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Dermatitis in ear

Causes, symptoms and treatment

What is dermatitis in the ear?

Ear dermatitis is a skin condition that can manifest in different forms, including contact dermatitis and eczema. In the case of contact dermatitis, the condition is caused by an allergic reaction to external agents. On the other hand,dermatitis can occur spontaneously and is commonly found in individuals who suffer from skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Dermatitis in the inner ear

Dermatitis can manifest in various parts of the ear, including the outer, middle, and inner ear. It's worth noting that the inner ear, which consists of the vestibular system and the cochlea, can also be affected by dermatitis. Dermatitis in the inner ear is rare, but it can cause serious symptoms, such as hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and vertigo (dizziness).


When dermatitis affects the inner ear, it can be caused by a variety of factors, both pathological and non-pathological.

Pathological causes may include inflammation due to otitis, a type of ear infection, which can cause redness, swelling and itching of the skin. Fungal infections, such as mycosis, can also cause dermatitis in the inner ear, leading to symptoms like flaky skin and intense itching.

Non-pathological causes of dermatitis in the inner ear may include the accumulation of wax, which can cause inflammation and itching, or the irritation caused by foreign bodies like earphones or cotton swabs, which can scratch the skin and cause inflammation.

In addition, there may be other underlying conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, which can increase the risk of developing dermatitis in the ear. It is important to identify the underlying cause of dermatitis in the inner ear in order to provide the most effective treatment. Seeking medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional is recommended.


Some of the first symptoms of inner ear dermatitis is a localized itching sensation. This may be accompanied by redness and irritation of the inner ear, as well as tinnitus, pain, and swelling. For more severe cases, dermatitis can lead to the development of crusting and lesions in the affected area.

Dermatitis on the outer ear

Outer ear dermatitis refers to the inflammation of the external ear and it typically involves the skin of the ear canal, the pinna, and the lobe. There are two main types of external ear dermatitis: contact dermatitis and eczematoid ear dermatitis.


Contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to allergens or irritants, such as certain metals, perfumes, or hair dyes. Eczematoid ear dermatitis can occur spontaneously without any known cause and is often seen in individuals with a history of other dermatological conditions like eczema or psoriasis.


Symptoms of external ear dermatitis may include hypersensitivity, itching, redness, and swelling of the affected area, as well as the presence of flaky or scaly skin. In some cases, the skin may become thickened and ooze clear fluid or even crust over. It is important to seek medical attention if these symptoms persist or worsen over time.

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Different forms of ear dermatitis

Ear dermatitis can manifest in different forms, including contact dermatitis, eczematous dermatitis, and dermatophytosis. Contact dermatitis typically occurs as an allergic reaction to certain materials, such as nickel in earrings, plastic in earphones, or chemicals in beauty products. Eczematous dermatitis is commonly observed in individuals who suffer from psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. Dermatophytosis, one of the less common forms of ear dermatitis, is a type of fungal infection caused by fungi.

How to treat dermatitis of the ear?

Dermatitis treatments can vary greatly. In cases of contact dermatitis, identifying and removing the allergen that triggers the reaction is essential. Topical corticosteroid creams are effective in reducing inflammation and itching. For eczematous dermatitis, doctors may recommend ear drops containing a diluted solution of aluminium acetate, also known as Burrow's solution. In more severe cases, oral antihistamines or antibiotics may be prescribed. However, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate course of treatment.


Corticosteroid creams, such as hydrocortisone or betamethasone, are among the most effective medicines used to treat dermatitis, as they can effectively alleviate the swelling and itching associated with this condition. It is important to carefully follow the guidelines provided by the physician to ensure the proper use of the medication and to achieve optimal results.

Home remedies

Home remedies, such as aloe vera gel or a paste made of water and zinc oxide, can help alleviate dermatitis symptoms. Both remedies are free of colorants and fragrances. Additionally, creams that contain blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum), a natural antihistamine, can also be beneficial for relieving the discomfort resulting from allergic reactions.

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