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Eczema in the Ear and the Connection with Ear Wax



Eczema in the ear can appear as a red, itchy rash that develops on the outside of the ear or inside the ear canal.

It does not always arise because of triggers - in which case it is called aural eczematoid dermatitis. People who are prone to seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis are more likely than others to have aural eczematoid dermatitis.

Some of the causes of contact dermatitis in and around the ears are certain irritants including soaps, hair dyes and metal jewelry.

This condition can commonly occur in babies and children.  It is not contagious.



  • dry, scaly skin around the ear
  • dry, scaly skin inside the ear canal
  • redness and swelling
  • itchiness in or around the ear canal
  • clear discharge from the ear

The symptoms of ear eczema can also affect the area behind the ear and the crease where the ear attaches to the head.

While for the most part, the symptoms of eczema will be mild to moderate, in some cases, the itching can become intense and lead to the following:

  • red, swollen, or dark skin
  • areas of very dry, sensitive skin
  • scaly patches that may be rough or leathery
  • oozing, bleeding, or crusting areas of inflamed skin
  • infected skin in the ear canal

As with any itchy skin condition that causes discomfort and the urge to scratch, this should be avoided at all costs as scratching can lead to very inflamed areas of skin that may bleed and make eczema symptoms worse.

What are the factors leading to eczema?

Such factors might include a gene mutation that affects a protein called filaggrin, which develops a protective barrier on the skin. This mutation could leave the skin vulnerable to irritation and infection.

Many people with eczema also have overactive immune systems. When they encounter a trigger, their immune system reacts by causing skin inflammation.

Common triggers for eczema include:

  • soaps, detergents and baby wipes
  • common allergens
  • some metals, including nickel
  • scented lotions, soaps and perfumes
  • rough fabrics, such as wool
  • some disinfectants
  • cigarette smoke
  • stress
  • heat
  • infections

A special word on eczema in the ear canal

When you have eczema right inside the ear canal, dry skin will flake off and wrap itself around any ear wax.  This can be cause irritation and itchiness and make the ear wax itself more difficult to remove.

The solution is to add a few drops of olive oil to the ear once a week to act as a moisturizer and help to keep the ear canal cleaner and clearer.  The easiest way to add the olive oil is to use a product called Earol which is available at the pharmacy or online.   

Home remedies for eczema in the ear area

  • Washing the ears each night with warm, but not hot, water.
  • Using a natural fragrance-free moisturizer on the ears immediately after bathing to lock in moisture.
  • Preventing any triggers, such as jewelry, from coming into contact with the ears.
  • Wearing a hat that covers the ears in cold weather, as cold temperatures can trigger flares.
  • Avoiding irritants that have caused eczema flares in the past.
  • Switching to gentle cleansers and products that are suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Adding a couple of drops of earol once a week to the ear canal to prevent the build up of dry skin and wax.
  • Using H-Eczema Formula on dry patches of skin in the affected areas.  The Formula is perfect for mild to severe eczema symptoms as many over the counter treatments may contain chemicals and other potentially harmful ingredients.  Even though there is no cure for eczema, controlling your symptoms is possible. Natural products work with your body to heal your symptoms, as opposed to harsh eczema creams and prescriptions which could have adverse effects.



Ear eczema is not usually severe. However, the itchiness and dry skin can be frustrating, and these symptoms can get worse if people scratch the affected area. Eczema inside the ear can also make people prone to ear canal infections.

Choosing to have micro-suction earwax removal appointment

  1. Depending on the severity of the wax to be removed, an appointment will take between thirty and sixty minutes. 
  2. After asking a few questions to get a better understanding of the health of your ears, the clinician will examine your ear canals and ear drums by using an otoscope (magnifier with a light). They will record this information to help keep track of any changes in your ear over time.
  3. After talking through the procedure, the clinician will use a magnifier and suction tube to gently remove any wax that’s in your ear before checking the health of your ears and recording this information.

Microsuction earwax removal uses a vacuum to gently remove any excess wax from your ears.  It’s one of the most effective services for cleaning your ears.

It is different to the ear syringing method which is a technique of removing earwax that involves pushing water through the ear canal to flush out the wax. Although it can be successful, it can have side effects and possible complications, especially if done incorrectly, causing ear infections or impacted earwax.