Cryptotia is present when the upper part of the ear is buried under the skin against the side of the head. The part of the ear that is buried is the inner, upper part of the ear. The easiest way to think about this deformity is that the space between the top of your ear and your head that your sunglasses normally sit on is not there.
The photo on the left above shows the top of the right ear buried under the skin of the scalp. This gives the upper part of the ear an appearance of being stuck to the side of the head.
If detected in the first few weeks of life cryptotia may be treated successfully with ear molding techniques. If detected later in infancy or childhood, the treatment is surgical, usually after age 5.
In order to correct cryptotia the buried portion of the ear must be separated from the side of the head. This leaves a raw area on the back of the top portion of the ear and the side of the head where the ear used to be buried. These raw areas must be covered with skin to prevent scarring and maintain the space where glasses are supposed to sit. There are many ways to do this, usually involving the movement of tissue from the back of the ear or the scalp to close the defect.