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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest remedies for excessive ear wax

Answered by
Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1969

Answered : 17664 Questions

Posted on Mon, 16 May 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hi,
i have excessive ear wax problem. between complete flushing (with Murine solution and blue bulb) i have this little "very dry" left over residue waxy flakes that are very itchy and bothersome. it even gets to the point that it cake and bleeds (very sore).
well, my ENT says, just put drops baby oil and that should do it. it does not work completely. so, i asked my dermatologist about the itching and pain. she prescribed "Texacort: Topical solution (2.5%)" plus putting some baby oil. this is a big messy, mess. i ran out of the Texacort (which is basically Hydrocortisone) and picked up some CORTIZONE 10 (ultra moisturizing) cream at drug store. this seems to relieve the pain and clear up the "crustiness" and minimum bleeding and restore my outer ear to normal.
I only use this on the outer ear (in-particular the TOP of the tragus) is where it get very sore.
OK, with that said - i am asking is it safe to continue using this OTC Cortizone 10 on a continuos basis? i am careful not to get this in the the inner ear. but it is that only relief i am getting. and i cant seem to get any answers from Drs. here...thats reason for my inquiry. OR, maybe this is not strong enough and you could refer something else (hopefully something OTC) that maybe work better.

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Use wax dissolving ear drops. use steroid cream for itching.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting query to HCM.
Read your query in detail and understood your concern.
From history it seems that there might be having some impacted wax giving rise this problem.
Put some wax dissolving ear drops like Waxolve or De-wax for few days.
Ear wax will dissolve and then gradually remove wax with cotton ear buds.
As there is itching, soreness and crusts, apply hydrocortizone cream or triple action cream which will help for itching, soreness and crusts.
Avoid steroid cream for long time.
There is another possibility of having some fungal infection called otomycosis as there is severe itching.
You can use anti-fungal ear drops to cure this infection.
Avoid water going into ears while taking shower and clean inside ear with cloth after shower.

I hope, I answered your query.
If you have further query or clarification, please write back.
Wish you speedy recover from your problem.
Dr. Ranmesh vachharajani, MBBS, XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
Follow up: Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 3 hours later
Thanks for your response. had a few questions. you mentioned: Avoid steroid cream for long time. (WHY? and HOW LONG? and do you mean the hydrocortizone cream i am using now?) is that a steroid?

What is triple action cream?

You say -Avoid water going into ears while taking shower: This seems to be the part of the problem. I have a "rainfall" shower head and water inevitably gets into my ears. i can feel irritation (many times ) almost immediately after a shower.

could you suggest perspiration ear plugs for this purpose? or OTC anti fungal ones, just asking.

How would i know if i have otomyscosis? other symptoms besides just itching? is it safe to use these drops as a precaution, just in case i do have it.

Thanks -i'll look for your reply

Answered by Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
use candid drops, avoid cortisone cream for long use

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for sending more queries and clarification.
1. Steroid cream is cortisone cream which your doctor advised.
This cream has few side effects if using for long time like dry skin, blackening of skin and there might be having some systemic side effects due to steroid absorbing and enter into blood stream.
Triple action cream also contains steroids along with anti-itching and antibiotic ingredient which stops itching and bacterial infection.
There is no special perspiration plug available but you may use cotton plugs while taking shower.
There are anti-fungal drops available called Candid lotion or ear drops in the market.
There is no harm of putting drops even fungal infection is not there.
to check for otomycosis, apart from severe itching if you check your external ear there might be a white layer of fungus in external ear or sticking to ear drum.
Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Sonia Raina
Follow up: Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 6 hours later

Thanks for your reply above. Maybe i need to clarify my usage of the steroid cream. I am NOT using this on a daily basis. This flaking, itching,crusting comes in cycles. so, i may use the Cortizone 10 cream (1% Hydrocortisone) once week just/only if my ears get painful. The in between times i try to keep the ear moist with the baby oil. (as my ENT had suggested)

Bottom line is I need to know if using this cream (sparingly) on my outer ear (TOP of the tragus & auricale (pinna) especially) is going to damage my eardrum or stereocilia hairs or hearing in anyway? where im applying this seems far enough away from inner ear to cause it harm, but your opinion sir.
I'll look for your reply,
Thank you!

Answered by Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
no problem using cortizone cream sparingly.

Detailed Answer:
There is no problem using steroid cream sparingly at some time.

I does not cause any damage to ear drum or hearing problem if it reaches to ear drum by this way using.

No problem if you are using once or twice within 2-3 days.

Apply Vaseline or moisturizing cream or baby oil to keep ear canal moist and smooth.

Now if there is no further clarification you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

With regards,
Dr. Ramesh Vachharajani.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee

The User accepted the expert's answer

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