Ear Eczema – Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Remedies

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on Apr 28th, 2020 written by Editorial Team

Atopic dermatitis also called Eczema is a skin condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It can develop on any part of your body including your ear or ear canal.

However, there are many types of eczema and most of them affect your ear more in comparison to the rest of your body. These types of eczema are called Ear eczema.

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What Is Ear Eczema?

Certain people experience ear eczema, which is a common skin disorder or skin disease in the ear. It is a red, itchy rash that develops on the outside or inside of the ear canal.

Ear Eczema
Ear With Eczema VS Healthy Ear

When it occurs without any triggers, it is called as Aural Eczematoid Dermatitis. Contact with some irritants can also cause eczema in the ear which is also called Contact Dermatitis. And so on, there are several types of it that we will discuss in this article.

It is usually developed on the external part of the ear but it can affect many parts of the ear like an area of the ear which is called Pinna can experience itching, redness, scaling in this. The top and back of the ear are also a common area for this disease.

Some other common irritants that can develop ear eczema are:

  • Hair Products
  • Ear Rings
  • Cell Phones
  • Head Phones
  • Makeup
  • Other Personal Care Products

Ear Eczema Symptoms

Ear eczema has almost the same symptoms as those of eczema. Thus, individuals with this disease may experience symptoms given as follows:

  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Inflammation on ear skin
  • Flaky skin in and around the ears
  • Itching in the ears
  • Redness and swelling
  • Discharge from the ear

Its symptoms can also affect the area behind the ear as well as the crease where the ears are attached to the head. For most people, the symptoms may often appear mild to moderate.

However, in some situations, it becomes intense and often leads to:

  • Swollen, red or dark skin
  • Infected skin in the ear canal
  • Scaly patches that are rough or leathery
  • Excessive dryness n sensitive areas of skin
  • Bleeding from the skin
  • Oozing or crusting areas of inflamed skin

Many people with this disease often have an overactive immune system. When they face a symptom, their immune system reacts by causing skin inflammation.

Causes of the ear eczema depend on the type of eczema. So, before discussing it’s causes, let’s have a look at its types.

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Types Of Ear Eczema

There are 3 types of eczema that can affect your ear:

1. Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema
Atopic Eczema

It causes itching, dryness, redness, and painful cracks between ear lobs and face. It might also appear on the ear or behind the skin of the ear.

2. Asteatotic Eczema

Asteatotic Eczema
Asteatotic Eczema

This type of eczema usually found in older people. This occurs when the skin is exposed to changes in the weather. Overwashing, Windy conditions, and Indoor heating can make it worse.

3. Seborrheic Eczema

Seborrheic Eczema
Seborrheic Eczema

It develops on oily areas of our body’s like your Scalp. But it can also affect the skin behind the ears. It is not confirmed that what causes it but assumptions are it might be related to a fungus in the oils, collected by the glands.

Causes Of Ear Eczema

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the development of this disease. If it occurs without any triggers it is known as aural eczematoid dermatitis.

People who are often prone to seborrheic dermatitis, have an increased chance of aural eczematoid dermatitis.

There is one other possible cause and that might be a gene mutation that affects a protein which is called filaggrin. Filaggrin creates a protective barrier on the skin. This can leave the skin vulnerable to irritation and infection.

However, some common causes of ear eczema are:

  • Soaps, Detergents, and Wipes
  • Common Allergens
  • Some metals like Nickel
  • Scented lotion, soaps, and perfumes
  • Rough fabrics like Wool
  • Some disinfectants
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Heat
  • Infections

The use of cosmetics and other beauty products, or wearing metal jewelry on the ears for quite a very long time may give rise to skin problems and at times, may also complicate the condition further, leading you to greater risk.

Ear eczema may also lead to infections and inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa). It can affect people of any age group. The intense itching inside the ear due to eczema can be quite annoying.

This inflammatory response of the skin can be influenced by various factors that are both internal and environmental.

Ear eczema in babies often come and go on its own. On the other hand in adults, it may become chronic. It is not contagious.

Diagnosis And Treatment For Ear Eczema

Diagnosis Of Ear Eczema

Doctors can often diagnose ear eczema by undergoing a routine examination as well as carrying out a visual assessment of the affected areas.

In some cases, doctors will do skin tests to diagnose eczema specific form or identity which allergens are triggering the individual’s symptoms.

Doctors usually recommend different treatment options in order to effectively treat this disease in individuals, depending on the state of skin disorder and their age group.

Treatment For Ear Eczema

  • Ear drops for when eczema is in the ear canal
  • Prescription creams such as anti-fungal, barrier and steroids for the skin
  • Systematic medications to reduce the immune system’s response to triggers
  • Medications like biologics for the immune system
  • Phototherapy

With proper treatment, it can be generally clear up with no long-term effects. Most people with it can successfully manage their condition with the help of a doctor along with practicing some home methods or remedies and lifestyle changes.

Ear Eczema Home Remedies

The primary treatment of eczema usually involves home remedies and making lifestyle changes. Home remedies for Ear eczema are:

  • Wash your ears each night with warm water
  • After bathing, immediately use fragrance-free moisturizers on the ear to lock moisture
  • Prevent triggers from coming into contact with your ears like jewelry
  • Wear a hat or headband to cover your ears in cold weather
  • Avoid that irritants that caused eczema in the past
  • To reduce itchiness and swelling, use over-the-counter anti-itching creams which contains hydrocortisone
  • Use gentle cleansers and products that are suitable for sensitive skin


However, Ear Eczema is not a measure of disease if treatment and prevention are taken on time but it can be a nightmare if left untreated. Following are some important measures you can take to prevent ear eczema:

  • Keep ears moisturized because dryness in the ears can cause irritation and may aggravate itching.
  • Use coconut oil or Vaseline as these are well-known moisturizers for the skin.
  • Avoid being exposed to dry air as it causes the skin to become very dry and may further cause itching.
  • Always clean your or your child’s ears with warm water before applying a moisturizer.
  • Gently clean the inner ear with cotton soaked in warm water and avoid using a hairpin or other sharp metal objects.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding Ear Eczema and Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at +91-9327901950. We are always here to help you.

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