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Pimple in Ear : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Medications

Pimples which are also known by other names such as blackheads and acne are quite common and usually appear on the face. However, pimples needn’t be limited to the face and can sometimes develop in unlikely places leading to irritation and discomfort. One such instance is when pimples form in the ear; this occurrence can be both annoying and uncomfortable. In most cases; we know how to deal with pimples when they appear on the face; but how about pimples in the ear? This article aims to enlighten readers on causes, symptoms and treatments for pimples in the ear; read further to know more.

Symptoms of Pimples in the Ears

Symptoms of Pimples in the Ears

Pimples in the ears may cause a mild yet irritating pain and if the pimple erupts there might be some oozing of fluids. If the pimple is within the ear canal; the symptom could very well feel like a blockage in the ears and bearing in mind that the skin within the ears is sensitive; pimples in the ears may be more symptomatic than pimples anywhere else on the body or face.

Common Causes for Pimples in the Ear

There are multiple causes for pimples in the ears. Let’s explore the primary reasons this happens…

  • When you are exposed to dust and dirt in the environment; some of it can get into your ears leading to blocked pores and ultimately skin breakouts in the form of pimples within the ears.
  • When the skin glands in your ears are producing excessive oily secretions; pimples in the ears can occur.
  • Using ear buds pre-used by another individual is unhygienic for the very reason that it can cause pimples in the ears.
  • Dirty ear buds and soiled earphones can have the same effect.
  • Inserting objects in the ears including fingers; can lead to pimples in the ears.
  • Swimmers ear or otitis externa is characterized by pimples in the ear. This often happens due to swimming in dirty water.
  • Stress can also lead to pimples in the ears.
  • Puberty stage hormone imbalances are often characterized by excessive acne; even in the ears.
  • Infected or dirty ear piercings can lead to pimples in the ears.
  • Prolonged use of helmets and hats can lead to pimples in the ears.
  • When hair and beauty products find their way into the ear canal; allergic reactions can occur; leading to pimples in the ear.

Treatment for Pimples in the Ears

There are multiple options for treatment of pimples in the ears. However, it is advisable to seek out the advice of a qualified dermatologist for effective treatment ear pimples. A dermatologist may prescribe any of the treatment options detailed below for managing pimples within the ear…

Warm Compress to the Ear: You can opt for warm compress over the ears which can successfully alleviate inflammation and pain resulting from pimple in ear. This may even bring the pus in the pimple to the fore causing it to erupt and ultimately eliminating ear pimple symptoms, such as pain and irritation in the ears. Clean up the discharge right after the ear pimple drains in this manner.

Mild Ear Washes: Mild washes containing witch hazel and alcohol are preferable and may even prevent recurrence of pimples in the ears.

Medicines for Treating Pimple in Ear

Listed below are few additional treatment measures for pimples in the ears. One must be aware that any of these treatment measures should be taken up only after consulting a dermatologist.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Antibiotic creams (Neosporin and Polysporin)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Salicylic acid containing dermatological products
  • NSAIDS (ibuprofen and naproxen)

It must be noted that a severe acne issue, which results in occasional recurrences of pimples in the ears is bound to require additional treatment measures. A doctor is likely to recommend topical applications and drugs composed of Vitamin A. Among these topical creams; Tretinoin and Isotretinoin are the most commonly prescribed; depending upon the severity of the condition.

Antibiotics such as doxycycline and minocycline may also be prescribed. However, due to antibiotics resistant strains of bacteria; this mode of treatment has become less popular.

Tea Tree Oil and store brought acne creams and cleansers could also be recommended by a dermatologist in the case of pimples in the ears.

Consult a Specialist: In terms of treatment for pimple in ear; one must bear in mind that any treatment is preceded by a visit to a dermatologist; especially if your case of acne in the ears is excessive or recurrent and is proving to be excessively uncomfortable and painful.

Maintain Hygiene: It is best not to attempt to bust a pimple using your fingers, as this may lead to an infection. Keep the affected area clean and wash your hands before touching the affected area. Sanitization can go a long way in ensuring that the problem is resolved faster.

In Conclusion; pimples in the ears often resolve themselves; however, if the problem is persistent; the expertise of a dermatologist is your best option for treatment.


  1. Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pimples-in-ear
  2. Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/pimple-in-ear
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/oily-skin
  4. WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-basics#1

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 7, 2023

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