Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes rashes to form behind the ears?"
Why would a young guy get rashes behind his ears? I'm 18 and I've got this, and it's weird because I'm a very clean person. I wash thoroughly behind my ears and everywhere else, but this rash is persistent and sometimes very itchy. What is it?
Rashes are common in areas of the skin that tend to remain moist, such as behind the ears. There are a few different possible causes of the rashes that you are experiencing. The first is eczema, or atopic dermatitis. This is often characterized by dry, scaly, itching skin that is worse in cold weather. Often there will be other patches on other parts of the body. In addition to frequent use of a good moisturizer and avoiding hot repeated showers, using a topical steroid cream may help. Another possibility is contact dermatitis, caused by a reaction to some irritating environmental exposure, typically a soap or personal cleaning product. It might be worth while to think about any potential changes you have made to products you use while bathing or cleaning. Fungal infections of the skin behind the ears can also occur, often characterized by reddened, scaling, and very itchy skin. This should respond to hygiene and an over the counter antifungal cream. Finally seborrheic dermatitis is common around the ears. This gives greasy, plaques of inflamed skin, often with involvement of the hairline and responds to dandruff shampoos and steroid creams. It is probably best to see your dermatologist or primary care doctor to figure out which of these possibilities is going on and to start treatment.
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