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Pimples are a common nuisance that can appear anywhere on the skin due to the overproduction of sebum, including inside and outside the ear. A number of factors can contribute to pimple development in the ear.
These pimples can cause discomfort and pain. Fortunately, a myriad of home remedies can help manage pimples and prevent them from occurring in the first place. This article discusses such home remedies and preventive measures.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Ear Pimples
Since many different factors can trigger the formation of ear pimples, it is vital to be aware of them and take measures to prevent and control the problem. The following lifestyle tips can help manage a breakout:
1. Change your skincare products
Frequent acne or pimples in the ear and on the face can be due to the skin care products you use. The ingredients in your face wash, shampoo, conditioner, or other similar products may cause a breakout.
Therefore, be mindful of the products you use and their composition. Try eliminating products and reintroducing them one by one to check what suits you and what doesn’t.
2. Maintain good hygiene
Cleanse and wash your face and ears regularly to prevent the buildup of dead skin cells and sebum. Then clean your ears and exfoliate your skin weekly.
You must also wash your hair regularly to prevent the dirt on your scalp from transferring to your ears. Don’t forget to wash your face and ears after using a conditioner as this is a common reason behind breakouts.
Another important thing is to avoid inserting objects such as pens and keys in your ears.
3. Do not touch the pimples
Refrain from touching or, worse, popping the pimple, regardless of its location. Touching the pimple may spread the acne-causing bacteria to other parts of the skin, (1) and popping the pimple at home can lead to infection and scarring.
4. Avoid swimming in public pools
Pimples in the ear can commonly be caused by infection after swimming in dirty water. (2) Therefore, it is best to avoid public pools or cover your ear well with a swimming cap.
5. Refrain from wearing tight headgear
Avoid using tight headbands and helmets and take breaks when you are using hard hats.
6. Manage stress
Stress is a common trigger for acne and related problems as your body naturally increases sebum production when under stress due to increased cortisol levels. Practicing stress management such as meditation, yoga, and other wellness techniques can help prevent acne formation.
7. Get plenty of sleep
Deep sleep enables your skin to restore and regenerate overnight. What’s more, a night of adequate sleep lowers your cortisol levels. Thus, 7–8 hours of proper sleep every night is recommended for good health.
8. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can improve your overall health, also aiding in hormonal balance, therefore preventing breakouts.
9. Maintain a healthy diet
What you eat is widely reflected on your skin. Consuming a well-balanced, nutritious diet improves your skin health and prevents problems such as acne. (3)
Avoid consuming processed and sugary foods. Moreover, consume plenty of water throughout the day. (1)
10. Quit smoking
The nicotine in cigarette smoke can block your skin pores, leading to acne formation. It’s in your best interest to give up smoking.
Additional Care for Pimple Management
Aside from making lifestyle changes, observing a few self-care measures, such as wiping the pimple with alcohol, can aid in the treatment and management of pimples.
Other common at-home remedies for pimple management include:
1. Warm compress
Placing a warm compress on the pimple can help open the skin pore, therefore allowing the pimple to dry up quickly. The warm compress also relieves the pain associated with pimples.
For this, simply dip a clean cloth in warm water, wring out the excess water, and place the cloth over the affected area. Repeat this remedy 2–3 times a day.
2. Ice pack
The use of ice packs helps relieve the inflammation and pain caused by an ear pimple. It works by constricting the blood vessels, thereby slowing down blood flow to the area, which in turn reduces the inflammation and redness. (4)
Most-Asked Questions About Ear Pimples
Why are ear pimples more painful?
Ear pimples, while generally not a cause for concern since they can heal on their own without causing complications, can be extremely painful and discomforting. This is because the ears have taut skin and lack fat (they contain cartilage instead).
The inflammation associated with pimples pulls on the skin, making it painful. Another thing, the ears are supplied with a lot of nerve endings, increasing sensitivity in the area.
How is an ear boil different from a pimple?
It is common to mistake ear boils for pimples as both of these conditions are painful, reddish bumps on the ear. However, if the lump is bigger than a pea, is filled with pus, and can be compressed, it is likely to be a boil.
Pimples in the ear are no different from pimples on the face, except that they may cause more pain. Fortunately, they can be easily treated without any complications. You may apply antibacterial over-the-counter creams and warm and cold compresses to manage the pimple and its associated symptoms.
Moreover, making a few lifestyle changes may prevent further pimple outbreaks. However, if the condition is recurring or doesn’t improve despite proper care, consult your doctor at once.