What is allergic cellulitis of the ear?

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It is important to note that cellulitis is basically an infectious process that occurs in the deep layers of the skin. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus can enter the skin due to irritation that has been triggered by an allergic reaction. Take note that the ear is considered fairly resistant to such irritations but if an object is inserted into the ear, it will lead to the breakdown of the resistance. It is only in severe cases in which an auricular infection is considered dangerous.

Involvement of the structures

The outer part of the ear is comprised of three structural regions and those that are swollen can help the doctor determine the process that is taking place. The skin in the opening of the ear canal depends on the delicate balance of protective secretions and mild cleaning to stay healthy. The cartilage of the upper ear has thin skin and minimal blood but can become infected. Take note that cellulitis typically affects the fleshy lobe that has no bone or cartilage and minimal secretions. It becomes inflamed together with the skin in other parts of the ear. Any of these can occur due to an insect bite, allergic reaction or scratch.

Allergic cellulitis
Dermatitis is the inflammation of the skin. This condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to plants, soaps or plastic in a hearing aid.

Piercings on the ears

The cases of infections and allergic contact dermatitis have increased due to the number of individuals who have body piercings. Individuals who have pierced ears have suffered from infections, allergic reactions to the earring and other health complications. It is important to note that the lack of blood supply in the cartilage can make the piercings heal at a slow rate. Among the piercings, those that are made out of nickel are responsible for causing allergies even though some are sensitive to silver and gold. In any case, the broken skin is at risk for infection and once the cartilage is infected, it could not be repaired.


Dermatitis is the inflammation of the skin. This condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to plants, soaps or plastic in a hearing aid. Eczema is a severe breakdown of the exterior layers of the skin and believed to the triggered by a combination of genetic, environmental and immunological factors. It is not common on the ear but is likely to spread close enough that the weeping and cracked skin allows the staph and other bacteria and viruses to access the interior layers of the skin. Additionally, any other irritation in the skin of the ear can also allow the entry of these pathogens. If you want to learn how to manage dermatitis, click here.

Swimmer’s ear

The ear canal slightly slopes down to drain the moisture and the waxy cerumen secreted by some of the skin cells as a way to protect against moisture. In case the canal ends up blocked due to an allergic reaction to the chemicals present in the pool or shampoo or excessive cleaning using a rough object, it can cause further irritation on the skin outside the ear or the infection can spread under the surface of the skin. In worst cases, it would require systemic treatment with the help of oral antibiotics.

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