Years ago, dermatologists distinguished 2 kinds of nodules on the ear. Chondrodermatitis nodularis chronicus helicis was due to defects in the cartilage, and was seen on the top of the helix in older men. Chondrodermatitis nodularis chronicus anthelicis was caused by outside pressure. At the time, the most prevalent cause was the large earpieces worn by telephone operators, or wimples worn by nuns.1
In the latter disease, removal of the external pressure resulted in the disappearance of the disease. When telephone operators began to wear earpieces within the ear, and when nuns ceased to wear their ancestral uniforms, the condition all but disappeared. A few cases were noted in patients with great disability, such as severe arthritis. I thought it was because they were unable to turn their heads on the pillow, and that external pressure was again responsible.