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What can I do to prevent my scratched-up ear from getting infected?


I have an itch in my ear that will not go away. As much as I try not to scratch, I can't help it. I left it alone for a few days and it built up with a lining of crust. I tried to leave it be, but I kept feeling this tickling sensation, like wax sliding down my ear canal and into the buildup. About an hour ago, I couldn't take it anymore. I scratched violently, and when that didn't work, I took a floss pick, bent it in half and tried to scoop everything out. Nothing. But it felt so good to scratch that I kept going, and now it feels raw, and I just read that I may have just caused a roaring infection.

What steps can I take right now to treat and prevent this? I have peroxide, alcohol, a bulb for irrigation that I never use, and some desoximetasone cream I was supposed to put on my itchy elbow. Can I put that in my inner ear? I'm reading this and chuckling at my own foolishness, but I'd really like to avoid an ear ache. Any suggestions?

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I think a visit to your doctor might be a good idea. "Scoop everything out"? You might have a wax build-up and even have tiny bits of debris in there (bits of the crust you mention). My mom would sometimes warm a little bit of baby oil in a teaspoon held over steaming water and then pour it into an achy ear one of us kids had. I don't think it would hurt and it might help get rid of whatever is bothering you. Lay on that side with a towel under your ear to catch any drainage.
You might very well have caused injury with that bent floss pick. A really bad infection could even cause hearing loss if it goes untreated. I don't think you should use the cream without first consulting with your doctor. Not all itches are the same and you could end up causing yourself even more trouble.

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Just put some alcohol or hand sanitizer in it keep doing that regularly until it fixes itself.

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Cover it well with peroxide... doesn't sting.

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