Chromosomal and Genetic Conditions

Craniofacial Microsomia Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Craniofacial Microsomia

Some babies with craniofacial microsomia (CFM) have a slightly smaller jaw with a small skin tag (tiny raised piece of skin) in front of an otherwise normal-looking ear.

Other babies have more noticeable differences with one side of the face looking much smaller than the other or with a very small, abnormally shaped or even absent ear.

Most babies with CFM have facial differences, but they do not have any other medical problems. Some babies with craniofacial microsomia do have effects in other parts of their body.

Common features of craniofacial microsomia include:


  • Microtia (small ear)
  • Aural atresia (no ear canal)
  • Preauricular tags or facial tags (tags of skin in front of the ear)
  • Other ear differences


  • Facial palsy (difficulty with muscle movement)
  • Small cheekbone
  • Epibulbar dermoid (pinkish-white growth on the eye)
  • Macrostomia (wide mouth)
  • Cleft lip and palate

Jaw and teeth

  • Trismus (limited opening of the mouth)
  • Shortness of lower jaw
  • Crooked lower jaw
  • Malocclusion (bad bite)

Craniofacial Microsomia Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child's face and head carefully. Your child's ears, face, jaw and teeth will help the doctor determine whether they have CFM or another condition.

X-rays and computed tomography (CT) imaging can give the doctor more information. A CT scan is an X-ray procedure that takes a computer-enhanced cross-sectional view of the body.