7 Itchy Ear Home Remedies

Struggling with itchy ears? Here's how to find relief.
Last update on Mar, 25, 2024

Do you ever feel like your ears are itchy, but you can't seem to find relief? Sometimes, the itch occurs on the outside of your ear or feels like it's deep inside the ear canal—completely out of reach.

Both scenarios can mean different causes for the irritation. In this article, we'll explore a few common reasons behind your itchy ears, offer tips to help alleviate the discomfort, and discuss when to seek medical treatment for itchy ears.

Itchy Feeling Inside the Ears

Let's review a few reasons why your ears are itching on the inside.

Ear Infection

Ear infections can occur in different parts of the ear, including the outer, middle, or inner ear. In addition to itching, ear infections can produce other symptoms like pain, swelling, and discharge that may affect your hearing.

The primary culprits behind ear infections are bacteria or viruses, which are typically treated with antibiotics vs. home remedies.

Otitis externa, also known as swimmers' ear, is an infection that affects the outer ear and ear canal and can cause itching, redness, and swelling. 

Ear Wax Buildup

Another reason we experience itchy ears is due to ear wax buildup. Ear wax is a natural substance your body produces to protect the ear canal from dirt and other foreign particles.

When too much ear wax accumulates, it can cause our ear (or ears) to itch and may lead to temporary hearing loss

Food Allergies

If you have an allergy to certain foods, you may also experience the uncomfortable sensation of itchy ears, especially after consuming foods like dairy, wheat, or seafood.

If you suspect that your ears are becoming itchy after eating these or other foods, be sure to consult a doctor, as you may require allergy testing to determine the direct cause of your symptoms.

Earbuds and ear plugs

Earbuds and ear plugs can push dirt deep into the ear canal, resulting in infection and itchiness. Many individuals do not clean their earbuds regularly, which means that bacteria can easily transfer from their hands to the earmold with each use.

If you wear hearing aids, you may also experience itchy ears. The reason may be a skin sensitivity to the plastic coating of the hearing aid or if water gets trapped in the ear canal behind the hearing aid.

Contact a hearing care provider if you think your hearing aids might be causing ear irritation.

Improper Ear Cleaning

Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs also pushes ear wax deeper into the ear canal, causing irritation and itching. It's best to avoid using cotton swabs altogether.

Instead, try cleaning your ears with a warm, damp cloth.

Itchy Feeling Outside the Ears

If your ears feel itchy on the outside, you may be having skin irritations or allergic reactions to different materials. For example, chemicals in soap or body wash, hair products or nickel in jewelry can irritate the skin, leading to redness, swelling, and itchiness.

Sunburn or windburn can also cause our ears to become dry and itchy.

In other cases, eczema and psoriasis, which are two common skin conditions, affect the whole body, including your ears, causing dry, itchy skin that's often painful and require prescription medicine or ointments.

Do Allergies Make Your Ears Itch?

Seasonal allergies can cause itchiness in various parts of the body, including the eyes, nose, and throat. They can also cause pressure or fullness in the ears, creating an itchy sensation.


Food allergies will typically cause itchy ears as a symptom. If you suffer from pollen allergies, you may experience ear itching only after consuming certain foods, such as apples, melons, bananas, or almonds.

What Home Remedy Can I Use for Itchy Ears?

Wondering how to stop itchy ears from ruining your day? The first step is identifying the underlying cause.

For example, if you're itchy ears are caused by ear wax buildup, consider these home remedies:

Over-the-counter (OTC) ear drops

Ask your provider for recommendations on OTC ear drops for safe ear wax removal. If your itchy ear is accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling or discharge, it may be a sign of an ear infection. In that case, using ear drops may worsen the condition.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is not recommended for regularly removing ear wax due to its antiseptic properties. Instead it helps soften the wax and break the bond between the skin of the ear canal and the wax, making it easier to remove.

As with OTC ear drops, be sure to consult with your provider before trying this home remedy for itchy ears.

Other Remedies

Think your itchy ears are the result of improper cleaning? Consider these options:

Vinegar Solutions

Saline solution

Warm compress

Olive Oil

Petroleum jelly

Vinegar Solutions

Diluted vinegar

Diluted vinegar (50/50 mixture of vinegar and water) can be used as an ear rinse to help clear out any dirt or bacteria that may be causing the itching. 

Saline solution


A homemade saline solution made with warm water and salt (i.e., one teaspoon of salt per half a cup of warm water) can be used as an ear rinse to help clear out any debris.

If you think your itchy ears are caused by a reaction to jewelry, hair products, or sunburn, try these remedies:

Warm compress

Warm compress

Applying a warm compress to the affected ear can help soothe the area and reduce itchiness. 

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Applying olive oil to your skin may help reduce peeling skin after sunburn that often causes itchy ears.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is hypoallergenic with antibacterial and antifungal characteristics to help heal skin from sunburn, an allergic reaction to metal, or eczema.

Be sure to gently clean your ear area with mild soap and warm water before applying the jelly to your ear for relief.

Ear Itching Home Remedy for an Ear Infection

Prescription medication, such as antibiotics, are often used to treat ear infections caused by bacteria vs. home remedies. That's because antibiotics work by killing the bacteria causing the infection, helping to alleviate the symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading.

Home remedies, such as warm compresses or oil may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of an ear infection, such as pain and inflammation. However, they do not address the underlying cause of the infection and may not be effective in treating the infection itself. 

Getting Treatment for Itchy Ears

If you're experiencing persistent or severe itchiness in your ears, it's time to connect with a hearing care provider near you. Your provider can examine your ears and determine the underlying cause of the problem.

From there, they'll recommend appropriate treatment options to alleviate your symptoms.

Ready to seek help? We can help you find a clinic near you and request an appointment for a professional hearing evaluation.

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