How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Bob Your Own Question
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5423
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
Type Your Neurology Question Here...
Dr. Bob is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Tingling feeling in my outer ear off and on

This answer was rated:

I have a tingling feeling off and on in my outer ear. It feels like small hairs. I have no pain or strange sensation in my ear canal.

Hello. How often do you get this tingling feeling? Does it involve both ears?
Yes, it involves both ears. I get it several times a day and again, feels like hair in my ears. thank you

Doctor-Bob :
How long does the sensation last typically?
5 to 10 minutes

Doctor-Bob :
And this involves the ear lobe itself...not the ear canal?
not the canal, nor the lower lobe, but the just inside the upper part of the ear.

Doctor-Bob :
This is what we call "formication" or "paresthesias" which refers to abnormal sensations like itchiness, tingling, or the crawling of insects over the skin. It is not uncommon in the ears where there are numerous tiny fine hairs sometimes not visible to the naked eye. These hairs can be stimulated by wind, touch or even movement and begin to "recreate" the sensation of insects crawling, or something similar to it, probably as a defense mechanism.

It is considered a form of tactile hallucination, and is not dangerous. It is more common in the presence of dry skin, eczema, seborrhea or other skin conditions.
That crawling feeling describes it exactly. interesting

Doctor-Bob :
You are in good health otherwise?

Doctor-Bob :
Keep the skin moisturized daily and this should become less frequent.
Again, thank you Doctor.

Doctor-Bob :
Glad to help. Follow up anytime. Happy holidays.

Dr. Bob and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you