Pimples on the earlobe can be painful, annoying and downright mysterious. There are many factors that can lead to them, so you are just kept questioning your actions, is it the piercing, is it simply a bacterial infection, or is it an indicator of a deeper problem-say a kidney failure?
Whereas we are used to experiencing acne on the forehead, chin, or other regions of the face, developing a zit on the earlobe is not an uncommon occurrence.
What causes them or why they appear here
Developing a pimple on the earlobe can be as a result of bacteria occurring around this area. These bacteria cause infection leading to the development of a pimple. If you have ever experienced or an experiencing a pimple on the earlobe, then you may be facing some distinct pain emanating from that region. This pain is as a result of the thin layer of skin on this part of the body. Since it thin, the cartilage may experience inflammation which in turn triggers the pain.
Similar to the face, the skin here also contains the sebaceous glands. These glands release oil for lubricating it and for protection. However, it is also susceptible to pore blockage due to bacteria buildup. This buildup ultimately leads to infection.
The products used on the hair can also trigger the development of pimples on earlobe, neck and hairline. The chemicals on hair conditioners, gels, and hair sprays can irritate the skin leading to zits developing in these areas.
Habits such as unconsciously touching them, or the use of helmets can worsen things.
Aside from poor hygiene and harsh hair care products, there are medical conditions that can lead to bumps on the earlobe. Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear) is one such condition that can lead to the swelling and inflammation. This condition is an inflammation or infection of the external auditory canal. Other symptoms associated with Otitis include occasional fever, itching, and discharge. Otitis externa is common in people who have a history of irritating the ear, for example, through forceful cleaning it. Also, the frequent exposure to water in the canal can lead to the condition.
Other conditions that can lead to the development of pimples-like on the earlobe include non-cancerous exostoses or neoformations,
Ear piercings can trigger pimple-like bumps near or around the pierced site i.e., piercings may irritate the cartilage or the earlobe leading to the development of small bumps. The piercing can get infected and if left unchecked, can develop to a bigger problem.
Can it be an earlobe cyst?
An earlobe cyst/epidermoid cyst also can have the appearance of a pimple, or a dome shaped lump. It is caused by the accumulation of epidermal cells. These cells build up and form a lump on the ear.
Cysts can be inherited. Also, they can form due to damage of the hair follicles, or other skin injuries. Other risk factors that can trigger cysts include age (post-puberty), a history of pimples, or having a rare genetic disorder.
These cysts tend to be painless. It is the itching caused by the condition that is likely to draw your attention.
Treatment of these zits
Similar to our faces, the ears need to be cleaned at least twice a day. This cleaning involves taking a damp cloth and wiping the area. Earwax has a way of getting itself naturally out of the system through the jaw movements. Therefore, there is no need to use a cotton swab inside your canal to remove the earwax. Rather, use the cotton swab to clean the outside area only. The best way to deal with earwax build-up is to visit a doctor. Lastly, you can use a cotton swab dipped in witch hazel to clean it and prevent pore clogging.
There are home remedies that you can try out for treatment. First, ingredients such as honey, tea tree oil, turmeric, or aloe Vera can be used to treat the pimple. Simply take a cotton swab and apply a bit of aloe Vera on the infected area. Also, you can mix a bit of tea tree oil with some water and dab it on the pimple. Tea Tree and Aloe Vera are anti-inflammatory. Therefore they will aid the skin in reducing the inflammation and in the healing process. Honey is also a great ingredient when it comes to dealing with zits. Honey is antibacterial, rich in antioxidants, and helps in unclogging the pores. Just put a bit of honey on the infected area and give it time to heal.
If you have some turmeric in the kitchen, make a paste using water and some turmeric powder. Apply the paste on the pimple and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Do this daily until the pimple disappears.
Over-the-counter treatments can be used to treat the pimples on the earlobe. Go for creams containing salicylic acid, sulfur, tea tree, or benzoyl peroxide. Tretinoin is one of the popular topical treatment options for pimples on the earlobe. Other prescription drugs that your doctor can prescribe include ibuprofen/naproxen.
Hot compress can help with the healing process. Take a cotton pad, soak it in alcohol, place it on the lump and secure it using a cellophane. Lastly, take a hot compress and leave it on the affected area for about an hour. Repeat this several times a day.
Cases of severe bump on earlobe can be removed using surgical procedures. Here, the doctor may treat the pimple with corticosteroids. This injection helps reduce the bump. In other cases, the doctor may go for a surgical removal of the lump.
Maintaining a strict hygiene is the best strategy for preventing pimples on the earlobe. Make sure that you regularly clean the headphones, and helmet that you use.
Be cautious with the hair care products that you use. Overall, avoid greasy hair care products.
Pimples can also be an indicator of poor health, or a stressful lifestyle. Be sure to incorporate healthy foods, including vitamins such as Vitamin A, and C in your diet. Remember to hydrate and avoid stress.
Never try to pop or squeeze the pimple as this delays the healing process and could irritate the zit further.