Does anyone suffer with itching inside and outside the ear and what is the best treatment to use?

I have read previously of a link to PBC of itching of the ear and this is what I have put it down to. I suffer intermittently with this problem so I suppose I am fortunate in a way that it does not happen all the time (every 3/4 months).... I don't get itching any where else. I get severe itching inside the ear and at the entrance to my ear. I have put it down to PBC and not to any sort of ear infection as I do not get any earache or discharge. Previously I have managed to cope by using a little cod liver oil on a cotton bud and just smearing it around the entrance and outside of my ear and normally after about a week it settles down. This time however that hasn't worked, its gone on now for nearly 3 weeks and its driving me absolutely crazy. If I could get my hand inside my ear I would ....the itching is that bad. The entrance is really sore, cracked and has started to bleed.

Has anyone else experienced this as I am wondering if I am right to think it is related to the PBC or could it be something else so I would be grateful for any comments/advise please.

14 Replies

  • Mumofthree, this started for me before I was ever diagnosed with PBC, in 2003. It's just the exterior part of the ear for me. The dr. did a test, checking for any type of fungi, and it was negative. The dr. gave me a presciption for Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Hydrocortisone oil. I get away with using it about once a wk, I try not use it for the hydrocortisone in it. Before this prescription, I actually couldn't get to sleep for them itching. I scrub them with soap and dry with a hair dryer if I have to before putting the med in. If your skin is boken though, I don't know what's best for you to do.


  • I get itching inside me ear a lot of the time but just get told the usual " this is nothing to do with PBC" I stick my little finger or a cotton bud down it and scratch away, I have even been known to try catching bits of dry skin with a pair of tweezers, I know you are not supposed to do this but what can you do when it's driving you bonkers.

  • Hi lindaclark, Your telling me it drives you bonkers!!!! I too admit to having to use a cotton bud inside my ear when I am really desperate even if the relief is only for a short time. Fortunately I don't seem to have the bits of dry skin or wax or any sort of discharge to be honest, if I did I could probably understand to a certain extent and would be more accepting of the problem.

  • Thank you Magnolia for your input. I have been trying to avoid going to my GP about this as to be honest they have been pretty useless in the past. I am getting pretty desperate so it seems as if I am going to have to give in and go. Whenever I have asked them for advise on PBC and whether the symptoms I have could be related, the usual reply is.... 'it may or may not be ask the consultant when you see him next'.... that's all well and good but I only see him once a year. When a problem crops up one or two months after seeing the consultant expecting me to wait a further ten months is just not good enough, its as if they cannot be bothered even to try and find out. They do not even do the regular blood tests to keep an eye on my condition throughout the year. The only blood tests I have to check on my liver are the ones I have two weeks before my consultant appointment is due. When I have questioned my GP about why I am not having blood tests regularly they tell me its not necessary and will only do blood tests for me if I am poorly and then they do not do the full checks its normally just to check if I am anaemic.

  • My dermatologist gave me prescription ear drops specifically to stop internal ear itching. Derm-Optic oil. Wonder drug for me

  • Thanks for your input Jeri. I am so desperate I am willing to try anything.

  • I had eczema as a baby and when I was 16 I suffered from itchy flaky skin just outside my ear. It was put down to eczema and the GP gave me some cream as at the same time I had cracked skin on my eyelids!

    I thought at the time my ears were due to fashion earrings as back then in the late 1970's they did contain nickel unlike majority today. I did stop wearing pierced earrings for a few yrs in the late 1990's but started wearing them again due to the holes not closing over. Not had a problem with earrings since.

    I have the odd spell where I feel my ears are itchy but nothing major or anything that is as irritable as some of you get with it.

    I have a tip that has seemed to work for me in the past, try not get any water, shampoo, etc in your ears, the inner that is, that does help I have found.

    As for it not being connected to PBC, as debatable as that can be, I think it is probable given that PBC can cause us to itch (and I am a night-time itcher) and why not in the ears as after all for me I've found I can get the itch on any part of my body at varying times.

  • Thanks peridot, I am going to make sure I don't let any water get into my ears and see if that helps.

  • Hi Mumofthree, I have suffered with itchy ears for 20 years and it is very annoying and affects your day to day living. I always put cotton wool into my ears when I wash my hair and also when I visit the hairdressers. I find that smearing the inside of my ears with vaseline on a cotton wool bud helps. The shampoo and conditioners seem to make the problem worse.

    Try not to use cotton wool buds to ease the itching as it only makes things worse. I do not have an itch anywhere else on the body.

  • Thanks mulberry, as I have just mentioned to peridot I am going to try and not let any water etc get into my ears especially the shampoo and conditioner and see if that helps. The Vaseline sounds a good idea too for the external itching but its the internal itch that drives me crazy..

    I have only noticed this sort of itching for about the last year and a half and as it has been intermittent I have not let it bother me too much... but this last episode is really getting me down and I agree it does affect your day to day living. I don't have the itch anywhere else on my body either thank goodness and feel sorry for those who do if it is anything like this.

  • A, Hello Mumo. I was just treat with athletes foot anti fungal which has same ingredients for treating yeast, itchy, n dry skin Amazing prescribed ny my doctor, get it overcounter cheap wrks well 2xa day f a week chk it out online, Aloh

  • Mumo its also for rimgworm, so it os safe for ears to treat for itchy ears cause by yeast, fungal n worms haah ok Aloha!!!

  • I suffered from itchy ear for months using hydrocortesone cream. It helped for a while but the itch got worse to causing me to not sleep or to wake up to use a Q-tip to relieve the itch. I read on a website to use 50/50 rubbing alcohol and vinegar and drop it in and let it run out. The acidity will start to treat the isue. It will start to cure the fungi if there . Well good news...I just did it and man the relief is wonderfull. It burned a bit at first but it was worth it. I will use it twice a day until the itch disapates completely. .. also to avoid drying out the ear. So try it. I was brought up to know that vingar is a natural cure for fungus and soar throat and such.

  • Thanks for the tip LadyV, I will definitely give it a try

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