking out n people kept looking at them and my friends even moved my hair back over them for me..i cant afford to have the op and it would help my self esteem sooo much if i was to have it dont.and i keep taking it out on my boyfriend because when he plays with my hair and he'll put it behind my ears i know he means well but it really bugs me..can i get it on the nhs??

Posted by James on 18/03/2010 at 02:59

I had my ears pinned back a few months before i was 16, therefore it was free, but they bugged me ever since i was able to be annoyed by things, I can honestly say it had changed my life, i am never conscious about my ears anymore, the pain sticks around for a while, but if anyone is considering it, i recommend doing so.

Posted by Optional on 15/03/2010 at 09:52

i have recently had my ears pinned back

Posted by Dans on 20/02/2010 at 03:13

its so embaressing have stick out i am one of them.. i want to make things but i cant cause of my ears..i am shy, and i hate my life.. i want to do the surgecy but i havent even talk about it to my parents.. 1 year more and then i will do it alone..

Posted by Optional on 16/02/2010 at 06:53

Can anyone tell me more about the splints or tape used for babies ears. I am not sure as it if maybe one of my babies ears possibly could end up sticking out, how can I tell? and would tape on it's own work?

Posted by E on 06/01/2010 at 10:13

Guys - sticky out ears are cool, I'm proud of mine and would never change them. Celebrate your uniqueness and individuality - consider them your 'special' feature - once you do, others will too!

Posted by Reply to ashamed on 05/01/2010 at 11:18

Ashamed (the person with names that begin with j g.) Listen (no pun intended) my ears used to look likekate hudsons only twice the size when I was in year 8 a group of year sevens beat me up and I had to walk around on all fours like "the elephant that I was) one boy even rode me and used my dumbo ears as grips then when I was 15 my life changed around, my mum took me to a hairdressers to have my usual short back and sides which only accentuates the lugs, the usual lady who came by mobile was I'll. My mum asked for the grade 3 back and sides and grade 4 on top and the hairdresser gasped She then said that I should have my ears pinned back and I did! I now look human

Posted by charming on 05/01/2010 at 07:29

damn well im 16 and my ear's stick out and people laff at me so i wear my hair down always ! :/

Posted by ashamed on 27/12/2009 at 09:29

i have sticking out ears and people call me dumbo and big ears from noddy. i am only 14...i also have a sligt lisp only with my G's and J's and them letters are at the start of both of my names...i am half way through high school and people can be so mean... :'(

Posted by shorty12 on 13/12/2009 at 07:21

the surgery is the best solution for this problem, i think.. n if my son ever feels unconterble about his ears sticking out a lil (cuz i didn do any better at his birth in keep them back) i would go for the surgery for him..

Posted by shorty12 on 13/12/2009 at 07:08

my son was born with his ears bended from top to bottom of ear n got me worried when i first seen it. I thode it was a malformation or something, but the Dr. said it was ok just as long as i keep his ears taped back it will help in keeping his ears in the right possition. I thode tapping the ears back was kindoff **** so i only did it for like a week, n besides the tape wouldn stay there, so i stoped. So than i would lay him down on his sides with his ears straigh open in right possition n that helped. Even tho now that his about to be 7yrs his ears stick out just a lil, but they look ok. I think if they would of told me about somekind of kit (like Ear Buddies-splints) i would of use it instead of using "tape" OMG..

Posted by Dumbo on 01/09/2009 at 12:23

My ears stick out but only abit. That would be my dream. however in reality they stick out 90 degrees and my hair is grade 4 haircut. So i look like dumbo. I have never had a girlfriend and once taped them back before asking someone out and they flicked out just after they said yes. Then she stared at them with disgust and everybody laughed at me. People pull my ears and shout comments at me if i walk past like "look at the size of his ears" "wingnut" "ginger big ears" "dumbo" "bugs bunny" the list is endless. how much is the operation because i need it i am a freak help. Also how much do you have to wear a headband? thx

Posted by Anonymous on 14/08/2009 at 06:20

I was born with one ear sticking out. Like cupping an ear to hear better, I hear very clearly, so well..I am musically talented. But this one ear has made me very shy all my life...I don't pin my hair back....I noticed in life, there are others exactly like me, with the one ear out and the other normal. There must be an explaination?

Posted by Anonymous on 29/07/2009 at 06:11

How much does the operation cost?

Posted by e i e i o on 26/06/2009 at 06:17

How much does this operation cost? And do you only have to wear the headband at night for the two weeks?

Posted by daniel on 28/05/2009 at 02:01

my ears stick out abit...but there nt that noticeable but my ears are big so the will be noticeable if i get my haircut very short? any suggestions?

Posted by Ellen on 30/03/2009 at 11:13

A good and non-invasive method is Dr. Merck Stitch Method. Website is

Posted by Anonymous on 07/01/2009 at 06:43

my ears stick out so much and there so big. is the anything i can do something to stop it that wont be to noticable?

Posted by Jaime on 31/12/2008 at 01:12

I actually have a question! Are ears that stick out a dominant gene?


View what people have said about ears stick out

Fascinating facts

By the age of 5 or 6 years, our ears are about the size they will be when we are adults

About 5% of people think their ears stick out too much

It is normal for the tip of the ear to be up to 2 cm from the scalp

Older people have bigger ears. The reason could be that as we get older our ears grow by 0.22 mm/year. Or it could be that people with big ears live longer (for some unknown reason)

In Chinese culture, it is believed that long ears signify nobility (and predict a long life), and thick earlobes predict greater wealth

A burglar who listened at doors and windows, to see if anyone was at home, was caught by his ear prints left at scenes of his crimes (Daily Telegraph)

In 1998, a retired company director handed out thousands of large cardboard ears to commuters as they crossed London Bridge into the business area of the City. He filmed the business people wearing the ears, and submitted the film for the contemporary art Turner Prize

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