Blackheads in your ear don't draw quite as much attention as those that pop up on your face. The good news is that the small shape and location of your ear allow you to easily ignore these pesky black bumps. The bad news is that this hidden space is the perfect breading ground for oil, dirt and sebum, which means blackheads can easily bust onto the scene. While you can't cure ear blackheads from ever surfacing again, you can take steps to greatly reduce the amount that reside in your ear.
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Wash your ears at the same time you cleanse your face in the shower. Use an acne-fighting cleanser with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to break down oil in clogged pores and kill bacteria. Use your finger to gently massage the cleanser in and around the ear; make sure you don't push the cleanser into the canal. Rinse well with warm water. After patting the ear dry with a towel, pour some toner onto a cotton ball and carefully dab inside the ear. Choose one with glycolic acid, which helps clear away dead skin cells.
Twice a week apply an acne facial mask with retinol inside the ear. Use a cotton swab and dab the mask onto the blackheads. Allow the mask to dry and then wipe it away with a wet wash cloth. Place an extraction tool on top of the blackhead. Carefully yet firmly press down on one side of the tool to release the dirt and hardened sebum trapped inside. Refrain from forcing the blackhead out. If it does not release easily, wait another few days and try again.
Apply benzoyl peroxide directly onto the blackheads and onto the skin after you've released them. This over-the-counter medication is found in concentrations of 2 to 10 percent, and works to kill the bacteria responsible for the blackheads. Or, dab a bit of sulfur onto the blackheads. Not only does this suppress the bacteria that causes your breakouts, but it also works to unclog the pores with existing blackheads.
It's important that you don't occlude the air from touching your ears. Ear buds, a helmet and hair gel are all things that can contribute to oil and bacteria build-up in the ear area. If bothersome black dots still appear despite your strict cleansing routine, visit a board-certified dermatologist. You may need a stronger medication, such as a retinoid, to help dislodge them. According to California-based dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee, a prescription for tretinoin can help if over-the-counter medication and a strict cleansing routine don't work. Tretinoin can actually help prevent the formation of new blackheads.
- YouTube: Blackheads in Your Ears -- Dr. Lee on The Doctors
- Huffington Post: Blackheads Be Gone -- Six Ways to Get Rid of and Prevent Them From Coming Back
- Bona-fideskincare.com: Using a Blackhead Extractor to Clear Skin
- American Academy of Dermatology: Dermatologists Advise Patients That Over-the-Counter Acne Products Can Have Benefits and a Place on Their Medicine Shelf