Ear pressure sore

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Ear pressure sore

Postby catherine » 20 Apr 2011, 16:05

I've developed a bit of a pressure sore on the top and side of my ear. Unfortunately, due to my scoliosis, I can only sleep on this one side, so cannot relieve the pressure point by lying in a different position. I have district nurses when I am at university, but I'm currently at home for Easter, so cannot get help from them. I've googled some options, but can't seem to find anything suitable so I thought I'd post here!

Has anyone experienced this at all? How did you remedy it? Is there any OTC creams I can try or a specific kind of pillow? I have seen small doughnut pillows, but I can't find anywhere that sells them, and unfortunately have no-one to make one for me.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby AMGmod » 20 Apr 2011, 16:23

I've had a quick flick about on google for donut/ring pillows but most seem to be for relieving sore at the other end of the body and would be rather too big for laying on.

I thought about a neck pillow, but these may be too hard to lay upon.

Some sites seem to advocate a cervical ... Hold on there ... might have found something ..... http://www.creatingcomforts.co.uk/-Pill ... p-156-340/

£26 but if this is going to become a recurring problem for your ear, might be a wise investment and once you have it you may find other times it is of use.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby Vicki » 20 Apr 2011, 17:08

By doughnut pillow do you mean a full circle one or half circle? :?
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catatude » 20 Apr 2011, 17:16

Just back from the Hospital Dermo for this very problem. I can only mainly sleep on my left side due to scoliosis causing the skin on my left ear to break down. My problem started a few years back as a very small acne spot on my ear but the continual pressure due to my sleep position has caused the cartilage in the ear to be inflamed and sore. The Hosp Doc gave a big fancy name for it but he said it was basically contact dermitis on top of inflamed ear cartilage. The most sever treatment He has mentioned so far is plastic surgery to remove the damaged cartilage and a skin graft. but I have opted to continue with the cryo freeze (mega cold liquid stuff that should encourage healing) and a new cream.

I found the cold weather had a real bad effect on it as does really hot sunny weather. Always have to put lots of sun cream on my ears. :lol:

DIY first aid:- at the minute I am constantly applying E45 to see if it will heal better if the skin is more supple.

Cushions:- I find my firmer memory foam pillow makes it worse so have been trying to alternate between different pillows. I try t use soft pillow cases like flannelette as cotton can be too rough.

Bandage up:- Have tried all sorts of dressings. have even tried cutting a hole on a flat ish baby sponge and bandaging it over my ear Pudsey bear style. Works not too bad but really need a helper to get it comfortable.

Hope you find a solution
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catatude » 20 Apr 2011, 17:25

just had another thought :!:

we were talking about pillows over on the Vent boards. see Link:- viewtopic.php?f=2&t=232&hilit=vent&start=30

some of the pillows designed to aid a better sleep position for wearing a vent mask have ear depresion sections built in. Was thinking on getting one myself but I normally like to see thing before I buy.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby ambitiousturtle24 » 20 Apr 2011, 17:47

Going with the whole smallish sponge with a hole in it idea...how about if a head strap could be attached to it so it wouldn't slip during the night...much like the bipap head straps? Just a thought...if there's nobody you know personally who can make something for you or adapt a technique you already use many somebody on this board knows somebody kind enough to lend a helping hand at some DIY ?? Anybody...
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catherine » 24 Apr 2011, 18:43

Thanks for the replies, especially from catatude - it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with this problem, as it seems to some people that it's a really strange place to get a pressure sore (I think it's quite logical!). The image of you bandaging a sponge to your ear pudsey-style made me giggle too :)

Anyway, the night I posted this I had another really bad night's sleep from the pain (I never knew something so small could be so painful, it was getting to the point where I was contemplating doing a Van Gogh!) so I managed to register at my home GP as a temporary resident to get the district nurse out. She came and had a look and a prod of my ear, and got the GP to prescribe some cream called Bactroban and recommended I got a memory foam pillow. So I sent my dad out to Argos to get this: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1275009/Trail/searchtext%3EMEMORY+FOAM+PILLOW.htm and it seems to be doing the trick after a couple of nights (not sure if it's the cream or pillow or both!).
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catatude » 25 Apr 2011, 18:19

cream called Bactroban


think thats the cream Im waiting on the chemist getting me. This weekend Ive adopted a new strategy of putting a big blob of e45 on a tissue and slapping it on my ear. the cream helps the tissue stick to my ear rather that my ear continually sticking to my pillow case and opening the scab every time I move.

Think my next step is going to involve a pair of sissors and an attack on my memory foam pillow to create a hole for my ear to sit in over night.

OWW and a separate tip from a friend who has bad Exzema. Ive been wearing my hair down alot to hide the horrible ear. but apparently the natural hair oils and gunk from hair products can irratate spots, exzema and dermititus and can make these condition flair up.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catherine » 25 Apr 2011, 18:33

I really hope you get it sorted soon Cat :) the Bactroban seems to be working for me, so I hope it does for you too! Working on the e45 and tissue idea, I thought (when I was dreaming up ear solutions for me) about maybe paper/medical taping some gauze or dressing onto the skin around the ear to stop it sticking to the pillow? Not sure if it would work though.

I've noticed the same with my hair, especially if I end up lying with a bit of hair between my ear and the pillow. Unfortunately my bipap mask headgear means I can't tie my hair up fantastically at night, I have to try and gather it all up at one side as best I can, but then you get those annoying little stray bits which never stay where you want them to!
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catatude » 22 May 2011, 18:39

hi peeps.

hows the ears doing :?:

mine seems to be on the mend (touch wood) between the E45, bactroban and trimivate creams and the hole that I chopped in my tempor memory foam pillow.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catherine » 22 May 2011, 20:51

mine seems a little better, kinda flits between almost better and red and painful. think it's just something else i'm going to have to learn to live with :)! glad yours is improving too. what is trimivate?
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby catatude » 23 May 2011, 20:46

Post by catherine » 22 May 2011, 21:51
mine seems a little better, kinda flits between almost better and red and painful. think it's just something else i'm going to have to learn to live with :)! glad yours is improving too. what is trimivate?


its a anti imflammitory steriod cream for skin things. it reduces the swelling and the redness, heat and itchness. as well as a few other symptoms. this is as good as I have managed to get my ear. was looking at old photos the other day and this has been a problem for about 3 yrs now. Ive got it down to pink and only painfull if I lie on it too long. I too have scoliosis and cant lie too long on my back or other side so the the chopping a hole in my pillow has really helped.

take care
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Re: Pressure sores on the ear

Postby KerrieLee » 13 Dec 2012, 03:28

Because I sleep primarily on one side, I have contended for years with very painful ulcers on my right ear. I've tried various foam cushions and sponges to protect my ears during sleep, but none were very comfortable. On a whim, I ordered gel seals ($25 for the pair on Amazon) that are designed for aviation headsets in hopes that they would provide a soft, donut-shaped cushion for my tormented ear. I am happy to report that they work great, providing enough support so that my ear does not touch the pillow, but soft and flexible enough to be comfortable. Because the gel filling tends to make the cushion a bit cold, I "pre-heat it" by putting it under the blankets with my mattress-warmer before I go to bed. Also, because I only need one cushion(gel seal), the pair should last me quite awhile.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby sar78 » 13 Dec 2012, 13:06

Ear ear... (can you see what i did there :? ) I am going to have to look into these. I think I would benefit too.
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Re: Ear pressure sore

Postby criptic » 17 Dec 2012, 18:40

*pricks ears up (pardon the pun).

My sore ear is on the right side (blisters, open sores etc etc) which is the side I am stuck on. Currently working for me is tea tree oil to help healing and a car wash sponge (the sort with shammy on the front and cotton on the back) placed along jaw line in front of ear so my ear is free of the pillow for sleeping. Physio saw it and said it looked good in position!

I wear a vent head cap with the elastic that hugs/cuts onto my ears unless I move it into the right place. I went from constant pressure sores to just the odd one now on that side thank goodness. I did consider cutting my ear off at one point too - or at least a notch out of it. Hugely painful!

I like the sound of the gel things as I can't use the pillows with the holes in as it crimps up my neck too much. I can't get my local nursing team to take any of my pressure sores seriously so it's been a DIY job on my ears and head in general.
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