Crusty Flaky Dry Skin Around Ears: Inside or Behind

Having dry skin on ears is nothing anyone would want to have especially they are itchy, flaky and crusty i.e. dry flaky and itchy including inside ear canal.


Have you been noticing some this problem lately? Wondering what this means and what causes it? Does the dry skin flake, or is it accompanied by the urge to scratch? We have heard similar complaints before from people suffering this problem.

What you may be experiencing are symptoms of  a dry ear. It is not a life-threatening condition, but living with the signs and symptoms can be a bother.

Dry cracked flaky skin around ears
On outer part


We went out and looked for more information on what causes it. Read below to understand why skin around the ears is dry, flakes, and the do’s and don’ts when it is itchy, and finally treatment with home cures.

Causes of skin dryness, flaking & Itchiness

There are several causes. If you follow them though, they will lead us back to abnormal skin dryness. The ear has a  layer of natural oil to protect against dryness, the inner ear has wax to help keep the moisture in.

This natural protecting oily in the form of a waxy layer is depleted due to certain habits, infections or because for some reason it is not being produced at all. This will result in this scenario.

We can safely say that dryness and itching inside or around the ear are caused by the excessively dry skin around this area. D

But what causes it? Why is it happening to some but not others? Listed below are probable causes.

1. Skin Conditions

Skin conditions that typically cause the skin to dry out on other parts of the body could also affect the ears. You may see some dryness, flaking, crusting, and itching including in the ear canal if you have one of the following conditions.

a. Ear Eczema

In some people, eczema can also occur in the inner canal, outside, around the nose, on the scalp, behind ears, and mouth and can be extremely irritating and uncomfortable. In such cases, the itching may be in a number of areas.

In a few cases, eczema may occur only in the ear and may be difficult to self-diagnose as the redness, rashes will be in inside part.  Itching and maybe some discharge may be the only symptoms one can see of eczema.

Other forms of dermatitis, like contact dermatitis which occur when one has an allergic reaction to certain products applied to the skin surface, may also cause itching and trigger this problem.

b. Ear Psoriasis

This autoimmune condition affects the scalp and neck commonly but is also known to occur in the outer ear. The skin cycle in people with psoriasis accelerates causing dead skin cells to pile up over the skin forming white scaly patches. It is no different when it happens in the case of this happens in this areas.

People with this form of psoriasis will have dry flaky skin around this area. Underneath the crusty patches one may also notice some redness. People with psoriasis may also have dry skin behind ears too as the condition can spread to the rest of the face and neck. The opposite is also true.

c. Seborrheic dermatitis

This condition could affect the ears the same way it leaves skin dry and flaky on other parts it affects say the scalp. In some instances, seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff as it is commonly known may affect, the ears and eyebrows at the same time. You may, therefore, see flaking skin around these areas.

2.Excessive cleaning

Sometimes,  being too thorough about cleaning your ears frequently may strip their natural oils. The production of

Wax may not be able to keep up with how fast one is removing it and the skin inside the canal may become dry and start peeling. It may  cause itching too.

3. Hearing aids

Hearing aids may rub against the skin in this area causing it to dry, flake and be itchy

How to get rid of dry skin in ears – treatments

The best treatment for will depend on the cause. In other words, what causes this problem is what needs to be addressed first to successfully treat the problem.

For example, if your hearing aid is the one to blame for this condition, then having the mold checked and probably changed will solve the problem.

Dry scaly ears as a result of a skin condition will also cure once the specific skin condition is treated. It is advisable to see a dermatologist to prescribe the best treatment for eczema,  psoriasis or dandruff in this area.

It is important that you do not use cotton buds or q tips often on your ears as you may strip them of natural lubrication. If the wax build up is a real concern for you,  it is safer to approach an ENT specialist who can carry out a professional clean up. He will also recommend how often you will need a cleanup.

Some people scratch their ears out of nervousness and anxiety. This may irritate the skin around the area including earlobe, and one may end up with some scabs if the scratching is frequent and vigorous. To avoid this, make a conscious effort to not scratch, or poke objects at them.

Home remedies

The following remedies will cure the dryness, crustiness, itchiness:

Garlic and Olive Oil

By know, the whole world knows garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. In this remedy, we are relying on its antibacterial properties to combat dry skin in ears. Crush some garlic cloves and mix in a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat this mixture gently till you see it begin to bubble then leave to cool.

Use this remedy as natural eardrops by applying with a dropper.

Olive Oil

In cases where it is not producing enough wax, you can use olive oil to act as the natural lubricant and ease the dryness. Apply two drops of pure olive oil using a dropper every time you feel the dryness.


Dilute vinegar mixed with some rubbing alcohol has been used as an effective ear dryness treatment.

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