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Acne on Ears: Sound Advice About Ear Acne

man holding hands over ears

One of the more awkward areas to get acne is inside and around the ear. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize that we have ear acne until someone embarrasses us by pointing it out.

If we do notice our ear pimples, it’s because they’re incredibly painful and inflamed. Why do you get ear acne in the first place, and what can you do to prevent it?

Here are three things you need to know:

  1. Our ears have oil glands which can become clogged by dead skin cells and debris, resulting in ear pimples.
  2. Do not attempt to pop ear pimples.
  3. An acne treatment system, along with regular cleansing, can help prevent ear pimples.

Don’t Pop Them

We know that it’s tempting to pop your pimples, no matter where they are on your body. Picking at your ear blemishes will only make the area more inflamed and painful.

Popping ear pimples can also cause scarring if you aren’t careful. Although it’s difficult to resist, the best thing that you can do is keep the area clean and avoid touching it.

Don’t Shove Anything Down Your Ear Canal

While it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many people jam things into their ears in an effort to clean them. If you’re trying to prevent future ear pimples, damaging your ear drum in the process isn’t the right way to do it.

The truth is that your ears are quite efficient at cleaning themselves. In fact, ear wax plays an important role in keeping bacteria, insects and dirt out of the ear canal.

However, the outside of the ear can get a buildup of earwax and oil, which can lead to ear pimples. To clean this area, take a damp washcloth and gently massage it around your ear to remove excess wax.

man running listening to headphones

Wash Your Headphones

If you wear headphones often, you need to clean them regularly. This is especially true if you exercise in them!

Headphones can cause earwax to build up and clog your pores. Combined with friction, heat and pressure during exercise, your ears suddenly become a breeding ground for bacteria.

When zits appear after exercise, it’s usually known as acne mechanica. To fix acne mechanica caused by your headphones, you need to clean your earbuds regularly by disinfecting them.


Clean Your Cell Phone

On a similar note, when was the last time you cleaned your cell phone? If you’re struggling with cheek acne in addition to your ear acne, your phone could be the culprit.

To give you a sense of how filthy our cell phones truly are, consider this study which examined the cell phones of high school students. The study found an abundance of bacteria on their mobile phones, with some of the most common being Staph and fecal matter (see claim: “Potentially pathogenic microbes (Staphylococcus aureusAcinetobacter spp., Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus cereus and Neisseria flavescens) were found among dominant microbes more often on phones with higher percentage of E. faecalis…”)

Keep sanitizing wipes handy and wipe down your phone regularly. You can also make your own disinfectant by combining a mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol.

closeup of man taking shower

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Ears! Spend More Time in the Shower

There is a good reason why your parents may have hounded you about remembering to wash your ears. Just like any other part of the body, our ears can become dirty.

While you’re washing your face with a men’s daily cleanser, don’t forget to gently massage the outside of your ear with your cleanser as well. Be careful not to get any inside your ear canal.

Your daily face wash is perfect to use on your ears because it should be formulated to remove dirt and grime while reducing inflammation. If your ear pimples are painful, this can help clean them while reducing redness and irritation.

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Take Care with Acne Medication

Using an acne medication containing Salicylic Acid can be helpful in preventing and treating ear acne. Salicylic Acid is extremely effective at removing excess oil from the skin and is ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Salicylic Acid can decrease the secretion of sebum in those with acne. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that Salicylic Acid peels significantly reduced oil on the faces of patients with acne vulgaris (see claim: “A greater therapeutic effect was observed following 30% salicylic peel, which might be associated with its high lipophilic properties and easier penetration through the lipid barriers of the epidermis.”)

Use a cotton swab to gently apply the acne medication to your pimple. If the pimple is located deeper inside the ear canal, it’s best to leave it alone.

Know When to Seek a Doctor

If you’ve tried everything to resolve your ear acne and nothing seems to work, it’s probably time to see a doctor. It may be that your ear acne isn’t acne at all, but rather a different skin condition that is causing redness and flakes.

A Regular Skin Care Routine for Ear Acne

Ear acne may be annoying, but it’s usually easy to eliminate. Getting on a regular skin care routine is an easy and effective way to treat ear pimples.

Need a simple solution to your ear acne? Check out Tiege Hanley’s uncomplicated skin care system for men and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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