Psoriasis refers to a skin condition characterized by itchy scaly patches.
The thick scales featured in Psoriasis usually appear on elbows, knees, legs, back, and scalp. But sometimes, these patches can grow on the skin around the ear and even reach the auricle.
In some cases of Ear Psoriasis, these scaly patches can even appear in a more delicate area such as the inside of the ear.
Some experts consider Psoriasis an autoimmune disease, a type of condition that occurs due to an abnormal response of the immune system against its own body.
While not a deadly condition on its own, Ear Psoriasis can become a significant health issue if the dry scales become infected as that could lead to developing other diseases or worsening Psoriasis itself.
According to some studies, around 7.4 million adults in the United States have Psoriasis, and about 18% of those patients can develop Ear Psoriasis.
Although uncommon, Ear Psoriasis can even affect children or infants, but in most of these cases, the condition tends to be less severe.
Despite popular belief, uncleanliness and repeated contact with other people with Psoriasis are not factors in the development of this disease.
In fact, medical experts and researchers still don’t know the exact cause of this condition.
Ear Psoriasis Signs and Symptoms
The most noticeable feature in this type of Psoriasis is rashes on the skin of the ear. They can take the form of reddish or silvery spots, and they tend to reappear in the same place.
Another symptom of Ear Psoriasis is the scaly patches on the area, which people can easily peel off or rub off. They often persist and don’t disappear even when applying moisturizer cream.
These dry and thick scales can even spread from one part of the body to other areas of the skin.
Several people can see the affected area displaying dry and cracking skin. That could leave the flesh vulnerable to infections and bacteria, which may even worsen the condition.
Itchiness is a symptom that doesn’t always appear, but when it does, it usually affects the skin behind the ear or around the earlobes.
Some patients display this sign due to dry skin in the area or an upcoming flare of Psoriasis in that particular place.
The itchy rashes may lead to fungal skin infection and stimulate more outbreaks of this disease.
In a few cases, patients may experience some pain or discomfort behind the ears or around the skin of the earlobe. This sensation could probably spread from the ear to the neck or the face.
This disease can likely worsen to the point of causing limited or impaired hearing. But, it usually occurs in cases of patients over 50 years old.
However, researchers still don’t understand the relationship between this partial loss of hearing and Ear Psoriasis.
In fact, according to a few studies, 50% of the patients that experience such deafness usually regained their hearing in approximately 2 to 3 weeks.
The recommendation for people with Ear Psoriasis is to have hearing checks with a medical expert regularly.
While people are still unsure as to what causes this disease, some had been able to identify several factors that could potentially worsen Psoriasis.
- Stress: It can cause flares of Psoriasis, and even though people can’t entirely avoid it, they can get stress under control by relaxing, working out, deep breathing, among other methods.
- Medications: some drugs meant to treat heart diseases, mental disorders, arthritis, and even malaria, can worsen a case of Psoriasis.
- Trauma: skin injuries are capable of causing an outbreak of Psoriasis in the affected area.
- Other diseases: when the body is under attack by viruses or bacteria, the immune system responds to eliminate the threat. However, such response can trigger another flare of Psoriasis.
Ear Psoriasis Treatment
Ear Psoriasis doesn’t have a cure. But medical experts use several methods to alleviate the symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.
Doctors will examine their patients to determine the severity of the condition and will recommend the treatment that better suits the sufferers’ needs.
Some of these available treatments are the ones listed here below:
Medical experts may recommend using jojoba or olive oil, moisturizers with antioxidant properties that help to combat bacteria and ease the affected skin.
When the patients have sudden deafness, medical experts may use a small tool to remove the scaly patches that block the hearing.
Only a professional can carry out this task, so people should avoid trying to do this by themselves.
Doctors may prescribe nonsteroidal drugs for patients to apply them on their skin. One of these medicines could be Calcipotriol (Calcipotriene), which treats overactive skin cells.
If we put it in other terms, we can say such medications slow down the excessive skin growth that causes Psoriasis.
Some doctors like to use liquefied steroid formulas to treat Ear Psoriasis. Sometimes, they combine them with other medications for further effectiveness.