Why You Should Never Pop an Ear Pimple

Why You Should Never Pop an Ear Pimple

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Ear pimples hurt can be annoying, but don’t give ‘em the finger. 

While your hands may be clean, your fingernails are probably teeming with germs. That means pinching a pimple can spread bacteria from your hands to the zit, which may worsen the existing infection, says Joel Cohen, M.D., a dermatologist based in Colorado.

Instead, use a cotton swab to apply a daily dab of 10 percent benzoyl peroxide gel directly onto the pimple until it fades away. The benzoyl peroxide has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which means it’ll keep zits from swelling while killing off the pus-causing bugs.

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To prevent future ear acne, you’ll need to step up your aural hygiene, says Amy Derick, M.D., a clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern University.

“Make a habit of gently washing your ears when you wash your face,” Dr. Derick says.

Then, after you towel off, wipe on an astringent that contains salicylic acid, such as Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Treatment Pads ($8, neutrogena.com). This acid bath will open up any pores still clogged with excess oil.

And while you’re in cleaning mode, dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and use it to degrime those disgusting workout earbuds. Do that at least once a week or when you begin to see an oily sheen on the buds’ surface.