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Rash behind Ear

A skin rash can be itchy and painful. It is a cause of embarrassment to people, especially if it appears in the exposed areas of the skin. A rash behind the ear is something that should not be taken lightly.

A rash may appear as an ordinary skin bump, but when gets infected could be reddened and swollen. If gets infected could lead to blisters and open sores. What can cause a rash behind the ears? Is a red rash behind ears can be cured? (1, 2)

An adult patient with rashes behind the ear caused by atopic dermatitis or eczema.photo

Image 1: An adult patient with rashes behind the ear caused by atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Picture Source: www.healthmds.org

A rash behind the ear of a paediatric patient.image

Photo 2: A rash behind the ear of a paediatric patient.
Image Source: imageserve.babycenter.com

A rash behind the ear of a paediatric patient, which is caused by rubella virus.photo

Image 3: A rash behind the ear of a paediatric patient, which is caused by rubella virus.
Picture Source: www.med-health.net

Causes of Rash behind the Ears

A rash behind the ear is a result of various factors such as an underlying health condition, infection, and medical-related cause (underlying disease condition). Some of the causes of rash behind the ears include the following:

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis) – It is characterized by dry and itchy rashes. The skin becomes reddened and swollen. It should be treated right away or else it could lead to a cluster of blisters. The rash usually appears behind the ears and in the areas of skin folds such as the knees and elbows. (3)
  • Contact dermatitis – Most of the time, it is mistaken for atopic dermatitis because they have the same clinical manifestations. The only difference is that contact dermatitis is caused by allergen. Everybody is susceptible to contacting contact dermatitis. It could be an allergic reaction to environmental factors, cosmetics, soaps, shampoo, jewelry, and the likes. The genetic composition of the human body has a lot to do with the development of contact dermatitis. (4)
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – The rash starts on the scalp and will gradually spread behind the ears and eventually on the face. It is an extremely itchy rash, which tends to scale and crust. The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is still unknown up to this time. However, it is associated with an immune response. People with a weak immune system is susceptible to seborrheic dermatitis. Diet can also trigger seborrheic dermatitis, especially if your diet lacks biotin, zinc, riboflavin, and pyridoxine. (4)
  • Psoriasis of the scalp – It is somewhat the same as the typical psoriasis, but it is concentrated on the forehead, neck, and behind the ears. The rash is reoccurring. This condition is associated with autoimmune disease. It is also linked with environmental conditions and genetic factors. (5)

Rash behind the ear in infants

Infant have delicate skin. They are prone to skin rashes and skin infection. That is why it is important to take good care of baby’s skin. Not taking good care of baby’s skin can lead to rashes, especially on the head area.

A rash behind the ear of babies are treatable as long as urgent treatment is given to the baby. What could possibly be the reasons why babies can have a rash behind the ear?

  1. Measles – A heat rash behind ears of babies can be one of the clinical manifestations of measles. It appears as a flat red spot and will then travel to the rest of the body. Aside from rashes, other clinical manifestations of measles include cough, runny nose, and fever. Measles are viral in nature. There is no exact cure. The focus of care is to strengthen the immune system of the body and treat the symptoms. Luckily, there is a vaccine against measles. It is given when a baby reaches nine months old. (5, 6)
  2. Seborrheic dermatitis – An inflamed and reddened rash behind the infant’s ears can be linked with seborrheic dermatitis. The rash is oily and scaly. In babies, the condition is called cradle cap. (7)
  3. Rubella/German measles – It is somewhat similar to that of the usual measles. Where does German measles rash start? The infant begins to have rashes on the face including the neck and behind the ears. The gland behind the ears swell. The infant also has fever, headache, runny nose, and joint pain. The clinical manifestations last for a few days. (2, 8)

Rash behind Ear Treatment

Rashes usually resolve on its own, but it is important to give the appropriate treatment. The root cause of the rash should be ruled out in order to come up with the most effective treatment. There are home remedies and over the counter medications that you can try on. However, if the patient is infant, it is important to consult a paediatrician. Do not attempt to give medications by mouth unless prescribe by your doctor.

You should keep the area behind the ear clean and dry to prevent secondary infection. If the cause of rashes behind the ear is atopic dermatitis, there is no exact cure for the disease. However, the symptoms can be managed using topical corticosteroids and increasing the intake of vitamin D. You should avoid anything that can trigger the rash. The rash behind the ear can be very itchy.

To alleviate the itching, the patient should use an anti-itch cream. Avoid anything that can further dry up the rash. As much as possible, you should keep the skin moisturized using skin-friendly moisturizer. (6, 9, 10)

In the case of seborrheic dermatitis, the best remedy is anti-fungal medication. Natural remedies such as essential oils can also improve the appearance of rash. Examples include the following:

  • Tea tree oil diluted in carrier oil such as jojoba oil improves the appearance of rash. It is effective in the treatment of skin rash both of bacterial and fungal cause.
  • Turmeric is effective in alleviating skin rashes. It stops the spread of the rash and treats redness and swelling. Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory property. (1, 4, 5)

If the rash does not go away despite desperate measures, the best thing to do is to consult your skin doctor. If the patient is infant or child, you need to consult your paediatrician. A rash behind the ear is something that cannot be noticed right away.

It can only get notice if it starts to get painful and itchy. To prevent any types of rash, it is a must to keep the skin clean at all times. Maintain a good hygiene. Always consult your doctor for any unusual signs and symptoms. (2, 3, 7)


  1. www.nhs.uk
  2. www.doctorshealthpress.com
  3. www.healthhype.com
  4. www.zocdoc.com
  5. www.phaa.com
  6. www.healthmds.org
  7. www.livestrong.com
  8. www.healcure.org
  9. www.med-health.net
  10. www.healthyhowto.org

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