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12 Easy and Effective Home Remedies for Ear Itching

Written byNikhil Ambatkar

Last updated on : 04 Jun, 2024

Read time : 11 min

What about itchy ears?

Itchy ears can be quite bothersome and may occur due to various reasons. Itching in the ears is commonly caused by allergies, dry skin, earwax buildup, or an underlying skin condition. Scratching or inserting objects into the ears to relieve the itch can worsen the condition and lead to injury or infection. 

You can try home remedies like applying a warm compress or gently cleaning the outer ear with a damp cloth to address itchy ears. However, if the itching in ear persists, is accompanied by ear pain or discharge, or if you suspect an infection, it is advised to seek medical attention.

This article will cover causes, symptoms and effective home remedies to relieve itchy ears.

Causes for ear itching

Itchy ears can be caused by various factors, leading to discomfort and irritation. Some common ear itching causes include:

Skin conditions

Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis can affect the ear canal, causing inflammation and itching ears. The dry, flaky skin in the ear canal can lead to persistent itching in ear and cause discomfort.

Ear infections

Infections such as otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) or middle ear infections can cause itching in the ear. These infections result in inflammation and an overproduction of fluids, leading to itching ears, pain, and sometimes discharge.

Ear contamination

Exposure to dirt, dust, or foreign objects can introduce bacteria or irritants into the ear, causing itching in ear. The foreign substances can trigger an inflammatory response, leading to itchiness and discomfort.


Allergic reactions to substances like pollen, pet dander, or certain foods can manifest as itching in the ears. The body’s immune response to these allergens can cause irritation and itching in ear canal.

Dry ears

Insufficient moisture in the ear can cause dryness and itching in ear. It can occur due to low humidity, excessive ear cleaning, or using drying substances such as alcohol-based ear drops for itchy ears.

Contact dermatitis

Contact with certain irritants or allergens, such as hair products, earrings, or hearing aids, can cause allergic reactions and itching in the ears. The skin in and around the ears may become red, swollen, and itchy.

Swimmer’s ear

Also known as otitis externa, a swimmer’s ear happens when water gets entrapped in the ear canal, providing a moist environment for bacteria to grow. It can cause itching, redness, and discomfort, especially in individuals who frequently swim or expose their ears to water.

Irritation from portable amplifiers

Irritation from portable amplifiers can arise due to extended exposure to high-volume sound levels. Prolonged use of these devices in loud settings can lead to discomfort in the ears and potential auditory strain. To prevent irritation, it’s advisable to use portable amplifiers at reasonable volumes and take breaks to minimise the risk of adverse effects on hearing health.

Earwax blockage

Excessive earwax buildup can block the ear canal and cause itching, a feeling of fullness and hearing loss. The accumulation of earwax can lead to irritation and discomfort, triggering the urge to scratch the ears.


It is a common scalp condition characterised by flaky, dry skin. Sometimes, these flakes can find their way into the ears, causing irritation and itching. The presence of dandruff in the hair and on the scalp can lead to its transfer to the ears, exacerbating the itching sensation.

Hearing aids

Wearing hearing aids can contribute to itchy ears. The constant contact between the hearing aid and the skin of the ear can cause friction and irritation, leading to itching. Additionally, the materials used in hearing aids, such as plastics or metals, may trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals, further contributing to ear itchiness.

Signs and symptoms of itchy ears

Itchy ears can manifest through various signs and symptoms. Common signs and symptoms of itchy ears include:

  • Nonstop itching: An uncontrollable urge to scratch the ears due to the discomfort caused by the itching sensation.
  • Redness and swelling: The skin inside the ear canal may appear red and swollen, indicating inflammation.
  • Dryness and flaking: The ear canal may become dry, leading to flaky skin or even the formation of crusts.
  • Pain or discomfort: Itchy ears can sometimes be accompanied by mild to moderate pain or a general feeling of discomfort.

Home remedies for itchy ears

Here are some home remedies that may help alleviate itchy ears:

Use gravity to remove the fluid buildup

Tilt your head to the side and gently pull the earlobe to create a slight opening. It can help drain any accumulated fluid in the ear, relieving itching and discomfort.

Warm water

Put a few drops of lukewarm water into the affected ear using a dropper. Allow the water to sit for a few minutes to soften any debris or wax, and then tilt your head to let the water drain out. It can help soothe itching and remove irritants.

Warm oil

Use a few drops of warm olive, coconut, or mineral oil in the itchy ear. The oil can help moisturise the ear canal, reduce dryness, and alleviate itching. Make sure the oil is warm, but not hot.

Hydrogen peroxide solution

Create a solution by mixing equal portions of hydrogen peroxide and water. Put a few drops of the solution into the itchy ear using a dropper. The hydrogen peroxide can help remove excess earwax and debris, relieving itchiness.

Trust the healing potential of white vinegar

To alleviate your itchy ear, create a blend of white vinegar and lukewarm water in equivalent amounts. Administer the solution into your ear canal utilising a dropper, allowing just a few drops to enter. The vinegar’s acidic properties can help restore the natural pH balance of the ear and reduce itching.

Apply a warm compress

Place a warm, moist cloth or a heating pad set on low over the affected ear. The warmth can provide soothing relief, reduce inflammation, and alleviate itching.

Use a blow dryer

Set a blow dryer to the lowest heat and speed settings. Hold it several inches away and gently blow warm air into the ear. It can help dry any excess moisture in the ear, reducing the risk of itching.

Keep your ears dry

Avoid swimming or submerging your ears in water. When showering or bathing, use earplugs or a shower cap to protect your ears from moisture, as excessive moisture can lead to itching.

Maintain good ear health

Clean your ears gently with a soft cloth. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can push wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to itching and irritation.

Aloe vera

Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the itchy ear area. Aloe vera has soothing properties that reduce inflammation, moisturise the skin, and relieve itching.

Garlic with oil

Crush a garlic clove and further mix it with a few drops of olive oil. Apply this mixture to the itchy ear. Garlic has antimicrobial properties that may help combat infection and reduce itching.

Ginger juice

Extract ginger juice and apply a few drops to the itchy ear. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation and alleviate itching.

Also read: Home remedies for ear fungal infection

Prevention of itchy ears

To prevent itchy ears, you can try the following tips:

  • Avoid inserting objects into your ears, such as cotton swabs or sharp instruments, as they can damage the ear canal and lead to itching.
  • Keep your ears dry using earplugs or a shower cap when swimming or showering.
  • Clean your ears gently with a soft cloth, avoiding excessive scratching or cleaning.
  • Protect your ears from irritants, such as excessive noise, chemical fumes, and allergens.
  • Maintain good overall hygiene and a healthy immune system to reduce the risk of ear infections and itching.

When to see a doctor

You should visit a doctor for an itchy ear if the itching persists for more than a few days or is accompanied by pain, discharge, hearing loss, or swelling. Additionally, seek medical attention if self-care measures are ineffective or if the itching significantly impacts your daily life. A doctor can evaluate the condition and provide appropriate treatment.


Itchy ears can be an uncomfortable and irritating problem, but it is usually not a cause for concern. Understanding the underlying causes and taking the necessary steps to address them can relieve the itching and prevent further complications. 

Home remedies such as warm compresses and gentle cleaning can provide relief, but avoiding the temptation to scratch or insert objects into the ear canal is essential. If the itching persists, seeking medical attention is best. By properly caring for our ears, we can prevent itching and maintain their health and functionality.

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Frequently asked questions

Is steam effective in removing ear wax?

Steam can help soften earwax and make it easier to remove, but it may not effectively remove all earwax. It is best to consult a healthcare professional for proper earwax removal.

What is the natural process by which ears clean themselves?

The natural process by which ears clean themselves is through earwax production. The earwax helps to trap dust, dirt, and bacteria, which then slowly move out of the ear canal naturally.

What are the potential consequences of leaving an ear infection untreated?

An untreated ear infection can lead to potential complications such as hearing loss, spreading an infection to nearby structures, developing chronic ear infections, and damage to the eardrum.

Is itching in the ears an indication of hearing loss?

Itching in the ears is not necessarily an indication of hearing loss. It can be a symptom of various ear conditions, including infections, allergies, or skin conditions. Hearing loss is a separate issue that may or may not be associated with ear itching.

How can a fungal ear infection be treated?

Fungal ear infections are typically treated with antifungal medications, either eardrops or oral medications. It is essential to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What are the visual characteristics of an ear infection?

Visual characteristics of an ear infection may include redness, swelling, discharge, and inflammation of the ear canal or eardrum. A physician can perform a detailed examination to determine the visual signs of an ear infection.

What are the initial signs that indicate the onset of an ear infection?

Initial signs of an ear infection may include ear pain, fluid drainage from the ear, decreased hearing, ear fullness or pressure, and fever. These symptoms can change depending on the type and severity of the infection.

Can an ear infection develop into a fungal infection?

While bacteria typically cause an ear infection, it can develop into a fungal infection if the conditions in the ear become favourable for fungal growth. This can happen if antibiotics used to treat a bacterial infection disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the ear.

What differentiates a normal ear from an ear with an infection?

A normal ear would typically not exhibit signs of infection, like redness, swelling, discharge, or inflammation. An ear with an infection may show these visual characteristics and symptoms such as pain, hearing loss, and discomfort. A healthcare professional can accurately diagnose an ear infection.


The content provided within this article has been thoroughly verified for accuracy. However, we advise consulting a healthcare professional before utilising any medication or dietary supplements mentioned herein.


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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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