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How to get rid of blackheads in your ears

Blackheads….in your ears….

Yep, that’s right. While we’re used to dealing with blackheads on and around our nose, it’s also possible to get them inside our ears too.

Does this sound like you right now? Or somebody you know? Read on for all you could possibly need to know about ear blackhead removal.

What are blackheads?


Blackheads may not be something everybody’s had, but they’re most definitely something most of us have heard of. They’re teeny tiny, dark-looking bumps that appear on people’s skin, mostly on their face.

They’re a mild form of acne and it’s possible to get them popping up on other parts of your body, such as your back or your chest. Anybody and everybody can get blackheads, but it’s people who have oiler skin who tend to get them the most.1

Why do they appear? Usually because a hair follicle’s got clogged or plugged up with natural oil, sebum. This then causes a small bump to form. If the:

  • Bump stays closed – it’s what’s known as a whitehead

  • Skin over the bump opens up – the exposure to the air can make it look black and a blackhead to form2
For more details on why we get blackheads read, ‘What causes blackheads?’

Do blackheads go away on their own?


Yes, they can. But, there’s no telling how long it’ll take, and if they’re going to go away or not.

Blackheads have got a bit of a rep for being stubborn. So, if you want to wait for yours to disappear on their own, it’s worth knowing it can take months-upon-years to happen. Ones that are sat nearer the surface of the skin take less time to go away than those that have tunnelled deep down.3

How do you get rid of blackheads in your ear?


Pretty much the same way you’d get rid of blackheads on your face and body. Only the main difference here is that you aren’t able to easily see blackheads in ears, so it can be difficult to tell how deep they are, how many you have and if they’re going away or not.

The best thing to do is to try and avoid getting them in the first place. There are a number of things you can do to prevent them from forming and to remove them if you already have some.

How to get blackheads out of your ears


1. Wash your ears


How often do you clean your ears? They’re actually quite sensitive, so it’s important you don’t over wash them, but it’s good to get in the habit of doing it every now and again.

Use oil-free cleansing products and don’t scrub at them, as this can actually cause more acne. You can use your fingers or a washcloth to give them a wipe over, and remove any dirt and oil that may have built up.4

2. Use an exfoliator


Exfoliating is great, as it can help remove any layers of skin, dirt and oil that may have developed over time. Grab an exfoliator, the same one that you’d use on your face, and gently apply it to your ears, making sure nothing ends up going down your earhole.

Look out for scrubs that contain retinol and salicylic acid, which are particularly effective at beating blackheads and future breakouts.5 Clay masks and charcoal-based products that work by absorbing excess oil from pores are also a good shout too.6

3. Keep your hands away


Just as touching and picking at your face can make blackheads and spots sore and irritated, the same can happen with blackheads in ears. And never, try to squeeze or extract a blackhead yourself – a) because you can’t really see them properly and b) this could cause scarring. They may also spread too.

It may be tempting, and you may want to desperately get rid of them. But don’t mess with them, as you could potentially make them a whole lot worse.7

4. See a dermatologist


We hope you manage to sort your blackheads without having to see a specialist. But if you find that you’re doing all you can, such as steps 1 to 3 and your blackheads aren’t shifting, then you may need to get them professionally extracted.

It is possible to have a go at extracting them yourself, but it’s best you go to a dermatologist to get this done to make sure it’s done safely, thoroughly and correctly, and you don’t wind up causing any wider issues.8

5. Be mindful about what you’re putting on/in your ears


For instance, you may use headphones to take calls, listen to music or podcasts. When was the last time you cleaned them? The same goes for your mobile phone too; have you wiped it over recently?

Anything that regularly comes into contact with your ears, e.g. hats, pillowcases, towels, headbands, need to be washed on a regular basis to help prevent them from transferring dirt and bacteria to your ears. It’s an obvious one, we know, but you’d be amazed at just how many people overlook it.9 We can all get blackheads in ears. And we can all prevent them from forming, simply by paying a bit closer attention to our personal ear hygiene. For more practical ear-related advice read, ‘A guide to earwax removal.’

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Last Updated: 27th October 2020

Related Topics

Ear, Nose, and Throat

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