How to Treat Flakes in Ear?

May 21, 2024


Just like the skin on other parts of the body is prone to becoming dry and produces white flakes and cracks, dryness can occur in the ears as well. The dryness of the skin along with the production of dry wax results in the formation of white flakes inside the ear and on the skin surrounding the ear canal.

Several causes related to dry skin also cause white flakes in the ear. So, are you also suffering from white flakes in the ears and wondering what might be the cause and how to treat them?

If yes, let us talk about how to treat flakes in the ear and what are its causes.

What are the White Flakes in the Ear?

White flakes in the ear are dry white to yellowish specks that are seen inside the ear and in the outer region of the ear. They might appear like dry wax but are much more than that.

These are actually related to skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Moreover, a fungal infection or dandruff can result in the formation of white flakes. Lastly, lifestyle plays an important role in determining the health of your ears and thus formation of white flakes.

To differentiate between various causes of dry flakes, history and examination of the ear is important. If the flakes are only in the ears, it could be ear dandruff. However, if you are also diagnosed with skin diseases, it might be the reason why your ears are producing a white substance.

Why are there White Flakes in the Ear?

The explanation of the potential causes of the formation of white flakes in the skin is given as.

1. Dry Skin

Irritation in the ears to a certain substance like material used in headphones, AirPods, earphones, and hearing aids plus cleaning your ears too often can result in dry skin.

Dry skin means the amount of oil produced by the ears is not enough to lubricate them. As a result, white flakes appear in the ears.

Moreover, it can result from extremes of weather, using hot water, bathing in chlorinated water, and dehydration as well.

2. Eczema

Eczema is one of the forms of inflammatory dermatitis that results in dryness of the skin. Not only dryness, symptoms like itching, skin redness, the presence of a rough texture, and the formation of cracks on the skin are also seen in eczema.

In addition to the skin of your face and body, eczema can also affect the skin lining the ears. Consequently, you see white flakes.

3. Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is another form of inflammatory dermatitis that is triggered by skin invasion of a yeast called Malassezia. This yeast affects the skin of people with poor immunity.

Just like eczema, cracks are formed on the skin and they give rise to flaking of the skin in the ears. Furthermore, you experience earache and dry skin over the years.

4. Fungal Infections

The dandruff on the scalp can extend upto the ears or its flakes can fall around the ears giving an impression of having white crusty substances in the ear.

Although seborrheic dermatitis is the most common cause of fungal infection causing flaky skin of the ears, other fungal infections affect the ears as well.

5. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which there is the exponential generation of new skin cells without the removal of the older cells. It is not under the control of the feedback system in the body.

This condition results in the formation of white to yellow plaques on the skin and these plagues shed white flakes in and around the ear canal.

6. Lifestyle Related Conditions

Our lifestyle that initiates an immune reaction in the ears can cause white flakes. Some of the lifestyle conditions known to do this include,

  • Allergy to shampoo or soap
  • Use of harsh and chemical-containing products on sensitive skin
  • Deficiency of nutrients
  • Wearing metal earrings you are allergic to

How to Treat White Flakes in the Ear?

Let us learn to treat white flakes in the ears by following treatment options.

Assessment of the White Flakes in the Ear

Before you try out any remedy in the ear, you need to check the condition of the ear and the presence of flakes inside the ears. For this, it is recommended to use the Bebird Note5 Pro Ear Camera Wax Removal Tool.

It will help you look inside the ear clearly and safely with its gentle silicon spoon and easy-to-maneuver head. In this way, you can assess whether the white flakes are affecting the whole ear canal or if are they only present in the outer ear.

Moreover, you can remove some flakes from the ears with the soft silicone spoon.

Home Remedies to Manage Causes of White Flakes in the Ear

Once you are sure of the presence of white flakes, the next step is to treat them. As white flakes are caused by different conditions, here are some home remedies to treat them.

  • Protect your skin from sun, hot water, harsh products, and irritating metal earrings
  • Use a moisturizer around your ears when you are putting it on your face
  • Try lactic acid or urea-containing products to improve skin hydration
  • Use hypoallergenic products on the skin around the ears
  • Do not over-clean your skin
  • Petroleum jelly can be used if the skin barrier around the ears is compromised
  • Colloidal oatmeal creams are effective

Using Medical Treatments for Specific Skin Conditions

In addition to the tips mentioned above, you can try these over-the-counter treatments for quick and better results.

  • An anti-fungal shampoo having Sodium sulfacetamide and Ketoconazole can be useful for fungal infections and seborrheic dermatitis
  • Over-the-counter steroidal ointments with corticosteroid/hydrocortisone can calm itching and inflammation caused by psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema
  • Antibiotics help in case of white flakes associated with skin infection

Consulting a Doctor

While you can use home remedies and over-the-counter treatments to get rid of white flakes in the ear, consultation with a doctor becomes essential if you develop symptoms like,

  • Other treatments are not showing results
  • Condition is worsening
  • There is discharge in the ears showing infection
  • There is pain or inflammation around the ears


White flakes in the ears are mostly associated with the conditions that cause dry skin. Some of these are specific skin disorders as we mentioned earlier while others are due to bad lifestyle.

You need medical treatments along with home remedies in the former case while lifestyle improvement in the latter case improves the symptoms of white flakes in the ears.

Lastly, a Bebird otoscope can help you diagnose white flakes.



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