Do blackheads in ear make you self-conscious? What can you do to get rid of them permanently? Blackheads inside the ear are common. Although it’s a bit tricky, getting rid of them is possible. Let’s find out different home treatments for ear blackheads as well as their causes.
What Are The Causes of Blackheads in Ear?
Hair Follicle Blockage
The inner ear develops blackheads because it has hair follicles. When dead skin cells, bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) and sebum accumulate on these hair follicles, blackheads are most likely to develop.
Blackheads often serve as an indication of a hormonal imbalance that may increase the production of sebum. These changes in your hormones could happen during menstruation, pregnancy, and puberty.
Some of these poor hygienic practices are touching the ears with dirty hands, wearing dirty earphones, and not regularly cleaning the ears, among others.
Lithium and androgens are some of the drugs that are associated with blackhead formation.
How to Get Rid of Blackheads in Ear
Maintain Proper Cleaning Practices
Earwax is not actually evil. In fact, it’s important for your ears’ health. It provides lubrication and protection against foreign objects. If you clean your ears too much, you’ll most likely end up with dry and itchy ear canals.
You don’t really need to clean your ears manually. Your ears will do it automatically. Using do-it-yourself techniques will do more harm than good. For instance, by using cotton swabs, you’re just shoving your earwax farther into your ear canal, which in turn can result in blockage.
When should you clean your ears?
The best time to clean your ears is when there’s an excessive amount of earwax. Too much earwax could attract bacteria that could cause infections and hearing problems.
Here are three methods for cleaning your inner ears:
- Try adding a few drops of warm mineral oil, glycerin, or baby oil in your ear. The warmness of the oil will help release and soften your earwax, so it’s easier for you to remove it. The great thing about oil is it doesn’t cause dryness or irritation.
- You could also use 3% hydrogen peroxide, if you currently don’t have a perforated eardrum or ear infection. Just like oil, it helps loosen and soften earwax. For minimal amounts of earwax, dip a Q-tip into hydrogen peroxide and clean your outer and inner ear. Make sure you don’t shove it too deep into the ear canal to prevent impaction.
- Ear irrigation using water or salt water (saline solution) is another way to rinse your ears. The solution should be warm or at body temperature to avoid lightheadedness. Avoid using this method if you have diabetes, compromised immune system, and punctured eardrum.
- Simple washing won’t be enough. You need to exfoliate to remove stubborn dead skin cells. Use a gentle exfoliant, such as salicylic acid. Pour a small amount on a cotton swab then apply it directly on your blackheads.
Open Your Ears’ Pores
One of the fastest and simplest ways to open up the pores on your ears is to use heat. Here’s how to do it:
- Dip a washcloth in warm water. Place it on your ear for 3 to 5 minutes. Re-soak it as needed.
- Alternatively, pour freshly boiled water on a bowl then cover it with a piece of cloth. Place the ear with blackheads near the bowl. Maintain your position for approximately 3 minutes.
Tea Tree Oil
Generally, people use benzoyl peroxide as an alternative to glycolic or salicylic acid. It acts by stripping away dead skin cells and easing inflammation. It works on some people, but if it doesn’t work on you, skin care experts suggest using tea tree oil, which is as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but with fewer side effects. 
There are different ways you can use tea tree oil for your skin problems, like blackheads in ear. Just add 4 drops of this essential oil in 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil. Stir well then dip a cotton swab into the mixture. Gently apply on your blackheads. Let it sit for 10 minutes then wipe clean using a cotton swab dipped in warm water.
Tea tree oil is usually safe to apply on the skin in moderate amounts. However, there are some people who may develop a rash or sore, according to the Mayo Clinic. To lessen the possibility of developing allergic reactions, make sure to dilute it using the correct dilution ratio and perform a skin patch test prior to use.
Another problem people might encounter is there are currently no commercial skin care products that contain 5% tea tree oil, which is what most clinical researchers used for their studies. According to forum members in Acne.org, tea tree oil works great on them regardless of the concentration.
Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a popular ingredient in many commercial and homemade skin care treatments. So, what makes it so effective for pimples and blackheads?
- For one, it’s a rich source of citric acid (1.44 grams/ounce).  Since it’s an acid, it helps cleanse your skin by removing excess oil and dead skin cells. It also eliminates and prevents recurrence of blackheads by tightening your skin pores.
- Alpha-hydroxy acid is another component of lemon juice that fights off common skin problems, such as pimples, acne, and blackheads.
- Some studies have shown that lemon juice from the fresh fruit effectively fights off the bacteria that cause acne. 
To use lemon juice on your blackheads in ear, dilute 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with ½ teaspoon of soft water. Dip a cotton swab on the mixture, and then apply it directly to the affected ear. Let it dry before rinsing it off using a cotton swab soaked with warm water. Repeat this procedure at least twice daily.
Caveat: Undiluted lemon juice could cause skin irritations, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Taking a cup of green tea at least four times daily is highly beneficial. Studies show that the leaves of green tea (Camellia sinensis) contain certain plant antioxidants referred to as catechins, which fight against a wide variety of bacteria and inflammatory conditions.  
Is it really an effective treatment for different skin issues?
It seems it does. Out of 358 reviews in Acne.org, it received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.
Here’s the proper way to prepare one cup of green tea at home:
- Pour soft water (recommended) in a kettle and heat it until it boils. This is an important step because the formation of bubbles indicates that the carbon content of the water is disappearing, which in turn lowers its acidity level.
- After it boils, leave it for a couple of minutes until the temperature of the water goes down to 185°F.
- Next, allow the tea bag to brew for two minutes before removing it.
- Make sure to pour a small amount in a separate container. Apply it topically on the blackheads inside your ear. Again, don’t force the cotton swab down your ear canal.
Removing the Blackheads in Your Ear
Extracting blackheads inside the ears is a tricky and dangerous job. It’s best left to the professionals. One wrong move and you can risk getting an ear infection.
The first step of the procedure is the disinfection of the area. Whoever will perform the procedure should wear disposable latex gloves to prevent the spread of germs. Next, use a cotton ball saturated with alcohol to clean the area and blackhead extractor tool.
Now, place the blackhead extractor tool’s head on top of it, and then gently push down. Don’t force it. If you can’t extract the blackhead, it’s better leave it alone.
What can you use if you don’t have a blackhead extractor tool at home?
Here’s what you can do…
Use a clean ink pen. Unbolt the top portion of the ink pen, and then remove its cartridge. Invert it, with the top at the middle above the blackhead. Gently press up to extract the content of the blackhead. Think of this as a form of vacuum.
How to Prevent Blackheads in the Ear
- A great way to prevent blackhead formation is using oil free products especially lotions and sunscreens.
- Also be careful with your hair care products since they can be a reason for blackheads on your ears.
- Moreover, clean your cellphone and earphones since they may be dirty and could cause blackheads and acne in your ears.
- If you wear hats, wash your hats or other head gear regularly.
Sometimes, blackheads may be super painful, especially if they get infected. Infection makes your blackhead big and painful. Treatment of a huge and infected blackhead especially if it’s located in your ear canal, might force you to go to a dermatologist in order to remove it.
If your blackheads hurt too much, you can soothe the pain by applying a warm compress (i.e. soak a clean washcloth in warm water and apply it on the affected ear) and take over the counter pain relievers.
You should call your doctor immediately if the following symptoms show up: swelling, pain, and bleeding of the site. These could indicate that an infection is about to happen. If it’s not diagnosed and treated promptly, it could lead to irreparable damages and other health problems.
There are different factors that could cause blackheads to appear in your ears. Whatever that is, it still involves clogged pores. Thus, after you get rid of your present inner ear blackheads, make sure you maintain good ear hygiene. Wash the area with warm water and mild cleanser. Avoid touching your ears using dirty hands or objects.
Have you ever had inner ear blackheads before? How did you get rid of them? Don’t forget to share your thoughts and tips on how to remove ear blackheads. I’d love to hear them!