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Rash Behind Ears

Rashes and infections are common disorders of the skin. Some may lead to underlying complications. What does rash behind ears signify? Know more about this in the following HealthHearty article.
Dhanashree Patane
Skin infections are not rare and new. There is no panic alarm in most cases. Acne, swelling, and other skin disorders keep making their rounds with the smallest of exposure. Many of us have experienced a rash behind ears. This skin eruption is often a complaint, seldom with any visible causes, which leaves many perplexed. A rash is not age or gender biased. At every stage, there may be a particular type of infection active that is most likely to attack. Rashes behind ears are not visible easily, but once on the checklist, it will surely create some pain and panic.
A rash may cause the skin to be swollen, inflamed, itchy, bumpy with granular texture, or even flaky. It can also change the color or texture of the skin. It is often caused by exposure to a virus or due to an infection. There may be certain internal causes that mey lead to the emergence of skin rashes, especially those that itch and burn. An ear rash can be present anywhere surrounding the ear, in the internal or the external region.
In the following sections, we will highlight the causes, symptoms and certain other facts about this condition.
A rash that affects the ear region will seldom be different than a regular skin rash. There may be spots, blisters, grainy bumps, or even small bumps behind ears. Sometimes they may be filled with fluid as well, causing itching and irritation accompanied by pain. The color of the skin behind the ear will be more pink and reddish in hue, and the area of the rash may also be inflamed. There may be small pimple-like formations, which may sometimes grow in number. A rash combined with any other illnesses like fever, vomiting, etc. apart from skin issues, hint that there may be an underlying complication.
Causes and Treatment
The most common causes for rash in the ear area have been compiled below. Moist areas are usually favorable for rashes and infections to grow. For most people, this may be the main cause of the rash.
  • It is a chronic skin condition, causing itching, redness, and inflammation.
  • Treatment includes oral and topical medicines, the doctor may advise certain precautions and guidelines for lifestyle changes too.
Fungal infections
  • Usually caused due to exposure to bacteria and virus, this causes redness, itching, and scaling of the skin.
  • Good hygiene and using antibacterial and antifungal ointments can help in dealing with infections; however, one must also see a doctor.
Heat Rash
  • It is associated with infections that are caused due to trapping of sweat and moisture that causes itchy ear rashes, and red, flaky, and bumpy skin.
  • The best treatment is to keep the skin dry. A mild rash needs home treatment like keeping the skin hydrated, using prickly heat powders, etc. More severe rashes need medical attention.
  • It may be atopic or contact dermatitis. Basically caused due to allergy to substances or irritation of certain chemicals, it leads to itching, inflammation, and redness as well.
  • Treatment will focus on minimizing the symptoms. Home treatments like ice packs, using humidifiers, keeping the skin moisturized and avoiding harsh soaps, perfumes, and over scrubbing the skin, as well as wearing light and soft clothes. The doctor may prescribe topical and oral medicines, antibiotics and other treatments like phototherapy depending on each case.
  • It causes redness, irritation and itching of the skin along with flaky and patchy skin that has silver and white scale-like formations on the skin layer.
  • Treatment is focused to prevent any further infections. Medicines that can be applied topically, like, creams and ointments are prescribed along with oral pills and injections. In certain cases, phototherapy may also be prescribed.
Bacterial meningitis
  • It is a bacterial infection and needs immediate treatment. A reddish to purple rash is a symptom of bacterial meningitis.
  • It needs immediate treatment as it may develop further complications and risks. The best treatment is to avoid this infection with vaccines. Other medicines like antibiotics, and symptom and pain-reducing drugs like sedatives are also advised.
  • It is a viral infection. A rash behind ears and on the forehead along with fever is a sign of measles. The rash appears like a patch of tiny flat pink spots.
  • It needs medical attention, and treatment is focused to relieve symptoms like fever and pain. Antibiotics may be prescribed typically for ear infections. Home treatments like salt water gargle, staying hydrated, cold compress, and adequate rest is also prescribed.
  • It is a contagious infection that causes itchy blisters, usually starting from the face, combined with fever, cough, and headache.
  • Treatment includes topical medicines and vaccination. Using antiviral medicines along with home care remedies like avoiding scratching the sores, increasing fluid intake, using anti-itch lotions and maintaining good hygiene, are some options that help in treating chickenpox.
Dry skin
  • Skin tends to be dry and itchy, which is usually caused due to many underlying conditions. The skin loses its moisture and causes scaling and itching.
  • Medical advice will determine the exact cause and the treatment thereof. Home remedies include keeping the skin moisturized, drinking plenty of water, using over-the-counter creams and lotions, etc.
Chronic Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)
  • It is caused due to the growth of bacteria and viruses on the fluid when it builds up in the middle of the ear. A rash may be a sign, along with drainage of pus, fever and chills, ear pain and fullness.
  • Depending on the symptoms, oral medication forms and other treatments are advised. Typically, using antibiotics to reduce pain and fever will be prescribed. Surgery to drain the excess fluid may also be suggested by the doctor. Home care like good rest and staying hydrated helps in better healing of this infection.
Otis Externa or Swimmers Ear
  • It is an inflammation of the ear canal and outer ear. A rash behind ear may be a sign along with itching.
  • Treatment includes antibiotics and antifungal medicines and drops, and hot compresses.
  • It is basically an infection of the hair follicle on the skin. It's an itchy rash on the skin accompanied with blisters, redness, and irritation.
  • Depending on the severity of the infection, the treatment may include antibiotics and antifungal medicines.
Apart from the above mentioned causes, there are other causes too that may be a reason of ear rashes. These include, HIV/AIDS, melanoma (skin cancer), erythema nodosum (a type of allergic skin condition), etc. It is wise to first visit a doctor and get the rash diagnosed. The above are only the possible causes, and can be confirmed only after examination by a medical expert. Test and diagnosis can reveal the exact underlying cause of the rash.
A moderate rash behind the ears is mostly caused due to an infection, so a good personal hygiene routine and care can deal with such rashes. For more complicated and severe conditions, a doctor's advice is mandatory.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.