Ear eczema, also known as aural dermatitis, aural eczematoid dermatitis or chronic otitis externa, is like any other dermatitis/eczema, in that it can’t be cured, but it can be managed.
Here are four key steps for getting on top of your ear eczema!
1. Working out the cause
Ear eczema is simply eczema that occurs in, behind or around the ear. As with any eczema, the first thing to do is to work out what’s causing the eczema.
The most common types of eczema that affect the ear are:
- Contact dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis
- Asteatotic Eczema
For more information about the different types of ear eczema, see our article Ear Eczema: Types, Symptoms & Treatment
If you need a diagnosis, see your pharmacist or your GP.
2. Avoiding your triggers
If your ear eczema was triggered by something you’ve touched or had had contact with (whether that was hairspray, hearing aid moulds, shampoo, nickel earrings, headphones or makeup), then the best solution is to avoid that thing!
3. Caring for your skin
Whether you apply simple emollients to keep skin protected and hydrated, nutritious oils and balms to support the regeneration of healthy new skin cells, or medicated creams or oils to tackle inflammatory symptoms or reduce the risk of infection, caring for your sensitive skin is paramount. Keep your ears clean, dry and well-moisturised.
4. Boosting your overall health
You can reduce your risk of further flare-ups of ear eczema by looking after yourself. This means eating well, getting enough sleep, reducing your stress levels, and keeping skin clear from infections.
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.
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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.