Everything You Need to Know About Treating Ear Blackheads

  • Blackheads in ears are more common than you may realize.
  • If you experience this, you’re probably wondering how to get blackheads out of ears.
  • Ear blackhead causes include oil buildup and clogged pores.

Ear blackheads are one of those common skin-care concerns that can be annoying to deal with. They may not be as noticeable as the blackheads on your face, but they can still be frustrating to deal with. While blackheads can occur anywhere on the body where there are hair follicles, the ears are a particularly common location. Ear blackhead removal can be a bit trickier than removing spots that pop up on your face, as the skin in that area is more delicate, not to mention very hard to reach — but they’re not impossible to treat. You’ll want to avoid trying to pop them at home — while tempting, it’s never the best course of action, no matter where blackheads appear.

So, how does one go about removing ear blackheads? We spoke with two board-certified dermatologists, Jodi LoGerfo, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, and Julie Russak, MD, to get their recommendations for treating, preventing, and minimizing the appearance of blackheads in ears.

Ear Blackhead Causes

The blackheads in your ears are essentially the same as the blackheads you might find on your face. Similar to on your face, “a blackhead occurs when pores become clogged with excess oil, debris, environmental pollution, and dead skin cells,” Dr. LoGergo tells POPSUGAR. “The debris fills the pore and remains open, becoming dark due to a chemical reaction called oxidation.”

Blackheads tend to appear in areas where there are a lot of oil glands, and the ears are no exception. “It’s easy for debris to build up as we don’t clean the inside of our ears as frequently as we wash our face,” Dr. LoGerfo says. Additionally, the anatomical shape of our ears can trap oil and debris, making it easier for blackheads to form.

How to Remove Blackheads in Ears

While it may be tempting to try and manually remove ear blackheads by squeezing them out, this approach is not always effective and can even cause more harm than good. “Some blackheads may stay in the skin and even go deeper, creating more inflammation, and therefore leading to scars and hyperpigmentation on this skin,” Dr. Russak says. Additionally, the skin in your ears is very sensitive and can be prone to infection, making DIY extractions a risky move.

If you’re wondering how to remove deep blackheads in ears, according to Dr. LoGerfo, the best way to remove ear blackheads is to see a dermatology provider. “They can use a comedone extractor correctly and remove them for the patient,” she says. Comedone extractors are specialized tools used to extract blackheads and other types of acne. Dr. Russak suggests getting them removed via a medical-grade facial or with the machine known as the Hydrafacial, where a softening solution and water suction are used to remove blackheads from the skin without causing more damage to the surrounding skin.

Prevention Tips For Blackheads in Ears

We often neglect our ears when it comes to skin care, but thoroughly cleansing and taking care of that area can help prevent blackheads. Dr. LoGerfo suggests using acne-fighting medications like topical retinoids (adapalene, tretinoin, prescription tazarotene), azelaic acid, or salicylic acid after cleaning the ear area. “Antiacne skin-care products can be effective in treating blackheads, particularly those used for comedonal acne.”

As with acne anywhere on the body, consistency is key to preventing future breakouts.

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