Blackheads are clusters of tiny black dots that block your pores and can be irritating. The dark substance that creates a blackhead is not only dirt but also oil and dead skin cells. When exposed to air, blackheads become oxidized and darken in color. Ear blackheads can manifest in various locations, although they usually appear on the face. If they arise in the ears, they can be challenging to eradicate. The ears are often neglected during cleansing, and hair care items may not always be thoroughly rinsed away, causing them to remain in or on the ears. Blackheads can emerge due to a buildup of dirt or shampoo. Skincare products with specific components are intended to clear blocked pores, which might be beneficial in treating blackheads. It is possible to eliminate blackheads using a tool, but it is not recommended for individuals to attempt this at home.
What Causes Ear Blackheads?
Ear blackheads are caused by the same factors that cause blackheads on other parts of the body, namely the buildup of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells in the pores. The outer ear has hair follicles and oil glands, which can produce excess oil and trap dirt, leading to clogged pores. Some specific causes of ear blackheads include:
- Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene practices, such as not cleaning the ears regularly, can lead to a buildup of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells in the pores, which can cause blackheads.
- Excessively oily skin: People with oily skin are more prone to developing blackheads, including in the ears. This is because the excess oil can clog the pores and cause blackheads to form.
- Hair products: Hair products, such as hairspray, gels, and oils, can get into the ears and clog the pores, leading to blackheads.
- Tight-fitting headphones or earplugs: Tight-fitting headphones or earplugs can create a warm, humid environment that can promote the growth of bacteria and increase the risk of blackheads.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty or pregnancy, can cause an increase in oil production, leading to blackheads.
Overall, blackheads in the ear are caused by the same factors that cause blackheads elsewhere on the body, and maintaining good hygiene practices and taking steps to reduce oil and dirt buildup can help prevent them.
How to get rid of a blackhead in the ear?
The outer ear, where blackheads may develop, collects sounds, maintains balance, and safeguards the inner ear, which is more susceptible. Since the skin of the outer ear is in close proximity to the fragile and essential hearing structures, it should be handled with care. The methods below can be employed to remove blackheads, even in sensitive areas like the ears.
Skincare products with salicylic acid
Numerous facial skincare products can be utilized with caution in the ears. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, salicylic acid can be beneficial in purging pores. Individuals can use salicylic acid-containing over-the-counter cleansers or masks to eliminate ear blackheads, though a physician might prescribe a more potent product. Salicylic acid, a kind of beta hydroxy acid (BHA), has aspirin in it, so individuals with an aspirin allergy should avoid using products with this component. BHAs are chemical exfoliants, implying that they can remove oil and dirt from pores without the need for rubbing them into the skin. People should avoid getting these products too close to the ear canal, which is the passageway connecting the outer ear to the eardrum. Results may be noticeable in a few days or weeks. Salicylic acid usage may also prevent blackheads from forming, and individuals can incorporate these products into their skincare routine.
This method entails eliminating blackheads and must solely be executed by a licensed dermatologist. They will utilize a sanitized tool to empty the pore, which is a time-consuming process and does not guarantee that blackheads will not recur. Endeavoring to extract a blackhead at home using this technique can cause it to become inflamed, painful, and infected.
How can blackheads in the ear be prevented?
To prevent blackheads in the ear, you should:
Cleanse the ears regularly: Make sure to wash your ears with a gentle cleanser and warm water regularly. This will help to remove any dirt or oil buildup that can clog pores and lead to blackheads.
Avoid using hair products in the ear: Hair products such as hairspray, gels, and oils can easily get into the ear and clog pores. Be careful not to let hair products get into your ears, and if they do, clean them out thoroughly.
Exfoliate the skin: Exfoliating the skin in and around the ears can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Use a gentle exfoliating product to avoid irritating the skin.
Use salicylic acid products: As mentioned earlier, salicylic acid can help to prevent and treat blackheads in the ear. Use products with salicylic acid regularly, but be careful not to get them too close to the ear canal.
Avoid picking at the ears: Picking at blackheads or other blemishes in the ear can lead to inflammation, infection, and scarring. Hands should be kept away from the ears as much as possible.
When to see your dermatologist
It is recommended to see a dermatologist if you are having trouble preventing or treating blackheads in the ear. Some situations when you should consider seeing a dermatologist include:
If home remedies are not working: If you have tried various home remedies to prevent or treat blackheads in the ear, but they are not effective, it’s time to see a dermatologist.
If you have severe or persistent blackheads: If you have a large number of blackheads that are severe or have persisted for a long time, it’s essential to seek professional help.
If you have other skin problems: If you have other skin problems, such as acne or eczema, which are worsening, it is best to see a dermatologist to address these problems.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort: If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or itching in your ears, it is best to see a dermatologist to identify the cause and provide the necessary treatment.
A dermatologist can evaluate your skin and recommend a personalized treatment plan to prevent and treat blackheads in the ear. They can also provide advice on how to maintain healthy skin in the ear area.
In conclusion, blackheads can be frustrating, and they can appear not only on your face but also inside your ears. These small clusters of black dots are caused by a combination of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, and their dark color is due to oxidation when exposed to air. However, with the right approach, you can prevent and remove blackheads in your ears. By maintaining good hygiene practices and using appropriate skincare products, you can keep your ears free from blackheads and enjoy clearer skin. With the information provided in this article, you can take the necessary steps to get rid of blackheads in your ears and keep them at bay in the future.