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Child ears smell bad. Consulted ENT. Advised for precaution while feeding and bathing. Prescribed medicines. Suggest?

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Practicing since : 1998
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Hello Doctor,

My baby, Daksh is 11 months old and his ears smell bad often. We consulted a pediaritionist and also an ENT doctor, we were advised to take certain precautions while feeding the baby milk and while bathing him. We follow the doctors recommendations and also use the prescribed medicines but the problem did not cease to exist, it comes back.

Can you please advice.

Thanks in advance,
Posted Tue, 14 May 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to health care magic.

Do not worry.

Did you notice any ear discharge at any time during these 11 months?
Did he have any ear infection during this period?
Do you use a bottle?

There are two things one should be concerned about when there is smell from a baby's ears.

One is infection in the ears.
Second is foreign body in the baby's ears.(may be a older kid may be responsible for such a thing)

Since your baby is examined even by a ENT specialist both these causes should have been ruled out by him.

Now this smell could be because of milk from his bottle or feeds getting trapped in the skin folds and getting macerated there.
So try to avoid this by using a cloth while feeding and cleaning up those folds.

Some food material or skin flakes etc may get trapped in the folds of ear or behind the ear. Try to clean it up gently.

Do not let him have a bottle while lying down. This increases the chances that the milk enters the eustachian tubes and causes ear infection and then the smell.

Some times fungal infection could be a cause of the problem. I can see that you are using a antifungal already.

Look for any crusts etc in the folds of the ear or behind. If present remove them.

Treatment of cradle crap if present may help.

Dry the ears properly after a bath.

In our practical experience we see that some babies have this peculiar smell. If those hazardous things are ruled out (like foreign body and infection) we advice the mother the above. But some times what ever we advise it comes back.

Hope this helps.
Continue to ask further queries regarding your baby as required.

Take care.
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