Pimples Behind The Ears – Causes, 6 Home Remedies, And Prevention Tips

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Jyoti Gupta, Dermatologist, MD
Written by Shaheen Naser

Have you ever felt an itchy sensation behind your ear, only to feel a painful lump? An inflamed lump (or a pimple) behind your ear could be the result of an infection in your skin pores.

In most cases, pimples behind ears are not a matter of concern. However, they can get quite painful and need extra care and treatment. In this article we have listed certain home remedies that can help treat those painful little lumps behind your ears.

What Causes Pimples Behind Ears?

Pimples occur when the skin pores get clogged by dead cells and are infected by microbes.

Other factors that may contribute to this condition include:

  • Poor hygiene habits
  • Excessively dry or humid weather conditions
  • Friction due to spectacles
  • Ingrown hair
  • Ear piercing
  • Comedogenic cosmetics
  • Diet (sugary foods, especially, which can aggravate acne)

Pimples behind your ears can be quite painful, and you would want to treat them quickly. Though medical attention could be important in certain cases, the following home remedies may help supplement your treatment. Make sure you consult your doctor to understand which remedy may work for you.

Home Remedies To Treat Pimples Behind Ears

1. Cold Compress

Studies show that repeated application of an ice pack/cold compress helps treat inflammation. It can achieve this by constantly drawing out heat from the skin (1). This can help reduce inflammation behind the ear.

You Will Need

A cold compress

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply the cold compress to your acne lesion and hold it there for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Remove and repeat three times in short, regular intervals.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times daily.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (2). These properties may help fight the microbes that cause the pimples.

You Will Need
  • 5% tea tree oil
  • Cotton swabs
What You Have To Do
  1. Dip a cotton swab in 5% tea tree oil.
  2. Apply it to your pimple and leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

3. Egg White And Honey

Anecdotal evidence suggests that egg whites reduce the size of skin pores and tighten the skin. This could help improve skin appearance. Honey has antibacterial properties (3). These properties may help fight the pimple-causing bacteria.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of egg white
  • ½ teaspoon of honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend a teaspoon of egg white.
  2. Add half a teaspoon of honey and blend again.
  3. Apply this mixture to the affected area and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wash off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2-3 times daily.

4. Yogurt And Oatmeal

Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (4). It was found to be useful in treating acne eruptions. Though more studies are needed to understand the efficacy of oatmeal in this regard, you may use it for pimple treatment.

Yogurt contains probiotics that may help reduce acne (5).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of oatmeal
  • ½ teaspoon of honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a teaspoon each of yogurt and oatmeal. You can also add a little honey to the mixture.
  2. Apply the paste directly to the pimple.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

5. Garlic

Garlic contains antimicrobial properties (6). These may help fight the pimple-causing bacteria and soothe the infected skin.

You Will Need

A minced garlic clove

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply minced garlic directly to the pimple behind the ear.
  2. Initially, leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off. After a week or so, you may leave it on overnight.
  3. Those with sensitive skin may dilute the minced garlic with some water before application.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

6. Citrus Juice

All citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin C. Applying citrus juice to your pimple can help reduce inflammation and protect against the pimple-causing bacteria (7).

You Will Need
  • A few drops of any citrus fruit juice (juice of orange, lemon, or lime)
  • Cotton swab
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak a cotton swab in the citrus fruit juice.
  2. Gently press it to your pimple.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

These remedies may help treat the pimples behind your ears. But if your condition persists, consult a doctor immediately. In the following section, we have discussed what you can do to prevent the recurrence of pimples behind the ears.

Prevention Tips

  • Do not pop the pimple as this will aggravate the infection.
  • Follow good hygiene.
  • Scrub your skin once a week to prevent ingrown hair.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Follow a well-balanced diet.
  • Reduce your intake of sugar and processed foods.

These prevention tips can help promote overall skin health. The remedies discussed in the article may offer relief, but none of them are backed by concrete scientific research.

When To See A Doctor

If the pimples grow larger and become more painful, please visit your healthcare provider immediately. Test for any underlying condition and ask for the prescribed medications. Prompt action can help resolve the issue at the earliest.

Pimples behind the ears, most often, do not pose any serious threat. The right treatment can help ease the pain and symptoms in a matter of days. But should your symptoms persist or get worse, ensure you visit your nearest hospital. In some rare cases, these little lumps could be a sign of an underlying condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does shampoo cause acne?

If the shampoo you use is comedogenic, it may clog your skin pores. This can lead to acne lesions over time.


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Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.