4 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads In Your Ears

Written by Swathi E , Certified Skin Care Coach

What comes to your mind when you think of blackheads? You probably think of the tiny black bumps on your face. But, have you ever checked your ears for blackheads? Yes, they can form in your ears too. You can remove them, but it is not as easy as treating acne.

So, what are the options available to remove blackheads? Learn all about what causes blackheads in the ears and how to get rid of them in this article. Keep reading!

What Are Blackheads?

Blackheads are the tiny black bumps that form on your skin when dead cells and dirt clog the pores and block sebum. This build-up in the sebaceous glands produces bumps on the skin (1). The clogged material oxidizes when exposed to air (as the top of the pores is open) and turns black.

Blackheads can form anywhere on the body, especially if you have oily skin. But they are commonly seen on the chin, nose, and forehead. But, your ears are no exception.

Why do blackheads form in your ear? Let’s hear it from an expert. Keep scrolling!

What Causes Blackheads In Your Ears?

Dr. Robin Evans, a board-certified dermatologist, says blackheads in the ears are common in people with acne-prone skin. “It is especially common in those who have blackheads on other parts of the face as well,” she says.

The skin inside your ear has hundreds of microscopic hair follicles and glands that produce oil and earwax. These substances make the skin more susceptible to blackheads. Genetic factors, different immune responses, hormonal fluctuations, and stress could also be factors that can increase clogged pores, though more research is required to prove the same.

Most of you may know how to remove blackheads from your face. But, what about your ears? Scroll down to find out.

How To Get Rid Of Blackheads From The Ears?

There are some simple things you can do to remove the blackheads in your ears.

1. Wash Your Ears Regularly

Wash your ears daily to remove the dirt, excess oil, and other impurities.
You can use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid–an effective and safe solution for acne lesions (2).

  • Rub your ears with a cotton ball soaked in the cleanser.
  • Wipe it off with a clean cotton ball and rinse your ears.
  • Tilt your head to the side to prevent the cleanser from dripping into your inner ear.

2. Exfoliate Your Ears

Exfoliation helps you remove the dead skin cells that are clogging your pores. Exfoliators containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acids are effective in treating acne-related issues (3), (4).

  • Take some exfoliant on your finger and rub it gently onto the blackheads in your ear. Leave it on for 2-3 minutes.
  • Wipe it off with a clean cotton ball or a soft cloth.
  • Exfoliate your ears once a week.

3. Use Acne Medications

Use acne medications or topical antibiotics like retinoids and adapalene for recurrent blackheads (5).

Dr. Robin Evans says, “The topical medications target the keratin build-up that causes blackheads.” They are available at 0.3% formulation (gel) as prescription medications and 0.1% formulation (cream) as over-the-counter products. “Though the stronger is more effective, one could try the over-the-counter product to get started with the treatment,” she adds.

4. Extract The Blackheads

Consider removing the blackheads with an extraction tool if these methods do not work. This tool helps you to release the oil within the affected pores.

Manual extractions are quite difficult to do on yourself. Hence, Dr. Evans advises getting an experienced medical professional to perform this procedure. A professional will know how much pressure to apply on the skin, at which angle, and the safety precautions to be taken.

Blackheads may occur even after you remove them. So, you should know how to prevent them. Keep scrolling for a list of tips you can follow.

How To Prevent Blackhead Formation In Your Ears

Keeping your ears clean and free of excess oil is important to prevent the formation of blackheads. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Clean your ears daily with a cotton ball or a soft cloth.
  • Avoid touching your ears frequently as it can trigger a breakout.
  • Clean everything that comes in contact with your ears weekly, including your mobile phone and pillowcases. This helps avoid the build-up of dirt and bacteria in your ears.
  • Use only non-comedogenic skin care products.
  • Keep your unwashed hair tied back to prevent the oil from transferring into your ears.
  • Do not pop blackheads with your nails or pins as it can cause irritation and further breakouts. It may also cause an infection.
  • Do not apply acne products more often than recommended. This may dry out your skin and lead to excess oil production, this causing more blackheads.

Wondering at what you should consult a dermatologist? Find out in the next section.

When Should You See A Dermatologist?

Visit a dermatologist if none of the methods mentioned above work for you. As stated earlier, it is always recommended to visit a dermatologist to remove blackheads with an extraction tool.

Moreover, self-extraction of blackheads from the ear can be painful. The ear cartilage is sensitive. A dermatologist will loosen the blackheads with a pointed scalpel blade and extract them with a cotton tip applicator. They can also prescribe medicines to remove as well as prevent blackheads.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your ears free of excess oil and dirt is the first step to preventing or removing blackheads. So, wash your ears regularly and exfoliate them once a week. You can also use acne medications to remove blackheads. If none of these steps show results, visit a dermatologist to get them extracted.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

1. Does blackhead removal in the ears hurt?

No, blackhead removal in the ears does not hurt. However, it may cause pain and further breakouts if you try to extract them by yourself. So, visit an experienced professional.

2. Can you use essential oils to treat blackheads in the ears?

You can use essential oils like tea tree oil to treat blackheads in the ear. Dilute it with any carrier oil and apply it as a cleanser. Rinse it off after 5 minutes. Applying it regularly may help unclog the pores.

3. How do get rid of blackheads in your ears overnight?

Usually, people use pore strips to remove blackheads overnight. However, it will be difficult to use them on your ears. So, it is better to get them extracted by a professional.


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. Acne: Overview
  2. Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads
  3. Novel retinoid ester in combination with salicylic acid for the treatment of acne
  4. Two is better than one: The combined effects of glycolic acid and salicylic acid on acne-related disorders
  5. Management of acne

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