If you feel a bump in or around your ear, you probably have a pimple inside your ear. Is having a pimple in the ear common? Is it normal? What causes a pimple in the ear? Do you need to get serious about it? – A bunch of questions starts revolving around your mind, and you keep looking for satisfactory answers.
Pimple is a prevalent skin condition, affecting millions of people all around the world. Pimples can affect any part of your body, but the areas containing most oil glands are more prone to it, and that’s why your face and back are affected with pimples more than other body parts.
You may feel pain and discomfort in or around your ear if you have a pimple inside. Usually, pimples don’t need specific treatment, and they are subsided on their own. However, you can speed up the healing process by using simple, safe, and effective home remedies.
In this article, we discuss possible causes of pimples, how to remove them without hurting your ear, what are different treatment options, and what are the prevention tips.
Causes of pimple in ear
The causes of pimples inside your ear are not different from the causes of pimples you get on your face, back, or other body parts. Your ear canal and outer ear are made up of skin cells, oil-producing glands, and hair cells – and all of them take their part in the formation of pimples inside your ear.
Pimples are formed when a pore inside your ear gets clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Sometimes, bacteria are also responsible for causing pimples in the ear. And hence, anything that helps bacteria traveling inside can form pimples. Causes of pimple in the ear may include:
- Regular and prolonged exposure to a dusty or dirty environment
- Using already used earbuds or sharing them with others
- Putting unnecessary things in the ear, including toothpick, pen, pencil, or finger, etc.
- Increased mental stress
- Ear becoming infected or dirty after piercing
- Allergic reactions to certain hair or beauty products that accidentally enter the ear canal
- Wearing helmets for very long hours
- Hormonal imbalances, especially during puberty
- Otitis externa or swimmer’s ear after getting in touch with dirty or stale water
- Using old, dirty earphones or earbuds
- Production of excessive oil from glands inside the ear
Also Read: Face Cream Allergy Symptoms
How to Know If the Bump in My Ear Is Boil or A Pimple?
Sometimes, a boil is misunderstood as a pimple because both look pretty similar from the outside. If you feel a painful bump in or around your ear, you might be having a boil. Boils are usually hard; reddish lumps appear on the skin. They usually affect the body parts that have hair and sweat. And that’s why you usually get boils around your head, eyelids, beard, armpits, and thighs, etc.
If you think you don’t have hair inside your ear canal, you are wrong – because you have! The hair inside the ear, along with the earwax, protects your eardrum from debris and dust.
Inspecting your internal ear on your own is almost impossible, and it can be a bit hard to differentiate between a boil and a pimple. Typically, if the bump is larger than a pea, is compressible, and fluctuant, it’s implausible that it’s a pimple.
If somehow, you can see the bump with the help of a mirror, an individual, or by taking a photo, you should look for the size and appearance. If it’s pinkish red, more extensive with a white or yellow center and lesion, it’s probably a boil.
If the bump is smaller in size, red in color, not very painful, it might be a pimple inside your ear.
How to treat a pimple in your ear?
Your ear is one of the most sensitive body parts, and you should not use “anything” as a treatment for acne inside the ear. Those usual acne creams should also be avoided to ensure maximum safety of your ear.
Following are some very effective and safe home remedies for pimple in the ear.
1. Cold Compress
Ice packs are used effectively to improve bumps and soothe inflammation. In fact, various studies back that repeated application of cold compress effectively treats pimples, including those inside the ear.
Steps to follow
- Apply an ice cube gently around the painful area.
- Hold and press gently for around 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove for a few seconds and apply again.
- Repeat these steps twice or thrice a day to get soothing and calming effects.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil is packed with excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties and can heal ear pimples, especially if caused due to bacterial infection. One should not use tea tree oil with 100% strength, as it can irritatethe skin. So, only use 5% diluted tea tree oil with a carrier oil. Using skin products containing tea tree oil can also help. We recommend using a cotton swab to apply tea tree oil a few times a day to the pimple visible from the outside.
Basil has been used as a natural treatment for various infections due to its antimicrobial properties. And it can also be proved a handy treatment for pimples in the ear.
What You Will Need
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- Cotton ball or dropper
Steps You Have to Follow
- Extract the juice by crushing the basil leaves
- Apply the juice to the visible pimple and surrounding area using a cotton ball
- Alternatively, pour a few drops of basil juice inside your ear canal to treat pimple
Onions are known for their microbes-killing properties and can help you eliminate ear pimples, especially bacterial infection. Also, onion juice can absorb harmful chemicals from the skin affected by pimples and prevent a recurrence.
You Will Need
- One medium-sized onion
What You Have to Do
- Slice the onion into two halves and heat them on the stove or in the microwave for a minute or so.
- Wrap one half of the onion into the cheesecloth, and place around your infected ear.
- Please keep it for ten minutes, or until the onion cools down.
5. Olive Oil
Warm olive oil can be useful, especially if there is too much wax or dirt around the pimple. This can also help in treating ear zit.
What You Need
- Olive oil
What You Have to Do
- Put some drops of warm olive oil in your ear using a new dropper.
- Applying the olive oil topically with a cotton ball is also effective.
6. Black Tea
The tannin content of black tea with warm water can be proved a handy treatment for pimples in the ear.
What You Need
- A couple of black tea bags
- Warm washcloth
- Warm water
Steps to Follow
- Boil the water and dip tea bags for a couple of minutes. Extract the excess water and apply gently around your ear.
- Keep the warm compress on for fifteen minutes to get rid of pain due to pimples.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can’t keep ACV away from your kitchen. Can’t you? This versatile vinegar does make its presence felt due to its action on a wide range of skin conditions. To help you, diluted apple cider vinegar may be used for pimples in the ear as well! ACV is known for its antibacterial and astringent properties and can help improving infections by opening up the clogged pores. Topical application of ACV can give instant relief from pimple symptoms, including pain, redness, and inflammation.
What You Require
- Diluted apple cider vinegar
- Cotton ball
Steps You Should Follow
- Soak the cotton ball in diluted apple cider vinegar and wipe over the visible pimple.
- Keep it on for a couple of minutes before washing with clean water.
Garlic does wonders mainly for a pimple on the outer ear. It can improve pain due to pimple due to its antibacterial properties. By using garlic, you can get rid of both pains as well as a zit.
You Will Need
- Two cloves of peeled garlic
- 2 tbsp sesame oil or mustard oil
Steps You Need to Follow
- Heat the lightly pressed garlic cloves and oil of your choice.
- Warm the mixture on low heat until the cloves are black.
- Strain the oil from the mixture and keep it aside until the oil gets to room temperature.
- Now, apply the oil on the outer ear pimple and leave it for a few minutes.
- If the pimple is inside, you can pour a couple of drops of oil inside.
9. Hydrogen Peroxide
Here is another very, very effective treatment for pimples in the ear. Hydrogen peroxide works really well on pimples due to bacterial infection. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, you can thin it as an alternative treatment.
You Will Need
- 3% diluted hydrogen peroxide
- Cotton ball
Steps to Follow
- Soak the cotton ball in diluted hydrogen peroxide for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the cotton ball and squeeze to get rid of excess solution.
- Now, dab the cotton ball on the external ear pimple for a couple of minutes.
Toothpaste in the ear for pimple – Is it a good idea?
There is a lot of rumors around netizens about the effectiveness of toothpaste on the in-ear pimple. People claim rubbishy that dabbing some toothpaste on the pimple will clear it up overnight! Certain kinds of toothpaste contain some natural ingredients that can be effective against pimples, but there is no scientific backing for toothpaste itself as a treatment.
Most kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients like alcohol, triclosan, and other chemicals that can only harm your skin. Menthol content of some toothpaste can give temporary relief from pain and swelling, but there is no logic behind using toothpaste to treat a pimple. So, we recommend avoiding it altogether, especially if there are so many other natural and safe treatments available.
How to pop a pimple in your ear canal? – Is it safe to remove without proper treatment?
Sometimes, it may be tempting to squeeze the pimple out, but you should avoid it altogether, as it can harm your internal ear.
Trying to pop the pimple out of your ear can force the pus deeper into the pores. And in a result, you may suffer from further irritation and inflammation. In the process of squeezing the pimple, the area may get swabbed, and there may be a scar formation.
An infected pimple may also convert into a boil. Sometimes, it happens without any external reason, trauma, and pricking, squeezing, and poking.
Some Prevention Tips
It is possible to prevent the formation of pimple in the ear by:
- Proper and regular cleaning to reduce sebum and dead skin cells
- Avoiding swimming in filthy water
- Avoiding the introduction of foreign objects in the ear
- Not wearing hats or helmets for a very long time
Is it always a pimple?
Sometimes, other types of growth may also be mistaken for in-ear pimples. Other bumps that may affect your ear may include:
- Keloid Scars: Dark, raised, large scar tissues resulted from an old wound
- Sebaceous Cysts: Small bumps beneath the skin with slow or now growth
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: Although very rare, bumps may be due to malignant growth
- Seborrheic Keratosis: Common, harmless growths look like brownish, raised bumps
- Acanthoma Fissure: An uncommon skin problem resembling a raised edge, usually seen in people who always use contact lenses or sunglasses.
Pimple in the ear can be painful, uncomfortable but is rarely severe. You can get rid of it by using some very simple, safe, yet effective home remedies. Hopefully, you got to know a lot about in-ear pimples, and you are now aware of some myths like “toothpaste in the ear for pimple” and “popping it out forcefully.” If you feel the symptoms of a pimple in or around your ear, and you are unable to see it even with the help of your friend, we recommend you to get in touch with an ENT specialist. It might be possible that you are having more than you are assuming, and you may require proper professional medical assistance. You are most welcome with your comments if you have something to say, ask, or suggest. Cheers!