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Can you get swimmer's ear if you don't swim?

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Despite its name, you don't have to be a swimmer to get swimmer's ear. It can be caused by excess moisture in the ear from routine showering. The moisture can cause the skin inside the ear canal to become chafed, dry, and cracked. A break in the skin, which may result from trying to scratch the persistent itch of the dry and flaky skin, can allow bacteria or (more rarely) a fungus to invade the tissue of the ear canal and cause an infection. Swimming in dirty or polluted water, therefore, is a common cause of swimmer's ear; the bacteria in the water find a hospitable home in the moist environment of an inflamed ear canal.

From: What Is Swimmer's Ear? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Outer Ear Infection (The Basics)," "External Otitis (Including Swimmer's Ear) (Beyond the Basics)," "External Otitis: Pathogenesis, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis," "External Otitis: Treatment," "Malignant (Necrotizing) External Otitis."

American Family Physician: "Acute Otitis Externa: An Update."

Mayo Clinic: "Swimmer's Ear."

CDC: "Facts About 'Swimmer's Ear."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Swimmer's Ear."

American Academy of Otolaryngology: "Swimmer's Ear."

Cleveland Clinic: "Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear)."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2019

SOURCES:

UpToDate: "Outer Ear Infection (The Basics)," "External Otitis (Including Swimmer's Ear) (Beyond the Basics)," "External Otitis: Pathogenesis, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis," "External Otitis: Treatment," "Malignant (Necrotizing) External Otitis."

American Family Physician: "Acute Otitis Externa: An Update."

Mayo Clinic: "Swimmer's Ear."

CDC: "Facts About 'Swimmer's Ear."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Swimmer's Ear."

American Academy of Otolaryngology: "Swimmer's Ear."

Cleveland Clinic: "Otitis Externa (Swimmer's Ear)."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2019

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What causes swimmer's ear other than water?

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