itchy ears

What to do about Itchy Ears


Itching in the ear is a symptom of anything from dried wax to a serious infection. If gently using the pad of your finger does not satisfy the urge to itch, there might be more going on.

Itchy ears  caused by infections, psoriasis, dermatitis, allergies, and even a nervous habit are very common, but can lead to trauma to the ear canal if not properly addressed. Unfortunately, people with itchy ears use many “tools” to scratch the itch that should never be put into the ear (bobby pins, car keys, paper clips, toothpicks). Although it may produce temporary relief, it may cause abrasions to the ear canal.

Don’t insert anything in your ear.
Never stick anything in your ear with the intention of scratching an itch — not even a cotton swab.  Anything smaller than your elbow has the potential to damage the ear and its structures.

Wax is good . . . most of the time.
Earwax helps your body eliminate dead skin cells and dirt, but a buildup of wax can make your ears itch. An over the counter ear drop designed to break up the wax might help. If not, your doctor can use special tools to safely remove the built-up wax. Again, never use a cotton swab in your ear canal. It can actually push the wax deeper inside where it can get stuck and cause more significant issues.

Treat the symptom.
If it a simple itch from dried skin in the ear canal, ask your audiologist about over the counter drops that will help sooth the itch.  If the ear canal is infected with pain or you have drainage from the ear,  seek a medical doctor for a prescription if necessary.
Above all else, keep your ears healthy.  Nothing smaller than your elbow goes in your ears.