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Ear infection, outer ear - What treatments work for an outer ear infection?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

The best treatments for an outer ear infection are ear drops, which you squeeze into your ear. Your doctor may suggest other treatments as well, but we don't know how well they work.

Read How to use ear drops.

Key points about treatments for outer ear infection

  • Ear drops cure outer ear infection in most people within a short time.

  • There are several types of ear drops. The ones that research has shown are likely to work contain antibiotics, steroids, or aluminium acetate.

  • Taking antibiotic tablets as well as using ear drops doesn't work any better than using just ear drops.[7]

  • If your pain has not gone away after 10 days you should go back to the doctor.

Which treatments work best? We've looked at the best research and given a rating for each treatment according to how well it works.

Treatments for an outer ear infection

Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study


For references related to Ear infection, outer ear click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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