Causes of Itchy Ears

Itchy ears can be an annoying problem and can sometimes be difficult to figure out why it is happening. Itchy ears can be caused by various conditions, from allergies to wax buildup. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Cleaning the ear canal too aggressively
  • Wax buildup

In some cases, an itchy ear may be caused by an infection or an underlying medical condition. Let’s look at the possible causes of itchy ears.


Allergies are a common cause of itchy ears. The allergen may be something that you are in contact with, such as dust, pollen or pet dander, or it could be a food that you’re eating. There can also be environmental allergies, such as mold and mildew.

If your ears start to itch after being around something or someone, the potential cause is an allergy.

Another type of allergy that can cause itchy ears is an allergic reaction to certain medications taken orally or applied topically. This could include antibiotics or antifungal medications that might have been prescribed by a doctor for treating ear infections. Such reactions may occur even after contacting the medication for several days and can cause itchy ears along with other symptoms such as hives and difficulty breathing.

It is important to find out the specific allergen if possible so that you can try to avoid it in order to prevent future flare-ups of itching. Allergists can carry out skin tests to figure out which allergens may be causing your symptoms; these allergens are then typically eliminated from the patient’s environment (or relevant medications avoided) in order to reduce further bouts of itching discomfort or swelling.

Skin Conditions

Skin conditions can sometimes be a cause of itchy ears. Doctors divide skin conditions into three types: eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Eczema is an autoimmune disorder that causes dry, red, itchy skin and typically appears on the ear. Common treatments for this condition include moisturizers, steroid creams or ointments, steroid injections and light therapy.

Seborrheic dermatitis causes similar symptoms but is more common in adults and can be treated with shampoos containing coal tar or salicylic acid and corticosteroid cream or lotion. Other medications that may help include topical antifungal creams or lotions and antidandruff shampoo.

Psoriasis is another autoimmune disorder that often presents as scaly patches on the ears due to an overproduction of skin cells which accumulate in patches on the body’s surfaces including the ears. Treatments may vary but commonly include:

  • Avoiding triggers to flare ups like stress;
  • Using topical ointments or gels such as corticosteroids;
  • Light therapy or laser treatment;
  • Oral medications; and
  • Biologic medications such as Enbrel that target specific proteins responsible for the psoriasis rash formation.

Certain Medications

Certain medications can have itching as a side-effect. These include antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, painkillers, or antifungal medications. An allergic reaction to medications or to binding agents in the medication can also cause itching in the ears. Side effects of any of these types of drugs should be assessed on an individual basis by a doctor.

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If the itching is associated with a certain medication, it may be necessary to switch treatments or doses.

Home Remedies

An itchy ear can be both annoying and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are a few home remedies that you can try to help soothe the itching. These remedies may help to reduce inflammation and get rid of any trapped moisture.

In this article, we’ll explore the various home remedies that you can use to help reduce your itching and discomfort:

Clean the ear canal with a cotton swab

When your ear starts to itch, it can be difficult or even dangerous to try and scratch it. But there are a variety of easy home remedies that you can use to reduce the itching sensation. One of the most popular home remedies for itchy ears is to clean the ear canal with a cotton swab.

To do this safely, first soak a cotton swab in warm olive oil and then gently rub around the inside of your ear canal. Make sure not to push too far into the canal, as this can cause scratches which may lead to infection. Try not to use Q-tips as these have stiff ends which could cause damage and compromise your hearing. When you’re finished cleaning with a cotton swab, tilt your head so that any excess oil runs out of your ear and onto a cloth or tissue on hand.

This remedy should provide some immediate relief from itching sensations, however if it persists than it could be an indication of an underlying medical issue such as an infection or allergies causing inflammation in the inner ear. If symptoms persist then consult with your doctor who will be able to best diagnose and treat the issue accordingly.

Use a warm compress

Using a warm compress can provide relief if your ear itch is caused by an external issue such as wax buildup. To make a compress, use a clean cloth and dampen it with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot as this could cause more discomfort or burn the skin in your ear. Lay the compress over the itching area for about 10 minutes to achieve relief. This can be done several times a day as needed.

Additionally, you can also use a damp tea bag or cotton ball soaked in a bit of apple cider vinegar to help reduce itching caused by bacteria or fungus. It’s important to keep your ears clean on a daily basis and resist the temptation to scratch or poke at them as this can lead to an infection or further irritation.

Try a natural remedy such as coconut oil or apple cider vinegar

Home remedies such as coconut oil and apple cider vinegar can be used to soothe the annoying itch in your ears. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and moisturizing properties that can help to restore skin moisture and reduce discomfort. Similarly, apple cider vinegar helps to restore the pH balance of your outer ear while also providing relief from itching or irritation.

To use this remedy, fill an eye dropper with 1/2 teaspoon of these substances and insert 2-3 drops into your ear canal twice a day for 2-3 weeks. If you prefer not to use any fluids, gently massage extra virgin coconut oil or pure apple cider vinegar into the outside of your ear. Be sure not to put these products directly into the eardrum. Additionally, avoid inserting objects into your ears as this could further irritate or damage them.

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It is important to speak with a doctor if there is an underlying cause for the intense itching in your ears or if it persists after trying these home remedies.

When to See a Doctor

Itching in the ears is common and can be caused by a number of things like wax buildup, an infection, or an allergy. Most often, the itching can be managed with over the counter medication or home remedies. However, sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious problem and you should see a doctor.

Let’s explore when to see a doctor if your ear is itching:

If the itching is accompanied by pain, discharge, or hearing loss

If you experience any discomfort or pain in your ear, such as a feeling of pressure or fullness, stabbing pains, or intense itching with throbbing pain it is important to seek medical care. Itching ears that are also accompanied by a discharge from the ear, changes in your hearing including even partial hearing loss should also be evaluated. These may indicate an infection in the middle ear (otitis media) which can be serious and could require antibiotics, in some cases.

If any of these symptoms are present, call your healthcare provider immediately to determine if an appointment is necessary.

If the itching persists despite home remedies

If the itching does not abate after a few days, or your scratching is accompanied by any other signs or symptoms such as fluid drainage from the ear, pain, hearing loss or balance problems, it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor.

Your doctor will likely perform an ear exam to look for signs of infection such as inflammation, redness and a discharge. He/she may also use an otoscope to look inside the ear canal for evidence of a clogged ear wax or any other abnormalities. Depending on the findings and results of a test, your doctor may recommend treatments such as antibiotics, ear drops or over-the-counter medications. They may also suggest additional tests if they suspect there is an underlying condition causing the itching in your ears.

It is very important to get professional medical advice when feeling discomfort in your ears because untreated infections can cause serious complications that can lead to permanent damage if not addressed promptly.

If the itching is caused by a foreign object in the ear

If you suspect or can see something in your ear such as a bug, grass seed, bead or other foreign object that may be causing the itching, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Do not attempt to remove the object yourself; only a doctor is qualified to safely remove objects from inside the ear. Additionally, depending on what type of object is in the ear, attempting removal yourself could cause contamination or further injury to your inner ear.

Your doctor may use tweezers or a special instrument called an otoscope (a lighted magnifying glass) to locate and remove the foreign object. Alternatively, they may flush out your ear with liquid medication or water pressure. Once the object has been removed, they may suggest taking over-the-counter pain medications and/or applying warm compresses to relieve any swelling and discomfort.


Itching in the ears can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, skin irritation, and infections. To prevent itchy ears, it is important to identify the source of the itch and take measures to prevent it from happening.

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This article will discuss the various prevention techniques that can be used to stop itchy ears:

Avoid putting fingers, cotton swabs, or other objects in the ear

It’s important to avoid putting anything in the ear such as fingers, cotton swabs, or other objects. Doing this can push wax deeper into the ear canal and even damage the eardrum. Allowing the ears to be exposed to water, dirt, oil and other substances without protection also increases your risk of irritation in the ear or other kinds of infections.

If you must clean your ears, use a warm damp washcloth and rub gently around the outer part of your ears instead of digging inside them with a finger or an object. If you swim frequently or are exposed to water often, make sure to keep your ears dry by wearing earplugs when in a pool or showering since moisture can cause itchy skin and infection.

Avoid using ear plugs or headphones too often

In order to avoid excessive ear itching, it is best to take steps to prevent any irritation from happening in the first place. One way to do this is to avoid using ear plugs or headphones too often. When using headphones or ear plugs, make sure the ones you are using are properly fitted and not overly tight. Additionally, prolonged use of these can cause the ear canals to dry out. If this happens, keep them clean by washing them with warm water and a mild soap no more than once a week.

Avoiding getting moisture into the ears such as from swimming or taking long showers will also help reduce ear itching. Also avoid getting other substances in your ears that might cause irritation such as hair spray and cosmetics, as well as items like cotton buds which could push wax further into your ears presenting another potential irritant.

If you regularly get water in your ears when showering or swimming consider buying a pair of custom-made swimming plugs which will stop water entering your ears whilst still allowing sound to pass through, thus protecting your ears from potentially damaging situations.

Keep the ears clean and dry

Keeping the ears clean and dry is one of the most effective ways to prevent itching of the ears. Taking care of your personal hygiene by cleaning your ears regularly will go a long way in preventing itchy ears. In addition, avoid activities that involve excessive water contact or moisture build-up such as swimming or sweating profusely, as these activities can lead to itching due to trapped water inside the ear canal.

When using hair products such as shampoos, conditioners and styling sprays, take extra care not to get them inside the ear canal as these products can cause irritation. Avoid using hairspray too close to your ears and ensure you clean off any product residue as soon as possible with a damp cloth or eyedropper filled with warm water.

If you have an existing medical condition such as eczema, dandruff and/or other skin conditions that tend to produce excess oils and sweat, always keep your affected areas free from debris so that it does not get into the ear canal. Additionally, refrain from using excessive cotton swabs for cleaning your ears as this can push debris further into the ear canal which can further worsen any existing issues.

By Reiki

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