Mail (Sep-Oct, 1998)

Ear Goo & Weepy Wine-Colored Patches
from Silver Cloud

Dear Flake-Mister: I just found your site on Yahoo. Thanks for the attitude! My mom and I have been flaky for some time now. Y'know the kind that makes the docs INSIST that you have skin cancer. In any event, I wanted to comment on the big P inside of ears.

My mom and I have had this problem for some time. The scales become mixed with ear wax and coal tar. This goo becomes impacted. Over time, our hearing degrades. What we've always done is to take a nice warm shower and use plenty of conditioner. Then gently swab inside of the outer ear canal until the swabs come out clean. I do this daily and I have not had hearing problems since.

I also wanted to thank you for the pointer to NPF. After all this time, I now know what the funny weepy wine-colored patches are! Hope that helps. -Silver Cloud


Ed's Response: My right ear is a veritable flake generating machine. And I, too, had to be careful about the flakes and meds forming a goo that clogs the works. Then I switched to a fluocinonide solution instead of a cream or gel med. The fluocinonide smells like alcohol (indeed, it's base IS alcohol) and will sting if I picked at the ear too much before an application; but there's been no build up problem.

I usually know if the flakes are piling up excessively in my ear because it itches. Standard cotton swabs aren't much good for peeling the flakes away ... which is why I've mastered a technique with my Bowie Knife (just kidding). I liked your trope: "funny weepy wine-colored patches." Though that could be mistaken for a birthmark during heavy perspiration, it works for a fully flaming P-lesion, too—especially just after its been de-flaked with a wire brush. "Funny" I can handle, because it concisely defines the irony we feel after scratching until we bleed and feeling relieved about it. I'd have objected if you had said "hilarious." -Ed

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