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Itchy Ear Relief After 15 Years

Updated on December 20, 2016

After 15 years, I finally have itch-free ears!

If you are reading this article, you are probably suffering from itchy ears, or perhaps you know someone who is. First off, let me tell you I'm sorry to hear that. I can relate to your frustration!

I have suffered from itchy, dry, flaky ears for over 15 years. I have been guilty of obsessively cleaning them with cotton swabs, scratching them with my fingers, paper clips, bobby pins, pretty much anything that will fit in my ear and provide a minute of relief. I have cleaned my ears in the shower, purchased "earwax removal" kits, and have even tried to leave my ears alone only to find that they generate a thick layer of crusty, flaky, gross stuff.

I have been prescribed ear drops, which were basically an expensive oil, and when I put it in my ear I always felt like it missed the area that was bothering me. Even when I put the oil right on the affected area it didn't help clear up the problem - although it did feel nice at first.

After suffering from this condition for so many years, I had almost accepted it as part of who I am. Not a day has gone by in these past 15 years where I haven't had a finger shoved in my ear scratching out flakes of dried skin. I have even woken up my girlfriend by scratching my ears while I'm sleeping! Itchy ears have been an embarrassing part of my day to day life, and in recent years it had become so bad that it was visible to people around me.

I am sharing this frustrating and embarrassing story with you because I know I'm not alone. I have read online forums and discussion groups in which other people have complained about the same thing - so I know you are out there.

I finally found relief for my itchy ears. I will share my story here.

The Good News

So, how did I finally find relief after all these years? Well, after I returned from a business trip in Las Vegas I noticed my skin was very dry all over. The skin on the back of my legs was so dry it was starting to crack. It hurt to walk, and it looked like I had a terrible rash on my legs. I made an appointment with my new doctor, and he quickly saw that I had eczema. He brought out a textbook and showed me images of people with bad eczema, and sure enough, it looked like I had it. One image was of an ear, and he stopped on that page and said that eczema really likes the ears. We started talking about my ears, and he took a look and said that it was the same thing as what I had on my legs. The treatment would be the same; a steroid cream.

He told me that eczema does not go away, but I could prevent it by staying moisturized after showers, and only using steroid cream during breakouts. I asked about preventing it in my ears and he said there is no real prevention for it, and to just treat it with cream when I have a flare-up. He said the cream would take about a week to clear everything up and that the steroid cream would become my new best friend.

Let me tell you that it took only a few days to clear up my ears and skin! The cream worked so quickly, and I experienced itch-free ears for the first time in over 15 years. It was almost enough to bring me to tears when I realized I didn't have to suffer anymore and that I could manage my condition. Have you ever heard someone say that depressed people sometimes forget what it feels like to be happy? Well, I had forgotten what it felt like to have normal, itch-free ears.

The Bad News

A few days after starting treatment, I noticed my right ear was swelling and starting to become painful. My left ear was clear and feeling great, so I knew it was not the cream giving me a bad reaction. It turns out I had developed an infection in my right ear, most likely from all the scratching I did before I was prescribed the steroid cream! It is ironic that for years I had been scratching at my ears, risking infection, and it never happened. But now, the last time I scratch my ears, I get a lovely infection. I would have to wait a little bit longer for total, complete ear relief.

Now, I know that for those of you like me with itchy ears you already know you should not be sticking anything into your ear, but I also understand how maddening the itching can be. Just a piece of advice - try not to do it. Go to the doctor and talk about a steroid cream because it helped me. I think it can help you, too!

I had forgotten what it felt like to have normal itch-free ears.

Itchy Ear Poll - (everyone can take this poll - not just Squidoo members)

How long have you suffered from itchy ears?

See results

Cleaning Your Ears at Home

It is important not to over-clean your ears, however, sometimes we all need some relief from too much wax buildup. If you are going to clean your ears, do it right. When you have your ears cleaned at the doctor's office, they typically use a syringe to gently flush out your ear with lukewarm water, catching the drainage in an ear basin. Buying your own basin and syringe is well worth it to save you money in the long run on doctor visits.

The syringe featured below is designed to be used in your ear, and the tip is shaped to reduce the risk of over-insertion. The basin is also designed for ear-wax removal and is shaped to fit against your head right under your ear. That way, you can clean your ear at home without making a big mess.

What do you do to help your itchy ears?

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    • profile image

      yvonne rautenbach 3 weeks ago

      cant reflux can make your ear itch inside- it is the acid gas irritating the ear from the inside and eustachian tube?

    • profile image

      Brian 8 months ago

      I have very itchy ear canals over 15 years. I also use a lot of Q-tips to scratch, but it gets so itchy sometime, that I have to stick a pen cap into my ear to scratch it enough to get some relief. (works great btw) although I know I risk injury, infection, and damage to ear canal. I also have eczema behind ears that drives me crazy. Any suggestions ???

    • profile image

      Raymond Sackey 13 months ago

      I have the same problem my ear is itching I cough so I can have a relief but it keeps itching

    • Bonitaanna profile image

      Bonitaanna 15 months ago from Oil City, PA

      Well, I just read everyone's complaints and I am telling you that I have had this problem for almost 20 years. I know how all of you must feel. I think it it is the most annoying thing I have ever suffered with. It takes away sound sleep, every night just about. I go thru tons of qtips, as a matter of fact I keep a baggy of them in my bed above my head. It took me almost 4 months to get into the Ear doctor as she is a new one for me. I had a mass of wax clogging my eardrum. Had also gone to the emergency ward for help, they sent me home with a prescription that had aluminum in it and I refused to use it, as it helps to give a person Alzheimers disease. Finally I have found this article after using so many concoctions in my ears. I am so glad that there is help for the natural remedies. Thank you all for this information and I plan on looking some of this up and trying it. I am just about burned out on this situation.

      ]

    • profile image

      Brent 23 months ago

      i have to try some sort of drops .. my ears are driving me crazy . and I constantly am scratching them and causing pain and infections .. my ear doctor once told me never to use hydrogen peroxide in my ear canal because it has the possibility of burning tissue inside of my ear .. i think that I have to look into a steroid drop but this itching has gone on long enough .. it is affecting my sleep and overall quality of life ..

    • profile image

      Mini 2 years ago

      Flaxseed oil helps tons with eczema. Had to take it for breakouts on my skin and it worked really well, but it has to be taken often/daily. (Only get breakouts ocassionally, so when I feel it start, I take some and I feel better.)

    • profile image

      anonimous 2 years ago

      I have had itchy ears since I was about 13, so that 12 years now. Ive been to the doctor and they tell me there is nothing wrong with me and to just stop scratching. But that impossible as my subconscious takes over n I scratch without realising. The olive oil trick seems good I will try that. Does anyone else get throat problems when there ears are at there worst?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Suffered from ear wax build up for years, frequent visits to Doctor for syringing. Then one day realised my eczema must be in my ears, used Elocon ointment, works a treat.Ears not itchy and reduced inflammation allows wax out of ear.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: PERMANENT CURE

      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.

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      I have suffered this for years and only recently discovered what it was. I get eczema around the top of my right ear and inside both ears. When I saw the speclialist he said I have "short ear canals like a dog" (what a charmer) which perhaps affects it. I tend to use a thick zinc type cream which softens the hard scaly skin and then it comes out, but I can't get rid of it once and for all it seems. I've had eczema (in various places) and asthma since childhood but the ear problem only began in my early 20's.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been struggling with dry, crusty ears (gross, I know) for the last two years. I've tried cortisone, lotrimin, oregano oil, tea tree oil, washing, not washing, dandruff shampoo, baby oil, otic, and nothing has provided much relief at all. Just posting to pay it forward because I finally was prescribed something that worked. It's a strong steroid called Mometasone Furoate Cream USP. I've applied two days (out of 14) and its already fixed. Amazing, so pleased. Like the author, I thought I was going to have this condition for life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I use hydrogen peroxide on a cotton bud, obviously very carefully. I use either 3% or 6%. It fizzes in the ear and stops the annoying itching for a few days. It does not go away completely so a steroid cream can be used alternately with the h2o2.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Ive been struggling with a deep inner ear itch since 2001, my ears get so itchy that I unfurl a paperclip and stick it in my ear to scratch it, its become so bad that my fiancé and my father both complain about my paperclip obsession, I don't use cottonswabs because the itch is so deep that it takes over, I constantly get infections though, so im going to try to stop, but this itch, its mind controlling sometimes... I need some help!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Elocon ointment (prescribed steroid ointment for exzema). Twice a day for seven days and then only used during flare ups. Don't clean your ears with cotton tips after that ever again and don't scratch with your fingernails. Try to keep ears dry during showers and when swimming in pools by wearing ear plugs

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

      Excellent lens. I have a problem with this at the moment so it's nice to read about someone who has found a solution.

    • profile image

      peppervel 5 years ago

      am actually reading this article for my son. he is always complaining about itchy ears. thanks for sharing this lens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Ouch, I could really feel your pain here. So glad you found a cure.

    • RLWalker LM profile image

      RLWalker LM 6 years ago

      i don't have this problem but for some reason this lens seems very captivating. Makes me appreciate my health abit more and how many things could go wrong in so many ways with it.

    • profile image

      RobGrawberger 6 years ago

      very informative. Although kind of a weird topic. Kudos!!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Thank god I don't have the problem bitt for sufferers this must be excellent info.

    • DallasNicole LM profile image

      DallasNicole LM 6 years ago

      Very Good Lens. Helpful info! Thanks! most wouldn't think to write about this topic but its needed