How To Get Rid Of Pimple In Ear – Easy DIY Methods

Get to the roots of those pesky ear zits and use a few natural remedies to treat them.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP
By Kushneet Kukreja

Pimples on the face are bad enough without worrying about pimples forming in the ears. Yes, it happens and isn’t very uncommon either. Luckily, you can get rid of a pimple in the ear medicinally, or if you prefer otherwise, through natural remedies.

Sebaceous cysts are the medical term for ear pimples, sometimes known as ear zits or ear bumps (1). Ear pimples can appear anywhere on the external ear, pop up behind your ear, or even inside the ear canal. A pimple is a common skin ailment caused by excessive oil (sebum) released from the skin’s oil glands. This excess oil attracts dead skin cells on the outer skin surface and clogs your pores. It also traps germs and fungi that are prevalent in the area. As a result, a lump or pimple develops that may or may not include pus. A pimple can also contain blood, resulting in bloody ear discharge (2), (3).

We talk more in detail about why ear pimples develop and some processes you can use to get rid of them in this article. Keep reading to know more about it.

What Causes Pimples In The Ear

A pimple or zit in the ear can become uncomfortable and can also cause obstruction in hearing. This is especially the case when the pimple forms in the ear canal, where it can become very painful as well. Usually, the pimples that form on the outer ear are painless.

Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes for an ear pimple.

Otitis Externa

Commonly called as swimmer’s ear, this ailment can occur due to swimming in unclean water. The bacteria present in the water cause infection of the outer ear and in the ear canal. Other reasons for this include scratching the ear with unclean objects or a tiny object stuck inside the ear (4).

Infection Due To Piercing

Irritation due to piercings can lead to the formation of a small bump on the earlobe or in the ear canal, next to the piercing. The dirt, wax, and oil are major components of this. This bump that has formed can develop into a pimple or a boil, and can also become painful (5).

Poor Hygiene

The ear canal is sensitive and should not be poked with pins, toothpicks, or any sharp objects. This can lead to infections. Also, unwashed hands, dirty earphones, and unwashed hair can introduce harmful bacteria to the ear. Here, they grow and cause pimples. Irritation from the earphones’ material can also cause bumps in the ear (6).

Image: Shutterstock

Hormonal Changes

Changes in the hormone levels in the body can also result in the formation of ear zits, especially in women (3).

Keloid Bump

A bump of fibrous tissue is formed at the site of injury and looks like a scar. This is called a keloid and is usually seen near ear piercings. Medical advice is recommended for their treatment and removal (5).

Other Causes

Chronic conditions such as cancer can also be responsible for the formation of pimples and bumps in the ear. The cancerous cells can be malignant or benign. Please consult your doctor if the bump in your ear does not heal in a week or so, and looks different from a normal pimple (7).

How To Get Rid Of Pimple In Ear

Ear pimples usually heal and disappear by themselves within a week or so. If you wish to fasten this process, you can use one of many methods listed below.

Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly with antiseptic liquid before touching the ear pimple. Unclean hands can cause the infection to develop further. Read on to know how you can easily get rid of a pimple in the ear.

Method A: Get Rid Of Pimples Medicinally

  1. Rubbing Alcohol
  2. Witch Hazel
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Neosporin
  5. Acne Cream
  6. Oil-Free Cleanser

Method B: Natural Remedies For Ear Pimples

  1. Garlic
  2. Basil
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Tea Tree Oil
  5. Onion
  6. Olive Oil
  7. Black Tea
  8. Hot Compress

Method A: Get Rid Of Pimples Medicinally

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swab

What You Have To Do

Dip the swab in the alcohol and gently clean your ear and surrounding areas, especially near the pimple.

When You Need To Do This

Clean with alcohol twice a day.

Why This Works

Alcohol acts as an antiseptic agent and prevents the spread of the infection (8).

Caution

Do not put too much pressure on the pimple.

2. Witch Hazel

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Witch hazel
  • Cotton ball or swab

What You Have To Do

  • Dip the cotton ball in witch hazel and remove the excess solution.
  • Apply this gently on the pimple and surrounding areas.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Witch hazel has antimicrobial properties and helps in treating the infection that has caused the pimple (9).

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  • Soak the cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide for a minute. Remove and squeeze out the excess solution.
  • Dab the cotton ball over the pimple a couple of times.

When You Need To Do This

Apply hydrogen peroxide to the pimple a few times a day.

Why This Works

Hydrogen peroxide not only kills the bacteria but also hastens the process of getting rid of the pimple. It has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (10).

4. Neosporin

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Neosporin gel

What You Have To Do

Apply the gel on the pimple and let it dry.

When You Need To Do This

Do this two to three times a day.

Why This Works

Neosporin helps in treating the infection and also drying up the pimple, as a result of which it heals faster (11).

5. Acne Cream

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Acne cream containing 2-10% benzoyl peroxide

What You Have To Do

Apply the cream on the affected area and let it be.

When You Need To Do This

Do this twice to thrice a day.

Why This Works

The benzoyl peroxide present in the acne cream is an antiseptic agent and kills the bacteria causing the infection. Acne creams also contain other components that help in quick healing of the pimple (12).

6. Oil-Free Cleanser

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Oil-free soap or cleanser that contains salicylic acid
  • Hot water

What You Have To Do

  • Wash the pimple gently with hot water. Keep the temperature of the water as high as you can bear it, but scalding hot.
  • Now, wash the pimple with the oil-free cleanser.
  • If your pimple is inside the ear, use a hot washcloth and Q-tip to wash it.

When You Need To Do This

Do this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Salicylic acid present in the oil-free cleanser helps to unclog the pores and heals the pimple faster (13).

Method B: Natural Remedies For Ear Pimples

7. Garlic

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  • Lightly press the garlic cloves and heat them in the oil.
  • Warm the mixture on low heat till the cloves turn black. Strain the oil and let it cool to lukewarm temperature.
  • Apply this oil on the pimple on the outer ear and leave it. For a pimple inside the ear, pour two to three drops of the oil in the ear, and let it stay in there for a couple of minutes.

When You Need To Do This

Do this twice a day.

Why This Works

Garlic has antibacterial properties and is also commonly used to treat pain (14). The pain will reduce, and the ear zit will soon disappear by using this method.

Stylecraze Says
You can also use raw minced garlic or dilute it with water and apply it to your pimple.

8. Basil

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • A handful of basil leaves
  • Cotton ball or dropper

What You Have To Do

  • Crush the basil leaves to extract their juice.
  • With the help of a cotton ball, apply this juice to the ear pimple and surrounding area.
  • You can pour two drops of the basil juice for a pimple inside the ear canal.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Basil is an age-old herb that has been used to treat infections because of its antibacterial properties (15). It is an excellent home remedy to treat ear pimples.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  • Soak the cotton ball in vinegar and wipe it over the pimple.
  • Leave it on for a minute or two. Wash with water.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this three to four times a day.

Why This Works

ACV acts as an astringent and has antibacterial properties. It treats the infection and also opens up the clogged pores (16). This helps in getting quick relief from the pimple.

10. Tea Tree Oil

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  • 9 teaspoons water
  • Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  • Dilute the tea tree oil with water and mix well.
  • Apply this to the pimple with the help of a cotton ball and let it be.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Applying it on the pimple will help in quicker relief from the infection and also aid faster healing (17).

11. Onion

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 onion
  • Cheesecloth

What You Have To Do

  • Cut the onion in half and heat for a half a minute to one minute on the gas stove or in the microwave.
  • Wrap the cheesecloth around one of the halves and place this on the infected ear for 10 minutes, or till the onion cools down.

You can also extract juice from a crushed onion and apply on the ear pimple or pour two to three drops in the ear.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this two to three times a day.

Why This Works

Onions are known to kill all microbes around them and also absorb the harmful chemicals (18). When you use an onion to get rid of an ear pimple, you not only treat the current pimple but also prevent recurrent infections.

12. Olive Oil

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Olive oil
  • Dropper

What You Have To Do

  • Warm the olive oil and with the help of the dropper, pour two to three drops into the ear.
  • You can also apply it topically on the ear with the help of a cotton ball.

When You Need To Do This

Do this two to three times a day.

Why This Works

The warm oil dissolves the wax and the dirt at the site of the pimple and opens up the pores (6). This helps in quicker healing of the ear zit.

13. Black Tea

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Black tea bag
  • Hot water
  • Warm washcloth

What You Have To Do

  • Dip the tea bag in hot water for a minute. Remove the excess water and place this on the pimple.
  • You can additionally cover with a warm compress or warm washcloth. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.

When You Need To Do This

Do this twice a day.

Why This Works

The tannins present in the tea along with the warmth of the hot water help in reducing inflammation (19).

14. Hot Compress

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Hot water
  • Washcloth

What You Have To Do

  • Soak the cloth in the hot water, take out and wring out the excess water from it.
  • Place this warm compress on the pimple for 10-15 minutes.

When You Need To Do This

Repeat this three to four times a day.

Why This Works

The warmth of the washcloth helps in the quicker head formation of the pimple, after which, it is easy to pop it. This also helps to relieve the inflammation in the affected area (20).

Stylecraze Says
Ensure that you clean your headphones and sports headgear properly to reduce the risk of developing pimples in the ear.

How To Pop A Painful Pimple In Your Ear

When it comes to popping that disgusting and annoying pimple in your ear, there is only one piece of advice – “Don’t do it!” Popping a pimple may introduce more bacteria to the site and cause further complications, and even sepsis. It can be very painful and in the case where you are unsuccessful in popping it, the pimple might become bigger and lead to scarring when it finally heals.

A pimple in the ear, though harmless, might seem bothersome. Infections, poor hygeine, ear piercing, and hormonal changes can all lead to a pimple inside the ear. Although OTC medicines and ointments can help you treat it, you can try the above- mentioned home remedies to get rid of the pimple in your ear. Onion, olive oil, warm compress, garlic, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar are some common ingredients that can help you ease the discomfort. These not only help heal the pimple but prevent further breakouts as well. Consult a doctor In case the symptoms persist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can AirPods cause ear pimples?

Yes. AirPods can cause bacteria buildup in your ears and cause ear pimples.

Can you put coconut oil for ear pimples?

Yes. Applying coconut oil to ear pimples may help treat them because of its anti-bacterial properties (21).

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Benign ear cyst or tumor
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001033.htm
  2. Pimples
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0025360/
  3. Acne
    https://medlineplus.gov/acne.html
  4. Swimmer’s ear
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000622.htm
  5. Common complications of body piercing
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071670/
  6. Outer Ear Infection: What Helps If Earwax Builds Up
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279354/
  7. Cutaneous lesions of external ear
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2267455/
  8. Antiseptics and Disinfectants: Activity Action and Resistance
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88911/
  9. Novel strategies to combat bacterial virulence
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859961/
  10. Antibacterial activity of hydrogen peroxide and the lactoperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-thiocyanate system against oral streptococci.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC186138/
  11. Neosporin Original
    https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=76d1c487-8974-4fe1-a874-d7313c960456&type=display
  12. Topical antibacterial therapy for acne vulgaris
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15481998/
  13. Salicylic acid treats acne vulgaris by suppressing AMPK/SREBP1 pathway in sebocytes
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30972839/
  14. Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinale rhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609356/
  15. Antimicrobial Activity of Various Extracts of Ocimum Basilicum L. and Observation of the Inhibition Effect on Bacterial Cells by Use of Scanning Electron Microscopy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816579/
  16. Natural Homemade Skin Care Recipes
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=TcrqzQQHQHQC&pg=PA68&dq=apple+cider+vinegar+for+pimple&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQkKeSjvfLAhUBCI4KHfUpDOoQ6AEIMzAA#v=onepage&q=apple%20cider%20vinegar%20for%20pimple&f=false
  17. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/
  18. Antibacterial antidermatophytic and antitoxigenic activities of onion (Allium cepa L.) oil
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7600010/
  19. Tannins from Foods to Combat Diseases
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277029056_Tannins_from_Foods_to_Combat_Diseases
  20. Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy
    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Gl1nAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA126&dq=hot+compress+for+ear+pimple&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjLstStkPfLAhXIB44KHZpcDHMQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=hot%20compress%20for%20ear%20pimple&f=false
  21. Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19134433/
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Kushneet holds a postgraduate degree in biotechnology from Kingston University, London, and is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness &... more

Dr. Priya Gill

(MBBCH, MRCP)
Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical... more

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