For some people it is a regular shot. They get out of the shower and clean their ears with a cotton swab immediately after drying. Others seldom attempt such a cleaning of their ears. In fact, they claim that it is downright harmful to get a cotton swab near your ear canal.
It remains a matter of debate: should you or should you not remove wax from your ears? And if you have to do it at all, how often and in what way is it justified?
Like everything else your body does, it produces wax for a reason. “It keeps foreign particles that could otherwise penetrate into your ears. She works as head of nose, throat and ear surgery at the University Hospital in Ghent, Flanders. The ENT doctor gives a number of examples of the beneficial effect of ear wax. “Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, it can prevent infections. Moreover, the sticky substance ensures that the skin in your ear canal remains supple and does not dry out. ” She therefore warns that it is absolutely not the intention that you take it away: “Especially not every day.”
Color and structure
Is your ear wax pale yellow in color? That is not the case with everyone. “Earwax can have a dark hue and even be black,” says Dhooge. And not only the color, but also the structure can differ per person and per day. “Sometimes it is hard, other times liquid or a bit sticky.”
In fact, there is only one thing that is the same for everyone when it comes to ear wax, and that is that it is automatically disposed of. “Your ears are self-cleaning and the skin in your ear canals is constantly renewed. Old skin painters are thereby led outside.
They take the excess ear wax with them during the migration. This way, old grease can get into the pinna. And of course you can clean the auricle. ” Even if wax is visible, just at the entrance to your ear canal, you can remove it. Very carefully with a cotton swab or just with a washcloth in the shower. “But never put a cotton swab in your ear. That way, you push dead skin and ear wax backwards, creating plugs that can block the ear canal, ”says the Flemish expert.
If there is too little wax in your ears, you will notice this immediately in most cases. “The skin will start to dry out and feel itchy. This increases the risk of eczema, which puts you in a vicious cycle. Because your ears itch, it is even more tempting to enter with a cotton swab, ”explains the ENT doctor. However, itching is not a sign that you need to clean your ears. On the contrary, you have already done your best too much. ”
According to Dhooge, it happens that the body produces excessive ear wax. This would especially happen to people with oily skin and high sebum production. “They can remove the excess ear wax with the help of a preparation that liquefies the wax.
That way, the ears can be easily rinsed in the shower, ”she advises. “People with a very narrow ear canal, whose natural removal of ear wax is difficult, can also benefit from such products. In any case, they are very sensitive to ear plugs and should have their ears cleaned regularly by the doctor.