Aural Dermatitis (Eczema)
Written by Sharron
People who get dermatitis in their ears often say their ears feel itchy and scaly, and sometimes experience discomfort or even some weeping from the canal. There is no cure for dermatitis, but it can be helped by microsuction and managed with advice from an Ear Nurse (it may even spontaneously disappear for a while).
At the Ear Hygiene Clinic we have found our clients often present with dermatitis during the winter months, and it can be aggravated on the side people sleep on the most. This can also coincide with a presence of wax that adds to the itchiness. When it gets itchy there is a greater risk of introducing infection through scratching.
Swelling may occur at the entrance to the canal which reduces hearing and/or promotes infection. The eczema rarely goes all the way down to the drum.
Most dermatitis can be managed at home.
Microsuction removes any excess irritant that may be present in the canal - e.g. wax, and/or dry flaky skin. By having a clear canal, any product used in the ear to prevent itchiness will be a lot more effective. A regular visit to Ear Hygiene Clinic every six months is advisable to assist in the management and control of this ongoing condition.
For persisting itchiness, a thin application of 0.5 -1% hydrocortisone two to three times a day for several days is effective, i.e. Dermaid cream.
Follow this with an application of a skin moisturiser/barrier to maintain suppleness of the skin. Apply with your finger to the entrance of the ear (do not use cotton buds).
Some products people have found helpful are:
Tui Bee balm products.
Lemnis fatty cream
Barrier /Silicone cream
Aloe Vera Gel
A grease-based ointment is most effective, applying as needed (use something not too perfumed). Even night cream/face moisturiser can be effective.
Don’t hesitate to see your GP if pain, redness and swelling persist.