Infections of this kind are most frequently the result of an underlying allergy. An allergic reaction induces inflammation that blocks the thin tube that runs from the sinuses to the ears. Once this swells and blocks, the inner ear chamber becomes a favourite site for infection. Treatment with antibiotics quadruples the risk of another infection. This may be because antibiotics irritate the gut wall, making it more leaky, which exacerbates underlying allergies.
In this unpleasant condition the skin becomes scaly and itchy; it can crack and be very sore. Dermatitis is very similar in nature and probably also in cause. The possibility of allergy must be strongly considered. Although the mechanism is unknown, optimum nutrition does usually help this condition. Vitamins A and C strengthen the skin, while vitamin E and zinc improve healing. When there is no open wound, vitamin E oil can help to heal the skin. Essential fats also help to reduce inflammation.