Nurses General Nursing


Does anyone have this problem besides me? The inner part of my ears (canals) itch like cRaZy! I use cortisone cream which seems to help for awhile, but then it starts up again. I was wondering why they seem to itch all of the time. Could I have picked something up using someone elses stethoscope? or is this eczema of some kind? Could someone please give me alittle insight to this dilemma of mine? I sure would appreciate it before I go and spend hundreds of dollars to see a dermatologist or an allergist or probably both. Thank you very much in advance.

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Could you be allergic to the type of ear tips you have on your stethescope? Have you cleaned them with something that might make you break out? How long has this been going on? What are you doing to relieve it? Think about any possible cause for this problem, but going to get it checked out is important too if you can't solve it yourself.

I have had itchy ear canals when the wax built up too much and have had to use an antibiotic/ hyrocortisone ear drop soln. at times. There is also an ear drop soln. on the market that has olive oil in it (I think that was what it was) to keep the wax from gunking up too much that was recommended to me by my doc. I HATE ear drops, though, so don't use it.;)


244 Posts

I have a chronic condition that causes this, I can't remember what it is called. This had bothered me for years until I saw an ENT, he diagnosed it and taught me ways to help with the irritation. It still bothers me at times, but at least I know what is causing it and how ti keep it to a minimium. Good Luck, I know that this can be very iritating.


7 Posts

Could this be a symptom of a general allergy? I suffer from hay fever each fall and one of the first symptoms, before my nose even starts running, is that the insides of my ears begin to itch.


6,011 Posts


Fungus among-us?

Check out this site. I wouldn't do the painting, but it might give some good advice that will work.


921 Posts

I automatically thought - swimmers ear. You can get bacterial and fungal infections in your ears that can cause itching. Also, some people develop a dermatitis in their ears (similar to dandruff that you get on your scalp) Ear drops usually cures it!


40 Posts

Allergy to hair conditioner or shampoo? I have problems with some conditioners, can't seem to isolate an ingredient, probably the fragrance.

Hope you figure this out soon, I know how aggravating it can be. Good Lck.

TracyB,RN, RN

646 Posts

Specializes in jack of all trades, master of none.

I thought the same thing jennyP did. . . maybe the tips for your 'scope.


62 Posts's something sort of off base, but thought I'd mention it. I was having ear pain and a weird itching sensation in my ears. Especially my left ear. At times it felt as though there was a cool liquid coming out of my ear.....but there was nothing there. I saw my doctor (twice in 4 days because of the pain) and she could find nothing wrong. I happened to mention it to my dentist about 7-10 days later when I went to see him. I have been having some extensive dental work done. I recently had 4 extractions done in preparation for a lower partial. He feels that all of my problems (including the incessant itching) are probably caused by TMJ, which has probably temporarily been caused by the lack of 4 teeth in my mouth!! Therefore, I've been chewing differently, etc. It makes sense to me.

I don't know if you're having any dental problems, but it might be worth checking out!

Good luck....I know how annoying it can be.


317 Posts

Specializes in ICU's,TELE,MED- SURG.

I had the same thing happen with an eczema condition that came with a vengeance inside both ears. It was driving me crazy!

Seems that the hospital had changed brand names and that these new gloves were very powdered up. I don't have allergies to latex but evidently the powder was finding its way on the ear tips of my stethoscope because I was handling them. I clean the ear pieces off with alcohol often and between the alcohol and this new powder I became very allergic to all of this.

The remedy was to get the powder free gloves that the hospital carries ad voi'la! Allergy left within the week! I accidentally used the wrong gloves with the powder and yes, the allergy started up again.

My mystery solved.

night owl

1,134 Posts

Well thank you for all your replys. I guess it could be anyone of these things or all of them!

JennyP, Thank you for the article. It's strange, but I never have any wax in my ears. When I clean them with the Q-tip, they're always clean as a whistle. They say you're not supposed to use Q-tips to clean the ear canal. I usually use them to soak up the water that may enter when I shower and wash my hair. The article says itching is a common complaint associated with dry ear canals and absent ear wax which is caused by an allergy to a fungus. I thought fungus needed moistness in order to grow. Anyway, after I've scratched my ears silly, then they of course hurt and itch at the same time...this really drives me nuts. Then here comes the oozing clear fluid that dries and gets crusty while my ears are still itchy. The cortisone cream stops the itchiness. I've even used H2O2 when the fluid is present to keep any infection if any at bay. Once the crustiness is gone, the ears don't itch for a few days. Then they itch a little bit one day more the next day and by the third day or so it's crazy again. I found it used to be the worst a few days before I got my period. Once I started my period, the itchiness stopped for about a week or so. Then it started up again. Now that I don't get my period that regularly, the itchiness isn't as bad. Hormonal? Who knows. I guess the best thing to do is go to the ENT man for some kind of answer and to get some kind of a cure. At least I know that I'm not the only one with "itchy ears." Thought that maybe I was some kind of freak.:eek: Thanks again to all... :)


1,334 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I had a problem like that in high school. Apparently, when I sprayed hair spray to the side of my head, residue somehow got into my ears. I became more vigilant about covering my ears when I sprayed and made sure to wash really well in the shower. Fixed the problem.

BUT-- since you're a nurse that uses a stethoscope, my guess is that it's related to that.

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