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Combating Itchy Ears

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 3 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Itchy Ears Skin Moisture Bacterial

Tingling and burning ears can cause constant itching that is difficult to combat. Inner ear itching can become so irritating that you will want to seek some method of alleviation as quickly as possible. This sometimes means you will potentially harm your eardrum in order to get to the itch and find relief.

What Causes Itchy Ears?

Itching of the ears is generally caused by lack of natural moisture in the skin. As with the skin on other parts of the body the skin inside your ears needs to be pliable and well-nourished in order to remain healthy. Ears have a thin layer of natural body oil that can dry out through excessive ear cleaning, as this removes the natural wax that acts as an essential lubricant. Inner ear itch is therefore caused by the skin drying out and requiring moisture replenishment.

Allergic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis can be as itchy in the inner ear as these skin conditions can be elsewhere on the body. Treatment of this form of skin irritation will be the same as on other body parts.

The wearing of a hearing aid can also irritate the skin of the inner ear, so it is important to check the plastic casing from time to time to ensure irritation is not caused by trapped water in the ear canal.

How To Soothe Itchy Ears

To keep ears healthy and itch-free it is important to ensure they are always clean and dry and well moisturised. Patting ears gently dry after showering will keep bacteria at bay, which also reduces the risk of infection and/or itch breakout.

If your skin is prone to dryness soothing the inner ear with a few drops of natural oils – tea tree oil is a good choice – will help combat any flakiness or irritating itch. Maintaining a good balance of natural oils in the inner ear will also ensure ear wax production is not excessive.

If itchiness persists seeking medical advise is recommended. Your GP will be able to prescribe special ears drops, or a steroid ointment, to restore chemical balance to your skin.

Homemade Remedies

Garlic is an effective remedy for itchy ears and bacterial infections. Add a few garlic cloves to olive oil and crush them to release the natural oils. Gently heat the oil until it reaches boiling point then allow to cool. Once cooled a few drops of the oil can be applied to the inner ear to soothe dry, flaky or irritated skin.

A rubbing alcohol and distilled white vinegar solution also works well in combating itchy symptoms. Mix the ingredients in equal measures and using a sterile eye dropper add 2 or 3 drops into the ear.

Maintaining Healthy Balance

Allergies can cause skin to itch so it is important to minimise the risk of developing itchy skin whenever possible. This includes washing your pillowcase regularly and switching from a feather/down pillow to a synthetic pillow from time to time, in case you are allergic to the pillow fibres.

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I have been having itchy ears for 30 years and the first time I received relief was when an ENT specialist put Gentian Violet in my ears. She said she was going to paint my ears purple. She said not many Specialists use it anymore. It worked for several months for me! She said that it was a yeast infection of my ears. I don't live near her anymore so I now put Frankincense, Lavender or Tea Tree oil. It works for a few days.
Mary Clare - 3-Mar-17 @ 4:03 AM
Hi everyone,and thank you for all helpfull informations in this page. However, i did try many remedies ( found here and else...) but did not work yet... until I found this natural plantproduct:Oplantamednaturo .Finally , that one worked good for me. I got cured in few days only. As for my little story:I had itchy ears (deep in the ear canal)and some pain for many years (25+...I even forget..) I have been to 10+ doctors and ENT Specialists... always same conclusion: nothing wrong with my ears!It really looks like this "itchy ears symptom" is apprently "unkown" in our standard medicine.So , maybe this natural product can help some other here in same distress i was.
angela.johnson - 15-Dec-16 @ 3:53 PM
Did anyone know what that yellow ointment would be?
linda whiteley - 28-Nov-16 @ 3:38 AM
I've found that sweet almond oil onto a q-tip gently works really great or adding tea tree oil with it or even lavender.Washing/shampooing hair daily will continue to dry out the scalp and ears especially people with eczema. Hope some of these pointers helped.
K - 5-Nov-16 @ 4:26 AM
My otitis externa started when I was 22 living in Durban -humid climate -am now 47. Been getting my ears micro suction every 3 months since then. Do not ever put water in ears. My ear canals are narrow. I also have an unhealed perforated ear drum in one ear. Never syringe the ears. Hair washing hanging upside down -making sure no water gets in. I don't swim. My ears are always ballistically itchy and I'm going insane. They clear out debris and by time I've walked to my car my itch starts again. They NHS ENT has never offered any solution-says there is no infection but dammit there has to be something. Says its excema. Warm olive oil can help just on outside of ear. My opinion -Absolutely NO water in ears.
Itchyscratchy - 3-Oct-16 @ 9:17 PM
I have been a sufferer of repeated ear infections and itchy ear, for around ten years. I've had my ears syringed on three occasions and have been prescribed countless bottles of otimse ear spray. The infections have cleared up but the itchyness remains, the ear spray stops the itching for a week or so but then comes back with a vengeance. Is there anything that will keep the itching away for ever or is it a case of just using ear spray forever?
Db - 10-Sep-16 @ 9:38 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Tea tree oil or any essential oil should always be diluted in a carrier oil before application to the body, Especially Before putting it in such a sensitive body part as the Ear!!A little tea tree oil goes a long way. Please cross-reference the information here and on this website with a licensed herbalist or other practitioner before treating yourself or others.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your comments.
HygieneExpert - 9-Sep-16 @ 2:20 PM
Tea tree oil or any essential oil should always be diluted in a carrier oil before application to the body, Especially Before putting it in such a sensitive body part as the Ear!! Alittle tea tree oil goes a long way. Please cross-reference the information here and on this website with a licensed herbalist or other practitioner before treating yourself or others .
Sam - 9-Sep-16 @ 5:42 AM
Dem - Your Question:
Hi , I have been having ear itchiness for quite awhil and it is really irritating. Sometime my son is talking to me and I did not hear it as well as my husband. Sometime we got into an argument and he thought I am ignoring him. I am worried but my previous exam was ok. Please help me.

Our Response:
You would need to see your doctor regarding this. I'm sure he/she will be able to treat this effectively.
HygieneExpert - 6-Sep-16 @ 9:54 AM
Hi , I have been having ear itchiness for quite awhil and it is really irritating. Sometime my son is talking to me and I did not hear it as well as my husband. Sometime we got into an argument and he thought I am ignoring him. I am worried but my previous exam was ok. Please help me.
Dem - 5-Sep-16 @ 3:51 AM
Hi. I have had the dreaded itchy ears for over 5 years and been prescribed lots of things that simply do not work.I have excema inside and out. 3 weeks ago at a hospital appointment the doctor squeezed a thick yellow ointment into both ears and said it should be cleared in 2 weeks, providing I refrained from scratching. (Thought this was a problem, but managed as I was afraid the ointment would come out!)True to his word, 2 weeks passed and for the first time in 5 years my ears felt great. 1 week on and the itch is back - not as crazy but back non the less.Can anyone tell me what the yellow ointment could be as I am sure with sensible use my problem will go. I asked if I could have the tube or buy it but he said "No" Thank you in advance.
stir crazy ears - 17-Jun-16 @ 3:38 PM
Itchy&Scratchy - Your Question:
Thank you so much for suggesting the Coconut Oil, was this something available in a pharmacy or can you use the same stuff (solid, in a jar) as you would for cooking?I have been suffering with the very same ear condition (chronic otitis externa) for five years, water is now my enemy (which I hate - I am a water baby Pisces!!). It's VERY hard to keep my ears dry when I have to wash my hair every day, and no amount of doctor prescribed sprays etc seem to work long term. I am loathed to take the antibiotics they put me on, as this always leads to bouts of crazy yeast infections which drives me more nuts, if that's possible!People constantly tell me never to put ANYTHING in my ears, but they don't understand how distressed and insane you feel with sore, swollen, constantly itching ears which often flare up into infected, stabbing, extremely painful ears. The worst part of it all for me is going temporarily deaf in one or both ears from the swelling - super disorienting, dizzying and terrifying. You can only hear the sound of your own breathing and eating; MEGA LOUD, and not much else. All peripheral noises are deadened, for example, I can't hear the sound of the car engine when driving. All the tiny bits of sound I do hear are funnelled into whichever ear isn't as bad, all at the same time, which is extremely scary/disorienting.It constantly reduces me to a blubbering mess, and there doesn't seem to be any real help out there. Also, nobody seems to understand or care about this condition, or how nasty it can be to live with. Doctors don't really know how to handle it either.I hope the coconut oil helps, I have slight eczema, and it managed to clear my brother's chronic eczema years ago, so fingers crossed.For now I have opted for cotton wool balls rubbed in Vaseline to protect my ears whilst showering, if that helps anyone; ear plugs just hurt and don't help to keep the ear entrance dry.Here's to soothed ears! Wish me luck, will post back here if it works for me x

Our Response:
I'm sorry to hear you are a chronic sufferer of swimmers' ear. It is good to hear you are doing the right thing and making sure you keep your ears dry at all times. Be careful when taking personal recommendations as while they may work for some, they may not work for others and may even cause further damage. Has your GP tested for a fungal infection? This may also be an option if he/she hasn't already carrried out these tests.
HygieneExpert - 18-May-16 @ 10:40 AM
Thank you so much for suggesting the Coconut Oil, was this something available in a pharmacy or can you use the same stuff (solid, in a jar) as you would for cooking? I have been suffering with the very same ear condition (chronic otitis externa) for five years, water is now my enemy (which I hate - I am a water baby Pisces!!). It's VERY hard to keep my ears dry when I have to wash my hair every day, and no amount of doctor prescribed sprays etc seem to work long term. I am loathed to take the antibiotics they put me on, as this always leads to bouts of crazy yeast infections which drives me more nuts, if that's possible! People constantly tell me never to put ANYTHING in my ears, but they don't understand how distressed and insane you feel with sore, swollen, constantly itching ears which often flare up into infected, stabbing, extremely painful ears. The worst part of it all for me is going temporarily deaf in one or both ears from the swelling - super disorienting, dizzying and terrifying. You can only hear the sound of your own breathing and eating; MEGA LOUD, and not much else. All peripheral noises are deadened, for example, I can't hear the sound of the car engine when driving. All the tiny bits of sound I do hear are funnelled into whichever ear isn't as bad, all at the same time, which is extremely scary/disorienting. It constantly reduces me to a blubbering mess, and there doesn't seem to be any real help out there. Also, nobody seems to understand or care about this condition, or how nasty it can be to live with. Doctors don't really know how to handle it either. I hope the coconut oil helps, I have slight eczema, and it managed to clear my brother's chronic eczema years ago, so fingers crossed. For now I have opted for cotton wool balls rubbed in Vaseline to protect my ears whilst showering, if that helps anyone; ear plugs just hurt and don't help to keep the ear entrance dry. Here's to soothed ears! Wish me luck, will post back here if it works for me x
Itchy&Scratchy - 17-May-16 @ 11:57 AM
I have had itchy ears for about 5 years. I have no wax in my ears. I have spent thousands on different creams and oils. I have seen the Doctor and she has given anti fungal antibiotics and steroids. The steroid cream sometimes work but I can't use all the time. Any other cream seems to irritate my ears. I am at my wits end. My ears itch so much and although I scream as it hurts so much I have to scratch them. My ears look terrible.
lindylou - 18-Apr-16 @ 12:17 PM
I have had itchy ears for the last 5 years. I have spent thousands of different creams & oils.Nothing has worked even the steroid creams my Doctor has given me take ages to work. I have even tried fungal antibiotics. My ears have no wax in them and I scream when I scratch them as they hurt so much, but the itch is unbearable. Please could somebody advise I am at my wits end and my ears look terrible.
lindylou - 18-Apr-16 @ 12:09 PM
little plum - Your Question:
I worked in a call centre and wearing head phones all day played havoc with my ears. I suffered severe itching and flaking for years. Finally I tried Earcalm spray, E45 Dry scalp shampoo, and E45 Itch relief cream which relieved the itch, and I now use Sudocrem, and Vaseline cocoa butter intense moisturiser night and morning. I also changed my memory foam pillow to one with a bamboo cover, and gently dry the outer ear with a cotton wool bud before moisturising. Seems to be working. Hope this helps.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your comments, I hope it helps others.
HygieneExpert - 28-Jan-16 @ 11:04 AM
I worked in a call centre and wearing head phones all day played havoc with my ears. I suffered severe itching and flaking for years. Finally I tried Earcalm spray, E45 Dry scalp shampoo, and E45 Itch relief cream which relieved the itch,and I now use Sudocrem, and Vaseline cocoa butter intense moisturiser night and morning. I also changed my memory foam pillow to one with a bamboo cover, and gently dry the outer ear with a cotton wool bud before moisturising. Seems to be working. Hope this helps.
little plum - 27-Jan-16 @ 12:34 PM
Rho - Your Question:
I am 58 years old and my ears itched most of my life. I can certainly identify with "Teen" above. The description of an itchy ear life she writes is a good one. I actually landed in the hospital for three days with an ear infection so bad in both ears, they protruded from my head and I had no less than seven pain shots in each hip before I could get relief. It was the dark ear days.I finally found an ENT that wasn't a goof ball, wasn't sarcastic and wasn't rude to his patients. He stated that some people have not a bacteria in their ears, but what starts as a fungus. He suggested Lotrisome over the counter fungal cream and that it had only worked in 85% of his patients and that hopefully I would be among the 85% and not the 15%. I began using it. If I use it at the start of the itch and continue carefully with it and not go crazy sticking it on a q-tip and aggressively scratching the inside of my ears with it (because it feels so good at the time), it works. But I have learned that I must use it at the first inclination of a minor irritation even before it can be identified as an itch. If I get right on it at a tingling, and be proactive, it will stop it before it gets worse.I am really into essential oils and I do have a blend that I use on the outside of my ear sometimes for comfort, but I don't like the clogged feeling of liquids inside of my ears.Hopefully one day, we'll hear of a cause and a cure because as it is written above, until you suffer with it, you'll never be able to understand the agony of it.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and hope that you manage to get some relief soon.
HygieneExpert - 18-Jan-16 @ 12:11 PM
I am 58 years old and my ears itched most of my life.I can certainly identify with "Teen" above.The description of an itchy ear life she writes is a good one.I actually landed in the hospital for three days with an ear infection so bad in both ears, they protruded from my head and I had no less than seven pain shots in each hip before I could get relief.It was the dark ear days. I finally found an ENT that wasn't a goof ball, wasn't sarcastic and wasn't rude to his patients.He stated that some people have not a bacteria in their ears, but what starts as a fungus.He suggested Lotrisome over the counter fungal cream and that it had only worked in 85% of his patients and that hopefully I would be among the 85% and not the 15%. I began using it.If I use it at the start of the itch and continue carefully with it and not go crazy sticking it on a q-tip and aggressively scratching the inside of my ears with it (because it feels so good at the time), it works.But I have learned that I must use it at the first inclination of a minor irritation even before it can be identified as an itch.If I get right on it at a tingling, and be proactive, it will stop it before it gets worse. I am really into essential oils and I do have a blend that I use on the outside of my ear sometimes for comfort, but I don't like the clogged feeling of liquids inside of my ears. Hopefully one day, we'll hear of a cause and a cure because as it is written above, until you suffer with it, you'll never be able to understand the agony of it.
Rho - 17-Jan-16 @ 4:22 PM
Please don't use tea tree oil without a doctor's recommendation. I'm sure this would be harmful to your ears...unless perhaps a teeny drop in some other carrier perhaps.
Bob - 2-Oct-15 @ 5:18 AM
Jsmith - Your Question:
So I had a slight itch in my ear so I put a cotton bud in my ear for the first time but the itching got worse and I ended up in a vicious circle, I even had slight tinnitus for a while. I got out of it but I got the itch back and it is worse than ever, a couple of days ago, I was scratching the ear canal when I think I poked my ear too much and it hurt so much, I keep scratching but I know it is wrong. Can someone please help me?

Our Response:
You really need to see your GP who will be able to examine your ears properly and hopefully recommend something to ease the condition. You should also abstain from poking cotton buds in your ear as it could result in a burst ear drum and you really don't want that.
HygieneExpert - 3-Sep-15 @ 2:53 PM
So I had a slight itch in my ear so I put a cotton bud in my ear for the first time but the itching got worse and I ended up in a vicious circle, I even had slight tinnitus for a while. I got out of it but I got the itch back and it is worse than ever, a couple of days ago, I was scratching the ear canal when I think I poked my ear too much and it hurt so much, I keep scratching but I know it is wrong. Can someone please help me?
Jsmith - 3-Sep-15 @ 12:15 AM
I had to comment in regards to itchy ears. I had this problem for around 5 years with daily itching. It would start at all hours of the day and itch so badly I couldn't concentrate on anything else. The itching was always deep like in the middle ear area of the ear canal. It was worse after showering and even a small amount of water would irritate my ears. I would itch until my ears hurt and would clog up and I couldn't hear with ringing and thumping in it. I have been to dozens of doctors and ENT Specialists with the same conclusion that there is nothing wrong with my ears.I have tried the following:- * vinegar and rubbing alcohol mix (couple drops morning and night)- dried my ears out and itching returned * Canasten Anti fungal Tinea drops - (couple of drops morning and night) helped with itching but once stopped itching returned * hydrogen peroxide (couple drops in ear and let it sit in there until bubbling noise stops) - helped with itching but once stopped the itching returned * Kentacomb and Ototcomb (prescription drops) - didn't help and exacerbated the itching * Nizorol cream (applied twice daily) - helped with itching but once stopped itching returned * Canasten cream (applied twice daily) - helped with itching but once stopped itching returned * Tea Tree Oil - couple of drops in each ear caused unbearable burning pain * Hydrocortisone Cream (applied twice daily with fingertips) - by far the quickest way to stop the itching but once ceased the itching returned and I didn't want to take this everyday or long term. ********FINALLY ALONG TERM CURE********* After hours and hours of research I decided to try Organic Coconut Oil. Just before bed I would scoop out around 1/4 tsp of this oil that came out as a solid. I would slowly push the solid pieces into my ear with an ear bud.Over a couple of minutes it would melt do I would then sleep on my side so the oil in that ear would sit there overnight. I did this for around four days alternating the ears. After the fourth day I realised my ears weren't itching as badly. I continued for another 4 days. It has now been 3 months and no itching at all. It is an amazing feeling to not worry about your ears and just lead a normal life without trying to find a place to constantly itch and rub and pull at the ear. I honestly don't think people understand how annoying and frustrating this problem is until you have experienced it yourself. PLEASE give this a try. It is cheap and may help someone.
Teen - 13-Aug-15 @ 11:44 PM
@Angy Mac - thanks for your comments of which I'm sure our readers will be interested. However, you do have to be careful when putting your head under water as remember oil and water don't really mix and you could end up with a worse problem than you had before.
HygieneExpert - 8-May-15 @ 2:26 PM
@Angy Mac - thanks for your comments of which I'm sure our readers will be interested. However, you do have to be careful when putting your head under water as remember oil and water don't really mix and some people could end up with a worse problem than before.
HygieneExpert - 8-May-15 @ 2:22 PM
I have had problem with my ears from age 35 plus through swimming.I tried many different ear treatments, px from the doctors - various ear drops.Drops from the internet. What I have found which works for me is to use Olive oil, garlic and tee tree oil in a small glass drop dispenser.Chop the a garlic clove up thinly, add olive and tee tree oil and put the drops in.It is good for itchy ears, which is my problem.Also a really hot bath, put your head ie ears under the water and stay there for a few minutes to get the hot water in and soak up any wax in there.I find that after the oil has been in overnight it does the job really well.Cheaper than the products in the chemist is also a plus which did not work for me.
Angy Mac - 8-May-15 @ 2:28 AM
I have had this issue for years and so has my 8 year old son. I finally found a cure. First clean your ears really well. Then apply coconut oil on a q tip. Stick it in your ears and make sure to get all sides of the walls.
fal - 30-Oct-14 @ 7:21 AM
I use alcohol it helps some. Just this morning I had an itch episode that woke me from my sleep...Iwas out of alcohol so I got a q-tip and wiped it in some Vaseline put that in my ear and it stopped itching immediately and it has been working now for about 4hrs.
None - 11-Oct-14 @ 3:18 PM
Iam worried about my ears they are very itchy and I can't help it than I start to use a feather to stop the itching but afterwards it hurts , I sometimefeel like my ears are blocked , what can I do n will I be derf
buzzy - 11-Sep-14 @ 9:43 PM
My daughter has very sore itchy flakey ears for many years.She has had treatment at hospital and has to have her ears vacuumed periodically. Nothing has worked for her. I am very worried as she is very depressed.please can someone help her .
Worried mum - 22-May-14 @ 10:45 AM
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