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dermatitis of the external auditory canal and sometimes also of the exposed ear. The skin on these ear parts becomes dry, scaling, and itchy, and there may be foul-smelling watery or purulent discharge, pain, fever, and intermittent deafness. Predisposing factors include excessive perspiration, trauma, allergy, underwater swimming and diving, and a warm, damp environment. The infection, which may be recurrent, is usually bacterial in origin