Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why do my ears itch?"


The outside of my ears are really itchy. They also feel warm when I touch them. It is the outside part that is made of cartilage. Any reason this would be happening?


Itching in both ears is different than itching in just one ear. It is obvious that infection would be more likely to affect only one ear at a time. If you have itching and redness of just one ear, that could be a sign that there is an infection of some sort.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

If both ears are involved, it is likely due to a common exposure shared by both. Whether that be something as simple as recovering from a sunburn or as complex as some rare rheumatologic condition involving the auricular cartilage is difficult to tell without performing a physical examination and gathering some more information. There are some cases where itching can be a sign of something that is not visible to the naked eye, and these will at times require further testing. For the most part, however, a quick visit to your doctor is able to diagnose the problem quickly. As you mention, there is cartilage in the outer part of the ear. If this becomes infected, it is difficult to treat this infection fully without strong antibiotics. Please speak with your doctor soon about this.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.