Psoriasis in the ears can cause irritated, dry skin. The buildup of scales or wax can even lead to temporary hearing loss. If you’re having hearing issues, seek medical help before inserting anything into your ears.

Psoriasis is a relatively common, chronic skin condition. It can occur in both children and adults, although it’s most commonly diagnosed in early adulthood.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the skin’s life cycle to accelerate. Dead skin cells rapidly accumulate, creating rough, dry, red patches or scales that can itch or hurt.

Over 7.5 million U.S. adults have psoriasis, making it one of the most prevalent diseases of its kind in the country.

Pain or itching on the skin around your ear, on the earlobe, or inside the ear canal can be a sign you might have psoriasis. If this is the case, you might notice a buildup of skin scales or wax in the external area of your ear, or you may also develop patches of affected skin on or near your ears.

Read on to learn what psoriasis symptoms you may experience around your ears, how that can affect your daily life, and what treatments are available.

You might have psoriasis if you notice consistent pain or itching on the skin around your ear. The National Psoriasis Foundation says psoriasis usually occurs in the external ear canal.

Regardless of where on your ear it occurs, you may have a buildup of scales or wax, making it difficult to hear.

Your psoriasis symptoms might include:

  • small or large areas of irritated skin that won’t heal
  • dry or cracked skin that bleeds
  • temporary hearing loss from blocked ears

You may also have nails with pits or ridges and joints that feel swollen or rigid, a symptom of psoriatic arthritis.

It’s common for psoriasis in the ear to spread to the face. You might notice it around your eyes, mouth, and nose. A small number of people may even find psoriasis on their gums, tongue, or the inside of their cheeks and lips.

In general, it’s not known what exactly causes any psoriasis — of the ear or otherwise.

The National Psoriasis Foundation, as well as research, notes there’s a genetic component that increases your likelihood of getting psoriasis. But not everyone who has that genetic link actually develops the condition.

But for people with psoriasis, a variety of things may trigger skin symptoms around the ear or elsewhere, including:

Consider keeping a written log to determine which triggers make your skin flare up. You might also discuss this with your healthcare team if you’re concerned about psoriasis flares in or near your eyes or anywhere else.

Read more about psoriasis causes.

If you have never been diagnosed with psoriasis before, a primary doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for treatment.

There are several methods for treating psoriasis in the ear. Some treatment options may be better suited for you than others.

Talk with a doctor about your treatment options. You’ll want to consider your symptom severity and any medication allergies you may have.

Natural treatments

There’s no cure for psoriasis, but at-home treatments can help you manage ear psoriasis.

Research from 2015 found that jojoba oil can be beneficial for easing skin affected by psoriasis. Olive oil may be another option due to its moisturizing, antioxidant, and vitamin-rich properties. However, no extensive research has been done into its effectiveness for this condition.

You can try the following two-step process for using a natural oil for psoriasis:

  1. Using an over-the-counter (OTC) ear cleansing kit, squirt a small amount of warm distilled water into your ear.
  2. Then, apply a thin layer of jojoba oil to external areas with a cotton ball.

Evidence suggests that herbal medications, when used with traditional therapies, are more effective at treating psoriasis than traditional medicines alone.

Extracts from the mahonia bush (Mahonia aquifolium), aloe vera, and indigo naturalis are ingredients regularly used in holistic psoriasis ointments.

Manual extraction

Doctors can use a small tool for impacted ear canals to remove the excess skin blocking your hearing.

Never insert anything into your ear at home. You could damage your eardrum and risk hearing loss.

Topical medications

Various nonsteroidal medications can be applied to the skin for more mild forms of psoriasis. Calcipotriol (Dovonex), or a combination of betamethasone and calcipotriene (Taclonex), is often used on the ear.

These medications work by slowing skin growth and flattening existing lesions. They also provide pain and itch relief.

While medications can provide relief of psoriasis symptoms, autoimmune suppressing drugs can lead to side effects such as headaches. Topical medications such as Zoryve and VTAMA may offer relief and less risk of side effects.


Your doctor might prescribe a liquefied steroid formula (such as a Lidex solution) to be dripped into your ear canal. This medication can also be applied to the outer skin, depending on the location of the affected area.

A steroid is frequently used in combination with other medications for enhanced effectiveness.

Though it’s not as common as it is for adults, children and infants can develop psoriasis. It generally tends to be less severe in children.

Most children with psoriasis will develop a few patches that may be easily addressed with treatment.

But mild symptoms aren’t always the case. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above developing around your child’s ear and scalp area, visit their pediatrician for guidance.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition, meaning you will have to manage it throughout life. But you can find relief with treatments such as those listed above.

Over time, you may notice that your skin responds to different triggers.

Left untreated, psoriasis of the ear can lead to temporary hearing loss and become increasingly uncomfortable. You can visit your healthcare team to get quick relief.


What is the difference between psoriasis and eczema?


Psoriasis is a skin disease that occurs when cells in the outer layer of the skin reproduce faster than usual and pile up on the skin’s surface. This produces scaling and irritation of the skin. Psoriasis isn’t contagious.

Eczema is more of a general term. It encompasses various inflamed skin conditions. One of the most common forms of eczema is atopic dermatitis (or “atopic eczema”). Approximately 10–20% of the world’s population is affected by this chronic, relapsing, and very itchy rash during childhood. Many children with eczema find that the disease clears and disappears with age.

Dr. Steve KimAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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