Dry ears can have many causes. It can be as simple as not being able to produce enough earwax or cleaning the ears too much. Dry ears can also be linked to skin allergies, and to other dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. In most cases, it can easily be treated.
Sometimes, earwax can become flaky if the ear is too dry. This can lead to crusty ears in the morning.
Itchy ears can sometimes be a sign of an ear infection. Bacteria and viruses cause them, usually when you have a cold, the flu, or allergies. One kind, swimmer's ear, can happen when water stays in your ear after you swim. Too much moisture wears away your ear canal's natural layer of defense against germs.
Chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis — or CNH for short — is a condition that affects your outer ear. You'll see inflammation and a small hard bump on the ear cartilage. It's also called Winkler's disease, named after the dermatologist who first described it in 1915.
A scab in the ear usually isn't something to worry about. You can develop a scab in your ear due to a new ear piercing, an ear pimple, or dry and irritated skin. Acute causes like these can usually heal on their own, although an over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatment may help.
Flaking skin (dandruff) on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache. Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales or crust on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, armpits, groin area or under the breasts.
Use softening solutions and oils
Softening oils include mineral oil and baby oil while solutions include commercial earwax removal brands or salt water. Lie with your head on the side so that the blocked ear is facing the ceiling. Then apply the softening solution, allowing it to dribble down the ear canal.
Aim for no more than once a day until the excess wax is gone, but preferably only one or two times a week.
A common cause of blocked ears is wax build up, so a good first step is to eliminate this as an issue. Consulting your local medical professional or Earworx registered nurse can help you to determine whether wax impaction is present and whether wax removal is required.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin condition. It causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp, face, or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin.
Summary. Dry skin in the ears and around the ears can have a number of causes. These can include environmental irritants such as shampoos and fragrances as well as chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Your skin may also become drier as you age.
Key points about seborrheic dermatitis
It tends to last a long time, or go away and come back. It is often made worse by cold weather, hormonal changes, and stress. Symptoms can include skin that is bumpy, scaly, greasy, and itchy. Treatment such as medicine in shampoo, body wash, and lotion can reduce symptoms.
If left untreated, the scale may become thick, yellow and greasy and, occasionally, secondary bacterial infection may occur.
While there are no good clinical studies, yeast and mold elimination diets may be helpful for people who have a difficult time controlling their seborrheic dermatitis. This entails eliminating breads, cheeses, wine, beer, excessive carbohydrates, and other foods made by yeast or fungi.
Although seborrheic dermatitis is harmless, it can still be distressing for teenagers and adults: The scaly patches of skin often occur on the face, making them visible to others. And they may never go away again.
Treatment of Dermatitis of the Ear Canal
Doctors give people a cream containing a corticosteroid such as hydrocortisone or betamethasone to decrease swelling and itching. People should avoid putting cotton swabs, water, and other possibly irritating substances in the ear.
Mites also stimulate the wax producing glands inside the ear canal. The result is a black, crusty build-up in the ears that resembles coffee grounds. This discharge is made of blood, wax, debris, and mites themselves.
Overall, ear eczema symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of atopic dermatitis on other areas of the body. Ear eczema looks like a discolored, itchy rash that develops anywhere on the outside or inside of the ear. It can appear as patches of scaly, rough, or discolored skin.
Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis is a benign inflammatory process affecting the skin and cartilage of the ear. It typically presents as a painful nodule surrounded by an area of erythema and often prevents the patient from sleeping on the affected side.
Pinna perichondritis is an infection of the perichondral lining of the ear cartilage. It is primarily caused by pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococcus aureus. Patients will present with an erythematous, swollen, hot external ear, with sparing of the lobule. There may also be a collection of pus present.
What Is It? Polychondritis, also called relapsing polychondritis, is a rare disease in which cartilage in many areas of the body becomes inflamed. The disease most commonly affects the ears, nose and the airways of the lungs. The cause is not known, and it occurs most often in people in their 50s or 60s.
When the condition affects your ears, you may have: Red, dry patches of skin on your ear. Silvery or crusty scales called plaques. Scales that build up inside your ear canal.