Itchiness Behind the Ears

Itchiness behind the ears can be because of a number of causes ranging from allergies to infections. To properly treat itchiness, also called pruritis, you should consult a doctor for a definitive diagnosis. If not properly treated, scratching behind the ears can result in damage to the skin, worsening infection or spread of the condition.

Causes

One of the most common causes of itching behind the ears in adults is dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis 2. The condition causes flaky, itchy skin on the scalp and can occur behind the ears.

Ringworm can affect the skin behind the ears. According to MayoClinic.com, ringworm causes redness and itchiness and commonly affects toddlers and school-age children.

Head lice, also called pediculosis capitis, can cause intense itching behind the ears and on the scalp. Head lice are extremely contagious.

Other conditions exist that may cause itching behind the ears. Consult your doctor for a clear diagnosis.

Risk Factors

According to MayoClinic.com, risk factors for seborrheic dermatitis include yeast infections, stress and fatigue, change of seasons with outbreaks usually worse in the winter, neurological conditions such as:

  • Parkinson's disease,
  • HIV/AIDS 2

Treatment

Treatment for itchiness behind the ears depends on the cause. Creams and ointments are sometimes prescribed for dermatitis, anti-dandruff shampoos can be used to control seborrhea, oral medications may be given to treat ringworm, and head lice requires treatment with a lice-killing topical solution and removal of the nits.

Always consult your doctor before beginning any treatment for itching behind the ears.

Prognosis

Most causes of itching behind the ears can be managed or eliminated. With dermatitis, removing the offending allergen can help minimize outbreaks and both ringworm and head lice can be cured with medication. Seborrheic dermatitis may be a lifelong condition that can recur when treatment ends 2.

Warning

Contact a doctor immediately if signs of infection are present.

The Wrap Up

According to MayoClinic.com, ringworm causes redness and itchiness and commonly affects toddlers and school-age children. With dermatitis, removing the offending allergen can help minimize outbreaks and both ringworm and head lice can be cured with medication. To properly treat itchiness, also called pruritis, you should consult a doctor for a definitive diagnosis.

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