Monday, 26-09-2022

Rash Behind Ear: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

A rash behind the ears may be a common occurrence, but it can have the potential to become infected. Here’s what you need to know about identifying the causes and types of skin rash behind the ear.

The delicate skin behind the ears is a common source of rashes. They can be hard to treat as you cannot see the affected area.

A rash behind your ears can be caused by many things, including skin irritation from haircare products and fungal infections.

Children and adults can get a rash behind their ears from viral infections or autoimmune diseases. Although some causes aren’t serious, like contact dermatitis or autoimmune diseases, there may be other more serious causes such as rubella.

We will be discussing the possible causes and treatment options for a rash behind your ear.

What can cause a rash behind the ear?

Itching behind the ears can cause redness, swelling, itching, and flaking of the skin. These symptoms can range from annoying to severe. These are the most common causes of a behind-the-ear rash.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis refers to an allergic reaction to a specific substance.

A rash may develop if an allergen-inducing substance is in contact with the skin behind the ears.

Contact dermatitis behind your ears can be caused by the following allergens:

  • Shampoos
  • Soaps
  • Other hair care products

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is an example of a common contact allergen.


Contact dermatitis is a condition that causes itching, dryness, flaking, and irritation to the skin.


A doctor will diagnose contact dermatitis by taking the patient’s medical history and performing a physical exam. The relevant medical history includes hobbies, medications, as well as the use of perfumes and fragrances.

The doctor will then assess the patient’s symptoms and perform a patch test.

Sometimes, they might need to do a biopsy in order to confirm their diagnosis.


Avoiding the substance that causes the reaction or rash is the best treatment.

Sometimes, a doctor might recommend oral or topical corticosteroids to reduce itching and inflammation.

Itching may be relieved by prescription and over-the-counter oral antihistamines.

People may find that applying cold, or even wet soaks to their skin soothes them and reduces itching. You can also use moisturizers.


Rubella, also known as German measles is a rare viral infection that can affect children and young adults.

2020 article states that rubella is usually self-limiting and benign. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most rubella cases in children and adults are mild.

Rubella can be fatal in pregnant women if it develops within the first ten weeks. These complications include severe congenital abnormalities, pregnancy loss, and fetal death.


According to the CDC, 25-50% will have rubella symptoms.

If symptoms do occur, however, they will often differ between adults and children.

According to the CDC, children often get a rash on their face that spreads to their bodies. It will last for about three days.

You may also experience other symptoms 1-5 days before you get rash.

  • A headache
  • Low-grade fever
  • It is uncomfortable
  • A cough
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A mild case of pinkeye
  • A runny nose

Rubella is a mild infection that affects adults. They have a sore neck and a low-grade fever. The rash first appears on the skin and then spreads to the entire body.

A person can be contagious starting 8 to 8 days before the rash occurs.


Sometimes, the symptoms of rubella can be mild or nonspecific and doctors might find it difficult to diagnose based on a physical exam.

More accurate serology testing for rubella.

Doctors can test for antibodies to rubella-specific immunoglobulin M by using serology testing. These antibodies can be detected four days after the rash develops.


Due to the 1969 introduction of a vaccine, rubella incidence has decreased in many countries.

Rubella is not curable. If you have symptoms, it is important to get prompt treatment.

Supportive treatments include fluids, antipyretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for fever and aches. These may be combined for some people.

Scalp psoriasis

People suffering from scalp psoriasis may have discolored patches of thickened skin behind their ears.

Plaques can get itchy and flake easily, giving rise to a dandruff appearance.


Other signs of scalp psoriasis are:

  • Silvery-white Scales
  • Dry scales
  • Dry, cracked scalp
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Hair loss


Psoriasis can usually be diagnosed by doctors by looking at the lesions on your skin.


Topical treatments are possible for people suffering from scalp psoriasis. They typically have minimal involvement of the rest.

If they have large lesions, people may need systemic medication.

Some people use topical agents to treat scalp psoriasis.

  • Coal tar
  • Vitamin D analogs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Other shampoos that contain oils or other ingredients to reduce symptoms

These treatments can be difficult to apply due to the hair on the heads. Some people might stop using these products as a result.

Although localized ultraviolet B therapy can be used in place of topical medication, it is more expensive and is not widely accessible.

Systemic drugs are not approved for the treatment of scalp psoriasis. These drugs include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporin A
  • Biotherapy


Measles is caused by the virus rubeola.

The measles can be contracted from others via airborne particles.

The measles skin rash is located behind the ears and along your hairline. It can affect the trunk, face, arms, legs, and trunk.

According to the CDC, measles can pose a danger.

Complications are more common in children under 5 years old and older adults. These complications can include diarrhea, pneumonia, or encephalitis. Encephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain.


Doctors outline the three stages of measles-infected persons: prodromal (eruptive), and convalescent.

People may experience the following symptoms during the prodromal stage:

  • High fever
  • Malaise
  • Inflammation of the nasal passages
  • Inflammation of the inner eyelids
  • Dry cough

The eruptive stage is when the patient develops a rash around the ears and along the hairline. This can spread to the trunk, face, and extremities.

The rash will disappear in the exact same way it appeared in the final stage.

After the rash begins, fever and general malaise can be treated within 2 to 3 days.


Doctors look at symptoms and how measles spreads in the community to diagnose measles. They also examine laboratory results.

A blood test can be used to check for certain immunoglobulins, and it can also be used to isolate the virus responsible.


Getting vaccinated can help stop the spread of measles.

The CDC recommends that children get their vaccinations at 12-15 months old and a booster shot at 4-6 years.

Although there is no cure, doctors might prescribe medicine to treat the measles.


Intertrigo can happen at any age but is more common in older people. A person with a weak immune system is also at greater risk. Intertrigo behind the ears may occur in babies who drool while they sleep.

Intertrigo is when the skin rubs against another part of the skin that is moistened or frictional. The skin may become inflamed.

Intertrigo can also be caused by bodily secretions like saliva, sweat, and urine.


Intertrigo symptoms include:

  • Flushed skin
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • A burning sensation


To identify the type and severity of the rash, doctors need to inspect the skin.

The careful examination could reveal secondary fungal or bacterial infections that will require additional treatment.


There are several first-line options for treatment:

  • Zinc oxide ointments
  • Petrolatum
  • Talcum powder
  • Aluminum sulfate
  • Calcium acetate solution
  • Low potency corticosteroids

If the doctor diagnoses secondary fungal or bacterial infections, the patient may need antibacterial or antifungal treatment.

  • Topical erythromycin
  • Topical clindamycin
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Whitfield’s ointment
  • Topical mupirocin

There are some infections that may require oral antibiotics such as penicillin or clindamycin. Oral antifungal agents such as fluconazole might also be required.

Rash behind ear in baby or toddler

Children as young as two years old can get rashes behind their ears from conditions that adults do not normally experience.

Intertrigo below the ears is one example. This skin condition can occur in the skin folds. Sometimes, a baby’s urine goes behind their ears. It can cause the skin to become hot, red, and painful.

Intertrigo can be treated by parents using zinc creams and other moisture barriers to prevent skin from becoming damaged.

Foot, hand, and mouth disease are two other conditions that can lead to a rash behind your ears. This is a common condition in preschools and childcare centers.

A child might also have a red, blistering skin condition, as well as a fever and a runny nose.

Seborrheic Dermatitis ( cradle cap), another condition that can affect babies, is also possible.

Cradle cap

Seborrheic Dermatitis is another name for cradle cap.

The scalp is the most likely place to see cradle cap.

Sometimes babies can develop cradle caps behind their ears.


The following symptoms may be experienced in infants with cradle caps:

  • The yellow crust on the skin
  • Flushed skin with yellow or white flakes
  • Inflammation

Although cradle cap is not likely to cause agitation in babies, parents and caregivers should inspect the scalp for signs of infections.


Because cradle caps can be caused by other skin conditions, doctors will examine infants with cradle caps.

Babies with cradle caps will have thick, greasy skin that does not cause itching.

Other conditions that could resemble cradle cap are:

  • Eczema
  • Fungal infections
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea


The United Kingdom’s National Health Service states that a caregiver or parent can:

  • Regularly wash your infant’s hair with baby shampoo
  • Use a soft brush to gently brush your scalp
  • Apply baby oil, vegetable oil, or petroleum jelly to the affected areas over the night. Wash them the next morning with baby shampoo

Avoid using soap, peanut oil, or adult shampoos. As this could lead to infection, they should avoid picking at the crusts.

Rash behind the ears: Treatment

The underlying cause of rashes behind the ears will determine the treatment. The best way to cure a rash behind the ears is to keep your skin dry, clean, and moisturized.

Medical treatment

If the rash behind your ears is caused by a fungal infection or bacterial disease, a doctor might prescribe treatment.

These treatments include topical or oral antifungal medication or antibiotics. This is especially true when the skin appears to be infected, bleeding, cracking, or otherwise damaged.

Home remedies

Avoiding the allergen that causes the rash may help reduce its appearance. These are some home remedies that might help.

  • Use warm water and soap to clean the area. Always wash your hands after touching the rash.
  • Use a non-fragranced anti-itch cream or a fragrance-free skin lotion depending on your symptoms. Cover the area lightly with a bandage and allow the skin to breathe.
  • Avoid scratching the affected areas.
  • For swelling behind the ears, apply cloth-covered compressions.

How to diagnose a skin rash

Sometimes, a doctor can diagnose skin rash by looking at the affected area and taking a history.

A doctor may send a sample of the skin to a laboratory if they are unsure what is causing it. The rash can be identified by a laboratory technician.

When to see a doctor

The rash can be caused by many medical conditions. Undiagnosed rashes are best treated by a physician or another healthcare provider.

Additional symptoms such as fever, malaise, or nausea may indicate an infection. You should seek immediate medical attention.

A rash can become infected if it is scratched repeatedly. A doctor should be consulted if you have a rash or develop an infection.

Rashes can appear behind the ears due to different skin conditions like contact dermatitis or psoriasis.

A rash may occur in people who have measles or rubella infections.

Infants with rash behind the ears are more likely to have intertrigo or cradle caps.

If a rash develops along with other symptoms such as fever or severe discomfort, it should be treated immediately.

Rash behind the ears: Pictures

Here are some examples of common causes of rashes behind your ears.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get Rid of Rash behind the Ears?

There are home remedies as well as over-the-counter medicines that may help to treat a rash behind the ears and prevent it from spreading. It all depends on the severity and type of the rash.

To prevent skin conditions such as rashes or other skin conditions, it is important that the skin behind the ears is dry and clean.

Atopic dermatitis is not curable. However, symptoms can be managed with topical corticosteroids such as vitamin D and hydrocortisone.

The anti-inch creams can be used to treat the symptoms until the rash goes away on its own.

You might try different soaps and cleaning products to prevent contact rash.

Scalp psoriasis can be treated with phototherapy, corticosteroid creams, and moisturizers. Psoriasis has not been treated.

The anti-fungal medicine ketoconazole is not recommended for treating skin infections.

However, it has been proven to be effective in treating seborrheic dermatology.

Tea tree oil, a natural antimicrobial, is also a good option to treat rashes. It can also be used to treat fungal and bacterial infections.

Turmeric is an excellent natural remedy for rash symptoms such as redness and helps to stop it from spreading.

Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immunosuppressive components have proven to be very effective in treating rash behind the ears.

Although some of these remedies might help with some symptoms, it is important to know when you should seek medical attention.

If the rash becomes more severe or spreads, it's time for you to visit your doctor.

Sometimes, a rash behind the ear may go unnoticed until it becomes an itchy or painful rash. To prevent a rash, it is important to maintain good hygiene.

However, there are some skin conditions that cannot be explained and must be treated. Before you attempt to treat the rash, make sure you examine the skin's folds.

What typically causes rash behind ear and on face?

Measles can be a viral infection that causes a rash on the skin, begins on the face, behind the ears, and then spreads to the rest. Measles is a serious and often fatal infection that can affect children. Modern vaccines have made it possible to lower measles incidences in the United States. However, the disease still affects many people around the world.

What is a rash behind the ear?

Rashes can appear behind the ears due to different skin conditions like contact dermatitis or psoriasis.

A rash may occur in people who have measles or rubella infections.

Infants with rash behind the ears are more likely to have intertrigo or cradle caps.

If a rash develops along with other symptoms such as fever or severe discomfort, it should be treated immediately.

Why do i have a rash behind my ear?

A rash behind the ear can be caused by many skin conditions, including sunburns, heat, cold, wind, and other environmental factors. As well as genetics and allergies, infections in the body area of the head may be a contributing factor. These are the main causes of a rash behind an ear.

  • 1. Atopic dermatitis
  • 2. Contact dermatitis
  • 3. Seborrheic dermatitis
  • 4. Scalp psoriasis
  • 5. Skin infections

What kind of rash starts behind the ears?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a rash that causes redness and scaling to the eyebrows, eyelids, and trunk. It is also known as cradle cap in infants and dandruff for adults if it occurs on the scalp.

This harmless condition can be aggravated by stress, age, fatigue, weather extremes, and oily skin.

Another common cause of a rash is:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a common condition in those with asthma or allergies. Itchy, red, and itchy, the rash is usually itchy.
  • Psoriasis is characterized by red, scaly patches that appear over the joints and along your scalp. Sometimes itchy. It can also affect the fingernails.
  • Impetigo: This infection is common in children. It's caused by bacteria living in the skin's top layers. This infection manifests as red sores which turn into blisters and then ooze. Then, it forms a honey-colored crust.
  • Shingles: This is a painful, blistering skin condition that can be caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It can remain dormant for years in your body and then re-emerge with shingles. It typically affects one side of your body.
  • Childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox are also known as roseola, rubella (hand-foot-mouth disease), fifth disease, scarlet fever, and measles.
  • You can also get medicines and bites or stings from insects.
A rash can also be caused by medical conditions. Some of these include:
  • Lupus erythematosus is an immune system disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is especially common in the juvenile stage.
  • Kawasaki disease (inflammation in the blood vessels)
  • Certain systemic viral, bacterial, or fungal infections that affect the entire body (systemic)

How do you treat a rash behind your ear?

Treatments for Rash Behind the Ears:  The underlying cause of rashes behind the ears will determine the treatment. The best way to cure a rash behind the ears is to keep your skin dry, clean, and moisturized.

What causes fungal infection behind ear?

This type of ear infection can be caused by a fungus. This condition can be caused by many types of fungi. These are the most common causes of fungal ear infections. Candida And Aspergillus .

Candida is responsible for most yeast infections. Aspergillus can cause allergic reactions, lung infections, and infections in other parts.

What does eczema look like behind ears?

Ear eczema symptoms can also affect the area behind your ear and the crease at the base of the head.

Most people will experience mild to moderate symptoms of eczema. In some cases, however, itching can be severe and cause the following symptoms:

  • red, swollen, or dark skin
  • Areas with sensitive, very dry skin
  • Scaly patches, which may be leathery or rough.
  • Inflamed skin may ooze, bleed, or become crusty.
  • Infected skin in the ear canal
Avoid scratching eczema. This can cause severe skin inflammations that may lead to bleeds and worsening of symptoms.

What does it mean to have a rash behind your ear?

Rashes can appear behind the ears due to different skin conditions like contact dermatitis or psoriasis. A rash may develop in people who have measles or rubella. A rash behind the ears in infants is more likely due to intertrigo or cradle caps.

Will a rash go away on its own?

The best thing to do is to ignore the rash. As long as the allergen is not re-exposed, your rash should disappear in 2-3 weeks. Moisturizers can help moisturize the skin and speed up the healing process. You may be prescribed creams or ointments by your provider.

What kind of rash starts behind the ears?

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a rash that causes redness and scaling in the eyebrows, eyelids, trunk, nose, and behind the ears. It is also known as cradle cap in infants and dandruff for adults if it occurs on the scalp.

Is Vaseline good for rashes?

Vaseline is good for rashes.

Sometimes, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), can be used to relieve the discomfort of a rash. Cetaphil is a moisturizing lotion that may be helpful. Calamine lotion can be used to treat skin irritations caused by contact with soap or plants. It can be used 3-4 times per day.

How does baking soda help a rash?

Baking soda has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and other properties. Baking soda is a great ingredient for over-the-counter creams to treat skin irritations, bug bites, mild rashes, and minor skin conditions.

How do you treat ear dermatitis?

Doctors will give drops of diluted aluminum acetate solution (Burow Solution) to treat aural allergic dermatitis. These drops can be used in the ears as many times as necessary for comfort. A cream that contains a corticosteroid (such as betamethasone) can reduce itching and swelling.


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