Although cholesteatomas are more commonly found in the middle ear and the mastoid, the disease can occur in the external ear canal. All cases of ear canal cholesteatoma treated by the author were reviewed. There were nine ears in seven patients, who had an average age of 62 years. The lesions ranged in size from a few millimeters to extensive mastoid destruction. Smaller lesions can be managed by frequent cleaning as an office procedure. Larger lesions require surgery, either canaloplasty or mastoidectomy. The otolaryngologist should suspect this disease in the elderly. Microscopic examination of the ear with meticulous cleaning of all wax, especially in elderly patients, is most useful in detecting early disease. Frequent applications of mineral oil to the canal should be used in the management of the disease and to prevent recurrence.