Blackheads can appear almost anywhere, but they are most common on the face. When they occur in the ears, they can be difficult to eliminate.
It is easy to overlook the ears when washing. Also, a person may not always thoroughly rinse away hair products, which can remain in or on the ears. A buildup of shampoo or dirt can cause blackheads to develop.
Specific ingredients in skincare products were designed to unclog pores, and they may be useful in treating blackheads. Blackheads can also be removed using a tool, but a person should not attempt this at home.
The outer ear, where blackheads can appear, captures sound, helps with balance, and protects the more sensitive inner ear.
The skin of the outer ear needs to be treated with care because it is so close to the inner structures of the ear, which are delicate and crucial for hearing.
The following methods can be used to clear blackheads even in vulnerable areas such as the ears.
Skincare products with salicylic acid
Many skincare products designed for the face can also be used, with care, in the ears.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggest that salicylic acid can be effective in cleaning pores.
People can use over-the-counter cleansers or masks with this ingredient to get rid of blackheads in the ear, though a doctor may prescribe a stronger product.
Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It contains aspirin, so a person with an aspirin allergy should not use a product containing this ingredient. BHAs are chemical exfoliants, which means that they can remove oil and dirt from pores without needing to be rubbed into the skin.
People should be careful not to get these products too close to the ear canal, which is the tube connecting the outer ear to the eardrum.
It may take a few days or weeks to see effects. Using salicylic acid may also help to prevent blackheads from forming, and people can incorporate these products into a skincare routine.
This process involves removing blackheads, and it should only be performed by a registered dermatologist.
They will use a sterile instrument to clean out the pore. This takes time and will not prevent blackheads from forming again.
Trying to remove a blackhead at home with this method can cause it to become red, painful, and infected.
It is easy to damage the ears, so people should be careful when cleaning them.
A person can clean the outer ear with mild soap and a washcloth.
Keeping the skin clean
Cleaning the skin and removing dead skin cells can help to prevent blackheads.
Methods of prevention tend to be the same for the skin of the face and the ear. The main difference is that the inside of the ear is more difficult to see and clean thoroughly. Looking in a mirror, particularly a hand-held mirror, can help a person to clean the entire outer ear.
The easiest way to wash the ears is with a washcloth in the shower. A person should do this after rinsing away all remnants of shampoo or conditioner.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells. Because these cells can clog pores, removing them may help to prevent pimples and blackheads. Exfoliating too frequently can irritate the skin, but doing it as often as two times per week should not cause problems.
Physical exfoliation involves rubbing the skin with coarse material. Facial scrubs often contain rough particles, such as salt, ground nut shells, or even coffee grounds, for this purpose.
It is usually not advisable to use exfoliating products in the ears.
An alternative is to rub the skin of the outer ear with a dry washcloth. The slightly rough surface of the cloth will remove dead skin cells.
Touching the skin can transfer oil, sweat, and dirt. It may help to prevent blackheads from forming if a person avoids touching their ears.
Although a blackhead might look like it contains dirt, it is made from dead skin cells and natural oils.
Unlike that of a whitehead, the top of a blackhead's pore has not closed over. The dead skin cells and oil react with oxygen in the air and turn black.
Blackheads are most common on the face, but they can be found elsewhere on the body. Blackheads and whiteheads are known medically as comedones. Look for products labeled non-comedogenic, as these do not clog pores.
Dermatologists are medical professionals trained in treating the skin. A person may choose to see a dermatologist if they have a substantial number of blackheads. They may also want to seek advice if the condition of their skin is affecting their confidence or aspects of daily life.
Getting rid of blackheads in the ears can be tricky. However, changing a skincare routine and remembering to wash the ears in the shower can help to prevent them from forming.
Using a cleanser containing salicylic acid may help to dissolve oil and skin cells that clog pores. If this does not resolve the issue, a person may wish to consider extraction by a registered dermatologist.