Rash Behind Ears: Causes & Treatment

Noticing a rash on any part of your body can be a cause of alarm as you begin to worry what may have caused it and how it is going to develop. If you notice a red rash behind ears, it can either be an indication of one of many common conditions that may affect your skin, or rather a sign of something more serious. It is useful to be able to identify the type of rash that you have so you can find out the best way to treat it. With this guide, you will discover various conditions that are commonly related to a rash behind ear, and you will also find out the most suitable treatment for your rash.

Types of Ear Rash

To ensure that you deal with your ear rash effectively, it is important to be aware of some of the underlying conditions that can cause it. These most frequently include eczema, contact dermatitis, ringworm and rubella. Below is a brief overview of each condition as well as some information on specific treatments.

1. Eczema

When you notice a red rash behind ear, oftentimes, eczema is the first culprit to be considered. Also known as atopic dermatitis, this is a chronic condition that causes your skin to become dry, itchy, red and cracked. Most common in infants (approximately 1 in 5 children have eczema), the causes of such a condition are unclear; it is believed that someone who is sensitive to allergies (described as “atopic”), asthmatic or suffers from hayfever is more likely to develop it.

Though the severity of one’s eczema may fluctuate through time, there are a number of available treatments which can help alleviate its symptoms. Firstly, exercising self-control by not scratching and avoiding known triggers of your eczema can help prevent its development. Moisturisers, known as emollients, applied on a daily basis may also help combat dryness and itchiness. Also, topical corticosteroids in the form of gels or ointments can reduce swelling and redness.

2. Contact Dermatitis

This is an inflammation of the skin that happens when it comes into contact with substance(s) that are irritants which harm the outer layer of skin, or, alternatively, that someone is allergic to. A condition that results in symptoms which are similar to eczema, this can be caused especially by toiletries such as soaps and detergents as well as cosmetics like perfumes.

This can be treated in much the same way that eczema is. Avoiding irritants and allergies which upset your skin, as well as applying emollients, topical and oral corticosteroidsare all steps which can be taken to ease a rash behind ear.

3. Ringworm

Though having nothing to do with worms as its name implies, ringworm is an infection of the skin that causes red and circular rashes which can be itchy. This type of condition is caused by fungal spores which can spread between people through skin contact, or instead through shared use of objects such as hairbrushes, towels and bedding. Because of this, it is common to find such a rash behind your ears.

This type of condition is best treated by an antifungal cream which can be directly applied to the affected area. Skin which becomes broken through irritation may also need to be treated with oral antibiotics.

4. Rubella

A skin infection which is caused by the rubella virus; this disease often begins with a red rash behind the ear, made of many small spots that can be itchy. Rubella is caused by a virus which is transmitted by the respiratory route; it spreads primarily through coughing and sneezing, but also through the bloodstream between a pregnant woman and her new born child.

If you have a red rash behind ear which has been diagnosed as rubella, a few steps can be taken to prevent its spread and minimalize the infection. It is crucial during the incubation period (the first few weeks in which the symptoms develop) to try and avoid contact with other people. You can also take ibuprofen or paracetamol to reduce the aches and pains which may be felt as the rubella virus develops. 

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