weeping and peeling behind the ears
by BearcatBengal, Mar 29, 2010
For several years now I have had constant fluid weeping and peeling behind both of my ears. The fluid that weeps from the area seems to form a layer of "skin-like" flakes which eventually block/stop the weeping. Eventually this layer builds up enough that it is so annoying that I practically have to peel it off, which then starts the weeping process all over again.

I was prescribed a topical steroid (Cutivate) by a derm and told the condition was likely a form of sebborheic dermatitis. It doesn't seem to respond to anti-fungals like tea trea oil and other prescriptions I have tried so I don't think its a fungus. The only thing it has seemed to respond well to is the steroid which eliminates it for about 3-5 days after which it returns just as severely as before. It is completely painless and not noticeable. It's more of a nuisance than anything else, but it would be great if I could completely rid myself of it.

Sebborheic dermatitis hardly even seems like a diagnosis to me. Its like saying, "sir, you have inflammation of the skin". Which is obvious in and of itself from the outset. If I knew that it was eczema or psoriasis or some other specific condition then I could probably have a better shot at treating/curing it.

I have read that topical steroids eventually lose their effectiveness somehow. I guess the body somehow develops a tolerance due to the repeated use. Any other ideas of what it might be or how I can treat it? Should I just keep using the steroid forever?

Chronic inflammation can lead to skin cancer. If the area really is inflamed I should probably due something about it. Oddly though, the area doesn't really even seem to be inflamed since it doesn't burn or hurt to touch. Still, It seems like I should be doing more about it than just let it be.
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Member Comments (26)
by BearcatBengal, Mar 30, 2010
by BearcatBengal, Mar 31, 2010
by Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank, Apr 02, 2010
Eczema and psoriasis present as red dry patches rather than weeping lesions. Fungal infections are a high possibility. You can get a KOH examination and fungal culture of the fluid done. If it comes positive then you need to use topical and oral antifungals.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

by BearcatBengal, Apr 04, 2010
Dr. Bhupinder Kaur,

Thank you for responding to my post. If my condition is fungal, I am at a loss for what I should use to treat it. At this point it seems like I've tried most of the common anti-fungal shampoos. I've used 2% Nizoral, Loprox 1% (Cicloprox), Tea Tree Oil, Zinc Pyrithione, Coal Tar (Neutragena T-gel). I'm just hoping for some suggestions, so I will be prepared to suggest them to whichever physician I see. Also if it is fungal is it likely that I will have to apply medicines to it for the rest of my life?

Thanks, Andrew
by BearcatBengal, Apr 07, 2010
by BearcatBengal, Apr 11, 2010
by Raina726, Sep 11, 2010
I have the exact condition. It has not responded to anything I have tried.
It's currently weeping. doctor also thought fungal but cremes did not work.
Also looking for a cure.
by cynful4812, Sep 24, 2010
I have had this condition since I was 6 years old. I am now 37. My first diagnosis - not drying behind my ears well enough. Then - allergic reaction to hair products. Then  - fungus. Then -  seborrheic dermatitis. I have used everything. The only time it was ever cleared up was when I was on heavy doses of steroids for another condition. It came back as soon as I went off the steroids. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that there isn't a doctor/dermatologist that knows exactly what it is. I've just accepted it. Certain hair products do cause it to be worse. Some times my ears bleed. I like to wear a ball cap in the summer exposing as much of behind my ears to the sun as possible and use hydrocortisone cream. It doesn't go away completely, but it looks much better.
by Raina726, Oct 06, 2010
Isn't it strange that something like this can't be treated? I wonder if it auto-immune somehow.
Do you have any other dermatologic condition? I also have developed a dermatitis around my eyes. No idea if it is related. I have been tested for allergies and they were negative.

It is WEIRD.

And, for me, it is unsightly, I'm just glad I have long hair, no way I would go around with my ears exposed. It often cracks and is very red and sometimes is bleeding or caked with strange layers of dry skin... NOT attractive.