What does it mean when your ears itch?

According to McGovern Medical School, itchy ears are a widespread problem. And while the sensation can be completely debilitating for some people, it can be more bearable for others. However, it can be a symptom of something serious, so it's important to try and identify the potential cause, whether you are experiencing one itchy ear — or two.

Flushing Medical Centre lists various potential reasons for why your ears may itch, with the most obvious being allergies. Whether it's an allergic reaction to a new hair product or something you may have ingested, it's important to be extra cautious when making changes to your beauty routine or diet, especially if you suffer from any known allergies or have experienced reactions to things in the past. Another possible cause of itchy ears is hay fever. Alongside watery eyes and a runny nose, if you're going through a hay fever spell and experiencing itchy ears, it's probably just another symptom of that.

Itchy ears can be a sign of infection

If the itch feels like it's inside your ear canal, it could simply be a case of hygiene. Putting anything inside your ear, including cotton swabs, can irritate and inflame your ear, as well as increase your chances of getting an ear infection. Alternatively, it could just be a case of ear wax blockage. 

If the itchiness is outside your ear canal, or on the surrounding skin, however, Flushing Medical Centre points out that it could be psoriasis. A well-known skin condition made famous by Kim Kardashian, look out for dry patches or scaly skin around your ear. Beyond this, itchy ears could actually be the sign of ear infection, so if you can't pinpoint the cause, head to your local medical professional to make sure it's nothing serious.

In the meantime, in terms of treating itchy ears, the best thing you can do is nothing at all. "Try not to scratch at all," Dr. Steve Daveluy, associate professor and program director at Wayne State University School of Dermatology, told Healthy Hearing. "For any skin, scratching makes the nerves that feel itch grow. So the more you scratch, the more you'll itch." If it continues, though, go get checked out by your doctor.