Itchy ear: where does itchy ears come from?

The itching sensation in the ears is unpleasant. Often not very serious, it can be the sign of a skin disease that must be identified and treated.

Since the classic reaction is to scratch, this can cause sores and infection, complicating the problem. When to consult and how to treat itchy ears? Explanations in this article.

Have itchy ears

Having itchy or itchy ears is a very common problem that many people experience. This itch can affect one or both ears.

Although unpleasant and disturbing, this symptom is usually mild.

Itchy ears can also be a sign of an infection. This is why you should consult your general practitioner or an ENT specialist in the following cases:

  • if the itching is severe;
  • if the itching persists;
  • if the itching is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, fever, fluid leaking from the ear, or hearing loss.

Causes of itchy ears

Itchy ears can have many causes, for example:

  • nervous habits and stress;
  • an insufficient amount of cerumen (also called ear wax), causing localized dryness;
  • on the contrary, too much earwax;
  • otitis media , i.e. an ear infection;
  • otitis externa, also called swimmer’s ear. It is an infection of the skin of the external auditory canal usually caused by the presence of water remaining stuck in this canal;
  • a fungal or bacterial infection, following, for example, exposure to a humid climate or swimming in polluted water;
  • taking certain medications;
  • the use of a hearing aid can also lead, especially if it is badly positioned, to itching.

Skin diseases

Skin problems and diseases can also lead to an itchy feeling in the ears, for example:

  • psoriasis( an inflammatory skin disease);
  • dermatitis;
  • eczema ; 
  • chickenpox (if pimples are found in the ear);
  • or certain allergies.

Food allergies can, among other symptoms, cause itchy ears. Do not hesitate to carry out an allergological assessment with an allergist in order to identify the allergen.

Evolution and possible complications of itchy ears

When a part of the body itches, affected people scratch and this can lead to the formation of lesions and localized infections. Indeed, if the skin is injured, it is the gateway for bacteria.

Also, it is not uncommon for objects to be used in an attempt to stop the itch, such as hairpins. And, it can cause abrasions in the ear canal.

Treatment and prevention of itchy ears: what solutions?

To relieve itching in the ears, you must first know the cause to be able to find a solution and an appropriate treatment.

Thus antibiotic drops can relieve a bacterial infection, corticosteroid creams can be used in case of psoriasis, or antihistamines can relieve an allergy.

You can also use an oily preparation to relieve the itching, rather than an object. Some preparations of drops can be made at home (especially based on water and alcoholic solution).

Ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice before starting a preparation.

Healthy lifestyle

Hygiene is very important and helps prevent itching. 

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Earwax helps protect the inner walls of the ear. It will prevent the passage of dust, hair, skin and bacteria to the eardrum. 

However, excess earwax can cause itching in the ear. If you use a cotton swab in this case, it will push the wax to the bottom of the ear, and thus cause a plug.

We therefore advise you, to wash your ears, to adopt a gentle cleaning. Rinse and dry your ears after showering.

In addition, if you have hearing aids or plugs, be sure to clean them well and do not leave them lying around to avoid dust.

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