Updated August 11, 2023
Did you hear? Psoriasis affects more than just your skin. It can also affect your ears!
Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by scaly patches, inflammation, itchiness, and other symptoms of the skin. With psoriasis of the ear, not only can you experience these symptoms on the skin of the outer ear, causing itching, pain, and redness, but psoriasis can also affect part of the inner ear inside the ear canal, and lead to temporary hearing loss!
Many people may not know about the connection between psoriasis and hearing loss. That's why it's important to understand the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures of psoriasis of the ears.
In this article, we'll do just that. So lend me your ears, and let's get started!
What Is Psoriasis, Exactly?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the skin cells, leading to the rapid growth of new skin cells. This causes thick, scaly patches on the skin's surface, which can be red, itchy, and painful. Although psoriasis can occur at any age, it usually appears in early adulthood.
Psoriasis is a buildup of skin cells into scaly patches
People who experience symptoms of psoriasis may have a family history of the condition. Other factors that may increase the risk of developing psoriasis include smoking, stress, infections, and certain medications.
However, it is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. These may include topical creams, oral medications, light therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
Psoriasis can affect various body parts, including the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Facial psoriasis usually occurs near the eyebrows and the skin around your eyes, the skin between the nose and mouth, and on the upper forehead and the hairline. And, of course, as we will learn more about, psoriasis can affect the ears, also.
Symptoms of Ear Psoriasis:
Psoriasis of the ear can be challenging to identify as it can appear similar to other skin or ear conditions, especially if it's hard to see in the eardrum as opposed to the eternal ear. It is often confused with eczema, though they are not the same.
However, some symptoms can help determine if you have psoriasis in your ear. These symptoms include:
- Red, scaly patches on the skin in and around the ear canal.
- Buildup of skin that is dry, and flaky on the ear and behind the ear.
- Itching or burning sensations or lesions in the ear.
- Irritation accompanied by itch.
- Cracking or bleeding skin in the ear.
- A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.
- Plaque buildup inside the ear canal can also be a sign of psoriasis in the ear.
- Hearing loss.
If you have one or more of the above symptoms, consult a dermatologist or see an ear, nose, and throat doctor. They can concretely identify which type of psoriasis you have so you can receive the best treatment.
Some types of psoriasis can cause scaling in and around the ear, including scalp psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation provides more information on the different types of psoriasis, including those that may affect the ears.
Causes of Psoriasis in the Ear:
The exact cause of psoriasis in the ears is unknown. However, from what researchers know about psoriasis, it's believed that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with a family history of psoriasis are more likely to develop the condition. Environmental factors such as stress, infections, and certain medications can also trigger psoriasis ear.
Genetic factors may contribute to the chance of developing psoriasis in areas like the scalp, elbows, or ears. These genetic factors include changes in the immune system and skin cells. It is estimated that up to 70% of psoriasis cases are attributed to genetic factors.
Research has identified several genes associated with psoriasis, including the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes, which play a crucial role in the immune system. HLA genes help the immune system recognize foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. Specific HLA genes are more prevalent in people with psoriasis. These genes trigger the immune system to attack healthy skin cells, leading to psoriasis symptoms.
Other genes associated with psoriasis regulate inflammation, skin cell growth and differentiation, and skin barrier formation. Changes in these genes can lead to an overproduction of skin cells, accumulating on the skin's surface and forming scaly patches.
When psoriasis appears in the ears, the buildup of these skin cells in the ear canal can cause blockage and lead to temporary hearing problems.
Prevention of Psoriasis in and around the Ear:
You can take several steps to prevent psoriasis on all body parts, including the ears. These steps include:
Identify and avoid triggers that can worsen or cause psoriasis flare-ups. Triggers may include stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, certain medications, infections, injury to the skin, cold and dry weather, and allergens.
Keeping the ear clean and dry:
Moisture can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. It is crucial to keep the ear clean and dry to prevent flare-ups.
Dry your ears thoroughly after showering, swimming, or other water contact activity. You can use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the ears gently.
Avoid using earplugs or headphones for extended periods as they can trap moisture in the ear.
If you have excessive earwax buildup, consult a healthcare professional. They may recommend using ear drops to soften or remove the wax safely.
Using gentle products:
Avoid using harsh soaps or shampoos that can irritate the skin. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free products instead. This is especially important for people with sensitive skin, dry skin, or conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Harsh soaps and shampoos can strip the skin of natural oils, causing irritation, itching, and redness. Fragrances can also be a common trigger for skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Look for products specifically designed for sensitive skin or those labeled as "gentle" or "mild." If you need help deciding which products to use, consult a dermatologist or a skincare professional for recommendations.
Protecting the ear:
Protect your ear from cold and wind by wearing a hat or earmuffs. Wearing a hat or earmuffs is an effective way to protect your ears from getting cold or exposed to wind. Our ears can quickly become numb when the temperature drops, and cold wind can worsen the situation.
A warm and comfortable hat or earmuffs can provide insulation and help maintain the temperature inside your ears. Choosing comfortable and well-fitted headwear is essential to avoid discomfort or irritation.
Monitoring for signs of psoriatic arthritis:
Arthritis can develop in people with skin conditions, so watching for joint pain or swelling is essential. Psoriatic arthritis is a specific type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in some people with psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation's website, it is estimated that up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, similar to other types of arthritis. However, psoriatic arthritis can also cause inflammation in other body areas, such as the eyes, skin, and nails.
Don't Stick Anything in Your Ear Canal
Avoid using cotton swabs to clean earwax as they can push it back further into the ear canal, leading to blockage and infections. In fact, try not to stick anything into your ear.
Instead, clean your ears gently and use appropriate treatments to manage symptoms, such as ear drops for wax buildup or topical creams and ointments for itching. If you're having persistent problems, seek medical advice from a doctor.
Treatment of Psoriasis Ear:
There are various options available to ease symptoms of psoriasis of the ear. The best treatment for you will depend on the severity of your ear psoriasis symptoms. Some common treatments for psoriasis ear include:
Topical creams or ointments that contain corticosteroids are a common course of treatment many take. These medications can help reduce inflammation and control symptoms, and are available either over-the-counter or via prescription.
However, topical steroids like hydrocortisone, cortisol, and similar medications are not suitable for long-term use due to some serious side effects. With prolonged use, severe skin damage can occur, such as skin thinning and wrinkling. Topical steroid withdrawal can also happen.
They are potentially dangerous, and topical steroids take a long time to work. It can be several days or even weeks of regular use before your ears may feel any relief.
Instead of treating psoriasis using dangerous corticosteroids, Dermeleve® is a safe and effective alternative. This topical cream contains natural ingredients that relieve the itchiness associated with psoriasis lesions. It also helps moisturize the skin, preventing it from becoming dry or cracked.
Unlike corticosteroids, Dermeleve® can be used long-term to keep flares under control and does not risk any unwanted side effects, such as causing the outer layer of skin to thin.
Moreover, the unique formulation of Dermeleve® is proven to be quick and effective in soothing the itch of even severe cases of psoriasis. It's also gentle enough for daily use and can be used on any body part affected by psoriasis. With Dermeleve®, you can get long-term relief from psoriasis without the risks of using corticosteroids.
Try Dermeleve® today and experience the results yourself!
If your psoriasis ear is causing pain or itching, your doctor may prescribe ear drops that contain corticosteroids or antibiotics. These drops can help to reduce swelling and irritation and can also help to prevent infection.
When first applied, some ear drops may cause a temporary stinging sensation, but this should go away after a few minutes. It is essential that you follow the instructions of your doctor carefully when using any ear drops.
In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe systemic medications such as methotrexate or cyclosporine. These medications work by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation. While they can be effective, they also come with potential side effects and should only be used with close monitoring by your doctor on the part of the body originally intended.
Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to specific wavelengths of light. This can help reduce inflammation and control symptoms. These controlled doses of ultraviolet light can be administered in a doctor's office, at home with special equipment or lamps, and even through natural sunlight.
This type of therapy works because the ultraviolet light waves slow the overactive immune system response by breaking down inflammatory cytokines. This results in less inflammation and fewer symptoms.
Caution must be used, however, as side effects can include skin burns, problems with the eyes, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Talk to your doctor about phototherapy if it is an option for you.
Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes or treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, stress management techniques, and other non-medical interventions to address your psoriasis in ears..
These treatments can be beneficial for managing inflammation and other symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases. While these treatments may not cure the condition, they can help you gain better control over your symptoms.
These types of treatments are often an excellent complement to traditional medical therapies. Talk to your doctor about which treatment options might be best for you, depending on your situation.
Remember, it's vital to actively manage your health and work with your doctor to find the best treatments for you.
Psoriasis in the ear can be a challenging and uncomfortable condition to deal with. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, it can be managed effectively. It is crucial to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and preventive measures to avoid the onset of this condition.
The symptoms of Psoriasis in the ear can vary, ranging from mild to severe depending on whether the psoriasis is on sensitive areas. These symptoms include itchiness, scaling, redness, and sometimes even pain. It is essential to seek medical advice if you experience any of these symptoms.
There are several treatment options available to manage Psoriasis in the ear, tough they also occur. These include topical treatments, oral medications, light therapy, and more. Your doctor will recommend the best course of treatment based on your specific needs.
Prevention is key when it comes to managing Psoriasis in the ear. Avoiding triggers such as stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medications can help prevent the onset of this condition.
In the meantime, use Dermeleve® for fast itch relief from your ear Psoriasis.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Psoriasis in the ear, don't hesitate to seek medical advice. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, it is possible to manage this condition effectively and live a comfortable life.
Want to learn more about this subject? Check out this video on our YouTube channel!
Q: What is Psoriasis In The Ear?
A: Psoriasis In The Ear refers to a skin condition where psoriasis affects the external ear or the ear canal. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes red, itchy, and scaly patches on the skin.
Q: What are the symptoms of Psoriasis In The Ear?
A: The symptoms of Psoriasis In The Ear may include itching, redness, scaling, flaking of the skin, pain or discomfort in the ear, and hearing loss in some cases.
Q: Can Psoriasis In The Ear cause hearing loss?
A: Yes, in some cases, Psoriasis In The Ear can lead to hearing loss. The inflammation and scaling caused by psoriasis can affect the ear canal and lead to blockage or damage, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Q: How can I know if I have Psoriasis In The Ear?
A: If you have symptoms such as itching, redness, scaling, and pain in your ear, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. They can examine your ear and determine if you have Psoriasis In The Ear or any other ear condition.
Q: What triggers Psoriasis In The Ear?
A: The exact cause of Psoriasis In The Ear is not fully understood, but certain factors can trigger flare-ups. These triggers may include stress, infections, injuries to the ear, cold weather, smoking, and certain medications.
Q: How is Psoriasis In The Ear treated?
A: The treatment for Psoriasis In The Ear may include topical corticosteroids, antifungal medications (if there is also a fungal infection), moisturizing agents, and ear drops. In severe cases, systemic medications or light therapy may be recommended.
Q: Can Psoriasis In The Ear be prevented?
A: While Psoriasis In The Ear cannot be completely prevented, there are steps you can take to manage and reduce flare-ups. This includes avoiding triggers, practicing good ear hygiene, keeping the ear clean and dry, and using moisturizing ear drops as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Q: Is Psoriasis In The Ear common in people with psoriasis?
A: Psoriasis In The Ear is relatively uncommon compared to psoriasis affecting other parts of the body. However, it is possible for people with psoriasis to develop psoriasis in their ears.
Q: What are the different types of psoriasis that can affect the ear?
A: The different types of psoriasis that can affect the ear include plaque psoriasis (the most common type), guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.
Q: Are there any home remedies for Psoriasis In The Ear?
A: While there are no proven home remedies for Psoriasis In The Ear, some people find relief by using warm compresses, practicing stress management techniques, avoiding irritants, and maintaining good overall skin health.