Dry Skin Behind Ear – Causes and Treatment

At one point in our lives, we experienced those dry, itchy and flaky skin behind ears as a child or through our adulthood. Our impulse to scratch is a reflex action towards the sensation we feel and to ease the itching. In our busy lives, we sometimes disregard or take it for granted that we do not ask questions about it or even reach out to a doctor because we believe it will go away. Nevertheless, in this age of information, the knowledge is available and mostly just one click away. Therefore, here we you will learn more about dry skin especially the ones behind ears.

Xerosis or dry skin can cause concern to the person affected. It can shake confidence when the dry skin appears on face, arms, and legs, even behind ears. The skin appears flaky and it may develop wrinkle. Most of all, it is very uncomfortable.

Red patches with flakes or scales that sometimes grow gaps that seborrheic dermatitis triggers bleed. Seborrheic dermatitis is a dermatological condition that is also caused by a lot of reasons which include yeast, change of weather, stress, skin allergies, and in as per Mayoclinic.com, it can also be caused by HIV and AIDs and Parkinson’s disease. Please note that this condition can affect whole body or just one area like back of the ear which can be so disturbing and uncomfortable. Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis can be anything from the following list.

  • Development of flaky skin that is sore and itchy
  • Blistering, itchy and red rash are indications and note that this can be accompanied by hives
  • Yellow and white crusty scale that turns to red over time
  • Greasy and red flakes
  • Inflammation especially around the ear area even inside ear. Remember bacterial infection can cause the skin to flake.

Development dry skin behind baby’s ears is the same as with adults. It is a result of what we discussed above which is seborrheic dermatitis. Since the toddler will only scratch or cry and hard to investigate what they feel, it is best to bring them to a pediatrician especially if fever accompanies the itching and flaking. It can be an indication that there are more serious issues like bacterial infection that can spread like eczema which is very uncomfortable for a baby. Some parents opt to clean with hypoallergenic products and put petroleum jelly to ease the irritating sensation. Although, when the situation gets worse, the best advice is still to visit physician.

Causes of Dry Skin Behind the Ears

After defining xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis and dry skin behind baby’s ears, we can narrow down the causes of dry skin behind the ears. When we know the cause, we can navigate to the treatment that I will provide thereafter. Here are the causes of dry skin behind the ears.

  • Over Cleanliness

Thoroughly cleaning the area of the skin can wreak havoc on the ear as it will deprive it of the natural oils and stop production of wax. In effect, it can cause dry skin that lead to dry skin behind the ears.

  • Fungus Infection

One of the common cause is fungus infection because the skin folds may stock moisture in this area.

  • Psoriasis

Psoriasis can cause dry skin behind ears and on the body. It is a chronic skin condition that gives scaly patches that turns red over time. Usually it occurs behind ears and scalp which triggers intense itching. Psoriasis can occur in the external ear canal that can build up scales and wax that can lead to hearing difficulty. Here are some symptoms:

  • Hearing loss due to blocked ears that sometimes go away
  • Nails with pits or ridges
  • Swollen joints
  • Bleeding in the cracked skin
  • Irritation on the skin that won’t go away
  • Measles

It is a viral infection that causes red spots behind the ears and all over the body. The symptoms are high fever, runny nose and cough accompanied with the red spots that spread all over the body.

  • Contact Allergic Dermatitis

Chemicals in soap and nickel in ear ornament cause contact allergic dermatitis. It is characterized by red bumps with itching and soreness behind the ears.

  • Hearing Aid

These aids may brush against the skin. Anyone who uses hearing aid needs to follow instructions or listen to doctor’s advice how to properly use it for it not to cause dry skin in the ear.

Treatment for Dry Skin Behind the Ear

Before jumping into the treatment referred by friends or found on internet, you must take precautions which is also enumerated here. Number two is take note of the importance of learning the cause first in order not to make the condition worse.

Home Remedies

  • The use of tea tree oil is one of the home remedies you can easily access. Apply it in the infected area to alleviate the itchiness as it is effective with infection.
  • Jojoba oil can be applied with the same steps as the over-the-counter cleansing kits that involves squirting    small amount in the ear.
  • Turmeric paste can also be applied to the affected area because it has natural anti-inflammatory content.
  • Garlic contains strong antibiotic content that can help ease itchy and dry skin behind the ear. You can crush it and mix with olive oil before applying to the affected area.

Over-The-Counter Medications

  • topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone and vitamin D.
  • Anti-itch creams
  • Anti-fungal medicine and ketoconazole can be bought over the counter for quick relief.


  • Stop using hair dye if it is confirmed that you have allergy to them because hair dyes contain strong chemicals
  • If indeed the condition is because of chemicals, switch products or seek dermatologist’s advice.
  • Keeping the area behind ear dry and clean but not overly cleaning it will prevent further infections. Regulate use of cotton buds.
  • Dandruff shampoo helps.
  • Avoid scratching ears or poking them. You may try all that are listed here but I still highly suggest seeking expert advice from a dermatologist.