Child Complains of Having Hot Ears

Patient : My 5-year-old son complains of having hot ears. This has been going on for about 9 months. He licks his hands and puts the spit on his ears to cool them down or puts cold water on his ears. It's quite disgusting. A doctor at a clinic we went to said he does it to get attention, but I stopped responding to the behavior months ago and he still does it. I've heard of this being lactose-related. Is there anything to this or is there any other reason this might be happening and what can I do about it?
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