Unpleasant smell behind the ears in adults: causes and how to treat

How to treat bad smell behind the ears?

The odor behind your ears is not such a rare phenomenon. This problem brings certain discomfort to the person, and besides, is the cause of embarrassment even when referring to a specialist.

Meanwhile, the causes of smell behind the ears in adults can be by a variety of factors, not the banal lack of personal hygiene (the first thing that comes to mind for many in this situation). Ignoring such pathological process can adversely affect human health. That is why below we will talk about why there is a smell behind the ears, and how to fix it.

Causes of bad smell behind the ears

The main cause of the smell behind the ear in adults — active vital activity of pathogenic agents, particularly fungal and bacterial organisms.

Help. Numerous studies scientists found that human skin is more than 1000 varieties of pathogenic organisms.

This figure is the norm. However, under certain conditions, these microorganisms begin active growth, causing the development of various pathological processes.

All those scientists during their work identified an interesting fact – the favorite places of «living» microbes are warm places where the greatest number of accumulated sweat and sebum. Of course, such places could be considered, and the area behind the ear.

The secretion of the sebaceous and sweat glands – a perfect food for the growth and development of pathogenic microflora. When contacting with the air the oxidation metabolites of pathogenic agents, with the result that there is such unpleasant phenomenon.

Help. Eye-catching sweat has no odor for 8-10 hours, but after this time due to the activity of pathogenic microflora it starts to stink.

If the body fails to functioning of certain systems and organs, the secreted sweat can acquire a rather peculiar smell. Factors such misconduct may be such pathology:

  • dysfunction of the exocrine glands;
  • inflammation of ENT-organs;
  • hormonal imbalances;
  • pathology of the kidneys or digestive tract;
  • violations of work vascular system.

Any of these pathological conditions requires examination by a specialist in a timely and competent treatment.

Acquainted with the peculiarities of occurrence of such condition, let us consider the most common reasons for the development of the phenomenon.


Hyperhidrosis is a pathology in which the glands that produce sweat, secrete excessive amount of it.

It is the most common factor of an unpleasant smell behind the ears.

Overactive sweat glands may be the result of a more serious disease of the endocrine, digestive or nervous system. Therefore, the appearance of excessive sweating, you should visit the appropriate specialist.

The sweat behind the ear attracts many species of anaerobic agents, for example saprophytes.

Help. If you feel a distinct smell of cheese, as a rule, determine heterotrophic bacteria that feed on keratinized skin cells.

If you do not take timely removal of such microorganisms, it may face the emergence of allergic reactions and skin diseases.


Atomikos fungal infection of the ear of the person.

Provoke such a pathological process of the vital activity of certain species of fungi: yeast and mold.

Waste products of such fungi smell quite unpleasant and specific.

This is especially noticeable behind the ears, because at high concentration of sebaceous and sweat glands that produce the secret to their power, the activity of fungi increased by many times.

The most common causes of the development of otomycosis are as follows:

  1. Different forms of the middle and external otitis.
  2. Mechanical damages.
  3. The weakening of the protective forces of the body.
  4. Somatic pathology.
  5. Malfunctions of the thyroid gland.

Help. To disrupt the healthy microbial balance of the ear may apply different groups of drugs, especially antibiotics.

In addition to «fragrance», tomikazu characteristic symptoms such as, swelling of the shell of the ear and the skin in the parotid area, itching and flaking.


Sebaceous cyst – cystic formation that occurs under the skin due to blockage of the sebaceous glands.

As a result, the secret accumulated in the duct of the gland, enlarges it, thereby forming a cavity with atheromatous contents.

If you look at the atheroma, can be used to detect clogged pore, through which can be atheromatous mass.

If this secret is infiltrated by germs and there began their livelihoods, the atheroma is converted into an abscess at the opening of which is the strengthening of this smell.

Important! Try to squeeze atheroma impossible. It is threatened by fungal infection and deterioration of the General condition of human health.

The blockage of sebaceous ducts and as a consequence the formation of atheroma may provoke the following reasons: hormonal failure, excessive sweating, clogged pores on the skin with dust and dirt, dysfunction of the neuroendocrine system.


Lymphadenitis – inflammation of the lymph nodes due to the penetration of various germs and bacteria.

It is characterized by swollen lymph nodes in size and severe pain in that area.

Help. Streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus – types of non-specific bacteria that cause disease.

In addition, when there is inflammation of the lymph nodes behind the ear may be felt unpleasant odor that is associated with the accumulation and activity of pathogenic microorganisms.

This pathology is not independent. Its development may cause such diseases:

  • tonsillitis;
  • pharyngitis;
  • otitis media (inner or middle);
  • laryngitis.

Delayed therapy or lack of it threatens to atrophy of lymph nodes or occurrence of secondary immunodeficiency.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that develops in places of the greatest congestion of glands that produce sebum.

A similar process develops from excessive accumulation of the skin of yeast-like fungi in the spore state «lives» on the skin of everyone, but comes into activity under certain conditions (vitamin deficiency, stress, antibiotics, genetic predisposition).

Help. If the ears smell, and noted the formation on the skin rash, in 76% of cases dermatitis.

To treat this disease should immediately to get rid of uncomfortable symptoms and avoid the spread of rashes on the body.

How to get rid of smell behind ears

In order to know how to treat the smell behind the ears in adults, first we must identify the cause of this unpleasant phenomenon. It is best to visit a doctor who will prescribe examination, after which examine the clinical picture and establish the true cause of the condition.

In pharmacological therapy can be used special drugs, however these should be used after prescription.

So hyperhidrosis, the doctor may prescribe «Formel», «Bellaphon», the action of which is inhibition of the activity of the sweat glands, and thus eliminate excessive sweating and as a consequence smell behind the ears.

When otomikozy, seborrheic dermatitis and other skin diseases caused by fungi, usually apply such funds:

  1. Antifungals («Pimafucin», «Miconazole») – inhibit the activity of fungal organisms, thereby eliminating atomikos.
  2. Antiseptics («Xeroform», «Lukin») – disinfect the skin, reducing the number of pathogenic microorganisms.
  3. Ointments («Naphthalan ointment», «Listerin») – stop the development of mold and yeast fungi.

In addition, with seborrheic dermatitis can use special shampoo («Sebozol», «Keto Plus»), which contribute to normal functioning of the sebaceous glands, preventing excessive formation of sebum. The result is a decrease in the number of pathogens on the skin.

The trichilemmal cyst cure medication way is impossible, only possible to influence the causes of its formation. In order to get rid of atheroma, in modern medicine, the use of several methods:

  • operational;
  • laser;
  • radio wave;
  • electrocoagulation.

Lymphadenitis is treated comprehensively, using drugs of different groups (antibiotics, antihistamine, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory) and physiotherapy.


The smell behind the ears – though quite inconvenient problem, but it should not be ignored, as it may be indicative of fairly serious failure in the body. To find out you need to visit a specialist to determine the cause and suggest how to deal with it.

It is very important to follow all doctor’s recommendations and independent to do nothing. Such a serious attitude to health can help to deal with the problem in a fairly short period of time.

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