Swimmer's Ear

What is Swimmer's Ear?

Swimmer's ear—or external otitis as we call it in medicine—occurs when bacteria or fungi set up an infection in the skin of the outer ear canal. The tendency to infection increases with swimming because the ear canal remains wet much of the time, softening the skin and making it easier for the infecting agents to set up housekeeping. But swimming is only one of the factors that can make an ear canal vulnerable. Hot humid weather can trap perspiration in the canal, too frequent cleaning with cotton-tipped applicators or cleaning solutions such as alcohol can damage the skin, and conversely, impacted ear wax can trap water behind the plug and soften the skin of the canal.

Swimmer's EarOnce an infection begins, however, you should consult with your physician because some infections will require antibiotic or antifungal ear drops or tablets to kill the infection. Making yourself a more resistant host, however, will help to reduce your chances of developing an infection in the first place, and nutrition definitely plays a key role in that regard.

What helps Swimmer's Ear?

• You can reduce the chance of infection of the canal by carefully drying the ear canal after swimming. Recommendation: Drain each ear canal by laying your head, ear down, on a dry towel for several minutes or by using a blow-dryer for hair drying on its lowest setting to gently dry the canal. Follow either of these maneuvers by dropping 2 or 3 drops of a mixture of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol into each canal.

Swimmer's Ear Herbal remedies

• See Chronic Ear Infection.

What makes Swimmer's Ear worse?

• See also the listing for Immune System Health.



Other Health Problems:

Scaly Skin and Scalp
Seborrheic Dermatitis
Sinus Infection
Skin Cancer
Skin disorders
Skin Health
Solar Keratosis
Sore Throat
Stomach Cancer
Substance Abuse
Swimmer's Ear
Ulcerative Colitis
Urinary Tract Infections
Varicose Veins
Wound Healing
Yeast Infections