Here’s Why Behind Your Ears Smells So Bad

If you notice there’s a stench behind your ear, we’ve got you covered.

“It’s not uncommon for patients to notice an unpleasant odor behind the ears. This is a region that tends to trap sweat and moisture, which can be a setup for infections”, says doctor S. Tyler, a dermatologist.

1.Oily substances

The region is relatively rich in sebaceous glands, which secrete oily substances. The mixture may build up if you dont clean properly.

Sebum has a cheesy smell, he says. How much sebum you secrete is purely individual.

2. Skin infection

According to research, because behind-the-ear area is rich in sebaceous glands, it’s also prone to seborrheic dermatitis (SD).

3. Dirt from earwear

When you wear something around your ears, like glasses, face masks, ear muffs or a helmet, the straps or frames trap sebum, pollution and bacteria, Dr. Hollmig says.

“When these have no place to escape, build-up can cause acne, an unpleasant smell, and various other skin conditions like dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema,” he explains.

Fix it:​ Along with sudsing up the ear area, wash the items that hug your ears regularly. Toss earmuffs and headbands into the washing machine.

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4. Piercings

If, along with a smell, you’re also noticing pain, swelling, and drainage, and you just received a new piercing, well, it might be an infection.

5. Normal skin bacteria

Bacteria on your skin factor into the funky smell. Hair products and pollution can also collect there and contribute to the odor, Dr. Hollmig says.

Make sure you wash the back of your ears thoroughly when you take a shower.


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