Does it feel like your ears are on fire? If yes, then it is time to do something about it. More often than not, people think that it is merely associated with anger or embarrassment, but if your ears get hot suddenly and repeatedly without any reason, it is a cause of concern.

Why Are Your Ears Turning Hot?

Swollen, red-hot ears are painful to the touch and may happen to anyone. The reason may range from a sudden increase in blood flow by abrupt environmental transition, intake of alcohol or spicy foods, to hormonal changes or medications. Let’s delve into the details and decipher why ears get hot suddenly:

  1. Sunburn
    More often than not, ears that turn red hot due to high heat quickly return to pink but may cause real burns. It is commonly seen during the summer season but can happen at any time of the year. The issues with sunburn are not restricted to redness but, in some cases, severe burning.
  2. Heat and Temperature Change
    Not only burns, but high heat dilates blood vessels, allowing the heat to pass and results in the consequent regulation of body temperature. Due to this, blood vessels rise to the surface, which causes the typical red color on the ear or other body parts.
  3. Seborrheic Dermatitis
    Seborrheic eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a condition that turns body parts like the scalp or ears red, hot, and scaly. In case you have this issue, white pins on your ear, along with redness and itching, are common.
  4. Hormonal Fluctuations
    Hormones rule all processes in your body; therefore, it kind of goes without saying that in the case of a hormonal imbalance, your ears may go hot, giving them a flushed look.
  5. Ear Infections like Otitis Media
    Your ear is open to all sorts of infections due to germs and bacteria entering it via the auditory system. If you are experiencing an ear infection, redness and elevated temperature of the outer ears are common.
  6. Ear Traumas or Injuries
    Injuries due to trauma to the ears are inevitable and happen quite suddenly. Piercings, scratches, and insect bites are two of the external wraths an ear has to endure, and in this case, the best solution is to take pain relievers until the symptoms disappear.
  7. Emotions
    We saved the most common cause for last. It is a given for your ears to turn red hot due to emotions like anger, infatuation, happiness, and embarrassment. However, the good news is that this sensation passes within a few minutes.

When to See a Doctor?

Seek medical attention in the following conditions:

  • Intense pain or heat and redness persist for longer than a few hours.
  • Your ears not only get hot, but other uncomfortable symptoms, like fever, headache, or swelling, also tag along.
  • Diagnosis of an infection or inflammation.

Closing Note

If you feel like the situation is not taming down and happening frequently, seek professional help for accurate diagnosis and treatment plans. Although not all causes need emergency help yet it is better not to self-diagnose. If you have more questions, we urge you to contact our expert, Dr. Rajesh Maheshwari, MD, at San Ramon Urgent Care Clinic for help.

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