Causes Of Dermatitis Of The Ear Canal
Contact dermatitis of the ear canal is an allergic reaction to triggers such as nickel-containing earrings and numerous beauty products .
and psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring disease that causes one or more raised, red patches that have silvery scales and a distinct border between the patch and normal skin. A problem with the immune… read more .
The skin irritation and cracking caused by dermatitis may allow a bacterial or fungal ear canal infection Ear Canal Infection Bacteria and sometimes fungi can cause acute infection of the skin of the ear canal. Ear canal infection is caused by bacteria or, less commonly, fungi. Typical symptoms are pain and discharge… read more to develop.
What Triggers Eczema On The Ears
Ear eczema can flare up due to various triggers. Some things are considered internal triggers. These include stress, diet, and infections.
External or environmental factors include heat, dampness, dust mites, pet fur, pollen, and mold. Other triggers may include using bath and beauty products such as soaps, lotions, detergents, and jewelry
How To Treat Ear Eczema
Eczema is an itchy and uncomfortable skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body including outside the ear or inside the ear canal. If left untreated, ear eczema can lead to infection or inflammation of the ear canal.
Read on foreverything you need to know about ear eczemaâ including different types, symptoms, and natural treatment options.
Please keep in mind that although these tips can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If youre experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
Symptoms of Eczema Around Ears
As with all forms of eczema,itchiness is a prime characteristic. Those suffering from ear eczema may also notice dry and scaly skin in or around their ears. Its possible that there may be clear discharge from the ear, in addition to any redness and swelling.
Bear in mind that ear eczema can affect not only the skin of your ear, but the area behind your ear and the fold between your earlobe and face as well. In some cases, it may even affect your ear canal.
Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms. Severe symptoms may result in dry patches developing a rough or leathery texture. Oozing or bleeding may result if the skin cracks.
What Causes Ear Eczema?
The cause of ear eczema depends on what kind of ear eczema it is. In general, people suffering from eczema tend to have an overactive immune system that responds with inflammation when triggered.
Common triggers include:
You May Like: Can Eczema Make You Feel Sick
What Does Eczema In The Ears Look Like
Atopic eczema is the most common type of eczema and it has very visible symptoms itchy, dry and cracked skin. While eczema in the ears isnt the same as topic eczema, the condition looks very similar to the most common types of eczema because it causes red, scaly, crusty and dry skin in or around your ear.
Ear eczema can appear as patches on your skin. These patches can be leathery or rough and can ooze. This can cause your ears to be sensitive, inflamed and painful. You may also have areas of irritated skin.
The visible symptoms of this eczema can look slightly different, depending on whether it manifests in or outside of your ear. These are the symptoms you can expect to see in and outside of your ear:
Over The Counter Treatments And Medicated Shampoo
If lifestyle and skin care routine changes dont work, it might be time to consider over the counter and prescription options. OTC and prescription treatment for this skin disorder is aimed at removing scales, reducing itch and calming the inflammation thats causing redness and swelling.
In infants, using an emollient such as mineral oil or petroleum jelly, to gently loosen scales is usually all thats needed. Care can be more complicated for adults, who often need ongoing treatment and self-care to help prevent flare-ups.
Dermatologists usually begin treating mild cases with a topical antifungal cream or medicated shampoo, such as a prescription anti-fungal shampoo or over-the-counter dandruff product. Some popular topical treatments include creams with 1% ciclopirox or 2% ketoconazole. Because both ciclopirox and ketoconazole can dry out the skin, its important to use a gentle moisturizer after applying a cream with either ingredient.
Recommended Reading: How To Fix Baby Eczema
How To Get Rid Of Eczema Behind Ears
Crust and scabs are two-term usually confused or used interchangeably. See here, a scab is a layer that forms on a skin wound or a cut while a crust is a hard layer that that grows over a skin surface, therefore a scab can be described as a crust. So generally, crusting results when the body secretion or exudates dries up.
Crusting also develops when pus or serum on a ruptured blister dries up. So, there are many causes that can result to crusting on skin. The symptoms will vary relying on the underlying causes. Read on to explore the common causes below.
Treatment For Seborrheic Dermatitis
Specific treatment for seborrheic dermatitis will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the condition
Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Although the condition responds to treatment, it may happen again. Treatment depends on the inflammation’s location. It is usually effective in relieving symptoms. Treatments may include:
Antiinflammatory creams or lotions, such as corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors
Medicated shampoo for adults, as prescribed by your healthcare provider
Don’t Miss: Does Petroleum Jelly Help With Eczema
How Do I Know If My Ears Have Eczema Dry Skin Or Psoriasis
Ear eczema and psoriasis are common , chronic inflammatory skin conditions. Abnormalities in the inflammatory response of the immune system are the cause of them. Dry skin is temporary and curable, whereas eczema and psoriasis are chronic conditions.
It may be difficult for a person to tell the difference between psoriasis and eczema. These conditions can both present on the elbows, knees, lower back, face, scalp, and ears as dry, red, scaling plaques.
A person should talk with their doctor as soon as they notice these symptoms for proper diagnosis and treatment.
What Treatment Options Are Available For Psoriasis In The Ears
After an initial consultation with a primary doctor, you may be referred to a dermatologist for treatment.
There are several methods for treating psoriasis in the ear. Some treatment options may be better suited for you than others. Talk with a doctor about treatment and consider your symptoms severity and any medication allergies you may have.
You May Like: What Cream Can I Use For Eczema On My Face
When To See A Doctor
Before moving further, bear in mind that simple staph colonization is not the same as a staph infection.
Small areas of weeping eczema from colonization can usually be treated at home, and will probably benefit from the tips in this article, however if you have large eczema areas that are severely covered with Staph A, then its important to check with your doctor to rule out any complications such as a Staph infection.
Some signs you have staph infection:
You have on and off fevers You have large eczema lesions with blood and/or yellow pus It is painful to stand or walk Chills and shivers The weeping goes away for a while, but then comes back, over and over
If the infection is serious, your doctor may suggest taking an oral antibiotic. If its not so serious, an antibiotic cream might be recommended to kill the Staph bacteria.
Of course, if you have weeping eczema, PLEASE consult your doctor immediately! Especially if you have signs of an infection like a high fever or chills.
Diagnostics Of The Cracks Behind The Ears
The fissure behind the ear is visible to the naked eye, so a routine examination is often sufficient.
However, diagnostics in dermatology should reveal the true cause of this symptom. Therefore, blood tests may be required: general, for sugar levels, for thyroid hormones, for antibodies . And instrumental diagnostics includes dermatoscopy .
You May Like: What Is The Best Body Soap For Eczema
What Are The Treatments For Ear Eczema
Ear eczema treatments depend on the type and cause of eczema. Treatments for eczema include both at-home remedies and medical treatment. Talk with your doctor about which treatments are best for your ear eczema. Treatments may include:
- Moisturizers: Emollients add moisture to the skin. They should be applied to dry skin each day.
- Steroid drops: Doctors prescribe these drops for ear eczema inside the ear canal.
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors: This topical medication suppresses the immune system response that causes inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory ointments: These can be in the form of topical steroids, such as cortisone cream. Its best to use the lowest strength that works adequately.
- Coal tar: Applying coal tar can help reduce the itching from eczema. It should only be used while under the care of a doctor.
- Ultraviolet radiation exposure can reduce the symptoms of eczema. You may need a few sessions before you start seeing results.
- Oral medication: In severe cases of eczema, oral anti-inflammatory medication can be taken. Oral medication can help some cases that are resistant to moisturizers or topical steroids.
- Nonsteroidal topicals: These topicals work in different ways to prevent eczema symptoms such as itchiness and redness.
- Biologics: These medications target inflammation and reduce eczema symptoms.
Symptoms Of Ear Eczema
Ear eczema can cause irritation, discomfort, itching, and sometimes pain.
It can affect all parts of the ear, including your ear lobes, the outside of the ear hole , the opening of the ear , the area behind the ear, the creases of the ear and ear folds, as well as internal parts of the ear, like the ear canal , and the eardrum itself .
Some common symptoms of ear eczema include:
- Occasional thin discharge from your ear
Symptoms often flare up in the winter, when the air is drier.
Also Check: How To Heal Eczema On Eyelids
Treatments For Ear Eczema
Atopic eczema: Itching can be soothed with a cortisone cream . Meanwhile, an emollient can help hydrate the skin in order to repair damage and restore its proper function.
Contact eczema: First, eliminate the cause of the allergyand any products that may contain the allergen or allergens identified by your doctorfrom your daily routine. Your doctor may also prescribe a topical corticosteroid to soothe itching and treat eczema.
Can psychological factors cause eczema around the ears?
Some say that stress, nerves or anxiety can cause eczema. This is false: Eczema is not all in your head it is linked to a physiopathological cause: an allergy or atopy, primarily. At most, stress can sometimes trigger a flare-up or worsen symptoms.
Treatment Of The Cracks Behind The Ears
Treatment for cracks behind the ears, in particular the choice of therapeutic agents, usually depends on the underlying cause.
Many people are helped by keeping the skin clean, dry and hydrated. Remedies for excessive dry skin and methods of their use are presented in the material – Dry skin of the body .
After examination, the doctor prescribes medications, and these are usually external drugs. If an inflammatory focus appears with eczema behind the ears, you will need a combination of antibiotics and topical steroids, that is, ointments that relieve inflammation , first of all, such effective agents as Levomekol and Baneocin.
What means are used, read in the publications:
Recommended Reading: What Causes Eczema In The Ear Canal
Tips To Prevent Dry Skin Behind The Ears
1. Apply sunscreen behind your ear when you are going out in the sun or going for a swimming session.
2. If you are living in extreme weather, make sure your room temperature is moderate.
3. Avoid any metals or ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions.
4. Use natural fragrances instead of regular perfumes.
5. Avoid taking hot baths. It may dry out your skin.
6. Use soaps and cleansers formulated natural ingredients on your skin.
7. Make sure you drink sufficient water daily.
8. Moisturize the skin behind your ear regularly.
An Allergic Reaction: Contact Eczema
A product or object can sometimes trigger an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with the ear. This often occurs with everyday products, which you may have been using for years without any problems, but which suddenly provoke an allergy.
The following are some well-known triggers for allergic contact eczema:
- Costume jewelry
The cause may be unclear. In any case, it is best to consult a doctor so they can identify the allergen or allergens responsible and advise you on how to avoid future outbreaks.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Eczema On Upper Lip
Caring For Your Ears At Home
Here are our top tips for caring for your ears on a daily basis:
- Gently wash your ears each night. Be sure to use lukewarm water as hot water can further dry out the skin. Pat dry with a towel instead of rubbing.
- Avoid contact with triggers such as jewelry or beauty products. If youre not exactly sure which products are causing a reaction, it may take some trial and error to figure out.
- When showering, be sure to use natural products without any added fragrances or colours. Choose soaps, body wash, and shampoo that are suitable for sensitive skin.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- How can you tell that I have ear eczema?
- What kind of ear eczema do I have?
- If I dont have ear eczema, what other skin condition might I have?
- Is there a specific brand of moisturizer or skin care ointment that you recommend?
- Is there a prescription cream or ointment that you can prescribe?
- Should I see a dermatologist or another specialist?
- What soaps, lotions, hair care products and other skin care products should I avoid?
- What medications do you recommend?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Ear eczema is annoying and embarrassing, and it can be alarming if it impacts your hearing. It can affect your quality of life or make you feel self-conscious. However, its common and very normal. With a proper skin care routine and treatment, you can reduce its impact. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice signs of ear eczema.
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Gold Bond Eczema Relief On My Face
What Does Ear Eczema Look Like
Ear eczema often looks like red, scaly patches in or around the ear. A common site for this to occur in people with atopic ear eczema is the junction between the earlobe and face. Sometimes painful cracks or fissures occur in this area, which can become easily infected.
Seborrheic dermatitis on the ears typically looks like itchy, flaky skin with a yellowish, greasy scale. This type of eczema is sometimes confused with psoriasis.
Weeping of the skin is usually a sign that the area of eczema has become infected. With weeping eczema, the area oozes clear or straw-colored fluid and may have fluid-filled blisters.
Treatment Of Ear Eczema
Treatment of ear eczema will depend on the cause and type of eczema, which will need to be diagnosed by your GP.
For atopic, seborrhoeic or asteatotic eczema, apply a medical emollient frequently to the affected areas. You may be prescribed a topical steroid for sore areas behind the ears, and in their folds. If you have seborrhoeic dermatitis, a topical steroid combined with an antifungal may be prescribed.
Topical calcineurin inhibitors, the brand names of which are Protopic and Elidel, are sometimes prescribed for ear eczema.
Apply your topical treatments by using a cotton bud to gently paint your cream or ointment on the affected area. Do not push the cotton bud into your ear.
If you have eczema inside the ear canal, you will need steroid drops, which will be prescribed by your GP or other healthcare professional.
If allergic contact dermatitis is suspected, you may be referred to a dermatology department to help find out what you are allergic to so that you can avoid it in the future. The dermatologist will usually recommend patch testing.
The usual treatment for otitis externa is antibiotic ear drops, which may also contain a steroid to reduce inflammation, itch and swelling. Sometimes a swab is taken to identify the most appropriate antibiotics particularly if the condition does not improve. The ENT clinic may also clean the ear using gentle suction or irrigation .
Read Also: Types Of Eczema On Hands And Feet
Hearing Aids And Itching Of The Ear :
Sometimes the plastic of a hearing aid or polish on the surface of the plastic will cause an allergic reaction in the ears of the wearer. The polish can be removed or the hearing aid mold plastic changed. Hearing aids of the BTE type, where the main processor is behind the ear, have far less issues as there is very little contact between the hearing aid and the skin of the ear. This is not always possible however.
When hearing aid users get water in their ear, the hearing aids can trap the water in the ear causing irritation. Keeping the external ear free of water is advisable.
Hearing aids may have a bump which puts pressure on the ear canal. This can be irritating and cause itching. The solution here is to have the hearing aid mold revised.
When To Visit A Doctor
We recommend all the individuals to take their skin condition seriously. Seek immediate medical help in the cases like the swelling resists, itchy areas do not improve, redness persists and the open areas accompanied by pus.
You might need to seek medical advice in the following cases:
- when you constantly scratch the same skin patch
- the itchy patch looks infected
- when the rash is itchy and where it appears
- as soon as the symptoms arises
- whether the skin condition comes and goes over time
- whether theres any family history
Also Check: One Year Old With Eczema