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Hot Itchy Ears after a few minutes in the cold
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deilfcailin posted:
This problem started for me about a year ago. For some reason....even the shortest exposure to cold will make my ears turn red, burning hot, and itchy and it is painful. It happens to my cheeks, nose and fingers quite often, too. I know that spending a lot of time in the cold and then going inside where it's warmer will do this...but my ears did this today and that was just walking to my car after work (granted it was snowing sideways...but it was only a few minutes out in the cold). Sometimes my hands will do this just from getting food out of the freezer. It's the strangest reaction to cold and this was never an issue until last winter. Now that it's turning cold again, I'm realizing that last year wasn't a fluke.
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Red, hot ears are interesting phenomena that many people experience. For some unknown reason, warm, oxygen-rich blood is being shunted to your outer ears. This is a variation of simple blushing. Sometimes, people can even experience pain when this happens"026not just embarrassment.

If the problem is severe, there are only a few medical options to treat it. Some ENTs use beta-blockers (drugs that are traditionally used to treat high blood pressure, prevent migraines, or treat certain heart problems).

Sometimes beta-blockers will help"026sometimes they don't.