How To Prevent Those Painful Pimples In Your Ear

For everyone who has been through puberty, the pain of a really intense pimple is likely a well-known sensation. Whether it's on your forehead, nose, chin, or cheeks, acne that appears on the sensitive skin of your face can be intrusive and bothersome. The only thing that might be worse than a pimple nudged just inside the nostril of your nose or beneath one of your eyebrows is a pimple nestled in your ear. Yes, ear acne is a thing, and it comes in all available forms from whiteheads to blackheads to inflamed red cysts (via Prevention). 

Just like how the pores on your face or back can become clogged and form acne, so too can the pores in the bowl of your ears, on your earlobes, or behind your ears (per American Celiac). Most of the time, pores in and around ears become clogged with the same matter that clogs other areas of the body, such as bacteria, dead skin cells, and excess oil from sebaceous glands. The added risk with ears, especially the bowl of ears, is that earwax adds an extra layer of blockage to surrounding pores, as can dandruff that flakes off of your scalp and into or behind your ears. Here's how to treat and prevent ear acne.

Be extra careful around your ear canal

Given that the skin of ears can be sensitive, pimples anywhere in the area can be extremely painful. Moreover, getting rid of them can be difficult since it isn't exactly easy to look inside of your own ears. For particularly large or deep pimples, or if acne occurs inside of your ear canal, you'll want to have it examined by a healthcare provider since you never want to tamper with your ear canal and risk damaging an ear drum. But for pimples that occur outside of your ear canal, you can apply a warm compress to the area to help the pore open and allow the pus inside the pimple to come to the surface on its own, recommends Healthline. You've probably heard a million times that you should never pop pimples, and this is especially true for ear acne because you don't want for bacteria-filled pus to ooze into your ear canal and potentially lead to an infection. To reduce inflammation of a pimple in your ear or to decrease pain from ear acne, you can take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like naproxen or ibuprofen.

Maintain good ear hygiene

While there's no foolproof way to keep pores 100% clog-free, utilizing warm water and a mild soap in the shower followed by applying a skin toner can prevent painful ear acne from forming (via Just remember to never clean directly inside of your ear canal with any substance or item, including Q-Tips that can contribute to earwax blockages. The best way to prevent painful pimples in your ears is to practice good hygiene when it comes to all parts of your ears, including your earlobes, behind your ears, and the skin around your ears. When you shower, make certain that you're exfoliating the skin behind your ears where dandruff and dry skin cells can easily accumulate.

Another way to prevent painful ear acne is to stay on top of cleaning your headphones, earbuds, and any other technological device you use that goes into your ears, reports Insider. Headphones that go inside of the ear, like AirPods, can lead to earwax being produced and building up faster than usual, therefore leading to a greater chance of clogged pores. Earbuds also collect bacteria and can introduce it into your ear canal, enhancing the chance of a painful pimple. To prevent buildup of earwax, bacteria, and other foreign agents that may lead to ear acne, be certain that you're consistent about cleaning your headphones to dislodge dirt and grime, and never share earbuds with anyone, as doing so increases the risk of bacteria spreading.