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What Causes Blackheads in the Ears?

What Causes Blackheads in the Ears? What Causes Blackheads in the Ears?

The technical term for blackheads is comedones, according to Both blackheads and whiteheads occur when your pores trap dirt, oily skin secretions and acne-causing bacteria. You have pores all over your body, including in your ears. Cell phones and other ear devices often help contribute to blackheads in the ear. If you get them on a regular basis, it's important to understand why so you can help prevent them in the future.


Billions of bacteria live on your skin at all times. Most of them are harmless, and some even protect you from infection. Certain types of bacteria lead to blackheads or make them worse, according to As bacteria enters your pores, it starts to multiply and feeds on dead skin cells and oil produced by your body. Infected pores usually lead to irritation and swelling, which in turn traps contents inside of your pores. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to prevent pore infections. These can help with blackheads and other types of acne.

Oily Secretions and Skin Cells

When your skin dies, it usually sloughs off and falls away from your body. In the case of blackheads, some of these dead skins cells become trapped inside your open pores. This may be the result of increased oil production, which causes dead skin cells to clump together as they mix with oily secretions. Natural skin oils in abundance clog pores on their own as well. Skin cells and oils are the most common causes of blackheads, according to

Pore Clogging Substances

Pores can clog with oils and skin all by themselves, but sometimes your skincare routine can help the process along. Heavy makeup and oily cosmetics can become trapped in pores, causing blackheads. Blackheads can also result from greasy sunblocks, residual hair oils or drying facial cleansers, according to Medline Plus. Drying cleansers strip normal skin of necessary oil, which causes your skin to produce more oil to compensate. Even though you use these products on your face or hair, they easily migrate to your ear through touch, sweat and proximity.

Contributing Factors

Friction at the ear increases acne and blackheads, according to Regular cell phone or helmet use forces dead skin and oils into your pores. If you regularly sit with your head leaning against your hand, the friction from this position also forces debris and oil into your pores. Any item that causes friction near your ear, especially your hand, can transfer acne-causing bacteria to your ear.

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