Treatment of Dry, Flaky Ears

Patient

Q: My ears continue to be dry and flaky. they do not itch. What can I do?

Doctor

A:   Flaky skin inside the ear canals is usually a symptom of seborrhoeic dermatitis, a dermatological condition that may be caused by stress, a yeast known as malassezia, cold winter weather and, in some cases, from chronic systemic illness. They could also be due to skin allergy from shampoos, lotions or any other substances you use around your ears.To eliminate flaky skin due to seborrheic dermatitis, I would recommend over the counter shampoo that contains pyrithione, ketoconazole or selenium sulfide as an active ingredient. Apply the shampoo onto the ear for several minutes and rinse thoroughly. If this does not help, consult your doctor, who may prescribe a combination of topical prescription treatments containing ketoconazole and and a low potency corticosteroid.

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