If you’re reading this article, chances are you have a pesky (and maybe painful) pimple in your ear. We’re sorry! Believe it or not, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States with over 50 million people being affected annually. No matter where it pops up, dealing with acne can be frustrating, but there are simple solutions to getting rid of a pimple in your ear. Whatever you do, don’t pop it!
What causes pimples to form in the ear?
There are several different types of acne including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Whiteheads and blackheads (also known as comedones) form when a hair follicle becomes clogged with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Papules are comedones that become inflamed creating small bumps on your skin, whereas pustules are inflamed and typically filled with yellow pus. Nodules present as bumps that are hard to touch, and cysts are a severe form of acne resembling pus-filled lesions.
When it comes to a pimple inside your ear, acne can show up in all of the forms mentioned above on your external ear canal. Like the skin on your face, it contains glands that produce oil. If bacteria builds up, the oil will clog your pores, and ear acne will surely form. So, remember to clean your headphones!
How to treat a pimple in your ear
No matter how tempted you are, whatever you do, don’t pop a pimple in your ear! This is the golden rule of dealing with acne no matter where it lives, and for good reason. Picking or attempting to pop a pimple can lead to scarring, dark spots, and in some cases – even infection.
Use heat and ice
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with ear acne, but dermatologists recommend using warm compresses and ice for different reasons. Think about the instructions you’d receive if you sprained your ankle and it’s inflamed – ice it. Makes sense, right? Ice helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce the swelling of the pimple in your ear.
However, it’s recommended to use a warm compress on whiteheads as soon as they begin to form for 10-15 minutes, three to four times per day. Be patient. You’ll see your pimple begin to release pus on its own and heal.
Just like you would with a pimple on your face, apply appropriate topical solutions to a pimple inside your ear day and night. Benzoyl peroxide is commonly recommended by dermatologist to treat acne. It acts as an effective antibacterial treatment that delivers oxygen into your pores unclogging them and killing bacteria. Consult your dermatologist to find out what might be the best solution for you and your type of acne.
How to prevent pimples in your ear
You might not think of cleaning your ear as much as you concentrate on washing your face, but skin is skin and it’s equally as important. And like we mentioned before, keep your earbuds clean! Each time after you wear them, wipe them down with alcohol before wearing them again.
If you’ve been asking yourself, "How do I get rid of a pimple in my ear," we hope you found this article helpful. Heat, ice, topical solutions, and cleaning your headphones are all keys to ridding them and keeping them at bay. Understanding what type of pimple you have will help to determine the proper treatment, but remember – no matter what, don’t pop it! Consult your dermatologist if your ear acne persists.