Dry Skin on Earlobe
Dry skin that appears on the earlobe can be a frustrating and embarrassing symptom. It can be caused by a variety of environmental and medical conditions --- some that can pose serious dangers if left untreated. Therefore, it is important for the sufferer to understand what can cause dryness on the earlobe and how it can be remedied.
Dryness on the earlobe can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms. The earlobe can feel rough to the touch, with patches or bumps on the skin's surface. This skin may also itch, appear red and swollen, and flake off in oily clumps. A headache, fatigue or fever may accompany symptoms. The same type of dryness that occurs on the earlobe may also occur on other areas of the body, such as the neck, scalp and forearms.
There are a variety of conditions that can cause dryness on the earlobe. A condition called actinic keratosis can affect the top layer of skin, notes MayoClinic.com. This skin lesion occurs after exposure to the sun and can cause damage to the skin cells, resulting in dryness. Similarly, a sunburn can cause the skin on the ears to burn and peel as it heals, resulting in dry skin on the earlobe. Seborrheic dermatitis, which can also contribute to dryness on the ears, occurs from a combination of overproduction of skin oil and the yeast malessizia.
When dry skin on the earlobe is the result of actinic keratosis, a doctor can prescribe topical medications to kill the actinic keratosis cells or modify the immune system to reject the cells. A sunburn can benefit from anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, which can help reduce any swelling associated with the ear dryness. Lotions that contain ingredients such as corticosteroids, ketoconazole, coal tar or zinc can also help loosen scales of dry skin in cases of seborrheic dermatitis.
To avoid developing dry skin on the earlobes, stay out of the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the rays of the sun are strongest. In addition, always apply sunscreen to the earlobes, even on days when the sun is hidden behind clouds. To combat seborrheic dermatitis on the earlobes, wash the earlobes often and find ways to handle stress, which can contribute to seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups.
Frequent exposure to the sun can not only cause dryness in the earlobes, it can result in damage to the skin's DNA. This can turn into serious types of cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Left untreated, dryness on the earlobes from chronic seborrheic dermatitis can cause secondary fungal or bacterial infections, problems with self esteem, and psychological distress, notes MedlinePlus.
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