You might have noticed a dry and hard crust on your ear, which may be itchy at times. This hard crust on your skin, formed due to the dried blood, plasma, or pus, is called a scab. It is often ignored as you may confuse it with ear wax. However, it can be an indication of something more serious, such as cancer.
They can also form inside your ear canal and won’t heal for a long time. In this case, you may have to consult a specialist to get yourself diagnosed, especially if it is affecting your hearing.
Here are 5 reasons you may have ear scabs.
1. Ear Cancer
Cancer is a deadly disease that should be treated and diagnosed at the right time to prevent further problems. Scabs formed due to cancer don’t heal easily, bleed and ulcerate, flesh-colored or brown patch inside the ear that is scaly and dry, and the ear is irregularly scabbed.1
The most common type of cancer of the ear is squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell cancer and melanoma is also common and develop in sun-exposed areas of the body.2
2. Infected Pimple
Just like any other part of your body, pimple or zits in the ear need to be taken care of and cleaned well to avoid infections. As long as it is treated well, there are few chances of it getting infected.
When a pimple gets infected, it can make your ear itchy. It also discharges pus and fluids that form a scab in your ear canal. Additionally, popping a pimple and squeezing the pus out can also scab the skin.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes scales and dry and itchy patches of thick, red skin. It is caused due to problems with the immune system, causing the dead skin cells to accumulate on your skin.3
These cells form dry and itchy patches at the back of your ear and can also cause pain around. Avoid scratching these patches as they may start bleeding. Also, these scabs formed don’t go away easily as a result of psoriasis.
Piercings on the cartilage of your ear can look good but sometimes they can turn into a painful experience. You may notice a scab of pus or blood around the piercing that needs to be kept away from contamination, to prevent infections.
This temporary scab helps the piercing stay clean and speed up the healing process. However, if it doesn’t go away in a few days or there is swelling, redness, or discolored discharge, visit a doctor at the earliest as these are signs of a problem.
5. Bacterial And Yeast Infection
Bacterial infection and yeast infection can cause scabs behind your ears. Infection inside your ear canal can also form scabs, which can spread to the other parts.
Antibiotics are prescribed by doctors to help you get rid of these flaky and itchy patches. These need to be treated to avoid problems with hearing and damage to your eardrum and ear canal.
Treatment For Scabs In Your Ears
Scabs can be painful and cause irritation as they are itchy. Although you might be in a hurry to get rid of it, it is sometimes advised to wait till it goes by itself.
However, scabs be a serious problem, and if not addressed at the right time, it can result in loss of hearing.
If the scabs are formed due to psoriasis, anti-itch medications are given to reduce the skin irritation and eventually get rid of the dry scabs. On the other hand, scabs can also be indicative of cancer, in which case, the doctors usually remove the affected area as there is a risk of the cells spreading to the surrounding patches of skin. Radiotherapy is also used to treat these life-threatening scabs.
|↑1||About cancer of the outer ear. Cancer Research UK.|
|↑2||Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma. American Cancer Society.|
|↑3||Psoriasis. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|