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

(39 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!

littletike Tue 13-Sep-16 18:10:41

OMG yes I suffer with this. it was really bad a few years ago and I ended up with a severe infection in both ears and burst ear drums (from the eczema not the itching) it kept coming back and flaring up but has been under control for a while now... shampoo stuff sounds familiar but it stung like hell! To keep on top of it now I gently dry my ears with a cotton bud after every shower/swim/when ever I get water in them. It seems to remove the dead skin so it doesn't flake and cause an issue.

raggletag Fri 09-Sep-16 13:52:14

I have suffered with this for a few years now, I am a DJ and was very concerned about it at first, however it was clarified by a doctor as ear eczema or otitis externa.
My issue is loads of dry flaky skin which weeps when it comes away and the weeping deep down in my ear drives me insane, so I do use cotton buds just to dry it out. I don't want to use steroids though the doctors tell me there is not much other choice. I have tried apple cider vinegar which stings like hell and there is a vinegar based drops available from boots. Haven't tried that.
I had developed an eczema salve for my son which works a treat so I decided to use that. It is made from chickweed infused in borage oil mixed with beeswax. All organic.
When I started using it in my ears the inflammation calms immediately, then there is a slight stinging/itchiness as all the dead skin lifts off. I usually scape that out, keep applying the salve and it seems to work. If I stop using it, the eczema returns. So this has made me look more closely at diet. Diary overload possibly. Ill keep you posted as Im going through that now.

raggletag Fri 09-Sep-16 13:41:54

Hiya, I have tried cider vinegar and it stings like hell. Maybe watered down it would be better.

user1473289517 Thu 08-Sep-16 17:16:38

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Whobeme57 Thu 07-Jul-16 04:19:45

Hi, I've been reading the thread here and I have dead skin in my ear and severe itching. I've tried so many things and nothing works for long periods of time. It keeps coming back. I have gotten so desperate to stop the itching and have used tweezers, pen lids, q-tips, my nails. I get so much dead skin and I end up scratching and peeling the dead skin off. Sometimes my ear swells closed and I can't hear and it becomes infected and painful. I thought I was the one. Help!

choffman12 Sat 28-May-16 22:21:32

danny31 If your doctor or ear, nose and throat specialist never checked your ears for a fungal infection you might have them do that. It could be that they treated you for the wrong type of infection or that a fungal infection happened as a result of the treatment for a bacterial ear infection.

choffman12 Sat 28-May-16 22:16:10

The itchiness in your ears could be the result of ear eczema. Your best bet is to go to an ear, nose, and throat specialist because they have the expertise to know what to do. Mine put me on steroid drops and a steroid cream. As a result, I have very little if any itchiness in my ears. This condition can and does have flare ups. When it flares this can cause an excess of dead, dry skin in the ear canals. You may not know this has happened but if you see an ear, nose, and throat specialist on a regular basis he or she will be able to tell you if this has happened. When it does your ear, nose, and throat specialist will have to remove the dead, dry skin from your ear canals. It is not the most fun thing but any pain or discomfort is minimal. The dead, dry skin does need to be removed though because it can make it hard for you to hear, and it can increase the risk for impacted wax and ear infections. The bottom line is that you most definitely need to see an ear, nose and throat specialist because he or she will be the best person to help you with this.

SparklyTinselTits Tue 29-Dec-15 16:53:31

I've had it for years....DH laughs at me because at least once I day I say "ooo I need a cotton bud...I've got fizzy ears!"
I've been checked at the dr numerous times, for infections, swimmers ear etc, all to no avail. I've just accepted I will have a lifetime of "fizzy ears" confused

goinggrey1978 Tue 29-Dec-15 16:44:58

when i suffer an unknown allergic reaction in my eyes, my ear canals are also itchy and sore!!
going to the gp's later to see if he knows what the unknown source is that keeps causing these reactions!!

Tomorrowisanewday Tue 29-Dec-15 14:30:57

I get something which sounds the same. I had really bad eczema as a child, grew out of it when i was early twenties, but when I get stressed or upset, I get the problem with my ears, and small patches on my face. Doctor thinks the eczema is in my ears, and I get Optimise ear spray, which usually helps very quickly.

danny31 Tue 29-Dec-15 14:15:48

OK, this is only my experience so I hesitate to recommend it, but it has worked, it is easy and cheap.

I have had eczema and recurrent infections in my ears, involving yellow secretions, a cheesy smell, and severe itching, for some years. I took antibiotic drops/ sprays as prescribed. They worked for a while but the infection came back.

I read of a study being conducted by Swedish researchers into medications for resistant infections (admittedly in horses), which included promising results from using - this is where it gets odd - wild fermented mead. I have a couple of beehives in the garden, and by chance had taken some dilute honey which started to ferment, and put it in an airlocked demijohn to see what would happen. So I had a sweet, naturally fermented mead. In the spirit of being prepared to try anything, I put some in my ears, keeping it there for a quarter of an hour or so each side, two to three times a day, several days running. The infected eczema is gone. The better ear has been treatment free for a couple of weeks, and is healthy. The worse one had some skin damage but it is healing steadily. I am still treating it for the time being. My hearing seems unaffected and the mead didn't cause any pain.

There are several reasons it might have worked. Mead is alcoholic, honey contains naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide, sugar is antibacterial. But it may also be related to the wild yeasts and bacteria combating the infection in a similar way to probiotics in digestive health.

Of course, individuals must make their own judgements, and be sensible in the care of their ears. I am, however, really thrilled with the results.

Pleasemrstweedie Sat 14-Nov-15 00:53:31

Interesting post above. I had this for years. It disappeared very quickly when I finally got treatment for my under active thyroid and has not returned.

Hollydolly100 Fri 13-Nov-15 21:47:46

No offence to be taken as I hope your ok but thank god I'm not the only one who suffers with this. I have had this for about 2 years now, but I suffer with chronic sore, flaky dry skin all in my ears that I MUST rip out every day or it makes my ears even more itchy. Iv forever got my finger in my ear and tired every cream going, nothing's worked for me yet. I have to itch my ears with anything I can find. Usually a hair grip but now I'm using pen lids and anything sharp to get it.

It feels absolutely amazing when i itch my ears but then they bleed or pop after and then there all inflamed. It drives me mad, once I start I can't stop! I don't know why I got this so randomly. But I can't tie my hair back as I'm so embarrassed with the state my ears are !

agnesm Tue 21-Jul-15 18:45:34

Regarding eczema in the ear I have had this for a number of years after an ear perforation and regular ear infections. Regarding itchiness I have found swabbing the canal with 100% vitamin E oil and rub Vicks vapour rub morning and night just inside and surrounding th ear stops the itch and finally gives relief. Applying Vicks vapour rub to any eczema takes away the itch, allowing the skin to repair by not scratching.

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.

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.

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 !

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!!

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!

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.

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.

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

Otitis externa?

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!

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.

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.

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