Black Stuff in Ears?

Updated on April 26, 2011
B.C. asks from Arlington, TX
12 answers

Ok, this is weird. For the past year or so, I've had itchy, hurting ear canals. One doc said to use some drops in them and other told me to stop using qtips.I can't though. They are always itchy and leaking stuff. The last few weeks, one of my ears has had a ton of brown/black stuff on my qtips. My next dr. appt isn't unitl May 9th. Is this worrysome or no?

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So What Happened?

Went and got my ears irrigated at the doc and put on antibiotic drops. This is a super painful infection and I wish I would have gotten it taken care of sooner.

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

It didn't look like dried blood? (like from a popped pimple)

(And... just checking... did you swim anywhere with coral in it before your ears started itching?)

My own ears produce a lot of wax (I need to clean them twice a day). Especially if I don't, it gets so thick that the little hairs rip out / I'll get infected follicles/blackheads (aka somtimes the pimples will bleed... I know, fun)... in ADDITION to the canals becoming impacted with wax. If I skip a few days, it takes a few more for the buildup to be wholly taken care of. All of this is easily managed, however, by cleaning them twice daily. No impactions, no infected follicles, no hearing issues, etc. But sometimes a woman runs out of qtips! My ears have *always* been like this, however. ((I also have irritatingly acute hearing... I can hear dog whistles, have perfect pitch, teenager ringtones though I'm over 30, etc.)) If this is all 'new' for you, however... I'd definitely be trying to figure out an outside cause. (Ticks, coral, recent pregnancy/aka hormonal fluctuations, infection, etc.).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have this too, only in my right ear canal. My ear canal gets itchy and goopy, for lack of a better word. Do NOT NOT NOT use q-tips! That makes it so much worse because you are taking away that absolutely necessary natural lubrication that your ear provides. Sometimes I even add some lubrication to my ear canal (aquafor) to help. I get brown/black 'discharge', and that's dried blood.

I think it's allergies, I've had it checked and the doc agrees. She said a nose spray and zyrtec would help. Who knows, I haven't tried it yet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Its probably just wax build up. See if they can flush your ears when you go to the dr.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If the canal is very itchy and you've been over cleaning you might have changed the ph balance. The black could be due to a yeast infection in the canal. If this is the case then the ent will give you some antibiotic drops and some drops to raise the acid level of your ear. It's worrysome but should be better within a couple days of your appointment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Do you have sinus problems?
The ears/nose/throat are closely connected and can affect each other.

Maybe an ear infection that you don't now about.
I would see an ENT Doctor.
But sure, see your Doctor. I guess, May 9th is close enough.
But I would go earlier.
2+ weeks to me, is a long time to wait.
This has been going on for a long time, too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Dried blood?

I think you need to stop with qtips as hard as it might be for you because it sounds like you are doing nothing but irritating your ears. If you must clean them because you get a lot of wax use a wash cloth and so only what is visible you should never stick anything in your ears. We have ear wax for a reason.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

My sons ears are always dirty. He always wanted me to clean them with a Qtip. He couldn't hear so we went to ent and it turns out he had soo much wax in his ears that his ear drum was coated. Anyway they flushed his ears out and there was black flakes in the water I started to get nervous and the nurse said it was just old wax. Not a big deal at all. But you are not my son so I don't know if yours is just wax . The Dr recomended ear wax softener drops. They come with a burlb syringe(sp). Try that the directions are in the packaging. You can always call your dr and try to get in earlier.


answers from Houston on

you have an ear infection



answers from Sacramento on

could be from smog... etc all the junk in our air, I would get them irrigated, RE: DR , and wouldn't worry unless they hurt or you had ringing etc...


answers from Norfolk on

Some people just produce a lot more ear wax than others.
The stuff hardens and turns a nasty brown black.
If you have excessive ear wax and you try to ignore it, it can block up your ears.
I use warm water with a little peroxide in it to keep my ears clean just like they clean them in a doctors office and I use this to gently squirt the ears clean:


answers from Rochester on

That would gross me out. :) Have you tried flushing them with something over-the-counter after a hot shower? Or do you use a little rubbing alcohol to dry them out? I'm not an ENT specialist so really couldn't answer your question, but if you're not in pain and not experience hearing loss, if it probably nothing serious. Hang in there a bit...



answers from Dallas on

Use hydrogen peroxide. Lay down on your side and put a towel around your ear. Get one of those medicine droppers from the pharmacy and drop a little hydrogen peroxide in the canal. It will bubble. After about 2 minutes, you can pour it out onto the towel. Use a cotton ball to wipe out the excess.

The black is probably blood from an infection.

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