Doc Wordinger lives and works in central Manchester. He has a fondness for golf, poker, fine literature, art, and film.
There is nothing more irritating and distracting than an itch in your ear. Anyone who has ever suffered from this common ailment knows how frustrating it is.
It seems as though the only feeling of relief comes from scratching or probing with fingers or q-tips. While this may bring temporary comfort, it is actually a very harmful way to tackle the problem. Thankfully there are plenty of safe ways to make your ear canals itch-free zones.
Don't let this get the better of you. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best treatments and the preventative actions you can take to ensure that your ears stay itch-free in future.
What Is an Itchy Ear?
An itchy ear canal is often the result of an inflamed or flaky skin condition that happens when the sensitive skin inside the ear becomes damaged, waterlogged or infected with bacteria or fungus.
Medical professionals refer to it as Otitis Externa. Along with the itching sensation, symptoms can include dry flaky skin, soreness, pain, and a watery discharge that emits an odor.
The condition is pretty common and won't endanger your hearing. In fact, the biggest threat to your hearing comes from the use of objects that you might use to scratch inside your ear. If you're guilty of this, stop now.
Scratching will only serve to inflame the delicate skin inside the ear which will actually increase the itching sensation even more—it's a vicious cycle. Furthermore you could seriously damage your eardrum, either by rupturing it or by inadvertently packing earwax tightly against it.
Before determining the best source of treatment, it's important to familiarize yourself with some of the causes. This will help you to identify how the problem started in the first place. Read on to find out what these causes are.
Common Causes of Itchy Ear Canal
There are many reasons why you might have an itch in your ear. Here are some of the main culprits:
- Fungal infections. Are you prone to fungal infections in other parts of your body, such as your feet or groin area? It is possible for fungus to infect the ear canal too.
- Skin conditions. Do you suffer from any other skin complaints such as eczema or psoriasis? Unfortunately, skin conditions like these can easily spread to the ear canal.
- Swimming. Swimmers tend to be in the high-risk category for developing an itchy ear. So, if you swim regularly this is something to watch out for. Water can carry germs and fungus into the ear which can then lead to infection, especially if the skin inside the ear is broken or damaged. Swimming can also create excess moisture which can create a breeding ground for bacteria, causing infections like Swimmer's Ear (which can also be caused by other conditions like excess earwax or damaging health practices like extensive use of Q-tips).
- Ear infection. Itching is often one of the first symptoms of ear infections, which can have many different causes.
- Dry skin. If your ears don't produce enough wax, your may have dry skin in your ears which can cause them to itch. Itching them, in turn, may cause them to itch even more.
- Q-tips or cotton buds. Using q-tips or cotton buds a big no-no. The ear is well equipped to clean itself, but if you find that wax or other debris is persistently present in your ears, there are safer and more productive ways to clean them. The problem with using q-tips is that you risk damaging the soft skin inside the ear. This is an open invitation for bacteria to invade. You also risk pushing the earwax against the eardrum.
- Weather conditions. Weather conditions, namely warmer temperatures, may be causing your itchy ears. Do you live somewhere with a hot and humid climate? The increased water in the air raises your chances of developing an infection. Fungal infections in particular thrive in warm, humid conditions.
- Hair or bath products. Do you regularly use products such as hairspray, shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath, styling gel, or hair dye? The residue from these products can easily get inside the ear during a bath or shower and cause irritation which leads to itching.
- Allergies. Do you suffer from allergies (namely dust, food products, pets, or pollen)? The histamine release that is triggered by the allergen and causes a runny nose and red puffy eyes might also be responsible for the itch in your ear canal.
- Trauma to ear canal. People who frequently itch the inside of their ear, use q-tips, or itch their ear with things like bobby pins, tooth picks, or paper clips might accidentally damage the sensitive skin inside their ears, which can in turn cause more itching or infection, which will also cause itching.
Treatment and Prevention
Although an outer ear infection or itchy ear canal will sometimes clear up by itself, it is a problem that can often be stubborn and persistent. The best approach is to think about
- How you are going to treat it and also
- How you will prevent it from happening again.
Read More From Youmemindbody
Treatment falls into two stages:
- Stopping the itch, and
- Clearing up the infection or skin condition.
Firstly, if you are having ongoing ear issues, you should consult a doctor so that she can clean your ear if necessary and prescribe ear drops. You'll likely need to see an ENT specialist (ear, nose, and throat). Your doctor might also take a swab of your ear canal to determine whether fungus is present. Results from a swab usually take a few days to come back.
What happens next depends on the underlying condition:
- Your doctor may prescribe you ear drops. Ear drops will contain a minimum of two active ingredients: 1. An ingredient such as hydrocortisone that will quickly subdue the itching and any resultant swelling, and 2. An antibiotic to kill the bacteria which causes the infection.
- If you are diagnosed with having a fungal infection, your doctor might also prescribe anti-fungal drops or ointment as well.
- You may be prescribed a steroid cream or lotion to use on an on-going basis to prevent itching and earwax build-up.
- You may get swimmer's ear drops to treat the various factors contributing to swimmer's ear.
- You may also get oral antibiotics if your ear infection is accompanied by fever or blood or pus draining from your ear.
- It may be recommended that you change lifestyle habits, such as the kind of shampoo, earplugs, or earbuds you use. It may also be recommended that you start new habits, such as wearing earplugs while swimming or working out to prevent moisture build up.
Whilst using ear drops prescribed by your doctor, you can start to take preventative measures to ensure that the itch and/or infection does not return (see below). Just because the ear drops have cleared up the problem, don't assume that it is incapable of coming back. Preventative action is an on-going process and the more vigilant you are, the greater chance you have of keeping your ear canal itch-free.
Note: Ask your doctor about long-term treatment and what all of your options are, including home remedies. It's possible that something you can do at home will work just as well as a prescription medicine and have the added benefit of being cheaper.
For mild-to-moderate ear infections, especially those where pain is not a serious issue, you might want to try a home remedy before resorting to prescription drugs.
- Rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
One common method involves mixing one part rubbing alcohol with one part white vinegar (a 50:50 split). Use a pipette, dipper, or teaspoon and let the solution run into your ear by tilting your head to the side. Keep it inside for a few seconds before letting it drain back out onto a paper towel.
The alcohol and acetic acid in the vinegar will go to work on the infection and also help to clean your ear. Don't overuse this method because it can dry out the ear which will lead to more itching. Simply apply it once or twice a day until the infection has cleared.
- Olive oil or coconut oil
Though not scientifically proven to be effective, some people say that putting a few drops of olive or coconut oil into the ear and letting it sit for a few minutes before letting it drain out on a weekly or bi-weekly basis can help prevent excess wax build-up.
- Warm compress
Applying a warm compress to the ear may help ease the pain of the infection.
- OTC pain medications
Over-the-counter pain medications like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen may help reduce the pain as well while waiting for the ear to recover.
Take these precautions to lower the risk of developing an itchy canal again in future:
- Prevent excess liquid from entering. When showering or taking a bath, gently place a small amount of clean cotton ball over the entrance to your ears to prevent excessive water and bathing products such as bubble bath from getting inside. Be careful not to push the cotton too deeply and avoid it completely if you find that it irritates your skin.
- Purchase a swimming headband. If you go swimming, think about buying a swimming headband to keep your ears dry and free from the threat of fungus and bacteria. If you do get water inside your ear, try to drain it out by tilting your head to the side. As a last resort, you can use a hairdryer, providing you place it on the lowest setting and hold it about 50cm away from your ear. Do not use a hairdryer if the skin in your ear is broken or sore.
- Use olive oil in your ears. Clean your ears and prevent wax build up by using a little olive oil. Simply tip a small amount of olive oil onto a spoon, tilt your head to one side and let the oil run into your ear (if you find this difficult, you can ask somebody to help you or you could buy a dropper/pipette from your local drug store or chemist for a couple of dollars). Let the oil settle in your ear for a few minutes then tilt your head back up and let the excess oil drain out onto a paper towel. Repeat the process with the other ear and do this on a regular basis - maybe two or three nights every week before going to bed.The oil will also help to moisturize your ear canals and sooth the skin.
- Drain earwax. If you find that excess wax builds up inside your ears and the olive oil trick doesn't work, visit your doctor regularly so he can drain the wax. You can also buy wax-softening ear drops from your drugstore or chemist, but use these sparingly.
- Protect your ears in the shower or bath. This especially applies to products you use while showering or bathing. Try to avoid getting shampoo, hairspray, bubble bath, shower gel, or other chemical irritants into your ears.
- Be gentle with your ears. Always remember that the skin inside your ears is delicate and easily irritated. Never put anything hard inside your ears that might damage or antagonize the skin.
- Be careful with hearing aids and ear plugs. If you wear a hearing aid, try to wait until your ear canal is dry after showering before you put the aid back inside your ear. The same applies to ear plugs of any kind—including the ones you use to listen to music. If possible, avoid wearing hearing aids altogether until an itch or infection has completely cleared up.
- Controlling your allergies. If you suffer from dust, pollen or other allergies, reduce your exposure to allergens and take antihistamine medication when necessary.
- "Ear eczema factsheet." 2015. National Eczema Society. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Hain, Timothy C, MD. "Ear Wax." October, 2012. American Hearing Research Foundation. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- "Itchy ears." (n.d.) Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Nall, Rachel, RN, BSN. "What causes itchy ear? 5 possible causes." November 1, 2016. Healthline. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- "Otitis externa - causes." October 10, 2015. NHS UK. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD. "Ear infections — Diagnosis and treatment." August 27th, 2016. WebMD. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- "Swimmer's ear: Insight into acute otitis exterma." 2009. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
Did You Find this Article Helpful?
Did you find this article helpful? Or perhaps you have another method for treating an itch in your ear canal that I haven't discussed. Please leave your comments below!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Ivytrail on October 05, 2019:
I have had itchy ears for about 2 years now- I think it was caused from using dry shampoo! I tried all the products mentioned in the posts below and none of them helped me. Out of desperation I made a mixture of half castor oil and honey applied with a pipette then a dab of hydrocortisone with my finger. It has not cured completely, but has improved tremendously! Usually 10-14 days before itching returns and I treat again.
Muaaz suhail on September 20, 2019:
its informative and helpful
CHIEDO CHINEDU on August 28, 2019:
I HAVE USED OLIVE OIL ON MY CHILD, AND IT WORKED PERFECTLY WELL. HE HAS NOT COMPLAINED OF IT AGAIN.
Samwel Onyango on July 31, 2019:
The article is exhaustive and helpful.
Samwel Onyango from Kenya on July 31, 2019:
The article above is exhaustive and helpful to me and I encourage others to read it carefully and understand.
Abdullah Rao from Multan on February 06, 2019:
Great article .
Diana Reed on September 20, 2018:
Great, any advice for tinnitus?
Pat Roberts on May 04, 2018:
I enjoyed reading the comments . They made a lot of good sense . So I will try them .thank you.
jewels on April 30, 2018:
I use witch hazel , I apply it with a q tip but try not to push the q tip in the ear canal , I just get the tip of the witch hazel enough to is dripping and then apply dub it in.
it does help to tame the itching needs to be done constantly until you know no longer a problem,
I also use it to clean my dogs ears, and smells really good. T.N. Duckinson's witch hazel
Mirko Ivancevic on April 10, 2018:
I do have problems with ear itching since i start using Tinnitus WINDEX hearing aid.
I am also allergic to the part which is pushed into the ear canal. My question to you is is it OK to clean with dry mouth oral care alcohol-free?
Millie Namaganda on March 21, 2018:
Yes, this article was helpful
Thank you so much doctor
RevCOcean on February 24, 2018:
Doc, I usually use a bit of hydrogen peroxide. I feel like oil would exacerbate the irritating feeling and cause more buildup...?
Ted on February 16, 2018:
I used lococortin Viaform for my itch until it was no longer available. I find putting a small tissue paper plug in the ear stops the itching.
snavej on December 01, 2017:
I don't want to use ear drops every day for the rest of my life. I will stick with gentle loose skin removal. It is pleasurable and doesn't cause problems when done properly. I've been doing it for 25 years and I'm fine.
Jess on November 26, 2017:
Yay ever forgeting to go to the chemists for an ear dropper is not a problem! Five years ago is the first time I saw a doctor about itchy ears, who very quickly advised it was ezcema of the ear canal. He strongly recommended me to stop using earphones (I used to listen to music for over 6 hours a day) (so begged my parents for headphones that I've used since). I was advised to use oil olive treatment with a dropper.
I'm kind of clumsly though and break droppers easily. I've a long histoty of sleep trouble too and I seem to notice itching and usually have noticed asbent-minded attempts to try to scratch the canal with my nails in the evenings and as my area has no pharmacy open in the evenings, I've keep forgetting for months to buy a dropper. It would not surprise me if scratching with fingers or cotton bud sweep (I figure at least I won't risk damaging the skin with my nails, I guess that is worse) has made my skin canal more vulnerable to infection, because I got mild swimmer's ear twice this year, I've only been to a pool about 10 times this year too, and these are the only ear infections I've ever gotton other then a bad ear infection that developed as a headcold complication as a teen. I've had increasingly itchty ears over about 6 months, realised that now using buds about 2 or 3 days, I don't seem to produce much ear wax at all and occassionally I see bits of scabbing on the cotton bud I just used. I've reprompted myself enough times to remember to focus on dealing with the itchy ears problem tonight, that I've remembered to add a calender to ring to book an appointment with a doctor my ears. So really glad to hear I can use a teaspoon for dispensing olive oil. Done that just now and that still itch and kind of hurt but also a lot of relief like the skin has been patiently waiting/begging for moisterisation!
Susie on October 20, 2017:
Very helpful article. Did not realize I have been exasperating the situation with my itchy ears. Thought cleaning them with Q-tips was necessary to keep the itch at bay. Thanks!
Grisbeck on October 11, 2017:
Yes this article was very very useful.
Thank you .
Freedom Jones on September 23, 2017:
Thanks for the information. Will try it and get back with you.
GL on September 13, 2017:
I'm 20 and have been suffering with ear infections/ discharge/ itchy ears now for as long as I can remember. Ended up hospitalised for a week also because of a severe outer/inner and bone ear infection.
My ears never stop itching! :( I get a lot of loose, runny wax discharge and dry flaky skin and have constantly either got my fingers in my ears, a cotton bud or a bobby pin.
I know none of this is doing any long term good but as it gives me short term relief I've been continuing to scratch.
This article is very informative unlike most and has given me the will power to stop itchy, and find a more natural remedy.
My ENT consultant keeps advising to put Vaseline on cotton wool in the ear to keep it moisturised, but I always thought this would leave a moist breeding ground for infection? Any tips?
JM on September 02, 2017:
Tea tree essential oil (rubbed onto external itchy ear areas) cured this for me in 2 applications. I had this itchy ear trouble for years and nothing else worked.
Lori on August 27, 2017:
Yes.. Very Good information , Thank you
Jack Sams on August 22, 2017:
I wear hearing aids & my ears itch????
Indira Mukhopadhyay on August 19, 2017:
It is informative. My ears itch whenever I have throat infection due to allergy. I am sitting fine and suddenly years, nose throat starts itching violently and water starts fro nose and eyes, upper palate in mouth also starts itching until I take anti allergy pill. Then it subsides.It has become a daily routine. Can you help please?
Cheryl Lanigan on August 10, 2017:
I found this article very helpful . It gave me great ideas .I like it a lot .
Thank You Very Much.
mhristau on August 04, 2017:
"Rubbing alcohol and white vinegar, 50:50 split"
Since alcohol is available in several strengths, is there a preferable strength?
gerrielynn on August 01, 2017:
Good article, covering several possible ear concerns. My ears itch several times a day and I see an ENT regularly. It can drive you crazy, that's for sure. I appreciate all the home remedy ideas!
Rit B. on July 31, 2017:
Very good article. Thanks
Mrs. Aifia on July 29, 2017:
Very good and very thorough and easy to understand.
Ricky on July 24, 2017:
Thanks very helpful and thorough article
Mr TRAORÉ on July 17, 2017:
Good article. Very helpful. I'm under the impression my itchy ear canal is as a result of soap getting in there when I'm taking a shower and me having to get the soap out using water and my fingers. Will definitely try the remedies listed here and see how they help.
ERNEST GAULD on July 14, 2017:
Thank -you ,, very helpful
Charles on July 11, 2017:
Thank you very much great article very helpful.
Mary johnson on July 07, 2017:
This will not help an infected ear, but for just an itchy ear, rub your toung on your teeth rather hard on that side of your head and you will get some relief.
Marilyn Swinger on July 07, 2017:
Yes, very helpful.
Michael on June 17, 2017:
I wear ear buds when I run and sometimes I shower three times a day. My ears occasionally flake right at the outer ear. A pea size dollop a couple times a day applied with a Q-tip for a week after a breakout usually nips it in the bud.
Jenn on June 15, 2017:
You don't "itch" your ear, you scratch it.
Dennis Monday on June 04, 2017:
I want to say that I have been trying to figure out how to deal with my iche
Rg on May 18, 2017:
It's nice to see an article that cites references.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 01, 2017:
I had an ear infection once and the doctor gave me ear drops for it. Thankfully it cleared up quite quickly.
Daniel on April 30, 2017:
I don't know if my ear wax build-up is more than most people's but I remember being teased about it in high school.
As such, been using Q-tips almost every day since. That might be the reason why my ears are itchy when I don't clean them. I've tried using drops of hydrogen peroxide a couple times now (lying on your side and putting in a few drops then waiting until the fizzing stops, 5-15 min per ear) and it seems to work well, the itching stops for a few days. I'll have to try some of the other methods in this article, see how they compare.
L S Parker on April 26, 2017:
I've had itchy ears inside off and on for years, and finally figured out what is most likely causing the problem! I realized that with my short hair (for 70 years!!) my HAIR DRYER was drying my ears out too much! I started putting cotton gently into my ear when I dry my hair and eureka! the itching stopped.
Nad on April 03, 2017:
I'm so happy I found this article and I'm kind of glad I'm not the only one going through this. I've been suffering for nearly 20 years now.. I know it started from digging my ears with q tips. My ears are sensitive now and I've created the itch cycle. I've tried every cream, steroid, olive oil etc.. and don't get me wrong some have received the itch, but what I've noticed is I've now created a habit. I've noticed that even when my ears are not itching I now go to put my finger or object to my ear to start something and even when I'm stressed or anxious about something I will go to my ear. It's been a nightmare. Everyday is a challenge.
tayl5 on March 25, 2017:
My name is Brian and I have itchy ears...
Over the past ten years I've put everything you can think of in my ears trying to get the itch to stop, including most of the things mentioned in this article. What worked for me is Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Cream with Aloe. It's not greasy (olive oil in your ears is nasty), it doesn't burn (like many skin creams), it's inexpensive (giant tubes for a few bucks on Amazon) and it doesn't smell (like vinegar and alcohol). It also doesn't permanently solve the problem, but a quick application 3-4 times a day makes it manageable. It also works very well on dry hands. Good luck!
janet on March 19, 2017:
great answer very helpful
ItchyDeb on March 14, 2017:
Yes, this article described my symptoms perfectly and the itching is very bad; I plan to try some of the home remedies. Thanks.
John on March 14, 2017:
I have had this problem for years. I went to my doctor and he prescribed an ointment called Fluocinonide. I apply it with a q-tip and it begins to work immediately. I know when to reapply because the itch resumes, usually about ten days later. It works very well for me. The drug, however, is a pharmacist's dream, it does not cure the problem. Fortunately the ointment is not very expensive and the tube lasts for a long time. Perhaps the solutions in this column will work for you. If not, give Fluocinonide a try. It works and beats playing around with home cures that don't work for you.
BobbyC on March 08, 2017:
I have been having severe ear itch problems for the past three years and this is the best article I have read concerning my condition so far. I am going to follow the written advice in hopes that my condition can be curedd.Thank you
Willypiggy on February 27, 2017:
I use q-tips and cotton balls and my fingers all the time. Now I don't know exactly,but this is helpful
Elia on February 23, 2017:
Thank you this was very useful.
Cricketgal on February 21, 2017:
Excellent article. Provided a good range of home remedies. When I went to my medical doctor it just check for wax and my hearing but did not address my itchy frustrating ears.
Today is my birthday and this is the best birthday gift I could give myself in terms of my health. Olive oil with garlic will be my remedy. Thank you
Helena on February 19, 2017:
It is most helpful
Nida akbar on February 18, 2017:
Its a very helpfull article thanks
Krissy on February 07, 2017:
Cheers itchy ears
Sukaina on February 01, 2017:
oobla1234 on January 31, 2017:
Vimalkumar on January 26, 2017:
My grandma used to crush few fresh, clean mint leaves to extract its juice. Few drops of mint juice may work well in etchy ear condition.
Find more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_arvensis
Mentha arvensis (field mint (पुदीना/ Pudina,"Podina" in Hindi), (Urdu: پودینہ) wild mint, or corn mint)
Menthol is widely used in dental care as a topical antibacterial agent, effective against streptococci and lactobacilli.
B.J. on January 26, 2017:
Very useful, to the point, and clear. Thanks for writing.
vicky on January 19, 2017:
This information is very useful because I have been using a hair pin to remove wax from my ear
Palesa on January 17, 2017:
Noha on January 12, 2017:
DreamingFerrets on January 10, 2017:
I too am guilty of using bobby pins to ease the itching. I do it in secret because I'm ashamed, I know it's very dangerous for your ears. The first thing I do every morning is reach for a pin. I also enjoy having long nails so I can drag out the wax and stop the itching for a few moments. I'm 19 and I've been doing this for as long as I can remember, but now I am experiencing dull aches in both of my ears. No doubt from the trauma I've caused by itching. Now I am 100% committed to stop digging in my ears and try the natural solutions. From experience I know that using straight peroxide is very uncomfortable because the bubbles itch a million times worse than a regular itch. Good luck to all itchy ears!
ipitamba on January 10, 2017:
I found this article most informative and helpful. Thank you.
Arabel on January 08, 2017:
good infos.. very helpful
jenybee on January 08, 2017:
Very useful new information...thank-you.
gordon gogo on January 05, 2017:
thank you for this very useful information
Denise on January 05, 2017:
Omg thank god ive been suffering for a few years now and finally I just did the vinegar alcohol and I have relief ! Thank god thank this article .
Vanvernard Bryant on January 01, 2017:
Found this very helpful. A have been suffering from itchy, flaking ears for several years now. The white skin like stuff falls out some times on my clothes. Also some times it feels like something crawling in my ear. Just want some relief.
jamesdickinson on December 14, 2016:
Hi everyone, And thanks for this topic. It can help !
- Have tried few products advised/ posted here but did not work for me...
- Anyway, just came back, since i finally found a natural plant product , working good for me:
- Got cured in few days, works great for me.
my poor story...
- I had crazy itchy ears crises every day, many times/day/night... calvary!
- So long... 12+ years !
- Went/check w/many doc/Ent ... all useless but lot's costs, yes!
- All grandma's home remedies... guess what... again all useless!
- Looking all over... finally found Oplantamednaturo ,it really released me.
Thanks Mother Nature! Still doing great!
- James Dickinson -
jim on December 07, 2016:
I've had over production of wax in my ears for many years. I got in the habit of using a bobbypin to gently remove the stuff. in the last few months I have not been seeing as much of the wax but also both ears have become very itchy. I also have experienced a yeast infection for over half my life in my groin that was near impossible to control...drs holistics home remedies etc. did nothing. for no reason..praise the lord... the yeast infection just stopped. soon after, the itchy ears started. I had gotten tea tree oil for the yeast..was supposed to be antifungal. did not work...
last night my ears were bothering me somewhat more than usual so I decided to try the tea tree oil on my ears. I soaked a qtip with the oil and gently coated my ear canals. it burned some but I have had no itching at all today which is not normal. maybe this is going to work.
Sophie on November 16, 2016:
I'm a swimmer so I always get swimmers ear and I never know what to do so this article has really helped me thank u
Connie on November 16, 2016:
I have itchy ears and like the suggestion if olive or coconut oil and will defintitely try. I have recently learned of histamines after following a Leaky Gut diet which the foods are high histamines....bone broth and fermented foods. To my surprise and disappointment, my digestive issues worsened on this diet and later learned these high histamines foods aggrevated my symptoms. All foods have histamines but some more than others causing allergic responses like itching. I also feel my itching could also be from psoriasis due to the dry skin in ears, too. What we eat has a definite affect on our body, good and bad.
D on November 15, 2016:
I have had itchy ears for close to 7 years now, it is getting worse, I have done some research on this and I think it is Candida over growth (Fungas). From the research I have done the only way to really get rid of it is to stop all sugars, starches, fruits, anything that turns into sugar. Because as long as you eat sugars you will feed the fungas. I have been trying to eat this way and I'll say it's really hard. My ears are so raw from itching at night also wet and pasty in the morning then dry up in the day time and flake. I will try the vinegar and alcohol for relief. I will also got to the doctor for a swab of my ears. But I truly think that to clear this up properly I will have to stay on a very strict diet of no sugars. I also found out the fermented things like vinegar also feeds the candida so my question will putting vinegar in my ear going to feed the fungas???
djazz on November 04, 2016:
I have the exact same problem, I do think it is an allergy issue. I have taken clatine D before I go to bed and it seems to work but I am so sick of taking it every night before bed. I have woke up many time and used witchhazel on a Q tip and that seeems to releave it a little. It is making me crazy
Anmol rani on October 30, 2016:
I've had itchy ears for a long time what I find helpful is putting a bit of vicks vapour rub on a qtip and coating it inside the earhole it cools it down and relieves the itching for a few hours. hope it helps
WildAimee on October 14, 2016:
Omg! You have 100% described my ear problems! After so many doctors told me my ears were fine I was joking with my family that I might be crazy!
My ears are SO itchy and they get so wet during the night when I'm sleeping (2 docs have told me that the wetness is sweat- um ...no) So I either wake up with my finger furiously scratching in my ear or that fluid dries in there and I have crusty and itchy ears in the morning. Also, I am so bad with Qtips, I regularly injure my ear canal with them but geez I'm so dang itchy. I'm trying to be better.
My new doctor believes that this ear problem may be exasperated by my bad seasonal allergies. So hopefully with his help and your suggestions I can get back to having healthy ears.
Thanks for this article.
It's nice to know I'm not nuts!
Evelyn on October 11, 2016:
To stop my itching ears I put vaseline (petroleum jelly) on a q tip or cotton wool bud and gently coat the inside of my ear. It takes a week or so to clear up completely but it works. I swim a lot and get eczema in my ears. I keep my ears dry and clean with a damp cloth on the outside.
francois3 on October 05, 2016:
I had crazy crisis itchy ears for many years... chronic !
Idid try almost everythong, andmany doc/ENT...
I found recently a plant wichs cured me in few days, very efficient and natural, instead using some corticoid's... or other chemicals...
Tootsie on September 08, 2016:
Yes - it worked! I am very appreciative for this helpful advice.
In my case it was caused by water getting in my ears while showering. Now I just have to be careful and prevent that from happening again.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Tootsie on August 26, 2016:
THANK YOU for this home remedy! I have had itchy ears on and off for years and I have been guilty of overusing Qtips and bobby pins. But it has been especially bad for the past few weeks. If it's fungal, the vinegar/alcohol should work; therefore I will definitely give this a try. Thanks again.
Mom_2_1 on August 24, 2016:
Great hub!! In talking with my doctor he recommended a few drops of vinegar in my ears to help the itch. I have a container with vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil in that I use every other day. I'm sure my itch is caused by ear plugs I'm required to wear for work. I know it's not a major health issue but it sure is an annoying one
Cheryl on August 18, 2016:
I went to an EMT and he charged me $100 and wasn't sure what the problem was- he told me to use 100% grain alcohol (kind you drink)- in an eye dropper one drop per ear as needed it helps but the itching returns and I have to continue to use the alcohol - been doing this for over a year and itching hasn't stopped completely
Jean on August 13, 2016:
After experiencing itchy ears for a couple of weeks, I checked out what CVS might have. I've been using CVS Homeopathic earache drops for a while and it's very helpful in relieving the itch. I do have to apply it 2-3X a week so it doesn't cure the itch. I have an MD appt next week and I'll ck it out with her.
simplyjowhm on August 04, 2016:
hi. I just read your article. Is it okay to use johnsons baby oil instead of olive or coconut oil? thanks!
Aeva Gono from Philippines on June 12, 2016:
I think it is normal to have itching ears sometimes. What can be alarming is frequent itching like everyday or worse.
Angel Rodriguez on June 09, 2016:
I've been dealing with this for years, I mean, years and years. I'm going to try my best to stop the q-tips, and visit a doctor, again! LOL.
Sadia Komal on May 11, 2016:
I have suffered for years with itchy ears. It seems to be around the rim of the year before it goes into the ear canal. I have been prescribed an antibiotic which I had to spray which temporarily relieved it but it has now come back again
artdeleonardow on May 02, 2016:
I got two itchy ears about 6 years ago... my fav. thing to use was a spread apart bobby pin. I went to the Dr. she gave me useless stuff...
However, I realized whenever I ate seeded fruit or veggies... is when I wold get it at night. Olives, cherries, apples, not apple sauce... apricots...
all caused it. OH it started when I tried roasted red peppers. Never had them before but when I started eating them regularly I got itchy ears.
I havent tried the suggested things here... but I will... Thank you
peace on April 19, 2016:
I love this it was really helpful.wow
mahima on April 06, 2016:
Blackbird on February 24, 2016:
Very useful article , I am afraid I have been using Qtips just for relief , will try and be good now and just put olive oil in my ears once a week , Thankyou.
Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on February 07, 2016:
Great hub, my ears have been itching for a few weeks now and I know it has to do with how much I have been cleaning them. I will have to give the rubbing alcohol a try to see if it can relieve some of the itch.
Pallavi56 on January 18, 2016:
Thnx for this hub. Mysteriously without any reason i always tend to have itchy ears. May be your tips and remedies will help me out.
K HARISH RAMACHANDRAN from INDIA on January 18, 2016:
Great hub. My mother has been looking for a remedy to cure the itching ear. This hub worth a lot.
ingrid on December 12, 2015:
I have itchy ear right inside the ear canal, and i use q-tips a lot! I saw my doctor about it a year or so ago, he's a naturopath and suggested (without testing) that i'm probably allergic to wheat. So i've reduced wheat consumption by about 90% but it doesnt seem to help all that much. I think perhaps it is associated with my seasonal allergies and it seems maybe sugar related too, which might mean a fungal thing since fungus feeds on sugar...
Thanks for the helpful article!
Vincent on December 04, 2015:
I think doctor are useless and I have seen them many of them to I am a 74-year-old man I have an itchy and I have an itchy ear both on the right side I have an itchy ass I wake up every morning at 6 o'clock in the morning with pain in my chest pain in my stomach it goes away after I get up but it won't let me stay in bed I have a bad stomach I call anoscopy doctor they are worthless they were interested in one thing money I lost the kidney me in the last eight years so I only got one good working kidney don't know where the other when but I think Doctor had something to do with it you know put in a stent there and one there triple bypass 20 years ago they played with my auto triple bypass 20 years ago doctors of no help to me whatsoever but I have a good kidney doctor though God bless everybody
Ahmedammarooo on November 23, 2015:
Great advices ... Thank you ... :)
Matthew from Florida on November 13, 2015:
Great article. I wonder if a warm solution of hydrogen and peroxide and water work the same as the vinegar combination?
GreenMind Guides from USA on November 11, 2015:
Good, solid hub with lots of great advice. You're a really good writer and I appreciate hubbers like you. Thanks!
stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on November 05, 2015:
Hi, Your article was very helpful as I get this very often. I have used Q tips my whole life, now I know. Nice to meet you,Stella
TruthisReal from New York on October 31, 2015:
very informative. Awesome, Following you now :)