But, did you know that using Q-tips in your ears can actually do you more harm than good?
Take a look at our skin. Everyday it gets dry, cells are being replaced by new skin cells everyday , we take a bath everyday just to keep our skin clean.
We also have similar skin lining our ear canal.
A lot of people view earwax as just dirt in the ear canal. The fact is earwax helps protect your sensitive ear canal by trapping dirt, sand, insects and other foreign substances.
Earwax is the ear’s moisturizer, it helps prevent excessive dryness in the ear canal and on the outer ear.
It also repels water.
And, it acts as an antibacterial agent- it helps prevent infection.
Think about it, we already have this built-in self-cleaning, moisturizing, anti-bacterial mechanism in our ears, and yet everyday, we strip our ears of it.
What is worse, is that by using q-tips, if you are not removing the earwax, you are actually pushing it in, into an area, where it is not able to clean itself. Unlike skin in the rest of the body which is replaced in an upward direction., meaning old cells slowly go up where they eventually end in the top layer and easily removed by friction, the skin in the ear canal goes out by MIGRATION: meaning skin goes from the center of the ear drum, to the edge of the eardrum and then goes out slowly to the ear canal. This skin as well as other debris is mixed with the oil and secretions from glands in the outer 1/3 of the ear canal is what forms the earwax.
When you push the earwax in and it builds up inside the canal, it may be more prone to accumulate fungus, bacteria which may cause ear infections
This can also block your hearing and cause deafness, or it may eve n rupture your eardrum
Another reason why you should not clean your ears is because unlike the skin in the rest of the body which is 5 layers thick, the skin in the inner 2/3 of the ear canal is very very thin and is surrounded by bone. By cleaning your ears with q-tips you may be creating micro-abrasions, as well as releasing histamine which causes itchiness. As a reflex of course, when something is itchy, you scratch it again. By doing that, you are actually creating a viscious “scratch-and-itch” cycle. And that pattern has to stop.
In summary, the earwax is the ear’s self cleaning mechanism. It is a water repellant, a moisturizer, and an anti bacterial agent. And this is what happens when you use q-tips to clean your ears:
1. You make our ear canals dry
2. You push the earwax in
3. You may block your hearing,
4. You may rupture your eardrum,
5. You may cause ear infections, and,
6. You create viscious “scratch-and-itch” cycle in your ear.