To treat dry skin on the ears, determine the cause, cleanse the area, moisturize, apply over-the-counter creams and seek medical help if necessary. Treating dry skin on the ears takes a few minutes each day and requires dandruff shampoo, over-the-counter ointments and possibly a doctor's prescription.
- Determine the cause
Reference apparent symptoms with the known causes of dry skin on the ears, which include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and sunburn. Seborrheic dermatitis appears as dry, scaly patches. Psoriasis creates silvery, thick scales accompanied by red patches. Eczema creates dry, itchy spots. If the dry skin is just on the tops of the ears, it might be the result of a mild sunburn.
- Wash the area
Cleanse the area. Wet the ears completely, and use a soft cloth and medicated dandruff soap or shampoo to wash the area every day. Look for shampoos that include salicylic acid, coal tar, zinc, resorcin, ketoconazole or selenium sulfide.
- Moisturize the area
All the conditions that cause dry skin on the ears can be controlled by applying a deep moisturizer after washing. For psoriasis and eczema, choose a moisturizing ointment.
- Apply over-the-counter medications
For seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema, over-the-counter salicylic acid and coal tar ointments help control outbreaks and itchiness. For sunburn, try creams with aloe vera and vitamin E.
- Use prescriptions as necessary
Seborrheic dermatitis is a result of different conditions and factors, such as hormones, a weakened immune system, obesity and certain neurological conditions, so there is no cure. If the condition persists, use a topical steroid as prescribed by a doctor. Psoriasis typically requires prescription treatment. Prescription treatments include topical corticosteroids, topical retinoids, vitamin D analogs and oral medications. Topical immunomodulators are prescribed to help with eczema.