How to prevent Hot Ears?

Updated on February 01, 2012
S.B. asks from Floral Park, NY
16 answers

My daughter is 12-years-old and has recently been complaining that her ear gets "hot". It actually turns red! She doesn't have an ear infection - nothing really "hurts" it's just incredibly uncomfortable because it gets so hot. We can't find any pattern - cold weather, stress, what she eats - and none of the medical websites say anything other than ear infections. It lasts about 1-1/2 hours and sometimes is relieved by an ice pack. Her doctor wants me to bring her in while it is happening, but either it's when he doesn't have office hours, or she's in school, etc.

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Hot Ears does happen to many people and most do not know why. It could be attributed to allergies and more prevalent in fair skinned, blond hair blue eyed people which my boys are. There was also a correlation to eczema.

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answers from Elmira on


My son has been having this happen for a few years, he is 6, 7 next month. Sometimes (usually) it is only one ear, sometimes it is both ears. They get CRAZY red and very hot to the touch. He says it does not bother him, I think it bothers me more than anything lol. In most cases it truly does seem to be harmless, whats most annoying about it is simply that it can't be explained. It happens to my son at any given time as well, but I have noticed that it does seem to happen every night around the same time, usually right around dinner time, but not necessarily right as we're eatting, so I can rule out food allergies. I have heard to try no milk/dairy and see if that makes any difference but I have never done that as it doesn't seem to bother him or cause him any problems. I read in someones reply that they had read it happened more often in blonde hair/blue eyed, fair skinned ppl, thats interesting as my son is blonde haired, blue eyes and quite pale. At any rate, good luck with this, and let us know if you learn anything new.

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answers from New York on

HI I saw your question. Is she taking vitamins? if so stop the one with nyiacin. she may be allergic to it. My daughter was taking this vitamin for supplements. It took us several weeks to figure out it was the vitamin. Her ears were at first hot and as the weeks passed it went on to her face and arms but no where else. if you have a blood pressure cuff. use it when her ears get hot and if it is elevated, give her a cool shower and relax. the vitamin allergy leaves no lasting effect one sit wears off.


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answers from Rochester on

I actually get 'hot ears' too. It does go away after about an hour, and I never really thought about getting it looked into. It seems for me that it happens most during the winter dry weather. Looking at the other responses, I can tell you that I have blond hair and am fair skinned and I have excema. I guess it may be contributed to that. Good luck!

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answers from New York on


I have two boys, 5 and 3 and both of them have this happen often. When it started with my first son at about 2 yrs old, I did ask the pediatrician about it. They say it is nothing to be concerned about it's just something that happens. When the first doc in the practice did that I thought 'ok - but that's it?'. So when I went to the practice again and saw a different pediatrician, I actually got the same response. They say it is commom (as is proven here by the many responses already) and that there is nothing to do, and no reason to worry.

I would still mention it to your pediatrician at the next visit though. Every kid is different and you want to make sure your child doesn't have anything else going on.

Good Luck!


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answers from New York on

Tell her the next time is happens in school to have them call you and get to the Dr. or at least she should go to the school nurse. I have never heard of this problem.. Good Luck

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answers from Albany on

This happens to both of my boys' ears. One is 4 years old and the other is almost 2, so I don't think the hormone reason would apply to them. I do not have any clue what it is all about. I haven't found a pattern, it just happens. I never even thought to talk to the pediatrician but perhaps I will. I am curiousto see if any other moms have experience and input on this. Thanks for asking the question.

Edited: I just did a search and I actually found out that this does happen to many people and most do not know why. I also read that it could be attributed to allergies and more prevalent in fair skinned, blond hair blue eyed people which my boys are. There was also a correlation to excema which they both have. I used key words "red hot ears" to find the info. Good luck. I hope you can find something that may pertain to your daughter. Just remember not to read into all the whacky scary stuff that you may find. The internet can be scary sometimes! :)


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answers from New York on

I think you have a hormone related issue. This has happened to a friend of mine when going through hormone changes (puberty, pregnancy, and around ovulation). Doctors tend to overlook this, but perhaps you may talk to your gyno instead of her doctor to see if this is a possiblilty. Twelve is about the right age for all of the changes to be starting even if the obvious ones haven't begun.

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answers from New York on

well i actually had that sometimes. i never thought about it like that there is a problem, it just happened and than 30-60 minutes later it was gone. The true is that now when i think about it, i didn't get that a long time so i guess that i had it more when i was teen. I think that it could be because of change of temperatures, if it is freezing out and than you step in warm room, or just for no reason...hard to say. I actually found it kind of funny, that one of my ears was crazily red! i don't really think that there should be any concern, it could be uncomfortable, but it goes away. and yeah i don't really remember last time i had it, so i guess it completely disappear with age.
good luck L.

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answers from New York on

I tend to think it's important for the doctor to see in order to treat.
I know it can be frustrating that the problem flares when you can't get a hold of the doctor, especially being a working mom, so....

Next time the problem flares go to any doctor to see the problem in action and have them call your childs doctor and together they will figure out how to help your child...

Every Doctor has a back up doctor who covers for them when they are not on call or on vacations. Ask your doctor who covers for him. Ask your friends who they use...or simply take your child to the ER when it's happening. No matter which you decide to go to at the time of a flare up, make sure you tell them when you check in at the desk that this flear up doesn't seem to happen on appointments and wont last to much longer and while it's happening a doctor needs to see please get someone out here to look at it.

A similar thing happened to me with very bad itchy attacks....I would swell up, turn red hot and rashy with hives and it itched like crazy....sometimes my ears turned red hot as well. It would come and go and not always happen in the same areas...and it never happened for any of my doctor appointments. So I did just what I'm suggesting you to do....and told the girls at the desk...hurry, have someone come out here to see this attack in action while it's still happening and then I'll wait my turn for treatment, filling out forms etc. That's when I got the help that was needed. They never did find out the cause of it but I was given Zyrtec to take as needed which stops the attacks. I tend to think it's stress related...but to this day, I still haven't tracked a pattern for it.

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answers from Buffalo on

My 6 year old boy has been experiencing this alot lately. Sometimes it's just one ear. And my sister and I have had it happen on occasion in the past. I have no idea what causes it, and to be honest have never been very concerned, but I'm interested to hear what other people think.

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answers from New York on

NOT RELATED to blonde hair, blue eyes.
My son has developed this condition a few months now. He is 8 years old and seems to get a "hot ear" bright red randomly sometimes early evening, sometimes late at night. We are Hispanics (brown hair, brown eyes, skin is urine color LOL!)
I'm puzzled by this since it seems to go away after an hour or hour and a half later and it starts without warning.

I think I should get help from my great grandma who used herbs to cure chronic diseases of people in her town since the doctors seem clueless and Google finds little about this...
Could this be caused by the genetically altered foods we consume? Or the chemicals used in the water?
Maybe that is also the reason why many of us are turning blind and needing prescription glasses!



answers from Philadelphia on

My son is 8, but this same problem started at age 7, it has been happening every day approx 3 to 4 times a day, both at home and at school.

Today I took him to Childrens Hospital of Philadelpha for a diagnostic consultation, luckily it happened while we were in the Doctors office.

The doctor seams to think it is an allergy, but to what I do not know yet. He did a couple of test and said he has very sensative skin. I think it is more of an envitonmental allergy then food.

It started in Sept at the beginning of school, I am thinking possible something in the classroom. Or about the same time he became obsessed with Legos, so possible some chemicle in the Legos.
I kept a food and activity log to monitor when it was triggered but there was no consistinsy.

The Ice packs do help .

strangely my Mother in Law had the same problem as a child. It slowed down with age, but every now and then it happens.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have an eight year old son, who has had this condition for over a year. He has to grab an ice pack to cool his ears down. He can even get this while at school, then I have to pick him up. Do you think this could have something to do with the environment? Something we are breathing? Just recently, I have developed something called Cholinergic Urticaria which is an allergy to heat/sweat. I break out when my body get hot, Weird. I have never heard of these strange skin disorders before, it seems these conditions are fairly new to the world. It seems ten years ago, I have never heard of people getting these conditions. I am stumped just like you, and cannot find any information on the internet regarding my son's ears. And I agree, it seems all the websites just talk about ear infections, or sinus drainage.
Please keep us informed if you find anything out. My son's doctor did not help us, it is very difficult to have the ears get hot on demand. Because when there is a flair up, my doctor is at home asleep.



answers from Syracuse on

Have you thought of allergic reaction or hives that could be brought on by physical exertion,heat,cold,foods or a reaction to earrings( either newly pierced ears or certain metals usually nikel?



answers from Orlando on

My daughter is 10 shes having the same thing! She complains about her ears burning being " hot" I told her it's probably your hormones and that it'll go away, but she has it at least 2 or 3 times a week! I heard it's if you have blond hair and if your skinny, she is. Well I'm glad i know what is going on, but i just don't know how to make it go away faster? Ice or water?? I have no clue.



answers from Ocala on

im a boy, im 15 years old, and im not fair haired and fair skinned, as one of the replies said.
but this "hot ear" thing has been bugging me for years. it happens whenever my hands are cold, and even when think about my ears.
i try to cool them down but nothing works - ice packs, under cold water for 10 minutes to numb them, even going for 10 mile cycle trips in the cold with no hat! nothing works. but from what ive heard it only happens to young boys, so it shouldnt happen for much longer.

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