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5 Tips to Stop Itchy Ears

There are a variety of reasons someone may have an itchy ear.  Some should definitely see an Otolaryngologist and need medical therapy, and some are just being annoyed by their symptoms.  Many do come to me with what I call the “Itchy Ear Syndrome”, with complaints of itchy ears without any significant pathology as cause.  In my opinion this is caused by dryness and inflammation of the ear canal skin, and allergies can play a role.  While a good ear examination should be pursued to make sure there is no medical disease requiring further attention, here are some tips that might just help to keep away the itchiness.

  1. “Nothing smaller than your elbow in your ear”.  Your grandmother was right.  Avoid Qtips, fingers, pen caps, or other “items” to clean or scratch your ear.
  2. Keep water our of your ear.  You can make homemade ear plugs made from cottonball and vaseline or purchase the putty-type which are waterproof in pharmacy.
  3. Don’t use peroxide or other OTC products to clean the ear.  These may dry out the ear canal skin or even cause a reaction at times.
  4. Aquaphor to avoid dry canal skin.  A gentle moisturizer can be used to help with dry skin which causes itchiness.  I have had patients with ezcema-like conditions of the ear canal not only use in on their ear, but on other parts of their body.  Many have said it helped their skin condition better than the expensive prescription their dermatologist ordered.
  5. Use anti-itch cream rather than your fingernail.  A mild steroid cream can be used during those really bad “itchy times” instead of using a Qtip or your finger.  This includes the “vigorous ear massage maneuver” that despite not being inside your ear canal, causes just as much irritation.

If you are not having relief with these tips, please seek consultation with your local ENT to make sure there is not a medical problem brewing.

Products mentioned above can be found at your pharmacy or online:


Macks Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs Value Pack, 6 Count


Aquaphor Healing Ointment Dry, Cracked and Irritated Skin Protectant, .35 oz Dual Pack



Cortaid Maximum Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti Itch Cream – 1 Oz

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