Ear Anatomy – Outer Ear. The medical term for the outer ear is the auricle or pinna. The outer ear is made up of cartilage and skin. There are three different parts to the outer ear; the tragus, helix and the lobule. EAR CANAL The ear canal starts at the outer ear and ends at the ear drum. The canal is approximately an inch in length.
It’s a hollow tube that curves slightly downward as it moves into the ear toward the tympanic membrane, or eardrum. The eardrum is the ending point of the outer ear and the beginning of the middle ear The outer ear lies directly next to the middle ear. Though mostly made of cartilage and skin, the outer ear arises from the temporal bone.
An external ear infection, also sometimes called swimmer’s ear, is a problem that involves inflammation and itching of the skin of the outer ear canal. Bacteria cause most cases of external ear infection.