Like most types of eczema, eczema in the ear is susceptible to infection by bacteria or fungi/yeasts; infection can make your ear even more painful and can even cause temporary hearing loss, so it’s important to identify what’s going on and then treat it.
Ear eczema can be a distressing and overwhelming condition, with maddening itchiness and pain that can be very hard to manage; if it gets infected, the discomfort is doubled!
Skin on or inside the ears can also become infected from warm water or high humidity, as well as damage from cotton buds or other things that have been inserted in the ear canal.
What are the symptoms of infection in ear eczema?
- Discolouration of the skin
- Extreme sensitivity
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Extreme itchiness
Infected eczema in the ears is very different to an ear infection which affects the internal ear. Eczema is a condition of the skin, and only affects the surface area of the outside of the ear, behind the ear, the bowl, lobe and folds of the ear, and skin lining the ear canal.
If you’re worried about any infection, see your GP, who can give you a diagnosis and prescribe medicated drops or creams to treat the infection.
A 5-step home remedy for ear eczema
Antimicrobial oils can be an effective home remedy for mild cases of ear eczema.
- Lie on your side with a towel under your head, bad ear upwards
- Warm a spoonful of Balmonds Scalp Oil to body temperature
- Drip a few drops of the oil into the ear (if you haven’t got a dropper to hand then you can use a matchstick to gently drip a few drops into the ear from above)
- Gently massage the areas in front and behind your ear with a bit more warm oil
- Stay lying on your side for ten minutes; a warm towel over the sore ear can be nice
Important: don’t poke cotton buds or anything else in the ear canal!
For more information on what you can do to help yourself, check out our article The Best Natural Treatments for Ear Eczema.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.