How to treat dry skin on your ears
"Unfortunately, there is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis," says Levine. However, it is treatable. Medicated soaps, shampoos and creams can help control the rash and flaking. It's a good idea to wash the ear skin daily with a washcloth and medicated dandruff shampoo or soap. "Make sure you wet the skin thoroughly before washing the area, so you don't rip off the dry scales," says Levine. In fact, you never want to pull the scales or dry patches off the skin because this can lead to infection or discoloration of the skin beneath it, explains Levine. After washing the ear, apply moisturizer to help control any residual flaking. If the dry patches continue, you might need to talk to a dermatologist about using a medicated cream. "A topical anti-inflammatory such as a topical steroid can help control the dryness," says Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine and co-director of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
If the dry skin on your ears is the result of sunburn, the best thing you can do is moisturize the area with cooling, water-based lotions or aloe. Stay away from heavy moisturizers since they can retain heat. To avoid sunburn (and the resulting dry, peeling skin), remember to apply sunscreen to your earlobes. Just as you'd never the leave the house without sunscreen on your face, the same rule applies to your ears.
- Levine, Jody, M.D. Personal correspondence.
- Zeichner, Joshua, M.D. Personal correspondence.
- Dover, Jeffrey, M.D. Personal correspondence.
- Mayo Clinic. "Actinic keratosis: Definition." (January 7, 2012). http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/actinic-keratosis/DS00568