Unbearable itchy ears!!

Hi all,

I have hashimotos thyroiditis which is responding very well to NDT. My life has been made so much better since I started Thiroyd in January this year. However I do have a persistent problem with severe itching inside my ears which I understand is related to hypothyroidism, the GP's prescribed a spray which helps a bit but it smells like vinegar and stings like hell!!! I just wondered if anyone here has managed to get rid of this awful itch, and if so how??

TIA, Wendy x

31 Replies

  • Can I ask, is this the outer part of the canal that itches, maybe w flaky skin? It may be psoriasis/dermatitis/allergies and you can apply a little cortisone cream.

  • Try giving up sugar religiously for a week or two and see if it helps. If it does then it would suggest you might have some kind of yeast or fungus that thrives on sugar.

    One that is common is candida. People think of it as being only relevant to thrush, but it can affect all parts of the body including the skin.

    Another experiment you can try is buy some anti-histamines of the kind used by people for hay-fever. They can also be used for general allergies too. If you get an improvement in the itching it suggests that you may have an allergy to something in your diet or your environment. If the anti-histamines help then the difficulty comes when you try to find out what you might be allergic to...

    If you decide to try either of these do the experiments separately so that you know which is helping (if either of them do).

  • I have excema in my ears anduse a cortisone cream.

  • Treepie, I was told it was eczema for a long time, but I only have eczema elsewhere when under extreme stress. So they gave me steriod drops which work, but I wasn't happy to take them long time. Eventually I read about fungal ear infections and looked for antifungals myself.

  • I use Eumovate cream occasionally and it seems to work.

    Ears get hot and itchy at night when embedded in the pillow .

  • Yes, but what I am saying is that if its not eczema (quite possible if you don't have much elsewhere) and is fungal, then there is no need for steriods, and canesten will probably do the job better.

  • Ruthi,I did understand your point.Does the skin flake if fungal?

  • Yes, very much so. At times I scratched out huge plaques almost the size of my little fingernail! But mostly it was much smaller flakes. I am an expert at removing the flakes with various inappropriate instruments. A fine crochet hook, or kirby grip were favourites!

    Gawd! the things I confess to on here! Don't tell my GP!

  • streuth,I use the arm of my specs,lately wrapped in a clean hankie as I kept getting nasty ear infections! Will bear canestan in mind ,think I used it for athletes foot ,not that I was ever an athlete.

  • LOL! Yes! I tried the arm of my specs, but not scratchy enough. I have been lucky and never caused an infection - but not for want of trying!

    Canesten is usally the one they use for vaginal thrush. It was the only one of the antifungals I could find in an ear drop. My doctor suggested deliberately introducing Nizoral shampoo in my ears, but its difficult to dose accurately!

  • I have also used Canesten sucessfully for what was thought to be the start of Rosacea. When I told the GP what I had done, he said it could be used for that.

  • They are so grudging when we find our own solution, aren't they? When it should have been their idea in the first place!

  • I should be having at least half their pay!

  • Or we could adopt the ancient Chinese system and only pay them when we are well. All those endos would soon be broke!

  • There'll be an awful lot of poor Endos if NHS goes private!

  • Oh, I don't know. There seems to be a never ending stream of type 2 diabetics for them to poison with more and more insulin, rather than treating with diet. But they clearly find thyroid disease boring....

  • Some drugs (Hydrocortisone) can cause T2 Diabetes as well. It has also been said that not treating HypoT optimally can also lead to it. .

  • Menioning Thrush and Canestan made me think of two things : 1 could i have a fungal infection elsewhere that other creams had only ameliorated. So I got some Canestan after seeing it was good for ,don't laugh, jock itch!

    2 . I remembered sitting outside our tent in the Cevennes some 30 plus years ago when my wife was approached by a young woman desperate for some treatment for thrush. All my wife could recommend was yoghurt until she could get to a pharmacy.

    Cannot remember if I said avoid the fruit ones.

  • None of the creams are a cure, they just hold it at bay. Hopefully our immune systems will then take over again....

  • I have an on/ off problem with an ear infection that sounds similar to yours, and the spray smells like that. I used to have an outbreak every couple of months but now it only seems to be about once a year.

    The things that seem to help a bit ( they are not perfect) are wearing swimmers ear plugs in the shower or if swimming, not scratching the ears, and not using cotton buds. Very difficult, I know.

    Good luck.

  • I have this too - wakes me in the night, doc. said just use moisturiser! Would you be kind enough to tell me what spray you use ? my annual bloods/ health check due and I want to get this sorted (if poss.!!!) Thanks

  • I'm on 150mcg of thyroxine

    try changing pillows... my ear itch was caused by duck down/feather pillows

  • I have had this, or something like it, since long before my hypo started. In my case it is a fungal infection. Effectively it is dandruff in the ears.

    Canesten solution (which is in drop form) is the best I found. It doesn't cure it, but keeps it at bay for a reasonable time.

    The other thing that has made a huge difference to both my dandruff and ears, to the extent that neither itch very much any more, is changing to conditioner only hair washing. (The Curly Girl method, but you don't have to be curly to use it!) I use Aldi tea tree conditioner which is cheap, silicone free, and agrees with my hair. And I only use silicone free leave in coditioner. Both dandruff and ear flaking are still there, but at maybe a 10th of their previous level, and perfectly bearable.

    It might be that the tea tree has something to do with it, but I used tea tree products before, when I was using sulphate shampoos and silicone conditioners and they didn't help. I suspect the harsh sulphates irritate the skin, and promote oil production which provides a perfect home for the fungus.

  • Ruthi , is Canesten solution available without prescription? If it is, who sells it?

  • Yes, its off prescription. And I just buy it from my local chemist - yours may need to get it in, but all the wholesalers carry it, even though not many GPs know about it.

  • Thanks, I'll get some in. I have terrible trouble with my ears. I ought to use hearing aids all the time, but I only put mine in when I absolutely have to because of the ear irritation I get from them.

  • It's awful, feels like somethings moving around in my ear, no solutions, seems to be another of those "just putting up with it" issues!

  • For anyone interested in trying Ruthi's suggestion, this is the stuff you want :


    You could print out the above leaflet (the Patient Information Leaflet) and take it with you to the chemist.

    Another related document just for info - the Summary of Product Characteristics :


  • I have the same thing and I scratch in my sleep then it weeps and bleeds, the doc told me it was excema and has prescribed betnovate which did nothing, my nurse changed that to elecon, which did help but she left the practise and the doc will only prescribe the cheap version monastate or something which does nothing. I use olive oil once a week and germolene every night, with it having antiseptic and anesthetic it helps ease the itch so I can sleep

    I have been researching and it could be linked to candida so that might be something to look at

  • Thank you for your helpful answers. I am going to ask my GP to take a swab as after reading through the replies I see candida comes up a lot.. I will keep you updated when I get my results.


  • I am now CURED ! I had crazy itchy ears for 5+years ... get now cured by putting a leaves of a natural plant in my ear! long story... Send me an MP if you still need...

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