Earlobe creases are lines in the surface of earlobe of a child or young adult. The surface is otherwise smooth. Franks’ sign is a diagonal ear lobe crease (ELC) extending diagonally from the tragus across the lobuleto the rear edge of the auricle. The sign is named after Dr. Peter J Frank
Crease in Earlobe Meaning
It has been hypothesised that Franks’ sign is indicative of cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes. Some studies have described Franks’ sign as a marker of cardiovascular disease but not linked to the severity of the condition.
In contrast, other studies have rebutted any association between Frank’s sign and coronary artery disease in diabetic. There have also been reported cases of Franks’ sign assisting in the diagnosis of cerebral infarctions.
However, researchers do agree that these crease in earlobe have no predictive value in Native American Indian and Asian patients.
Some studies have focused upon bilateral earlobe creases
Severity of earlobe creases
- Grade 3 –a crease that covers the whole of the earlobe
- Grade 2a – Creased more than halfway across the earlobe
- Grade 2b – A superficial crease across the earlobe
- Grade 1 – A small amount of wrinkling on the earlobe
The earlobes of children and young adults are normally smooth. Creases are sometimes linked with conditions that are passed down through families. Other genetic factors, such as race and earlobe shape, may also determine who develops earlobe creasing and when it occurs.
Note: It is not uncommon to have one small abnormality in facial features, such as an earlobe crease. Most often this does not indicate a serious medical condition.
Some studies have found that people with crease in earlobe have a greater risk for heart attack than others. More recent research suggests that earlobe creases are more common in older people, and that age, not the presence of creases, accounts for the increased heart attack risk.
Other genetic factors such as race and earlobe shape may also determine who develops earlobe creasing and whether it occurs in childhood or adulthood.
You may be at a higher risk of getting heart disease if you’re overweight or you smoke. But what could a diagonal crease in your earlobe tell you?
As the normal earlobe is smooth, an earlobe with a crease has a fold, straight line, or wrinkle that appears to cut the earlobe in half. An open letter that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1973 reported that a diagonal earlobe crease (ELC) was a potential indicator of coronary artery disease. This crease was later called “Frank’s sign,” after the letter writer, Dr. Sanders T. Frank.
How a Crease on Earlobe Indicate Heart Disease
For scientists, they are not sure how these two might be connected, but there are some theories. Degeneration of the elastic tissue around the small blood vessels that carry blood to the earlobes produces the earlobe crease.
This is the same type of change in blood vessels associated with cardiac disease. In other words, visible changes that show up in tiny blood vessels of the ear could indicate similar changes in those blood vessels that can’t be seen around the heart.
For rare conditions like Beckwith-Weidman syndrome, an overgrowth disorder, in children or genetic factors such as race and earlobe shape also can cause a crease.
What Causes Earlobe Creases?
Several scientists have looked at the potential connection between earlobe creases and cardiac arrest disease. Some studies have shown a correlation, while others have not. A study of 340 patients published in 1982 found a crease in earlobe to be a sign associated with aging and CAD.
The crease suggested the presence of a more severe form of heart disease in people who were showing symptoms. The earlobe crease, the researcher’s states that, may identify a subset of patients prone to early aging and to the early development of coronary artery disease, whose prognosis might be improved by early preventative measures.
Another study published in 1989 studied the bodies of 300 patients who had died from various causes. In this study, the diagonal creases were associated with cardiovascular causes of death. The researchers wrote, “We found a strong association between earlobe creases and a cardiovascular cause of death in men and women after age, height, and diabetes had been controlled for.”
Crease in Earlobe Causes
Whatever the size, shape, thickness, or colour, most people have smooth earlobes. But have you ever met someone that has a crease in their earlobe—a line that seems to split it in two? That’s known as “Frank’s Sign”. Surprisingly, it’s named after the man who first recognized it as something other than a simple skin wrinkle.
Creases on earlobes can have various causes, just like most other symptoms. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Causes of crease in earlobe
In children, earlobe creases are sometimes linked with rare disorders. One of these is commonly known as Weidman syndrome.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
In most cases, the health care provider will notice earlobe creases during a regular check-up. Talk to your provider if you are concerned that your child’s earlobe creases may be linked to an inherited disorder.
Earlobe crease. This is a tricky trait. You might have an earlobe crease if the trait is passed down genetically through your family. As far as what else may cause this, that’s up for debate. One theory suggests that it could be due to impaired circulation leading to a collapsed blood vessel near the earlobe. Another theory, which comes from a dermatologist, is that it may develop from a combination of aging and sleeping on one particular side of your body. But the cause is hard to pin down and there aren’t any current treatments for it.
Ear crease and heart disease
Many studies have since been performed and the great majority have supported Frank’s research. It hasn’t been definitively determined why heart disease may manifest in a fold in the earlobe.
- Lack of blood flow to the ears will cause the lobe to wrinkle. If the blood can’t get through to the ears, there’s a blockage somewhere.
- Elastin and collagen fibres weaken in the ears, indicating a similar weakening of coronary arteries.
- The coronary arteries end at the ears; vascular disease there means vascular disease further up the line.
A Japanese study found that diagonal earlobe crease may be caused by shortened cell telomeres associated with metabolic syndrome. It concluded that it might be a useful indirect marker of high-risk patients.
Telomeres are areas at the end of each strand of DNA that protect cells from damage. The longer the telomere, the better.
A noticeable symptom of crease in earlobe
Interestingly, a noticeable crease in the earlobe is often an indicator of cardiovascular disease in the absence of any other symptoms.
A study published in 2014 tells of a man with hypertension who went to an outpatient clinic. The physician saw Frank’s sign on both earlobes and suggested further testing, although the man displayed no symptoms of heart problems. After testing, it was found that the left main coronary artery was 80% blocked and the right was 90% blocked. “The patient underwent 3-vessel coronary artery bypass graft surgery and has since done well.”
Oddly, prevalence of DELC may be partly cultural/regional.
Another Japanese study found an unarguably strong correlation between ear crease and heart disease. However, the prevalence among the 1000 people involved in the study was less than expected.
It is concluded that, the prevalence of ear crease in Japanese adults is very low compared with the results of previous studies in Europe and America; the prevalence of crease in earlobe tends to increase with advancing age but is unrelated to other risk factors for coronary heart disease; a statistically significant association between earlobe crease and coronary heart disease is seen from multivariate analysis using both clinical and angiographic criteria in the diagnosis of the disease.
Can Ear Lobes Give Other Signs?
DELC may be a clear tell-tale sign of heart disease, but not when mixed with other conditions. One study aimed to discover if DELC would be a credible identifier of vascular disease and retinopathy in diabetic, it was not
In response, a grading system has been developed for DELC that indicates the severity of current cardiovascular risk:
- Unilateral incomplete – least severe
- Unilateral complete – moderate
- Bilateral complete – most severe
Like a canary in a coal mine, should you notice a permanent crease in someone’s ear, don’t ignore it. Early intervention in the case of heart disease can be a life saver.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
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 paediatrician.
Can Earlobe Creases be reversed
Ear creases aren’t a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Diagonal earlobe creases can be an indicator for coronary artery disease, however, and low magnesium can contribute to heart disease. Earlobe can be reversed if they are not inborn. Those who acquire these genes from their families it may be hard to reverse this condition. Discuss any medical concerns and diet or supplement changes with your health care provider.
Ear Creases and Heart Disease
Diagonal earlobe creases may be an indicator of coronary artery disease in some patients. A study conducted by Iranian researchers and published in a 2014 issue of “Heart India” found that over half of the heart disease patients who participated in the study had diagonal earlobe creases.
Magnesium Deficiency and Heart Disease
Low magnesium levels may contribute to heart disease. A 2013 review of heart disease research titled “The Magnesium Hypothesis of Cardiovascular Disease” led by Andrea Rosanoff, director of research and science information outreach for the Centre for Magnesium Education and Research in Pahoa, Hawaii, found that magnesium deficiencies contributed more to heart disease than cholesterol and saturated fat.
The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is 310 to 320 milligrams per day for women and 400 to 420 milligrams daily for men. Food sources of magnesium include whole grains such as wheat bran, oat bran and brown rice; greens such as spinach and Swiss chard; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts; lima beans, milk and bananas.
Vertical Earlobe Crease
Could that small vertical mark on your ear have something to do with heart disease? Here is a simple test that could protect you from serious damage to your health. In 1973, a doctor named Sanders T. Frank conducted a number of studies to determine whether an earlobe crease, known as “Frank’s sign”, could be an indicator of coronary artery disease.
He found that patients who had creases running at an angle from the bottom of their ear opening to the edge of their ear lobe were at higher risk for heart disease. But before you start worrying, here are some basic statistics and background on the test. Since Dr. Frank’s studies were published, more scientists have looked into the correlation between the earlobe crease and heart disease.
Researchers found that the earlobe crease “may identify a subset of patients prone to early aging and to the early development of coronary artery disease, whose prognosis might be improved by early preventative measures.” Others like Dr. Sarah Samaan clarify that, “Heart disease doesn’t cause earlobe creases, nor do the creases cause heart disease, but they seem to be a marker for an unhealthy lifestyle.”
Biologically, ear creases result when the elastic tissue around the small blood vessels in the ear begins to degenerate. This is the same type of change that occurs in the blood vessels when one has coronary artery disease. Therefore, scientists concluded that the visible change in the earlobe could be an indication of more serious changes occurring in the blood vessels around the heart.
To provide you with some numbers, a more recent study in 2006 found the predictive value of the ear crease to be about 80 percent in individuals 40 years and younger. That said, it appears that ear creases can predict certain aging diseases like heart disease and possibly even diabetes, but there are still some scientists that are unconvinced.
One study conducted in 1980 found that there was no significant relationship between earlobe creases and coronary artery disease in American Indians, suggesting that “Frank’s sign” may not have the same level of indication in other ethnic groups. Another study on Japanese Americans also found no correlation between earlobe creases and heart disease.
Yet other scientists propose that because the studies are usually conducted on patients over the age of 50, the results may be biased as individuals naturally have a higher risk for these diseases as they age. It could be that earlobe creases are simply a sign of the natural aging process.
Earlobe Crease in one Ear
Despite these doubts, most scientists and doctors agree that the appearance of an ear crease in one ear at the age of 50 and below could be a good indication that the body is not as healthy as it should be. For this reason, if you have an earlobe crease, or know someone with one, it is important to consult a doctor who can test your blood and determine if this odd indicator holds any truth. And remember, heart disease can be treated and even stopped in its tracks, and once it has disappeared, so too will the earlobe crease!
The ear lobe crease (ELC) has been defined as a deep wrinkle that extends backwards from the tragus to the auricle. It has been proposed that ELC is a predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD). In this review, we consider the possible association between ELC and CAD. Our aim is to systematically address all the relevant evidence in this field. There are many studies that support an association between ELC and CAD. However, other studies did not find such an association. A recent meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that ELC could be a marker of CAD. However, several limitations raise doubts as to whether we should accept this link.
Keywords: ear lobe crease, coronary artery disease, Frank’s sign
Several algorithms have been used to predict cardiovascular events without the use of invasive methods. These include the Framingham, Prospective Cardiovascular Munster and Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation engines that predict risk in populations without CVD as well as the Diamond Forrester algorithm which predicts the probability of having significant cardiovascular in symptomatic patients. In a recent study, the Framingham risk score seems to outmatch the other three risk scores in 1,296 stable chest pain patients, who underwent cardiac computed tomographic angiography to assess cardiovascular. However, the algorithms often overestimate the prevalence of cardiovascular.
Coronary angiography and CCTA are used to diagnose or rule out CAD. However, these invasive techniques have limitations since they involve exposure to radiation and the administration of contrast agents. Contrast-induced nephropathy is associated with prolonged hospitalization as well as increased cardiovascular morbidity, renal morbidity and all-cause mortality.
There is a need for additional markers which might identify individuals at high risk of CAD. The ear lobe crease. a simple clinical sign first described by Frank in 1973, could be a potential predictor of CAD. Since then, numerous studies have evaluated the potential link between ELC and risk of CAD.
In this review, we describe the possible association between ELC and CAD. Our aim is to systematically address all the relevant evidence in this field
How to Get Rid of Crease in Ear Lobe
The best crease on ear lobe remedies, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, are those that focus on preventing wrinkles in the first place. So regardless what sort of wrinkle-removal remedy you choose, take the following steps as well: try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most direct, always use sunscreen with an SFP of at least 30, wear a hat and lighten up on soap use while increasing the amount of rinsing you do.
Soap residue left on the face can contribute to drying and wrinkled looking skin. Consider adding olive oil to your diet by regularly eating salad greens dressed with olive oil and lemon since olive oil offers skin benefits to those who consume it as well as those who apply it topically, GrannyMed.com suggests.
Boil 6-8 cups of water. Pour the hot water into a large bowl. Bend over near the bowl and drape a towel over your head to create a steam tent. Wait five to 15 minutes as you allow your face to steam.
Massage a small amount of olive oil onto damp facial skin. Apply the oil using long sweeping movements from the chin up onto the rest of the face.
Work the oil in gently but firmly, taking care to avoid your eyes. Move your fingertips in a circular motion on the skin of your forehead, temples, and down the sides of your face and back up again.
Place one finger on the skin on each side of your nose. Move your fingers in circles in that spot and then move outward about half an inch and repeat the circular motion. Continue moving outward and repeating this motion until you reach your ear lobes.
Grate one large cucumber. Put the shredded cucumber in a strainer and set it over a bowl to drain.
Allow the cucumber juice to drip into the bowl, pressing with your fingers to remove more of the liquid.
Use a cotton ball to swab your face with the cucumber juice. Let it sit on your face for at least 30 minutes and then rinse well.
Repeat this procedure daily. Within a few days you should be able to see results, according to the Home Remedies Guide.
Separate one egg and beat the white until frothy.
Apply the foamy egg white to your face using your fingers. Leave the egg white on for at least 30 minutes or overnight–if you can sleep on your back.
Rinse your face with cool water to reveal smooth, soft, tightened skin.
- Frank’s sign: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank’s_sign
- How to remove earlobe creases with home remedies: http://www.livestrong.com/article/164473-how-to-remove-wrinkles-with-home-remedies/
- Heart- head connection: https://dailyhealthpost.com/ear-crease-heart-disease/