Psoriasis In The Ears
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the skin. This condition causes excess layer of skin cells that build up on the skin surface. Psoriasis can occur anywhere in the body, including the ears. The severity of the condition is variable and differs from individual to individual. Psoriasis in the ears is quite a rare condition, but when it occurs, it can become emotionally and physically draining for the individual. This is because psoriasis in the ear makes the individual conscious of the abnormality in the ears.
Treatment wise, psoriasis does not have a cure and the treatments that are normally used for treating psoriasis in the arms, legs, or elbows are too harsh for treating the facial area and the ears. This makes it hard for psoriasis in the ears to be treated. Psoriasis can cause buildup of earwax within the ear and cause obstruction. As a result of the obstruction, there will be itching, pain, and hearing dysfunction.
The best way to deal with it is to prevent formation of scales in the ears and avoid hearing dysfunction. At times, psoriasis tends to get worse with time. This usually happens when Psoriasis flares due to a trigger. However, the reason for it spreading is still not clear. There is absolutely no connection between hygiene and touching in the ear with the development of psoriasis in this area.
However, psoriasis in the ears should be checked out by a physician to formulate a treatment plan. Read below to identify the presenting features and ways to manage psoriasis in the ears.
What Are The Presenting Features Of Psoriasis In The Ears?
It is important to identify the symptoms of psoriasis in the ears so that prompt treatment can be given. However, the symptoms of psoriasis in the ears are not apparent immediately. The condition however can be recognized by spots of irritated skin with flaking. There will also be areas of skin in the ears that may become excessively dry and cracked which at times will bleed.
The hearing also gets affected as a result of psoriasis which causes dead skin cells to get accumulated within the ears. The ear will also pain and cause a severe itching sensation.
How is Psoriasis in the Ears Treated?
Since Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition it does not have a cure. The symptoms however can be managed with medications. The medication management may be quite prolonged in cases of psoriasis in the ears to prevent complications like hearing loss. There are some medications which are not supposed to be used within the ears like certain topical creams or ointments as they can inflict damage to the eardrums. It is better to consult with a physician before taking these creams or ointments.
Some of the treatment options for psoriasis in the ears include liquified ear drops either alone or in combination with other medications specifically for steroids. Some people also find antifungal shampoos to clean the ear quite effective in dealing with psoriasis in the ears. There are also certain oral medications that can be given that keep a check on the immune system and help prevent flares of psoriasis in the ears.
To moisten the accumulated earwax in the ears, warm olive oil is quite effective. Just a few drops of it are good enough to moisten the cerumen. If the hearing gets dysfunctional as a result of psoriasis in the ears then a physician should be consulted who can remove the scales caused due to psoriasis and also remove the earwax to restore normal hearing.
For an individual with psoriasis in the ears, it is important not to insert any external objects as it can complicate things. In cases where the symptoms are severe, the physician will prescribe a relatively new class of medications called biologics that are effective in dealing with the underlying causes of psoriasis. Apart from treatments, it is also vital for people with psoriasis to have knowledge of the triggers and try and avoid them to prevent flares.
The triggers for psoriasis differ from individual to individual. The most common triggers from a flare of psoriasis of the ears include:
Stress: This is something which is at times unavoidable but taking steps to avoid it can certainly help in preventing a flare of psoriasis, especially in the ears. Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are some of the ways to relax the mind and keep stress at bay.
Medications: There are certain classes of medications that tend to make the symptoms of psoriasis in the ears worse. These medications are generally given to control the blood pressure, treat certain cardiac conditions, and mental health disorders. Therefore, before taking any of these medications a consultation with the physician is a must especially if there is a known history of psoriasis.
Injuries: Small injuries like scrapes and bruises can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis in the affected area.
Medical Conditions: The immune system of the body gets activated whenever there is some illness. When this happens, the symptoms of psoriasis can get worse. In particular, strep throat, ear infections, inflammation of the tonsils, and colds and cough can all trigger a flare of psoriasis in the ears.
It is important for people with psoriasis in the ears to have regular ear examinations. In fact even if the psoriasis does not affect the ear completely then also there are chances that the individual may experience hearing loss. A study done in the American Journal of Dermatology observed that people with psoriasis were more likely to develop sudden onset hearing loss. It is usually seen in people above the age of 50.
The exact relationship between hearing loss and psoriasis is not entirely clear but some experts believe that it may be due to the immune system attacking the healthy cells in the ear and damaging portions of the inner ear. This hearing loss is temporary and the individual regains all hearing back within a span of two to three weeks. This is the reason why regular auditory evaluations are necessary in people with psoriasis for early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
In conclusion, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that does not have a cure. If this occurs in the ear it tends to be emotionally and physically draining for the individual. However, it can be managed effectively with regular checkups and constant monitoring with their physician. It is all the more important that regular monitoring of the ears be done for people with psoriasis in the ear in the event of any flares. This is to prevent any complications like hearing loss or other complications and if they do occur then prompt treatment can be given.
In some cases, it has been observed that the medications given for psoriasis become ineffective after a period of time suggesting that alternative treatments may have to be done. Once an individual is able to control the flares and does diligent checkups, then there should be no problems that arise due to psoriasis in the ears.
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