Humans can get blemishes in odd places — on the legs, arms and even the ears. Painful and irritating, these can seemingly come out of nowhere. Even though you may be alarmed, ear zits are more common than you think. Prevention explains that blackheads, whiteheads and red bumps can pop up in the cochlear bowl — the hollow that leads to your ear canal. Since many people have oily skin in general, these oils can lead to breakouts in the most random of areas.
“It usually starts with a clogged pore and it’s not uncommon to have that in the bowl of the ear,” Susan Bard, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells the outlet.
Just like acne in other places, some lifestyle choices can leave your skin more susceptible to breakouts in this area. Between oily skin and scalp-related conditions such as dandruff, your ears may be a hotbed for acne-causing bacteria. As for why getting rid of them hurts so badly, it has to do with the sensitivity of the spot. “[Ear pimples] are very painful because the skin is more taut there, and more importantly there’s cartilage there,” Dr. Bard explains to Prevention. “Any time there’s inflammation around cartilage, such as around the nose or the ear, it’s always very painful.”
To avoid the sting when popping the blemish, there are plenty of ways to help prevent these breakouts.
Imbalanced hormones and stress can also lead to ear breakouts
Just like the rest of your skin, constant touching of your ears and a stressful lifestyle can lead to ear breakouts. Healthline reports that pimple growth starts with bacteria that are trapped in your pores that may come from contact with your fingers or from oil that lays flat on your pores. Furthermore, dirty earbuds can leave build-up in this area as well.
If you notice a painful bump, it’s wise to leave it alone. Of course, very few people follow those guidelines. To pop the zit safely, wait until there’s a clear head on the bump and then use two cotton swabs to press it out. However, never touch anything inside the ear canal — this can be dangerous and territory only for certified dermatologists. Using your fingers may lead to further contamination, Healthline reports, pushing the bacteria deeper into the pore. Leading to painful boils and a higher risk of infection, using unclean fingers to pop these blemishes can make the process more dangerous.
To mitigate the pain and attempt to drain the lump naturally, the outlet recommends applying a warm compress to encourage drainage from the area. From here, make sure to wash your hands and avoid touching it more, which can irritate it even further. Lastly, if it’s extremely painful, your dermatologist can prescribe medication or cortisone to lessen the inflammation and help reduce the incidence of these annoying bumps.
It may be worthwhile to take a look at your stress levels and gadgets if you notice ear pimples frequently littering your skin.
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