Discussions By Condition: Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat conditions

Scaly skin, itching ear canal

  • Posted By: MissMoe'sMother
  • February 17, 2007
  • 05:43 AM

Hi,
I have had this problem for about a year. It has been misdiagnosed as otitus externia. I have NO PAIN in my ear. I have fairly constant itching and scaly skin. I pick at it a lot, just making it worse! I can't stand it. It is DRIVING ME CRAZY!
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
MissMoe'sMother

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30 Replies:

  • I have a similar sensation, both ears, extriemely itchy, but not pain. and it is driving me nuts! i feel like i spend half the day itching my ears. were you able to find some type of relief?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • When I went to the DR for a neck lump, he noticed that I had scaling skin on my ears. I've always seemed to have it. But he said that it was probably seborric (sp) dermatitis and prescribed a cream called Desonide. The peeling, scaling skin is completely gone now :)
    yor516 6 Replies Flag this Response
  • Did anyone ever find anything to help this? I too spend a lot of time itching both ears. I do have psorisis, but no medical insurance that would allow me to see a dr. I have tried to just let it be, but the itching gets so intense that I can't concentrate on anything but scratching and peeling them.Crazy huh?I have noticed as well that when I get, what I call "a period headache", the inside tops of my ears hurt as well as behind my eyes. This only happens on occasion, but the pain is intense....feels hot and as I mentioned only in the inside canal top part of my inner ear. I know I get all sorts of wierd things going on right before my period and sometimes during...like the times my wisdom teeth would ONLY grow further in causing pain right before periods and no other time at all.Any suggestions for over the counter meds would be greatly appreciated! I've tried Hydrocortizone cream and ointment, but neither of those help.Thanks so much!L
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 9, 2007
    • 05:57 AM
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  • I love the desonide. It's a steroid cream. It is used to treat sebhorric dermatitis and discoid lupus, because my Dr wasn't sure which one it was. The cream was $8 for 2 tubes. And it goes a long way. My itching gets worse near my time, too. There is a possibility that I may also have lupus, which is something that does get worse closer to menstruation. But maybe you should just bite the bullet and go to a walk-in clinic. Yeah, it costs about $80, but a lot of the times they give free meds. Plus, a Dr would be able to diagnosis it so at least you wouldn't get an infection or something. I hope your rash goes away! It sucks to have itchy, scaly ears.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 10, 2007
    • 00:35 PM
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  • I've found that ever since I started listening to noise cancelling headphones at work, the skin has been peeling out of my ear in sheets, like you say. It itches, and I feel relieved when I pick off a sheet (about once a day). But it doesn't drive me nuts. btw, my office is very noisy with machinery, so I wear the headphones for really long periods of time, like 8-10 hours a day! Isn't that weird? I guess most people don't wear the headphones as long periods of time as I do.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 21, 2007
    • 03:12 AM
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  • Wow! Am I glad I found others who has this non-stop, scaly, itching ears! I went to my family physician who sent me to a dermatologist who has given me a couple of different ointments, all that don't work. It's frustrating and it makes me wonder just how much more of my skin I can loose in my tiny ear area! I will definitely go back with all of your valuable information & see if I can find some relief!! :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 2, 2007
    • 07:20 PM
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  • I suffered with itching ears for years. They drove me mad. Trouble with ears are teh more you itch the worse they will get. Skin inside is very sensitive and once you start poking your finger, match sticks, paper clips , cotton buds etc etc in there, you irritate it more and it becomes a circle that is hard to break. After many treatments I found an ear spray called OTOMISE. The best day of my life. One or two squirts and it goes away for months.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had the same problem with my ears, some doctors tried several different salves, didn't work. I went to a doctor this last time, told her about it, she goes "oh I have something that will clear that up" and gave me a prescription for something with "lotrimon" or something to that effect, in it. Essentially it's for fungus/yeast infection. Cleared it up in a jiffy. I had scaling in my ears before, and they'd get crusty, sore, and sometimes crack if I tried to clean them too much. Now they're clear. I'd also get some of this around my belly button. Guess I am just more prone to this stuff with my body chemistry, but thankfully this clears it up.
    Krusty 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Same here, itchy scaly ear canal. I had gone about 3-4 months with it progressively getting a little worse. more so in my right ear than the left. I didnt pay much attention to it, thinking it would just go away. Wrong ! .... after a couple months i started to try things on my own. I tried cortizone cream everyday for two weeks, and it didnt do anything at all. I then tried polysporin ointment everyday for two weeks. Didnt do anything. other than it being an ointment it kept it a little hydrated, stopping it from getting really dry and scaly, but it didnt get better. I thought one day i would try some left over prescription i had for a nasal spray that had a steriod in it. i just dripped some on my pinky finger and put it in my ear every morning for about 2 weeks, and after 2 weeks it was completely gone........ but ...... after stopping applying it , it came back just the same as it was before. I eventually ran out of the little bit of it i had left. So finally today i found time to go to the walk in clinic and ask the doctor what he thought. He immediately thought that it was fungal/bacterial in nature and gave me a prescription for an ear drop to apply 3 drops 3times daily for seven days. I just started today , so will see if that works. Hopefully! Im sick of the scaly flakey dry ears. I mostly get worried if other people are able to see it. it must look awful. Also i had recently found out that most psorisis dry skin type problems can be cured by hydrating your body from inside out. I was told that taking Olive oil or especially flax seed oil by the teaspoon daily will oil your skin from the inside out and will take away most , if not all dry skin problems. I will be starting this too right away in combination with the medication ear antifungal / anitbacterial drops i got today. The name of the medication i got today is called " LOCACORTEN VIOFORM OTIC " , its a very oily type substance. My wife had some psorisis on her legs and a couple other spots. She has been doing the flax seed oil daily for about 2 weeks now. her psorisis is completely gone now!! Not at all there. She is amazed as much anyone would be. Thats enough proof for me to try it out.
    gsayer1 2 Replies
    • December 24, 2008
    • 05:53 AM
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  • I have had a problem with itchy ears and scaling for years and years and never mentioned it to my doctor. It drives me nuts, particularly at night. I have a compulsion to get in my ears and peel the bits of skin.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My ears have been itching for just over 30 years! I do not have psoriasis, ezcema, ear wax or any discharge. I have over the years devised many ways to relieve the itching - cotton buds that I insert and then rotate right on the ear drum itself (contrary to all health and safety warings about sticking them in your ears), the rounded end of hair grips used as a kind of scoop, fashioning bits of metal to make scrapers, pens, mascara brushes, anything that can be stuck in to twiddle and scrape to relieve the itching and remove what seems to be dead, dry skin. The best time to do this I find is after a bath when I have leant my head back in the water and let my ears fill up with and then drain out soapy water. The skin then somehow seems to absorb the moisture and become quite spongey and easy to scrape out. The other item I have taken to using are tweezers of various shapes that I use to peel the skin out with when it's dry. It is always white, and there is never, ever any wax. The itching drives me nuts most of the time and can wake me up in the night unless I apply (again using a cotton bud) Germolene containing local anaesthetic. I can't now seem to find the web site, but I did read that whilst most people suffer from excessive production of the natural lubrication in the ear canal (that forms ear wax), others suffer from an underproduction of this lubrication which effectively stops the skin from drying out and itching. I am glad that I do not appear to be alone in this.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 4, 2009
    • 05:37 PM
    • 0
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  • The solution that worked for me was a product prescribed by my doctor called " Betamethasone Valerate " It is a cream that you put a little dab on your pinky finger and then spread it around your ear canal twice a day. I did it twice a day for one week and it was completely gone. No itchy flaking ears anymore. I continued to apply the ointment twice a day ( morning and again before bed ) for an additional week. ( 2 weeks total ) It was completely gone for a few months , and then it started to come back. Before it had a chance to come back i started to apply the cream again for one week. No sign of it again now for a couple months. Most certainly there is still and underlying cause to the psoriasis to begin with, and most seem to think it is due to gluten ( wheat products ) which are in almost anything we eat. Alot of people have intolerances to foods , and arent diagnosed with allergies to it. The intolerances can show up in our bodies more way than one, but Gluten seems to be a theme trigger in alot of peoples ailment's. The only true way to find out what you have intolerances to would be to do whats called an elimination diet. remove everything but fruits and veggies for at least one week to a max recommended 4 weeks , and then slowly start adding the other foods back in to your diet. Keeping a journal of what exactly you ate with what types of seasonings or additives you may have added. with this you will clearly find a cause of any food intolerances. good luck
    gsayer1 2 Replies
    • November 12, 2009
    • 09:21 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I have had this problem for about a year. It has been misdiagnosed as otitus externia. I have NO PAIN in my ear. I have fairly constant itching and scaly skin. I pick at it a lot, just making it worse! I can't stand it. It is DRIVING ME CRAZY! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,MissMoe'sMotherOK, I've had the same thing ever since I got back from the Persian Gulf in '91 and have been through several Army docs and even my wife's 'ear light' (she used to fit hearing aids) and have yet to find a cure but I have found comfort. Strangely enough I was going through my army gear one day when I found a jar of Blistex, you know the stuff for chapped lips, and low-and-behold after a good night with greasy ears it clears up for days at a time. Only thing is that it will come back.Do others find that it comes back when their ears drain over night? Mine does and I hate it! Hope this gives some relief.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 17, 2010
    • 04:57 PM
    • 0
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  • I've also suffered from itchy scaley ears for 15 years. I've tried all sorts of ointments and creams. Most recently I purchased ZYMOX OTIC Enzymatic Solution off of Amazon.com. The bottle reads: Aids in the treatment of acute and chronic otitis externa due to bacterial and yeast infections. Contains Natural Enzymes Lysozyme, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase with Hydrocotizone 1%.The catch is, it's made for dogs. Bottle says, for vetinary use only. Well, I read about it somewhere else on the web and decided to give it a try. It helps tremendously, but the itching comes back when I'm not using it. I just use it when the itching/scaling starts up and then it will go away for a few days with this treatment. I like the fact I don't need a prescription for it. A large 4 oz bottle (think half a can of soda) has lasted me over a year so far and it cost me about $20 iirc. I've had no side effects and the solution hasn't stained or caused any grease spots on clothing or linens.I hope this helps someone else out (o:
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I can sympathize with everyone who has submitted a posting about this problem. I too have it. I had tried everything I could think of: Neosporin, teatree oil, Lotrimin, over-the-counter Hydrocortizone, but the only thing that worked was a prescription cream called Betamethasone Dipropionate. It was prescribed for the Psoriasis on my elbows (which it cleared up permanently after 20 years of suffering with it!). It is a steriodal cream but within a day the ear condition is virtually gone. Unfortunately, as I have so little cream left that I stop apply it after a few days, and the itching always comes back within a week or so. I guess I will have to break down and go to the doctor for more or suffer. Good luck to everyone.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 22, 2010
    • 00:34 PM
    • 0
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  • I also have extremely itchy, flaky ears. It drives me insane, I feel like my dog scratching his ear and it's embarrassing! I am an rn and have visited the doctor numerous times and they always diagnose an ear infection. None of the broad spectrums antibiotics work and the only thing that seems to help is prescription steroid cream or drops. It seems that helps everyone in here but after discontinuing the condition returns. It does seem to me perhaps it is a dermatological issue but I do wonder if tubes would help because I have a full feeling in my ears most times too! I haven't used the steroid cream because I'm pregnant but today after months of suffering I broke down and applied some and instantly my ears were relieved!! I want to find a permanent cure!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 15, 2011
    • 04:02 AM
    • 0
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  • I talked to the pharmacist. He recommended using either fungal cream (Lotramin) or over the counter cortisone (for itching) on a q-tip, but to not go too far into the ear because it could either be fungal or irritation. Mine occurs in winter when my skin is really dry, so I make sure I have all shampoo out of my outer ears, using cold tap water (DON'T force it into the inner part of the ear, just get the outer ear clear of any soap) to help. Warm tap water is not clean. When the skin peels it is typically a fungus. I had it on my scalp after surgery and huge one inch peels of skin came off until I insisted the doctor prescribe an antifungal shampoo. You can get out of balance from taking antibiotics and no countering antifungal---I was on massive antibiotics. Antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria leaving the yeasts and fungi to grow. Years ago, doctors prescribed them together, but no more unless you insist. If your skin is irritated but does not peel and you haven't been digging in your ears and irritating them, it could be your shampoo. There are certain main ingredients in shampoo that can cause skin irritation. Try a natural shampoo with organic ingredients that don't have the ones you ordinarily see listed and/or wear swimmer ear protectors while you shower and rinse well.If you can afford a doctor, by all means get the powerful stuff for your ears, otherwise if your skin peels, unse the Lotramin lotion carefully. Leave your inner ear alone and eventually the natural waxes should help the inner part. Search on "candida" for more info about the yeast balance issue and ways to deal with it or to see if you have other symptoms.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 10, 2011
    • 04:17 AM
    • 0
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  • OK, I've had the same thing ever since I got back from the Persian Gulf in '91 and have been through several Army docs and even my wife's 'ear light' (she used to fit hearing aids) and have yet to find a cure but I have found comfort. Strangely enough I was going through my army gear one day when I found a jar of Blistex, you know the stuff for chapped lips, and low-and-behold after a good night with greasy ears it clears up for days at a time. Only thing is that it will come back.Do others find that it comes back when their ears drain over night? Mine does and I hate it! Hope this gives some relief.I have gone through several Army doctor's as well !!! I have had it since about 1999 and have not been to the Persian Gulf. However, it definitely seems to get worse at night or be worse in the morning after my ears drain. Thank you for posting your experience and validating that someone else experiences this. For several years I was prescribed vinegar ear solutions and Burrows solution and being told that I had Swimmer's ear. Both solutions made it absolutely worse - stopped ear wax production all together. Then I was given numerous bottles of Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfate and Hydrocortison drops, several other antibiotic drops, allergy medicine, Benadryl creams, decongestions etc. which either did not help at all or for a while and then seem to make it worse. I have also tried keeping the ear canal lubricated with mineral and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, (again) etc. which helps greatly but does not take it totally away and upon stopping returns right back to the bad itching and skin peeling. I am currently trying the Desonide Cream which has so far given me the best results. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 23, 2011
    • 07:07 PM
    • 0
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  • I have been bothered with itchy ear canals with much flaky skin. My wife could scrape out dry skin out of my ears with her pinky finger daily. I went to the doctor with another problem, I thought I had ring worm on my arm but it was something else. He prescribed Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment USP 0.5%. I decided to use this in my ear. I applied a small amount on a Q-tip and applied it all inside my ears. In one week the dryness was gone. It has been three weeks and it has not returned.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been bothered with itchy ear canals with much flaky skin. My wife could scrape out dry skin out of my ears with her pinky finger daily. I went to the doctor with another problem, I thought I had ring worm on my arm but it was something else. He prescribed Triamcinolone Acetonide Ointment USP 0.5%. I decided to use this in my ear. I applied a small amount on a Q-tip and applied it all inside my ears. In one week the dryness was gone. It has been three weeks and it has not returned.Interesting! I also had an itchy, flaking ear canal for years. (just one) The doctor looked in my ear and told me it was eczema and gave me hydrocortisone drops. No good. The drops didn't help at all, in fact, the itching seemed worse. I deal with animals a lot and developed a spot of ringworm on my arm and used an OTC brand name spray on ringworm liquid. I was so impressed by the way it stopped the itching on my arm and soothed the area, out of desperation, I sprayed it on my finger and rubbed it in my ear. It stopped the itching immediately! It did cause my ear to flake a bit more initially, and I used it sparingly so it wouldn't totally "wet" my ear canal, but after using it, no more itchy flaky ear. It's been over a year with no return.If it ever comes back, I'd use this again in a second. It was amazing how many different things I'd tried with no good results. I used the treatment duration-wise as long as the can directed to treat ringworm because I didn't want to just knock down whatever it was in my ear. I wanted to be sure that it wouldn't come back with a tolerance to what I'd used.To reiterate, spray it on your finger, not in your ear!!!! Good luck to all who suffer from this. Not sure I can print the name of the product here, but it starts with an "L" and is a silver and blue spray can. Worth every penny.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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