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What causes hot,red and painful outer ears? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 25-Mar-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1230 Questions
User:Woke up yesterday with hot red painful outer ears, like a bad sunburn but that's not possible. Now huge clear blisters along inner curve of top fold of outer ear, both ears identical as to the blistering. Feeling some pressure inside left ear. Pain gone.
Doctor:Please give me a minute to go through your query
Doctor:You seem to be having either Shingles or bacterial infection of the outer ear
Doctor:You need to consult your local doctor to determine the exact nature of the problem and if it turns out to be bacterial infection, then you will need a course of antibiotics
Doctor:hello are you there?
User:sorry, couldnt at first see how to answer you.
User:if it's bacterial, would it be identical to both ears?
User:also, if it's shingles, is there really any treatment except palliative?
User:you spelled your name two different ways, by the way...
Doctor:Yes, it can be identical even if it is bacterial infection
Doctor:I missed 'H' in my name, that is why I retyped it
Doctor:And if it is shingles, yes there is treatment other than just palliative
User:would the pain be likely to be gone now if it's bacterial,
Doctor:You can take a course of antiviral medicines such as Acyclovir to get better faster
Doctor:No, if it is bacterial, the pain should persist
User:if it's shingles, would the pain also be likely to persist?
User:do I need to find a doctor right away, or is it likely OK to wait until I get back home next Monday?
Doctor:In shingles, the pain may or may not persist
User:I'm supposed to visit a family where there is a one-year old child--probably should cancel, right?
Doctor:You can wait and see if this is spreading
Doctor:Yes, it is best to cancel your visit for the sake of the kid
User:OK as to canceling the visit. As to what I think is probably shingles, just double checking: you think ok for me to see doctor next Tuesday about this and probably no harm done in the delay?
Doctor:If the rash and boils don't spread and if you don't see any pus points in these boils, you can wait it out
Doctor:as Shingles is self limiting
User:no rash, though--just these huge clear blisters and hot red skin... does this surprise you?
Doctor:No, it looks more like Shingles
User:OK. Now, if I see these blisters show signs of pus, then I should find a doctor? Because that would mean maybe not shingles, and maybe I would need medication?
Doctor:If you see pus in these boils, it could mean secondary bacterial infection on top of shingles, which does happen, and yes, then you will need to see a doctor
User:Oh, boy. So to go back a bit: for shingles, is the treatment a steriod and/or an antibiotic?
Doctor:For Shingles the treatment is antiviral
Doctor:Antibiotic refers generally to antibacterials
Doctor:Steroids can be of some help but not advisable
User:Shingles, viral. Bacterial infection, bacterial. Thanks. Now, does this pressure in the left ear seem to mean anything?
Doctor:It could mean, you might be having a boil or two in the inner ear as well
User:a boil is a big clear blister?
Doctor:Boils look like filled with clear liquid
Doctor:they look like the blisters after a mild burn
User:Yes, well, it would have been a major sunburn the like of which I've never experienced, thank Well, that's what they are then. Can you think of anything else I should ask, or that we should c
User:Sorry, pressed wrong button. mean to say, thank God. Anything else I should consider
Doctor:I don't think you need to consider anything else as of now
Doctor:rarely some insect bites can result in such blisters/boils but I don't think that is the case in you
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Doctor:please log in again if you wish to continue the chat
Doctor:Good bye
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