Preauricular pits are congenital malformations of the soft tissues near the front of the ear. They can occur on one or both sides. While they often occur in isolation, they can also be a part of various syndromes that produce other malformations. The pit may be a simple pinhole opening in the skin, or can be associated with an underlying cyst. Pits and cysts can become infected, leading to cellulitis or abscess formation. If this occurs, it is generally recommended that the pit and/or cyst be removed. This is accomplished with a minor surgical procedure. In children, this is typically performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia.