5 Ways to Relieve Itchy Ears

May 7th 2016

In most cases, prescription medications or natural home remedies easily relieve itching of the ears. While it may be tempting to scratch an itchy ear by inserting a cotton swab or other object into the canal, this can actually cause injury to both the sensitive ear skin and the eardrum, which can lead to infection. Understanding the causes and treatments for itching ears and consulting a physician regarding your treatment options is the best way to treat the condition and prevent complications.

Clotrimazole Cream and Hydrocortisone Cream

Clotrimazole cream is a common itchy ear treatment that is often recommended when the itching is caused by excess dry skin or dandruff in the ears, also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. Clotrimazole cream is commonly used to treat fungal infections and works well to minimize itching. When clotrimazole cream is not effective on its own, physicians may recommend a combined treatment of clotrimazole cream and hydrocortisone cream. Hydrocortisone cream also works to relieve itching but should only be used for limited periods of time, as the ingredients can cause skin thinning.

Topical Antibiotic Drops

When itchy ears are a result of an infection, physicians may prescribe topical antibiotics to treat the infection and relieve itching. A common outer ear infection that affects the inner ear canal is swimmer's ear, also referred to as otomycosis. The infection occurs when the front portion of the ear canal traps water and bacteria. Topical antibiotic drops are applied directly inside the ear and may also contain hydrocortisone or an equivalent to relieve itching while the infection heals. In certain cases, physicians may also recommend swimmer's ear drops to prevent future occurrences.

Warm Vegetable Oil

Warm vegetable oil is a natural home remedy that can often provide instant relief to itching ear canals. When applying the oil, you should first warm and test the oil to ensure the temperature is not too hot before placing it inside the ear with a medicine dropper. If the itching is due to excessive ear wax, warm oil can also help to dislodge blockages.


Itchy ears can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from excess ear wax buildup to bacterial infections that require antibiotic treatment. Allergic reactions and overly dry skin can also cause the ears to itch. Treatments for itching ears depend on the underlying cause of the condition. If you suffer from itchy ears, it is always best to consult with a physician before attempting to treat the condition on your own to help ensure an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment regimen.

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