ZocdocAnswersWhich products help treat itchy ears?

Question

Which products help treat itchy ears?

I'm a mother of three, and my youngest (age 10) is often tugging and scratching at his ears. I don't think it's an infection, because he says they don't hurt - they're just itchy. But is there an over the counter product to help treat the itchiness so he doesn't hurt his ears by scratching?

Answer

There are several causes of itching ears, some of which do require medical evaluation and treatment. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your child's pediatrician. If there is an obvious rash on the external surface of the ears, then it is possible that your child is simply suffering from some allergic reaction or some eczema of the external ear. This can be treated by trying to identify the offending agent (a soap, detergent or other product) and by using a moisturizer and potential an over the counter anti itch cream. Another possible cause of the discomfort is a build up of ear wax. This can create a sensation of fullness that can lead to pulling. You should not try to clean the ears with cotton swabs, but rather consult with your doctor about possibly using ear drops. Another condition, called otitis externa, is an infection of the ear canal. This again requires drops to treat. Finally, occasionally there is a foreign body in the ear, such as a pencil eraser, which your doctor can remove. As always the diagnosis and the management of your child's specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your child's pediatrician is highly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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