pimple inside ear
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Pimple in ear

Do you have a pimple in the ear or know someone who has it? Are you wondering if it is normal and how to manage it? The answers you seek are right here. Acne has been considered as a teenage condition although it is actually common to any group of age. In fact, 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at some point in their lifetime and this has made it the most common skin condition in the United States. Although pimples can form in any part of your body, the face is more venerable because of having most oil glands. A pimple can also emerge on any part of the ear and even inside the ear.

Pimples forming in the ear are common and you can actually treat them without consulting a doctor. Acne represents a variety of skin conditions. It appears in different forms like white heat which occurs when sebum oil clogs a pore or blackheads which occurs when sebum is exposed to air. Cysts and nodules occur due to irritation or infection when sac under the skin breaks. Acne can actually appear in your ear in any of these forms. This mostly happens when the skin of the ear canal has hair cells and glands that produce a lot of oil.

Another reason is when dead cells and bacteria build up in the ear pores. A pimple will mostly develop in the most affected area. Normally a pimple will mostly develop in the ear if the bacteria grow in a clogged pore or the oil is not able to escape that particular area. The main causes of a pimple in the ear is a build-up of bacteria which is caused by things such as the use of earbuds, uncleaned headphones or the habit of sticking a finger in the ear. Other causes that can also cause a pimple in ear include stress, hormonal imbalance, and allergy to hair products and cosmetics or fabrics.

The most important thing to note is that the same things that cause acne in other parts of the body can also cause pimples in ear as well. The ear is very sensitive and so a pimple in the ear will require special treatment.

Safety of popping a pimple in the ear

A pimple in the ear can be very disturbing and cause a lot of discomforts, especially a painful pimple in ear. When it forms in the ear canal, it can cause hearing obstructions. It is actually very tempting to squeeze a pimple but that is not a good idea at all. This is because it can even get worse than it was. The bacteria in a pimple can get deeper into the ear pores and cause the area to be very irritated and inflammable. To avoid the formation of a scar, do not squeeze a pimple because if the pus comes out, the area will scab and a scar will be developed.

Did you know an infected pimple can eventually become a boil? It can happen on its own or because of trauma caused by picking, poking and squeezing. These pus-filled bumps are actually painful but they can still be treated with the same methods used to treat pimples.

Pimple in ear causes

1. Otitis Exterra

This mostly occurs to someone who has a habit of swimming in unclean water and that is why it is commonly referred to as swimming ear. Unclean water contains bacteria that cause infection in the ear and ear canal. This condition can also be caused by scratching the ear with dirty objects or sticking a tiny object in the ear.

2. Piercing infection

After piercing your ear you might happen to develop an irritation, this can cause the formation of a small bump on the ear lop next to where the piercing took place. If the bump persists, it can develop into a painful pimple or boil.

3. Unhygienic Habits

A lot of people don’t know the dangers of poking the ear canal with such things as pins, toothpicks among other sharp objects. This is because such objects can lead to infections since that area is very sensitive. Unclean hands and earphones can also infect the ear with harmful bacteria. Earphones irritation can also cause bumps in the ear.

4. Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes mostly affect women and their bodies can result to formation of ear zits.

5. Keloid bumps

This type of bump occurs when there is an injury. The fibrous tissue is formed and it appears like a scar called a keloid. It mostly appears where the ear piercing was done. Medical practitioners can advise on the best way to treat and remove it permanently.

6. Other causes

Formation of a pimple and bumps in the ear can also be caused by chronic conditions such as cancer. If your pimple looks different from a normal pimple or it has lasted for more than a week it is advisable you seek medical advice.

Wearing hats and helmets for a long time can also cause a pimple in the ear due to poor circulation of the air around the ear. A dusty or dirty environment can be the cause of a pimple in the ear. There are other conditions that are similar to a pimple and it’s advisable to seek medical attention so that a dermatologist can treat such conditions appropriately.

Preventing the condition

Good ear hygiene can prevent pimples in the ear. The first one would be cleaning and washing the ears regularly to reduce dead skin cells and sebum. Avoid putting any foreign objects in the ear completely and avoid swimming in dirty water. Choosing to alternate the times you are taking breaks from wearing helmets or hard hats will also prevent the occurrence of a pimple in the ear.

Good ear hygiene can prevent pimples in the ear. The first one would be cleaning and washing the ears regularly to reduce dead skin cells and sebum. Avoid putting any foreign objects in the ear completely and avoid swimming in dirty water. Choosing to alternate the times you are taking breaks from wearing helmets or hard hats will also prevent the occurrence of a pimple in the ear.

How to get rid of a pimple in your ear

If you already have existing spots, you can try a warm compress just to loosen and soften the pimples. The pus may come to the surface due to the heat and you can allow it to drain out on its own. If this happens, clean the surface immediately with caution.

This will ensure the affected area is not irritated any longer and will also stop the spreading of the bacteria. Remember to clean the affected area thoroughly. If the painful breakouts persist, seek medical advice. The doctor is in a better position to asses the level of your acne and recommend a suitable treatment plan depending on your needs.

Severe acne can be quite painful and most prompt and appropriate treatment can begin with nonsteroidal medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. If they are not helpful then your doctor can recommend prescription drugs. The treatment of acne can take up from several weeks to several months to produce a notable difference.

Ear pimples normally disappear by themselves within a week or so. However, if you want to get rid of them in the shortest time possible, these methods can do a great job. Remember not to touch the ear before cleaning your hands thoroughly with an antiseptic liquid. This is because unclean hands will cause the infection to develop faster and further.

Other ear bumps that resemble a pimple

Most of the spots in the ears are actually pimples. However, there are conditions that can cause bumps that are similar to pimples. These bumps can even stay in the ear for long and you will only realize their existence if they are causing you pain. The following bumps resemble a pimple but they are not:

Sebaceous cysts: They are small bumps that may seem like they are not growing or maybe they are growing very slowly.

Seborrheic keratosis: They are brownish areas of the skin and appear slightly raised. They are common and harmless and so there is no cause for alarm.

Acanthoma fissuratum: This is an uncommon condition that affects the people who wear glasses. It resembles a bump with raised edges.

Boils/blind pimples: They are quite similar to pimples although they are deeper to the skin than a normal pimple and this makes them to cause more pain and inflammation. They normally do not show a visible head.

Basal cell carcinoma: This is rare but bumps on the ear can also be malignant growth. It would be best to seek medical advice in case of any bumps or a pimple in the ear for proper diagnosis.

Natural remedies for ear pimples


Use two cloves of peeled garlic and two tablespoons of mustard oil or sesame oil. Press the garlic cloves lightly and heat them in the oil for sometime in a low heat until the cloves turn black. Strain the oil and allow it to cool to lukewarm temperature and then apply this oil on the pimple that is outside the ear and leave it.

If a pimple is inside the ear, gently pour two to three drops of the oil in the ear and allow it to stay there for some few minutes. Do this two times in a day. It works well because garlic has antibacterial properties and it is also a painkiller. The ear zit will disappear if you use this method accordingly.


You will need a handful of basil leaves and cotton ball or dropper. Crush the basil leaves and extract their juice. Use a cotton ball to apply the extracted juice on the ear pimple and the surrounding area. If your pimple is in the ear canal, pour two drops of basil juice. Repeat this twice a day and the pimple will disappear because basil is a herb that has been used for a long time to infections due to its antibacterial properties.

Apple cider vinegar

You will need an apple cider vinegar and cotton ball. Deep the cotton ball in the vinegar to wipe a pimple. Leave it for about two minutes and gently wash with water. Repeat this process for three to four times a day. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and it is good at opening up the clogged pores. It also provides quick relief from a pimple.


You will need cheesecloth and an onion. Cut the onion into two pieces and heat it in the gas stove or the microwave for about half a minute or one minute. Wrap the cheesecloth around the one half of the onion and place it on the infected ear for ten minutes or better still when the onion cools down. You can as well crash the onion and extract the juice and pour two to three drops in a pimple inside the ear.

Black tea

You will need a black tea bag, hot water, and a warm washcloth. Dip the tea bag in the hot water for one minute. Press the excess water and then place the tea bag on the pimple. You can also cover it with a warm washcloth and leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. This remedy works because the tannins present in the tea and the warmth of the hot water helps a lot in reducing inflammation.

Bottom line

All pimples in the body are the same as pimples in the ears and they can be treated the same way. However, if the natural methods outlined above are not effective, do not stop there, consult a medical practitioner and the condition will be assessed and diagnosed and the doctor will suggest the best mode of treatment depending on the severity of the condition.

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