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DQMission

Inflammatory dermatitis in ears

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DQMission

Anyone else have this? Any hints or tips? I keep getting nasty infections and have some trouble with my hearing and a lot of discomfort. Would love some hints, 

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Gudrun

Kenacomb ointment by prescription?

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DQMission

Thanks. Ive got that. ENT dude also told me olive oil rubbed around the inside of my ear on a weekly basis would help. Sounds gross. Wondering if anyone has found good ongoing preventative tricks that wasnt olive oil, or that is used in conjunction with olive oil. 

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MsLaurie

No idea about that condition specifically but baby’s nappy creams are usually miracle workers on skin issues. Possibly worth a try?

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BornToLove

Pawpaw ointment? It works well for soothing skin irritation. Might be sticky for your hair though so might need to keep it pulled back.

olive oil is probably more natural if your skin is really sensitive, vegetable or sunflower oil would be suitable as well. I’d dip a cotton bud in the oil and gently apply to your ear morning and night. You would still want your hair pulled back, but won’t be dripping oil everywhere. 

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Lucrezia Bauble

(warning - this is a bit gross) - i do get recurring dermatitis in my ears, the last time was so bad i went to the dr and they took a swab and it was actually a fungal infection! sorry, i know that’s a horrible visual - I didn’t have mushrooms growing out my ear i assure you. Anyway, i was prescribed  special ear drops and they really helped, almost instant relief. i get the odd flare up with the dermatitis and usually treat it with a bit of petroleum jelly (vaseline) on a cotton tip and gently apply that. I might give the olive oil a try. but you may wish to ask your dr about a fungal infection, in case it is that.

 

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DQMission

Another gross warning - Thanks everyone. The ENT says mine is a dermatitis caused by the fact my ears arent producing any wax (or if they are the amount is nowhere near enough) so my ears, outer, middle and inner are very dry and the skin dries up and crusts and flakes off and the flakes build up. If the crusts are taken off, the natural fluid build up streams out and also crusts. I have anti biotic creams/drops and steroid ointment. When they get very bad the skin becomes infected and the pain is bad, the swelling actually closes over my outer ear. It usually then spreads to my inner ear and has also spread to my neck and jaw a few times, making me really sick and needing medical attention. This has happened about 6 or 7 times this year so far and has been going on for about 7 years.

My ears are just constantly uncomfortable and my hearing is compromised by the crustiness and bits that flake off and build up and also means that loud sounds make a crackling in my ears which is uncomfortable as well. That combined with very little  sleep and other pain is driving me crazy. 

ENT has told me this is a lifelong thing triggered by some trauma to my ears (in my case double burst eardrums from ears infections 7 years ago), so I am trying to find some better ways to cope and make my ears less angry.

I dont know if nappy creams might dry my ears out more? Does vaseline eventually seep into the skin? The point of the oil is that while it creates that barrier, it should also seep into the skin a little and soften and break down the scaly ecsema in my ears. Off to find the olive oil now - ew.

 

 

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MsLaurie

Nappy cream doesn’t usually dry things out, more helps with healing and gives a protective barrier... maybe ask at a compounding pharmacy if they have a suggestion?

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BornToLove

Vaseline, nappy creams etc will all act as a barrier so the skin can heal underneath. They won’t dry out your skin but won’t solve the issue you have  

With your added info, I think oil is the way to go. It will help moisturise the skin and act as a lubricant to help clear your ears of the dead skin.

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Paddlepop

Have you been swabbed for a fungal infection? Antibiotics and steroids make fungal infections worse, not better. 

What about something like sweet almond oil? That's often used as a base for ear cleaning oils so it's probably safe for ears. 

I'd do what someone above suggested: dip a cotton bud in some olive oil and gently wipe that inside your ears. If you're worried about it leaking out you could plug up the ear hole with some cotton wool while the oil soaks in. 

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GingerbreadWoman

I have used olive oil in my ears (was recommended by a dr, but for a different reason) and found a small dropper the best and least messy way to apply without getting it everywhere. You really only need a tiny bit. 

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Jenflea

Rosehip oil comes with a dropper and is nice and moisturizing. 

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DQMission

Ive been told not to use a dropper as then the oils will move into the canal, when I need the oils on the skin towards the outer ear. Not meant to use enough for any dripping to happen as it is meant to be rubbed into the skin a little.

Thanks for the advice about nappy cream, good to know.

It hasnt been swabbed by GP or ENT, but I figure they would know what they are looking at. Maybe its something to ask next time?

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Paddlepop

I would definitely ask for fungal swabs to be taken, especially when you have some crusts. They can take some of the crust and the liquid underneath it. Fungal tests can take 4-5 weeks or more to come back because fungus grows slowly. 

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FearsomeFeralFreak

It sounds like Seborrhoeic dermatitis. I get this in my ear canals and have for the last 30 years. I’ve tried just about everything, seen ents and dermatologists and the only thing that works for me is diprosone ointment .05% (prescription only).
Over the counter does nothing. Olive oil, paw paw cream, drops of any kind, do nothing.

You need the ointment because it stays on your skin more than cream  does and it works well for dry, scales areas. 
If you do have Seborrhoeic dermatitis it doesn’t get better. You can keep it under control with the diprosone but it won’t magically disappear. The trick is to not let it get too bad before you treat it. For me that means I use it maybe once a week, sometimes more.

Before the diprosone my ears were weepy, itchy, flakey, scaley , occasionally bleeding messes. It’s an awful thing!

 

ps. The ENT was useless for me. Always trying this cream/drops/whatever to no effect. The dermatologist knew what it needed first visit.,

Edited by FearsomeFeralFreak
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DQMission

Thanks fellow ear sufferer! Yes mine weep and bleed a lot too. I was told by ENT this will never go away. Sad to hear thats true. I will look into the ointment you mentioend and ask my GP about it at my next visit. Thanks for the recommendation. Getting into a dermatologist here, even privately, has a eyars long waiting list. Hopefully my GP will agree to trial the ointment youve recommended without needing to refer me to one first.

In the 30 odd years, has it become worse at all, or has it remained consistent?

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FearsomeFeralFreak

I only ever get the diprosone from the GP. Just let them know what it is you have. And once you get it under control treat it at the first sign of itch! Mine is definitely influenced by hormones too so I generally get flare ups just before my periods. Also if I’m stressed. 
Never travel without it! It’s amazing how quickly my ears deteriorate if I don’t keep on top of it!

Hopefully it works for you too! I feel so sorry for you. I remember those hideous days before i started diprosone! So itchy! So sore! So gross!!!

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nightmarish

No advice, but this has probably helped my poor DD. She's had an eczema flare up and also started getting crusty ears. I had just assumed she'd scratched them badly and was treating it as a normal wound. Now I'll specifically mention it to the GP and see what is suggested,

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FearsomeFeralFreak
On 06/09/2020 at 9:43 AM, DQMission said:

Thanks fellow ear sufferer! Yes mine weep and bleed a lot too. I was told by ENT this will never go away. Sad to hear thats true. I will look into the ointment you mentioend and ask my GP about it at my next visit. Thanks for the recommendation. Getting into a dermatologist here, even privately, has a eyars long waiting list. Hopefully my GP will agree to trial the ointment youve recommended without needing to refer me to one first.

In the 30 odd years, has it become worse at all, or has it remained consistent?

Sorry DQ Mission. Just realised I didn’t answer your question. It has stayed absolutely consistent over the 30 years once I got it under control.
I did go on one overseas trip for four weeks and forgot to take the ointment and that was an absolute nightmare. I’ll never forget the ointment again!
Sorry to say, I can’t give you any hope of there ever  being an improvement without medication. I definitely need to deal with it weekly, but that’s not so bad.

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