What Causes Rash Behind Ear?

Rashes usually appear in areas of the skin that remain moist.

This is especially true for rash behind ears.

There are a few possible causes why rashes appear, and they always manifest as itching and burning sensation.

The moment you notice rash behind the ear, you might be wondering, why you are getting it?

You lead a clean and hygienic life, and you wash thoroughly all the time.

But a persistent rash appears whether you like it or not.

One of the many reasons why rashes appear is a fungal infection [1]https://www.gponline.com/pictorial-case-study-petechial-rash/article/1181082.

We know that fungi can breed and grow on areas that remain moist, like the area behind the ear.

It might also be contact dermatitis, caused by a reaction to irritating environmental exposure.

Contact dermatitis can appear even after coming in contact with personal cleaning product or a soap.

Causes of rash

Rash Behind Ear

As mentioned previously, rash can appear behind the ears and neck, and is usually red, itchy, and painful.

In toddlers, it can cause a feeling of discomfort.

Adults are better equipped to cope with the feeling, but it is not pleasant nevertheless.

There are many possible causes, and it is important to understand what is causing your rash.

One advice would be to have a routine skin care check in order to understand the exact cause of the problem.

Identifying the problem will help you treat it better.

And it is also important to note that some medical conditions can be dangerous if not treated.

Just for clarification, here are some of the symptoms:

  • Itchy and bumpy rash appearing behind the ear an on the neck
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes behind the ear
  • Redness of the skin behind the ear and around the neck
  • Peeling of the skin on the affected area


One of the most common causes of rash is rubella, a highly contagious virus [2]https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/rubella.htm.

It can be transmitted from one person to another through contact.

The symptoms are more severe in children, but it can appear in adults as well.

Here are the symptoms:

  • Running nose and red wet eyes
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Headaches

The symptoms are not dangerous, unless they appear in a pregnant woman.

The problem is a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her unborn child through the bloodstream.

And that can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.

Treatment for rubella is usually enough bed rest and medications reducing fever and itchiness.

Heat rash

Heat rash usually appears more in children [3]https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-rash/symptoms-causes/syc-20373276.

It is a result of direct exposure to sunlight for a longer period of time.

Because children have more sensitive skin, they are more affected by the condition as well.

The skin becomes scaly, and the rash is red.

It might also cause the skin to start peeling off.

Avoiding exposure to direct sunlight or protecting your skin with clothing is a way to prevent heat rash.


Another viral infection, measles attack the respiratory system.

Same as rubella, measles are contagious, and can spread from one person to another.

But they spread through contact with saliva and mucus of infected individuals.

Symptoms appear within two weeks, and they include red eyes, muscle aches, white patches in the buccal cavity, sore throat, rash on the body, and running nose.

The good news is that there is immunization for measles that helps with preventing measles in children [4]https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/mmr/mmr-studies.html.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition.

It is caused by an overactive immune system.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but the symptoms like rash can be treated using steroid gels, creams, and oral antibiotics [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5496600/.

Psoriasis causes inflammation of the skin, and then thick patches appear on it.

Sadly, psoriasis is genetic and it can be inherited by the offspring.

Contact dermatitis

As mentioned previously, contact dermatitis is a common cause of rash anywhere on the skin [6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828457/.

Just wearing an earring made out of a substance that reacts with your skin can cause a rash.

The good news is that contact dermatitis is not life-threatening, and could easily be managed and treated with home remedies and over the counter creams [7]http://www.aafa.org/page/contact-dermatitis.aspx.

However, if there is no improvement within one week, the best advice is to visit a dermatologist.

Fungal infection

The most common cause of rash behind ear is a fungal infection.

Because the area behind ears remains moist most of the time, it is a good breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.

A dermatologist will prescribe antifungal drugs, or you can try using antifungal home remedies.

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

These two plants are almost similar.

They cause contact dermatitis because they produce urushiol, a chemical toxin.


Known as urticaria in the medical terminology, hives are basically rash that appears on the skin and causes red bumps and itchiness.

It can appear anywhere on the body.

The problem with hives is they can be caused by both allergic and non-allergic reactions.

Studies show that almost 20% of the world population develops hives at one point in their lives.

If hives are accompanied by deep swelling in the skin, you should visit a physician.

Remedies for rash behind ear

In most cases, it is better to consult with a physician before trying home remedies.

However, there are remedies that are safe and secure enough to try.

Especially if the cause of the rash is a fungal skin infection.

Most skin infections are not life-threatening and can be easily treated at home.

With that in mind, here are some home remedies you can try without worrying.

Tea Tree Oil

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/.

You can use it for fungal infections, psoriasis, and even chicken pox.

Mix it with a carrier oil to dilute it, or with honey for even more potent remedy and then apply to the affected area.


The spice that is staple in Indian cuisine finally arrived in the Western world.

It has antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties [9]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022204/.

Think of it as a magic spice that can cure almost everything.

Aloe Vera

Another staple in the cosmetic industry, aloe vera is just a must for skin treatment.

Apply the gel to the affected area and let it stay there for 20 minutes.

Rinse with clean water and repeat two times per day to get rid of the rash.

Baking soda

The cheapest remedy for the rash is baking soda.

All of us have it at home [10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12017929.

Because of its antifungal properties, a paste of baking soda and water can speed up the skin’s recovery process.


Cucumbers can calm down rash from poison oak and poison ivy.

Just rub a cucumber slice on the affected area, and that is it.

Banana peel

Rubbing a banana peel on the affected area will calm down the irritated skin.

Banana peels bring a cooling effect that can provide relief for your irritated skin.

Apple cider vinegar

Proven to kill poison ivy and poison oak, apple cider vinegar is another cheap remedy you can find in your cuisine.

Soak a brown paper bag in ACV, and then place it on the affected area.

The vinegar will draw out toxins that are causing your rash.

What is the traditional treatment?

If you do not like to use natural and home remedies, you can always opt for the traditional treatment.

The traditional treatment usually includes antibiotic cream, antihistamines, calamine lotion, pills or oral injections, and medicated soaps and shampoos.


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