Pimple In Ear

Pimples can occur in or near the ear like any other body part. Pimples developing at such awkward locations can cause more pain, annoyance, and discomfort than other body parts. In severe situations, they may also lead to a loss of hearing and pain in the jaw.

In this article, we'll explore what ear pimples symptoms are, their causes, and effective treatments to treat and prevent pimples. By understanding the nature of pimples inside the ear and caring for them, you can ease the pain and discomfort and reduce the possibility of their recurrence.

What Are Ear Pimples?

According to Alan Parks, a board-certified dermatologist in Ohio and founder of DermWarehouse, ear pimples take one of two forms. One form is blackheads inside the ears, and another is more inflamed cysts called pimples. When ear skin pores get blocked due to body oils, dead skin cells, or sweat, they can cause red pimples. 

However, ear pimples can be treated easily and are harmless, but when extreme, they can lead to infections or other complications. 

Symptoms Of Pimples In The Ear

Ear pimples can cause discomfort and concern, with a range of symptoms that may present. It is important to identify these symptoms and seek medical help if necessary. Common symptoms of ear pimples include:

  • Ear discomfort or pain.
  • Sore lump inside the ear canal or on the outer ear.
  • Pus inside the ear.

If the ear pain continues or the lump grows bigger, it is suggested to visit a general practitioner (GP). They may prescribe a topical medication to treat it. If a pimple extraction is required, you can visit a dermatologist who can perform the extraction.

Causes Of Pimples In The Ear

Pimples on any part of your skin are the development of clogged pores that are blocked by the formation of body oils, dead skin cells, and sweat. Here are some causes of pimple ears:

1. Formation of sebum, sweat, and dead skin cells.

The ear, like other body parts, can collect substances. This is more likely to happen in hot and humid weather or during exercise.

2. Use of Q-tips or removing incorrect earwax.

Using Q-tips or trying to remove earwax incorrectly can cause the ear wax to be driven further down the ear canal, leading to blockages and potentially causing pimples.

3. Use of dirty earphones, hearing aids, and earrings.

If these items aren't regularly cleaned, they can spread impurities to the ear skin, forming pimples.

4. Open to pollution or dirty environments.

Exposure to dust, dirt, and impurities in the air can lead to skin problems like pimples. Pores can become clogged with these particles, especially if you spend much time in a dirty environment.

5. Stress or hormonal imbalances.

When stressed out or our hormones are acting up, our skin can produce more oil than usual. This excess oil can clog our pores and cause pimples to form.

Several easy and simple ways exist to treat and prevent ear pimples. Here's what you need to know to tackle this tricky issue.

Areas Where Ear Pimples Commonly Occur

Pimples can occur in various areas in or around the ear. Some common areas include:

  • Earlobe: This area is sensitive to dirt, oil, and bacteria, particularly if you wear earrings frequently.
  • Back side of the ear: This area is sensitive to sweating, oils, and dead skin cells, which clog the pores and grow pimples. 
  • Inside the ear: Due to excessive wax build-up, bacterial growth, or poor hygiene, pimples occur inside the ear. These pimples can cause discomfort, pain, and itching in the ear.

How To Treat Pimples In The Ear?

If you notice a pimple formation in or around your ear, it is essential to handle it carefully to avoid any further irritation or infection. Some simple treatments include:

1. Warm Compress

Place a warm compress on your ear for a few minutes, which will help open pores and soften the blockage. A warm compress is believed to be an effective solution to promote the growth of the pimple, like pus, to rise to the surface.

2. Retinoids Cream

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, which have been widely used in dermatology to treat various types of acne breakouts. It is applied 20 minutes after washing your skin. It helps thin skin around a pimple by dissolving the outer layer called the stratum corneum.

3. Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that is easily available at the pharmacy. You can apply it with cotton to clear up acne breakouts visible on the outside of the ear. It kills skin bacteria and removes dead skin that causes blockages. Sometimes, it shows side effects, including dryness, skin irritation, redness, and flaking. Use benzoyl peroxide products with at least 5% benzoyl peroxide for the best results.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a plant-derived herbal oil with antibacterial and antifungal properties used to treat mild pimples. These properties reduce acne more gently and help soften blockages as well.

Remember, excess tea tree oil can lead to burning, redness, and itching. For skin treatments, use 5% strength. 

5. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a commonly used active ingredient in acne products. To apply the product, follow the instructions provided on the specific product and use a cotton swab. If instructed, gently clean away the product after application.

6. Garlic

Garlic can be used to treat an outer ear pimple. Take two peeled garlic cloves and heat them with mustard or sesame oil until the cloves turn black. Let them cool down. Apply this mixture with a cotton pad on the outer ear pimple, and clean the area after a few minutes. Repeat this process twice a day for best results.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt is a powerful natural treatment for treating pimples due to its antifungal, antibacterial, and probiotic properties. In addition, the high concentration of antioxidants in yogurt can significantly enhance skin tone.

8. OTC Treatments

There are a variety of OTC treatments available for different types of acne, including bumps filled with blood:

  • Topical retinoids: These medications, derived from vitamin A, reduce skin oil formation and control blocked pores. 
  • Salicylic acid: This effectively cures non-inflammatory acne by removing dead skin cells like black and whiteheads.
  • Prescription Medications
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotic liquids can be taken orally or applied topically to kill bacteria causing outbreaks effectively.
  • Birth control pills: Due to hormonal changes in women and teenagers, they are given birth control pills to help balance their hormones and improve their skin.
  • Isotretinoin: This oral retinoid is highly effective and typically prescribed for 4 to 5 months to achieve permanent acne clearance in many people. However, sometimes, it may cause severe side effects, so it is only prescribed to individuals with severe cystic acne.
  • Medical Procedures: If you have severe pimples in the ear canal, a doctor may recommend a medical procedure to improve your condition:
  • Drainage and extraction therapy: This process extracts fluids and debris from a cyst to lower the infection and soothe pain and inflammation. Medications may be injected to expedite healing.
  • Laser therapy: This therapy is an effective method for extracting acne-causing bacteria from the skin.
  • Microdermabrasion: In this process, the skin's top layer is removed via exfoliation to treat blackheads and whiteheads.

How to Prevent Pimples In The Ear?

Pimples arise surprisingly; still, there are a few things that prevent blood-filled ear pimples and other forms of acne:

  • Avoid pimples popping. It can spread infection and contribute to blood-filled spots.
  • Keep the face clean and dry, and avoid touching it again and again.
  • Always keep your skin healthy and clean. Wash your face twice daily using soap, cleanser, and warm water to remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and impurities. 
  • Avoid rough scrubs or fabrics to avoid irritation and discomfort, especially if you have sensitive or inflamed skin.
  • Regularly wash your pillow covers, towels, and other cloth items that you use on your face. 
  • Consider face makeup products that are gentle to use, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Do not use expired makeup. 
  • Keep your hair away from the face as hairs are greasy or contain oils, odors, and other products that rub the skin and clog pores.
  • Eat a nutrition-rich diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Limit intake of fatty, sugary, processed foods and alcohol. Acne may be triggered by intolerances to dairy and other foods in some individuals.
  • Deep breathing exercises and meditation reduce stress and anxiety.

Taking these precautions reduces the possibility of pimples developing in your ears as you will prevent dirt and bacteria in that area. 

Should You Pop Ear Pimples?

You should never try to pop your ear pimple; you can see your healthcare provider to extract it. If it is a mild pimple, let it resolve on its own. If you attempt to poop using your fingers or a tool, it may damage the ear canal. 

If popped incorrectly, it can push the pus deeper inside the ear canal, leading to obstruction, inflammation, and an ear infection. So, it's generally advised not to pop pimples as it can potentially lead to the movement of pus more profound into the pore and the formation of an abscess if the walls of the follicle are damaged.


Ear pimples are caused by the same factors as others, but their location often makes them more uncomfortable. A pimple in the ear can be annoying in the early stages. However, pimples behind the ears can be easily treated using home remedies like antibacterial products or a warm compress. If it is mild, they gradually go by themselves.

 If the above remedies do not work for you and are extremely painful or worsen, you can visit a skin specialist or dermatologist who will help you extract them. Avoid popping ear pimples by yourself. 


1. Can an ear infection cause pimples?

Ans: If you experience a painful pimple in your ear canal, it may be an infection affecting a specific spot, making your ear swell, and you may have trouble hearing. 

2. Why do I get pimples in my ear? 

Ans: Pimples can occur in your ear due to the accumulation of oil glands producing sebum, which can clog pores and cause cysts.

3. How long do ear pimples last?

Ans: An ear pimple will heal in a few days if cleaned carefully and gently. It can take weeks if repeatedly touched or squeezed, and the pimple can last even a month or more. 

4. Why are ear pimples so painful?

Ans: Ear pimples are painful because the skin is tight, and more importantly, there's cartilage. 

5. How to get rid of a pimple in your ear overnight?

Ans: If you want immediate relief, you can warm compresses or try some pimple treatments containing benzoyl peroxide as they fight pimple-causing bacteria.

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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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