Itching inside the ear can be very annoying. If you have an ear itch that doesn’t go away by itself, it may be due to ear canal eczema, which is very common.
Itching ears can be the result of a number of things:
If your ears don’t produce enough wax, your ear skin can become dry and itchy. Earwax has lubricating effects. Its absence can cause itching as well as flaking skin coming from the ear.
Ear canal dermatitis
This condition occurs when the skin in and around the ear canal becomes inflamed. It can be the result of an allergic reaction to products in or near the ear, such as personal care products or metal earrings. Another type of dermatitis in the ear is called aural eczematoid dermatitis, which has unknown causes.
Otitis externa (outer ear infection)
Otitis externa (ear canal eczema), or infection of the outer ear canal, can cause ear pain as well as itching. This is also known as swimmer’s ear and is caused by inflammation that’s usually due to infection. It can lead to redness and swelling.
The most common symptom of ear canal eczema is that it itches in the ear and the ear canal becomes flaky. Hearing may also become a little worse as the ear canal swells and then drains from the ear. If you also get ear pain and fever, ear canal eczema may have spread to the inner ear. If the infection spreads to the outer ear, it can become red, swollen, tender and warm. It is also not uncommon for the skin around the ear to turn red. Then it can also hurt when you yawn or chew.
Prevention and protection
To prevent irritation, avoid cleaning your ears with objects such as:
- cotton balls
- cotton swabs
- paper clips
- bobby pins
Other ways to avoid irritation in your ears include:
- Use antiallergic jewelry, which can prevent allergic reactions that lead to itching.
- If you swim frequently, use a solution to dry up excess water in the ear canal.
- If you experience excess earwax production, you may want to keep your earwax at a manageable level by using doctor-approved treatments, such as ear drops or a bulb syringe.
You can relieve an itching ear at home by keeping ears dry. Use a shower cap and/or earplugs when bathing and showering. It is important to avoid itching because this only aggravates the problem. Prescription-free sprays are available at pharmacies to unblock ear wax. These can be used for anyone over the age of five. Usually, the condition clears up by itself with home treatments, but if itching continues or keeps returning, you should consult a doctor.
When to consult a doctor
If the ear canal is swollen and irritated and itching does not go away after two days, you should seek medical help. If there is any discharge from the ear, the outer ear is red or hearing deteriorates, you should immediately consult a doctor.
How APPOTEK can help
In order to make an assessment of the ear and ear canal, a physical examination is needed. Appotek can refer you to a doctor or specialist to diagnose and treat any problems with itching ears.