Rash Behind Ear: Itchy, Causes, Remedy, Treatment

Rash behind ear can be very itchy red and painful. They may also look like small bumps behind the ear that are filled with fluid discharge depending on the cause. This can affect both children and adults. Among other causes listed below, eczema is also a major cause of rash behind the ear lobe.

They may be caused by simple allergic reaction or other serious underlying viral diseases in the body. Rash behind the ears in children or toddlers can become very itchy at night when they sweat especially when it is hot. This is because they have a soft skin that is easily irritated by sweat.

A rash may be defined as an inflammatory response that result in changes on the skin. There are cases were the rash behind the ear spread to the neck, cheeks. Sometimes they appear behind the ear and also in other parts of the body as well.

In some patients, rash behind the ear comes and goes but in some they won’t go away and tent to be permanent. Rash may also appear behind one ear or both ears. When the symptoms are detected, seek immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of rash behind ear in children and adults

Rash behind the ear are tied to many causes. Some are easy to predict while some are very complex. When rash behind the ear are identified, it is always best to let a dermatologist determine the exact cause so that the correct medication is administered in due time.

Baby rash and heat rash behind ear

Rash are common in infants, children, toddler or babies. Rash behind the ear in the first months of a new born baby may be red and irritating. Heat rash results from keeping the baby too warm and one of the most affected areas is behind the baby’s ears.

Measles

Measles mostly in children always start as rash behind the ear that are red. They tend to spread down to the rest of the body fast when left unattended. It is sometimes accompanied with fever, cough or a running nose. There is a vaccine called the MMR vaccination that can prevent it when a doctor is consulted in good time.

Rash behind ear, picture
Rash behind ear, picture

Chickenpox

Chickenpox rash behind the ear starts with tiny spots that are reddish and quickly develop into small blisters that are filled with fluids. They may also appear on other parts of the body like the neck, elbows, bum, and knees.

Itchy rash behind ear – Lice, bedbugs or mosquito bites

As much as this can happen on any part of the body, it may also happen only behind the ear. There is warmth and soft skin behind the ear and lice, bedbugs my pray on this area. Lice, bedbugs or mosquito bites may cause itchy bumps on the skin that may be infected if scratched.

Hair infections

Hair infections from dandruff, lice and scalp infections like Scalp psoriasis can cause rash behind the ear. This is common when the edges of the hair on the head just behind the ear is infected.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease causes a rash that may be from a tick bite. This can happen behind the ear or on any other parts of the body especially for kids or people that live on the country side were farming is done.

Tick bites cause a ring around the area that has been bitten with a rash that spreads rapidly on the area. If this is identified, seek medical help immediately for proper treatment.

Dry skin

Individuals with dry skin are vulnerable to skin infections including rash on the skin. Areas that are most affected include behind the ear. Hydration should be considered and if possible over the counter creams may also keep rash in check.

Swimming

Swimming has its effects and mostly affects individuals depending on their skin types. Some may develop the swimmer ear or rash around the ear. When rash are noticed after swimming sessions, it is important to consult a dermatologist. Antifungal or antibiotics may be administered in this case.

Yeast infection behind the ears

Yeast is present in everyone skins and has its biological functions at normal levels. When the yeast that live on the skin are in excess or over produced, they cause abnormal reactions like rash on the skin or a scaly skin that is greasy with yellow crust. It affects both children and adults

In most cases it affects the oily areas of the skin and this makes it one of the causes of rash behind ear. In some cases, it spreads around the ear with a reddish or yellowish skin. This may also be referred to as seborrheic dermatitis and can affect any age group.

After hot tub

After a spending time in a hot tub, you may get a red rash that is itchy behind the ear, on your chest or other parts of the body. This may be due to allergic reaction to some chemicals in the hot tub or just a simple reaction from the heat.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is condition were an individual is sensitive to gluten. Once anything that contains gluten is taken, the patient reacts to it. This sometimes come out as rash that may appear on other parts of the body including behind the ear.

Ear piercing

Some patients develop sash behind the ear or around the ear after piercing. In this cases Rash may appear only on one ear or both. In most cases it results from allergic reactions to chemicals used or if non-sterilized materials are used to pierce the ear.

Rash behind ear after a haircut

Rash behind the ear may appear after a haircut is done using unsterilized hair cut machines. This can cause bacterial or fungal infections either from the dirty tools or transferred from an infected individual whom the machine was used on earlier.

Ring Worm or Tinea Capitis

Ring worms or Tinea Capitis may also infect areas behind the ear and have symptoms like:

  1. Itchy feeling behind the ear
  2. Crusting forms on the skin behind the ear lobe and sometimes around it
  3. Scaling may be experienced
  4. Inflamed nodules
  5. Hair loss on areas behind the ear and other affected areas

The inflamed nodules may appear as rash behind the ear and neck but in some cases they are wider than pimples. They are best treated by a doctor’s microscopic examination. Anti-fungal may be prescribed in this case.

Skin Cancer

The skin behind the ear provides a good habitat or environment for precancerous infections and skin cancer infections. It is always warm, moist and dark. Due to the location of the ears, the area behind the ear is rarely hit by sunlight as well.

There are several types of skin cancer that may cause rash behind the ear and only a qualified skin dermatologist should diagnose this.

Symptoms of rash behind ear

Some symptoms directly relate to rash behind the ear while others are indications of other diseases in the body. It is important to consult a doctor early when some of this symptoms are detected to avoid the spread rash to other areas of the skin.

  • Swollen lymph nodes behind the ear normally relates with rash behind the ear like in cases of rubella or the German measles.
  • An itchy feeling behind the ear that when scratched turns the area red. Redness is a common symptom of rash behind the ear.
  • Small bumpy pimples appear behind the ear
  • Depending on the cause, the rash may sometimes vary in color. Reddish, Pinkish or even purple
  • Dark spots behind the ear develop from the rash that are healing
  • Crusty blisters may result behind the ear causes by the sores after they open up
  • Small bumps with pus like fluids and are painful to touch and may even cause ear ache
  • In some cases, rash may appear but they are not itchy or painful
  • Fever, vomiting or nausea may accompany the rash behind the ear
  • Inflammation with a burning sensation behind the ear either on both ears and one side
  • Patients may have rash behind the ear that comes and goes
  • Rash behind the ear may appear at the same time with rash on other areas like the chest, forehead, face, or back.
  • Rash behind ear and neck may be a related symptom to some chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
  • A scaly or greasy skin sometimes with yellowish crust.
  • Cough and running nose may sometimes characterize rash behind the ear like in cases of measles infection in children.
  • Muscles aches, loss of appetites with fever and headaches may be symptoms of rash behind the ear when they are related to underlying disease like chickenpox

Hives

Hives, also known as wheals, nettle rash or urticarial are caused by viral infections like cold or flu. Hives may also be caused by climate changes either hot or cold weather. Hive mostly in babies or children appear as small round wheals that are about 1cm to 2cm on the skin that are red or white.

The area affected with hives are surrounded by red skin. Hives are itchy and causes rash that may go away in hours or a few days on their own without any treatment. This is a major cause of rash behind ear in children. Medications can help in controlling the welling and itching of the affected area behind the ear.

German measles or Rubella

Rash behind your ear with a swollen lymph node behind the ear may indicate the German measles infection. It causes a reddish or pink rash on the skin and this might appear behind the ears. This is a good example as to why any form of rash should not be ignored.

Seborrheic dermatitis – Rash behind ear

Seborrheic dermatitis also commonly known as dandruff is also a quite popular infection on the ears. When it infects the ear, patients tend to have the following symptoms:

  1. Itching either in the ear front or behind the ear
  2. Itching may also be experienced inside the ear canal
  3. Scaly crust may appear behind the ear right at the soft folds
  4. Scaly crust may also appear at the front of the ear
  5. The crust may be very thick or dense on some patients and may be confused for cancer

When a patient has seborrheic dermatitis behind the ear or on the ear, the rash is keeps on coming back after treatment. This condition has no cure but it is treatable so the rash are only controlled.

That means they keep on coming back after treatment but they can be well controlled with the right treatment. Here are a few tips on keeping seborrheic dermatitis rash away:

  1. A good vigorous daily wash with medicated shampoos, soaps
  2. Using medicated creams when the rash flair up until they clear up
  3. Bathing and washing the infected area as frequent as possible.

According to Dr. Cynthia Bailey an experienced dermatologist based in California, “Many seborrhea patients’ also note that their rash flairs when,

  1. They’re under stress
  2. Are ill or sick
  3. When they are eating an unusual amount of fat, carbohydrates or sugar in their diet

Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema behind ears

Atopic dermatitis also known as eczema is a skin condition that is popular among children than adults. When eczema affects behind the ear, it causes a dry, itchy skin that is inflamed and has rash. When advanced, there might be rash opening up to form blisters that weep or discharge of watery fluids.

Contact Dermatitis

It causes itchy, swollen and red rash behind ear at the point of contact. Contact dermatitis can affect anyone and is divided in two.

Irritant contact dermatitis

This is caused when the skin is irritated by physical substances that cause irritation of the skin resulting to rash behind the ear in case that is the point of contact.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by allergens. When ones immune system reacts to substances that they are allergic to, rash may appear in different parts of the body including rash behind ear

Examples of this irritants include:

  • Dyes
  • Exposes to irritant chemicals
  • Shampoo
  • Spectacles
  • Ear rings
  • Food allergy
  • Perfumes

Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is chronic skin infection that causes rash behind ear and neck and sometimes affects areas like the forehead, elbows and the knees. In most patients it both ears are affected or both sides of the body biologically i.e. both elbows or knees.

Fungal or bacterial Infections cause rash with white heads behind the ear

Infections behind the ear like fungal infections that feed on the protein that are found on the outer layers of the skin may cause rash. This are the fungal infections that cause ringworms on the skin.

Some bacterial infections though not all also causes rash on the skin with swollen, bumpy painful that are dangerous to the sensitive skin like that behind the ear and should be treated with a lot of care. This is why good skin hygiene is encouraged.

Rash behind ear, causes, treatment
Rash behind ear, causes, treatment

How to get rid of rash behind ear using home remedies

In most cases, remedies should be done after consulting a doctor for a proper diagnosis. When it comes to rash, avoid treating them at home. They may be related symptoms to serious underlying diseases in the body.

1. Using a thin fiber wash cloth on rash caused by seborrheic dermatitis

A thin fiber wash cloth should be used to wash the infected area every day.

  1. Make the ear wet first to help in making the crust and scale soft
  2. Press in the folds and crease behind the ear using the dump thin fiber wash cloth
  3. Vigorously scrub the crust and the scales on the skin away using the fiber cloth
  4. Pat dry with a clean towel and apply medicated cream

2. Cool damp wash cloth

This generally helps in easing the irritation and relives the itching. It also cools down fever which promotes irritation on the affected area.

3. Clothing

Dress the baby in clothes made of materials that can absorb sweat and are made of natural fibers like cotton. This helps a lot in keeping the skin naturally moisture and helps a lot in avoiding irritation of the rash.

4. Nails and hygiene

Keeping short nails help especially for children. Children will tend to scratch the irritation since it is the only solution they have when irritated.

When they scratch the rash, it will only open them up leading to more infections. Chances are that kid’s nails are also dirty and should be kept short for proper hygiene.

5. Detergents and skin care products

Once the rash are noted to have been caused by allergens, it  is important to resort to using mild detergents and skin care products that contain less chemicals or no chemicals to avoid further infections.

Rash Behind Ear Treatment

Rash behind the ear or any other part of the body should not be taken lightly. Once the symptoms are well identified, consult a pediatrician or a doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment.

Some rash behind the ear only indicate the presence of other internal diseases that need urgent medical attention.

1. Antibiotic creams

This may be applied on the affected area after the exact cause has been identified by the doctor. They should not be bought over the counter since they need to be applied as per medical advice.

2. Antihistamine

Helps a lot in regulating the swelling and itching of the rash behind the ear. The doctors only administer this depending on the cause of the rash behind the ear

3. Calamine lotion

This can also help in reliving the itching rash. Itching especially in baby’s causes a lot of discomfort since this alone can make them cry all the time.

4. Pills and oral injections

This are mostly administered by qualified doctors on serious or advanced skin rash infections. The doctors will prescribe this according the nature of the rash. Some rash spread from behind the ears to other parts of the body. While some appear behind the ears and other parts of the body at the same time.

5. Medicated soap or shampoo with zinc pyrithione

According to Dr. Cynthia Bailey, Soaps or shampoos with zinc pyrithione give great results when used on rash. Especially in people with saborrheic dermatitis. A good example is Calming zinc soap

It has a maximum level for zinc pyrithione with an added advantage in that it does not leave your skin dry or irritating due to its hydrating and soothing properties.

6. Cetrizine

This is best used on rash that are formed from ear piercings. Acording to Dr. Pavan Kumar a general and family physician based in New Delhi India, Cetrizine is good for fighting fungal infections but should be used only after a doctor’s checkup.

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References:

  1. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a548386/hives
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/492717-rash-behind-the-ears-in-infants/
  3. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-family/a9135/skin-changes-during-pregnancy/
  4. http://helpwitheczema.club/best-detergent/eczema-rash-on-the-neck.php
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/rash-on-genitals

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