According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, 50 million Americans experience acne every year, making it the most common skin condition in the U.S. While it usually begins in puberty, acne affects around 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 to 24 in some capacity and can last into adulthood. Acne can affect many parts of your body, including even your ears, according to Healthline.
Medical News Today explains that your outer ear and external ear canal have skin and hair cells and oil-producing glands. If one of these pores becomes clogged with dead skin or oil, it can cause a pimple. Dust or dirt could also cause a pimple to form. It isn’t just external factors that could be to blame for a pimple in your ear, though. Increased stress levels or hormonal imbalances could cause you to get a spot. Depending on the cause of your pimple, you may need to see your doctor. If you have an infection or have had an allergic reaction, you could need medical attention. However, Prevention outlined that pimples in your ear are often nothing to worry about.
How to get rid of a pimple in your ear
When you get a pimple in your ear — or anywhere else for that matter — one of the most tempting things to do might be to squeeze it. However, Healthline explains that you could make matters worse. When you squeeze a pimple, the area around it becomes exposed to the bacteria and pus that comes out. This can cause further irritation and scabbing.
If an ear pimple is causing you discomfort, use a warm compress (via Prevention). This can also bring bacteria and pus to the surface naturally. If this happens, you should clean the area with clean hands, according to Medical News Today. You could also consider using tea tree oil, per Verywell Health. This should work slowly to ease inflammation. Similarly, benzoyl peroxide will kill the propionibacterium, acne bacteria.
If you can’t clear your pimple or find that ear acne keeps coming back, consider speaking with your doctor or dermatologist. They may prescribe you antibiotics or another form of treatment.
How to prevent getting pimples in your ear
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as they say. When it comes to ear acne, this involves keeping your ears clear of bacteria. Speaking to Prevention, Susan Bard, a board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, said, “[Ear pimples] are very painful because the skin is tauter there, and more importantly there’s cartilage there. Any time there’s inflammation around cartilage, such as around the nose or the ear, it’s always very painful.”
Healthline recommends that in order to avoid the pain and irritation of getting a pimple in your ear, you should avoid putting your fingers or dirty earbuds or headsets near your ears. Make sure you clean them regularly. Similarly, be gentle with the skin around your ears and don’t expose them to overly perfumed or harsh products (via Medical News Today). Pat them dry, rather than rubbing them.
Another way to keep an eye on ear health is by analyzing at your earwax, Robert Anolik, physician and clinical assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone told Self. If you put earbuds or earphones in your ears often, they may cause a buildup of wax and ear acne. Instead of cleaning your ear with cotton tips, Dr. Anolik recommends using an inner-ear wash.
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