Advanced search

Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.

Does anyone else get eczema/unbearable itchiness in their ear canals?!

(56 Posts)
gagamama Thu 05-Nov-09 17:23:39

This sounds weird, but I nearly always have some degree of itchyness deep inside my ears. Sometimes it drives me absolutely to disraction and I have to abandon what I'm doing to find something to soothe it (kitchen roll twisted into a long thin roll and dipped in E45 is my weapon of choice, and this does provide satisfactory, if temporary, relif - but I have been known to resort to pen lids or tweezers or unfurled paper clips in moments of desperation).

This of course means that I get ear infections very reguarly because I CANNOT avoid itching them when they are really bad, it's not just the itching right inside my head which drives me loopy, but the throbbing I can hear when they're really inflamed. The itchy part is far, far down inside my ear, I imagine it's either right in front of the eardrum or even behind it. My GP has given me steroid drops in the past, but they are very slow to work and don't seem to ever really get down to where the itching is worst.

I don't really suffer with eczema anywhere else. I have occasional flare-ups on a small patch on my knee, which sometimes goes crazy and gets infected, but other than that I have no real skin problems.

Does anyone else have this weird problem? Any hints? I'm currently suffering my umpteenth ear infection this year which is extremely tender and painful, and yet my ear STILL ITCHES!

gagamama Thu 05-Nov-09 17:25:14

That should of course say distraction and relief.

3littlefrogs Thu 05-Nov-09 17:27:31

It sounds as if you have a fungal infection in your ear. This will be made wprse by antibiotics and steroid drops. Has your GP taken a swab?

tipsycat Thu 05-Nov-09 21:04:39

I get exactly the same problem, and am watching this thread with interest. Sorry I don't have any answers though.

MyCatIsAMangyGit Thu 05-Nov-09 21:06:23

Yes. I get it! Drives me mad! Mine was / is eczema so if it gets bad I use hydrocortisone on it, which helps (prescribed by the doctor).

beesonmummyshead Thu 05-Nov-09 21:08:57

i have had this and it nearly drove me insane. I went to gp who told me it was eczema as you describe he prescribed some drops (I don't remember the name sorry) but they worked INSTANTLY.

He told me in no circumstances must i use cotton buds or tissue in my ears, and that if I were worried a clean around the outside (not inside) with a wet flannel would be plenty.

I do occasionally use cotton buds to ensure I am not really disgustingly scabby and ear-waxy, and thankfully have had no re-occurences.

I too, am a little bit allergic, but rarely get eczema


MaureenMLove Thu 05-Nov-09 21:11:00

I suffered with this last year and finally went to the doctors. It was eczema. He gave me a spray to put in my ears and it was gone within the week!

Go! Tis totally painless and the relief is wonderful!

MrsMalcolmTucker Thu 05-Nov-09 21:12:48

My dh had this - he dealt with bad flare-ups with steroids I think, tablets and a cream to stop the itching. He does still get the itching so he carries a cotton bud around with him all the time, which does the trick as it's not as bad as it used to be.

ditzzy Thu 05-Nov-09 21:13:15

I was going to suggest dipping the kitchen roll twist in apple cider vinegar, because thats what I bathe all my eczema in, but I thought I should do a quick google to make sure there wasn't a reason not to... turns out its a well known treatment for dog ears blush although I did find a link saying that human ears should be kept acidic, so the cider vinegar may help!

It really does work on other parts of the body though, instant cooling relief, kills bugs and removes dead skin. There's loads of websites saying that it has to be unfiltered, organic and whatever, but I just buy standard Aspall Cider Vinegar from Tescos and it works fine. Put it in the bath too (only couple of teaspoons in one bath), then it coats all of you - including inside your ears if you soak for long enough!

Montifer Thu 05-Nov-09 21:36:48

I had unbearably itchy ears which my GP diagnosed as very dry skin, although it felt much more serious than that grin

He prescribed Otomize spray which smelt a bit vinegary but cured the itch within 24 hours.

hester Thu 05-Nov-09 21:40:02

dp gets this - Otomize works once it gets infected, but no treatment for the itchiness. I shall pass on the cider vinegar tip!

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 05-Nov-09 21:40:06

yy I was going to say unfurl half a dozen paper clips, fashion them into a bundle and twirl in yer lugole

obv one should never put anything smaller than one's elbow in one's ear

ThingOneofYourNightmares Thu 05-Nov-09 23:12:36

I had this problem for years. I cut my fingernails really short as I couldn't stop scratching in my sleep.

I was given steroid shampoo to use as drops in my ears and it was brilliant. If I ever feel it coming back I just use a drop a day until it stops, but I've barely had to use it in the last three years.

I got mine about five/six years ago and I had relief for the first time in fifteen or twenty years. I had tried so many things and had so many ear infections made or worsened by the scratching. No doubt I'd had the odd fungal infection along the way, and otomize had certainly helped sometimes, but only the steroids gave me long term relief from mine.

gagamama Fri 06-Nov-09 07:03:44

Thanks everyone, I thought it was just a weird quirk of mine, had no idea it was so widespread.

Come to think of it I used to have some Otomize spray somewhere - I'll have to dig it out and give it another go. It was better than the drops because it kind of propels itself into your ear instead of waiting for it to drip down.

For the time being I'm keeping it vaguely under control with ibuprofen and antihistimines, but I'll make an appointment and try and get some different drops. He always shouts at me for poking things in there though. I know you're not meant to, but I've got it down to quite an art!

Furball Fri 06-Nov-09 07:47:34

I get this too! and have really bad flare ups over the years but seem to have found a way of keeping it at bay.

Every morning WITHOUT FAIL I dip a cotton bud in sudocream and then put it in and wipe it round my ear.

I know when I haven't or forgotten to do this my ears itch immediately.

King1961a Thu 04-Apr-13 17:08:43

I cured myself with a thyroid medicine and an elimination diet.
I had severe eczema in my ear canals. I would scratch at it and get ear infections. I thought I would eventually become deaf. I was very afraid. So I researched all of it.
I had almost no ear wax. I also had dry skin, low morning body temp, intolerance of heat/cold, very slow hair & nail growth, and other signs of low thyroid. But my thyroid blood test results showed only a bit low, but still in the normal range.
To increase ear wax production and restore normal oily skin, I took a thyroid medicine Cynoplus, which is a T4/T3 combination. I now have some ear wax and oily (not dry)skin. Before all this, I was trying all kinds of natural soaps and shampoos, body lotions, etc as the solution. Now I can use any soap or shampoo and don't need skin lotion.
I also try to have more healthy oils in my diet -- olive oil, real butter, peanut butter, etc.
Also, to fully stop eczema flare-ups, I did an elimation diet of the most common food allergens (corn, wheat, tree nuts, coffee, alcohol, gluten, etc). I found that whenever I ate the smallest amount of corn (in any form, including high fructose corn syrup [found in MANY foods and drinks], corn starch, popcorn, etc) the eczema would start within 1-2 days. This happened even after I increased my ear wax by boosting my thyroid, but the eczema was very minor -- it didn't spread to the ear canal, just at the opening and went away quickly.
I have been free of ear eczema for three months now and also feel much better overall. The Cynoplus thyroid hormone T4/T3 also cured my chronic fatigue, brain fog, frequent depression, and slow wound healing.
Research/Google elimination diet and also the symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroidism) -- and cure yourself permanently.
If you can't afford many doctor visits or expensive U.S. medicines, or you have a doctor who is unwilling to let you try thyroid hormones, you can try another doctor -- or order online inexpensive Cynoplus from a Mexican pharmacy and start at the lowest dose. You can also order U.S. blood tests via the Internet (without a local doctor), with blood taking labs in almost every U.S. city; the test results are emailed to you.
If you can afford it, it is best to see a doctor, ask for a hard copy of blood test results, and get a prescription for U.S. medicines. Remember that even if blood tests show normal levels of thyroid hormones, but you still have many of the low thyroid symptoms, you may need to insist that your doctor let you try thyroid hormone pills -- especially if you have serious problems like eczema in you ear canal and resulting, dangerous ear infections. See if T4/T3, or T4 alone, increases ear wax production. You will know in one week if it works.

willyhaschips Fri 05-Apr-13 10:13:15

This sounds like one of the symptoms of candida. I have had this when I had candida overgrowth and cured it with strict diet and anti-fungal supplements caprylic acid and oregano oil.
My sympathies as it is maddening!

QueenOfCats Sat 06-Apr-13 00:00:49

Otitis externa?

80sMum Sat 06-Apr-13 00:10:25

I had something very similar. An almost permanent low-grade external ear infection, which the Dr said was caused by eczema in the ear canal. I tried loads of remedies. What finally cleared it up for me was medical grade manuka honey, which I bought for about £5 on Amazon.

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist Sat 06-Apr-13 00:15:48

I don't know all the details but my sister suffers really badly with this. She had an operation recently (private) where they opened the back of her ear and removed the offending tissue(?). She suffered badly enough with it to be registered as deaf. She has seen a great deal of improvement but still needs her other ear doing.

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 06-Apr-13 07:46:06

Oh, thank you for this thread! Both dp and I were convinced we'd got beasties inside our ears! He already suffers with dermatitis, and I have v dry skin, and the symptoms you all describe sound like us! Off to get some drops on Monday!

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 06-Apr-13 07:55:43

This happens to me periodically but linked to a really bad allergic flare up. My antihistamines make it go away. It's AWFUL I'm not surprised it's driving you mad!!

armagh Mon 08-Apr-13 19:06:34

I have it. Only in one ear. One doctor has said it is excema. Another said it was dermatitis and another has said it is psoriosis !

Dahlialover Tue 09-Apr-13 16:00:30

I have had it for years.

The doctor told me not to scratch it hmm

I have had ear drops, but they did nothing. Recently I had metronidazole for something else and it went away. Then it came back again sad

I will have to go back again.

WaitingForMe Tue 09-Apr-13 16:18:18

DH had this and it improved drastically (along with other things) when he cut right back on caffeine and dairy.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: