Otitis externa is usually brought on by trauma through the use of cotton buds or other imaginative objects used to clean the ear. Some patients have an increased tendency to develop repeated infections because they have an eczema type inflammation of the skin of the ear canal

Changes in humidity may cause infections and those patients who are prone to otitis externa should avoid getting water in the ear and may wish to have some customised swim mould made for their ears. Steroid drops and creams may also help stop patients from itching their ears