Scabs in Ears and Behind Earlobe Piercing, Won't Heal

Find out what the scabs in ears, around the earlobe and on the fold are, why they won't go away or keep coming back as well as their causes and treatment.

Scabs in Ears

A scab is a temporary crust that forms on the skin at the site of an injury. They are a sign of healing and should be left to stay to give the skin time to heal. The protective crust forms rapidly and will be pushed off the skin by the gradual tissue regeneration as the damage repairs. With this in mind, are scabs in nose normal or why do I have a scab in my ear? 

Scabs can occur on any part of the body including the nose, lips, mouth, legs and scalp. It is a part of the healing and will be normal in most cases. However, in case a scab on the ear won’t heal or keep recurring, it may be signaling something. Below we delve into the causes of scabs in ears, behind the ear, on earlobe, cartilage, and tragus. We also look at the causes of painful, dry, and crusty scabs.

Scabs in ears Causes

Scabbing is often times uncomfortable. In the ear, any part may be affected including the external area, the ear canal and the earlobe. The appearance they give to the skin may also make you self-conscious. In the same way, their causes are varied and include:

Broken Skin on Ear

This is possibly the most obvious cause of scabbing around the ear. When the skin is subjected to trauma strong enough to cause a tear, the healing process will see a scab form. Broken skin may be caused by a scratch from a hard surface, a cut, getting hit by an object or a scrap or scratch from a pet.  These scabs in ears should go away within two weeks.

Skin Ulcer or Ear Sore

Skin ulcers or pressure sores on ears develop as a result of damage to the tissue surrounding the ear. It is caused by restricted flow of blood to an area due to exertion of pressure. It is common when one is in the same position for too long. It is also possible for unsuspecting users to have ear plugs causing scabs when overused. This In most cases, it will start off as tiny red patch that keep growing. If left untreated they will deteriorate and reach deep within the tissue. In this case, they will take long to go away and will result in scabs on ears that won’t go away.

Scabs in Ears from Eczema

This condition is also referred to as atopic dermatitis. It is common and causes the skin to become red and itchy. In addition the skin will be extremely dry, cracked and scaly. It can form behind the earlobe, inside the ear canal as well as on the outside of the ear. There are different underlying causes, all of which cause scabbing on the ears. Allergies, changes in weather, and seborrhea are among the most common causes of ear eczema. 

Treatment for scabs in ears resulting from eczema include addressing underlying causes. Using antifungal ointment will help prevent the scabbing area from infections. Topical steroids will manage the itch while using a moisturizer will soothe the scabs and prevent them from becoming itchy.


Psoriasis is a noncontagious but chronic skin condition. It results in rapid multiplication of skin cells due to a hastened life cycle. This causes there to be extra skin cells on the skin which form red patches and scales. The condition is extremely painful and itchy, which results in formation of scabs, burning, soreness and cracking of the skin on your ears when scratched. Psoriasis is usually seasonal. It comes and goes. Treatment is aimed at controlling the growth of skin cells

Acne Ear Scabs

Zits and papules are not selective and can form anywhere. Pimples inside the ear canal or on the outer side of it can cause scabbing as they heal. The scabs are even more apparent when you pop the pimples. Cystic acne is especially prone to scabbing and scarring and will have the same effect when it affects the skin around the ears.

Ear Infection

There are different forms of infections that affect the ears. Otitis externa is an infection of the ear canal. Normally, the infection spreads from the external ear and spreads to the ear drum. It is common to people who are constantly exposed to water, such as swimmers, and dirt. The symptoms include inflammation, swelling of the canal, smelly discharge, and scabbing.

Yeast and bacterial infections on the ear are also common. This is because the ear is dark and warm, and when humidity is retained, the environment becomes perfect for the proliferation of micro-organisms. The infections come with scabbing as one of the symptom. Topical antibiotics will help clear up the infections.

Allergic Reaction

Allergic reactions are another cause of crusty scabs around the ears. The skin may react to different things. These may be common to the whole body or restricted to a specific part. Ear jewelry could result to reactions in case the material making them is not hypoallergenic. Hair products that come into contact with the skin around the head are also another likely source or reactions. 

When the skin reacts to any allergens, it becomes itchy and forms a rash. This rash will then scab as it heals. Allergies tend to resolve on their own without the need for medical attention. If this does not happen, see your doctor.

Scabbing from Sunburns on Ears

The use of sunscreen is essential but at times, no matter how diligent we are with its use you might still end up getting sunburned. When the skin around the ears suffers the effects of ultra violet rays, it might end up blistering, forming scabs and peeling. This is usually on the extreme end.

To clear these up fast, you need to moisturize your ears thoroughly and stay away from the sun. Where the burn were so severe to the extent of forming scabs, it might take a few weeks before they clear up.

Scabs on Ear Piercing

The cartilage, tragus, and earlobe all have the same healing pattern upon piercing. Ear piercings tend to form crusty scabs around the piercing hole in the initial days. Where proper after care is not accorded, infections will arise. These will lead to further formation of scabs around the piercing.
To prevent this, clean up any crust as soon as they form using warm water. In case your piercer gave you a cleaning solution, use it. 

Where there is not only crust from discharge but scabs too, just clean the area without pulling the scabs off. Do not disturb the piercing hole as much as possible. Keep your hands off of it and allow it to heal without interruptions. Also, ensure that the crusting and scabbing is not as a result of allergic reactions to the jewelry used. If the earrings are to blame, change to an appropriate choice.

Scab on Ear Will Not Heal Or Scab in Ear Keeps Coming Back

Like indicated at the beginning of this article, scabbing is part of the healing process. As such, scabs in ears that form on the skin should fall off once the skin is healed enough. While this may not happen in an instance, you should observe some progress as the scab is likely to keep shrinking.
In the event that a scab on the ear does not heal or keeps coming back, it indicates that the skin it is protected has not healed yet. See an ENT specialist to examine it as the cause could be as simple as consistent trauma or as serious as cancer.

Treatment for Scabs in Ears, behind the Ears, in Ear Fold, Cartilage, and Outer Ear

Random scabs on the ear are not selective. They will form anywhere on the inside of the canal or on the outer ear. Scabs behind the ears surrounding the ear fold are common in cases of dry skin, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. The cartilage and ear lobe are mostly affected by injuries and piercing scabs. Whichever area is affected, do not be attempted to pick the scabs. Instead, address the cause and let the scab fall off on its own. This way, you won’t interfere with the healing process of the scabs in ears and the protective covering will be gone before you know it.



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