Home Care Advice for Ear Pulling Habit or Itchy Ear Canal
Habit: If touching the ear is a new habit, ignore it (prevent doing it for attention).
White Vinegar Eardrops: For itchy ear canal, use ½ strength white vinegar by diluting it with equal parts water. Place 2 drops in each ear canal daily for three days (Reason: restore the normal acid pH). (EXCEPTION: ear drainage, ear tubes or hole in eardrum)
Avoid Soap: Keep soap and shampoo out of the ear canal.
Avoid Cotton Swabs: Cotton swabs remove the earwax that normally protects the lining of the ear canal, and this leads to itching and irritation.
Expected Course: With this treatment, most itching is gone in 2 or 3 days.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Most of these children have discovered their ears and are playing with them.
- Some have an itchy ear canal.
- Ear pulling that is a new symptom and begins when a child has a cold usually is caused by fluid in the middle ear. Less often it's caused by an ear infection.
- Ear pulling without other symptoms is not a sign of an ear infection.
- Pulling at the ear continues for over 3 days
- Itching of ear continues for over 1 week
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
To find a pediatrician, click here.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 6/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 2:58:42 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version Year: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.