Otitis externa is an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal. Inflammation of the skin of the ear canal is the essence of this disorder. The inflammation can be secondary to dermatitis (eczema) only, with no microbial infection, or it can be caused by active bacterial or fungal infection. In either case, but more often with infection, the ear canal skin swells and may become painful and/or tender to touch. Acute otitis externa is predominantly a microbial infection, occurs rather suddenly, rapidly worsens, and becomes very painful and alarming. It is the predominant complaint and the only symptom directly related to the severity of acute external otitis. Unlike other forms of ear infections, the …