Pimple in Ear: How It Happens and How to Treat It

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Pimple in Ear: How It Happens and How to Treat ItPimple in Ear: How It Happens and How to Treat It

Is this normal?
Acne is generally seen as an adolescent issue. But it’s also common across all age groups. Between 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at a given time. It’s the most common skin condition in the United States. Pimples can form anywhere, though they affect the areas with the most oil glands. This includes your face and your back.

It isn’t uncommon for pimples to form inside of your ear. And pimples in your ear can usually be treated at home without guidance from your doctor.

Learn more about what causes these pimples to form in your ear and how to make them go away.

What causes a pimple to form in the ear?

Acne is a broad term that describes a variety of skin conditions. It refers to everything from whiteheads and blackheads to cysts and nodules.

A whitehead occurs when oil, or sebum, clogs a pore. A blackhead occurs when sebum is exposed to air and turns dark. The sac under the skin can break, become irritated, or even infected to form cysts and nodules.

Acne in its various forms can appear in your ear, like in the auricle and the external ear canal. The skin of the outer ear covers cartilage and a small amount of fat. The skin of the ear canal has hair cells, as well as glands that produce oil and ear wax.

If these glands produce too much oil, it may cause acne to form in your ear. This can also happen when dead skin cells or bacteria build up in your pores. When these things happen, you may develop a pimple in the affected area. A pimple will form in your ear if the oil is unable to escape or bacteria grows in a clogged pore.

A build-up in bacteria can be caused by a few things, like using ear buds or headphones that aren’t cleaned often, or sticking your finger in your ear.

Other causes of acne include:

  • stress
  • a hormonal imbalance
  • an allergic reaction to hair products, cosmetics, or fabrics

The same things that cause acne elsewhere on the body can also cause pimples in the ear. But due to the sensitive nature of the ear, acne in this location has to be treated with care.

Is it safe to pop a pimple that’s formed in my ear?

Although it may be tempting to pop or squeeze the pimple, you should avoid this at all costs. This may get rid of the blemish, or it could get much worse.

Squeezing the pimple can force bacteria and pus deeper into your pores. This may cause the area to become more irritated and inflamed. If you do squeeze the pimple and pus comes out, the area will scab. This trauma may encourage a scar to develop.

If the pimple becomes infected, it can become a boil. This can happen on its own. It can also happen because of trauma to the area through picking, poking, and squeezing. These pus-filled bumps are generally painful and can often be treated with the same methods as pimples.


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