Despite its name, you donít have to be a swimmer to get swimmerís ear. Itís often caused by excessive moisture in the ear from swimming or even routine showering.
The moisture can cause the skin inside the ear canal to dry out and flake. A break in the skin, which may result from trying to scratch the persistent itch of the dry and flaky skin, can allow bacteria or a fungus to invade the tissue of the ear and cause an infection.
Swimming in polluted water allows bacteria to find a home in the moist environment of the ear canal, which can result in infection. Another common cause is excess and improper cleaning of wax from the ears. Not only does wax protect the ear canal from excess moisture, but it also harbors friendly bacteria. Removing this protective barrier-with hairpins, fingernails or other objects that can scratch the skin-makes it easier for an infection to develop. Hair spray or hair coloring can also irritate the ear canal.