Most of us have been plagued by a rash of pimples or even just that one conspicuous zit making its presence known at the worst possible time! Pus-filled zits don’t just make you feel self-conscious, they can be painful too. And though pimples usually develop on the face, chest, and upper back, a pimple in the ear is not all that uncommon.
Acne is caused when pores in your skin get clogged up with skin cells and excess sebum or oil produced by your skin. This mixture of cells and oils encourages the growth of bacteria, leading to inflammation and lesions known as pimples.1 The Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria are most commonly associated with acne. The ear and the surrounding area – above and below as well behind or near the ears – are all susceptible to acne when the pores get clogged up. Unwashed hair, using earphones that aren’t clean, constantly touching your ears with sweaty or grimy hands can all add to the effect and increase inflammation. Here are some simple natural remedies you can use to get rid of that pimple in the ear.
1. Dab On Some Avocado Oil
[pullquote]Make sure you wash your hands with soap before applying any remedy in and around the ear. And don’t ever pour anything into your ear or scrub or poke a pimple! Instead, use a clean cotton bud or ball to gently apply the salves we’ve listed here.[/pullquote]
If you’re a fan of yummy avocados, here’s another reason to love them. The linoleic and lauric acids in avocado oil not only have an anti-inflammatory effect but may also inhibit acne bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.2 According to another study, an ointment with avocado extracts inhibited an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase which plays a role in making your skin excessively oily. This resulted in a significant reduction in the number of papules and pustules in people with acne.3
Dab some avocado oil on your ear with a cotton bud. You can also scoop out some avocado pulp, mash it up, and apply a blob on the pimple in your ear. Use a damp cotton bud to remove it later.
2. Apply African Basil Oil And Aloe Vera
[pullquote]If a pimple is particularly painful and pus-filled, apply a warm compress on it. This should help drain out the pus and ease the inflammation.[/pullquote]
African basil oil has an antimicrobial effect thanks to its thymol content and is effective in treating pimples. Studies now also show that aloe vera gel can enhance the ability of this oil to resolve pimples. Anti-inﬂammatory components such as mannose-6phosphate and C-glucosyl chromone found in aloe vera gel may account for its acne-fighting properties.4
Combine aloe vera and African basil oil in equal measures to make an acne-busting ointment and dab this on the pimple. Wipe after 20 minutes with a damp cloth.
3. Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is well known for its antibacterial properties and is effective against bacteria associated with acne too. Components such as α-terpine, terpinen-4-ol, and α-pinene present in this essential oil are responsible for this beneficial property.5
Use a cotton bud to dab some tea tree oil on the pimple. Do this twice a day and you should see results soon. If you have sensitive skin, you could also mix one drop of tea tree oil with a drop of carrier oil like grapeseed and then use it. Even otherwise, remember to do a patch test before you use tea tree oil to ensure you aren’t allergic to it.
4. Spread On Some Honey And Cinnamon
You can’t be faulted if honey and cinnamon brings to mind ice cream flavors rather than an anti-acne agent. But don’t be fooled – this sweet combo can really help you with those pimples. Both cinnamon and honey work against acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria. And research shows that when combined, these common household staples have a more potent effect.6
To deal with the pimple in your ear, blend some cinnamon powder and honey and apply a drop of this antibacterial agent on the pimple with a cotton bud. Wipe gently with a damp cotton bud or ball once the mixture is dry.
4. Apply Salt Water And Follow Up With Tea Tree Oil Or Honey
Salt water is a commonly used remedy for zapping those pimples. Soak a cotton bud in salt water, squeeze out excess water, and apply. Salt water is thought to help thanks to its drying effect and also because it can reduce skin bacteria. Follow up with a touch of antibacterial tea tree oil or honey to deal a deathblow to those nasty bacteria.7
6. Wipe With Green Tea
Refreshing green tea has quite a reputation as a health drink. And it can help nuke that pimple in your ear too! One study observed that applying a lotion with 2% green tea twice a day for 6 weeks resulted in a 58.33% reduction in the number of pimples in people with acne. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of green tea are thought to be responsible for this effect.8
Apply a dampened green tea bag to your pimple twice a day and watch it disappear in no time.
7. Swab With Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another easy remedy that can tackle your ear pimple. According to research, this natural remedy works well against bacteria that cause acne and may even be more effective than conventional cleansers used for treating acne.9
Squeeze a lemon and apply the lemon juice to your pimple using a cotton bud. Got some lemon juice left over? Time for a yummy glass of lemonade!
8. Apply A Neem And Turmeric Paste
Both neem and turmeric have anti-inflammatory effects and can suppress the inflammation caused by Propionibacterium acnes.10 No wonder then that this combination has been traditionally used to tackle pimples.
Grind clean, fresh neem leaves and mix in a little turmeric powder. Apply this paste to your pimple and let it dry. After this dries out, clean the mixture off with a dampened cotton bud.11
9. Dab On Diluted Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is another remedy that can help you tackle unsightly zits. Studies confirm that this essential oil works against acne-causing bacteria. But that’s not all! Eucalyptus oil can also decrease the size of sebaceous glands and reduce the amount of oil produced by your skin. So dab on some diluted eucalyptus oil with a cotton bud to get rid of your ear pimple. But remember to do a patch test first to make sure that it doesn’t irritate your skin.1213
10. Apply Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a much-favored household remedy for treating pimples. It is thought that tannins present in it give it an astringent quality that makes it effective against acne.
Make a pimple-busting decoction by steeping 5–10 grams of witch hazel bark in a cup of hot water. Strain this and apply this solution to the pimple with a cotton bud.14
Your ear is very sensitive and you should take care not to harm it. Don’t insert a cotton bud deep into your ear and make sure you squeeze out excess moisture from it while applying a herbal solution so that it doesn’t drip into your ear.
Could the pimple in your ear be something else? A boil or furuncle is an infected hair follicle caused by the Staphylococcus aureus or staph bacteria. A cluster of these infected hair follicles is called carbuncles. Both boils and pimples tend to look similar but are usually harder than pimples and may grow larger. And while a pimple may or may not cause pain, a boil is usually painful.15 Natural remedies like eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, lime juice, and turmeric can also help deal with these staph infections.
But be it a boil or a pimple, check in with a doctor if it seems particularly inflamed and causes red streaks, discoloration, or swelling. You should also seek help if you’re experiencing severe pain.16
|↑1||Acne. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑2||Kanlayavattanakul, M., and N. Lourith. “Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment.” International journal of cosmetic science 33, no. 4 (2011): 289-297.|
|↑3||Sharquie, Khalifa E., Hayder R. Al-Hamamy, Adil A. Noaimi, and Ali F. Tahir. “Treatment of Acne Vulgaris with 5-Alpha Avocuta Cream 2% in Comparison with Tretinion Cream 0.025% (Single Blind Comparative Study).” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications 2, no. 03 (2012): 179.|
|↑4||Orafidiya, L. O., E. O. Agbani, A. O. Oyedele, O. O. Babalola, O. Onayemi, and F. F. Aiyedun. “The effect of aloe vera gel on the anti-acne properties of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum Linn leaf–a preliminary clinical investigation.” International Journal of Aromatherapy 14, no. 1 (2004): 15-21.|
|↑5||Raman, A., U. Weir, and S. F. Bloomfield. “Antimicrobial effects of tea‐tree oil and its major components on Staphylococcus aureus, Staph. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes.” Letters in Applied Microbiology 21, no. 4 (1995): 242-245.|
|↑6||Julianti, Elin, Kasturi K. Rajah, and Irda Fidrianny. “Antibacterial Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Cinnamon Bark, Honey, and Their Combination Effects against Acne-Causing Bacteria.” Scientia pharmaceutica 85, no. 2 (2017): 19.|
|↑7||Cox, Lauren, Janice Cox. EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, 2011.|
|↑8||Elsaie, Mohamed L., Mahmoud F. Abdelhamid, Lotfy T. Elsaaiee, and Hanaa M. Emam. “The efficacy of topical 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 8, no. 4 (2009): 358-364.|
|↑9||Shinkafi, S. A., and H. Ndanusa. “Antibacterial Activity of Citrus Limonon Acne vulgaris (Pimples).” International Journal of Science inventions Today 2 (2013): 397-409.|
|↑10||Jain, A., and E. Basal. “Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes-induced mediators of inflammation by Indian herbs.” Phytomedicine 10, no. 1 (2003): 34-38.|
|↑11||Gamwell, Calvert. 95 Surprisingly Effective Natural Ways to Fight Acne. Human Innovation Labs, 2011.|
|↑12||Bhatt, Deepika, Amit Kumar Sachan, Sanjay Jain, and Rakesh Barik. “Studies on inhibitory effect of Eucalyptus oil on sebaceous glands for the management of acne.” Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources 2, no. 3 (2011): 345-349.|
|↑13||Athikomkulchai, Sirivan, Rith Watthanachaiyingcharoen, Sujimon Tunvichien, Panida Vayumhasuwan, Paisarn Karnsomkiet, Prapan Sae-Jong, and Nijsiri Ruangrungsi. “The development of anti-acne products from Eucalyptus globulus and Psidium guajava oil.” Journal of Health Research 22, no. 3 (2008): 109-113.|
|↑14||Shenefelt, Philip D. “18 Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders.” Lester Packer, Ph. D. (2011): 383.|
|↑15||Ear disease. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.|
|↑16||Boils and Carbuncles. Harvard Health Publications.|