Blog posts by Jacqueline Gerhart, MD

The Sticky Truth About Ear Wax

Toddler boy

Many of us use cotton swabs (commonly called Q-tips) inside our ears to clean out wax and water. And, well-intended parents may actually use the swabs on their children’s ears as well. The problem is that using the swabs can actually cause injury, or create an even bigger problem – impacted wax.

Earwax actually has several important jobs for which you might want to keep it around. It protects and moisturizes the skin of the canal, preventing itchy/flaky/dandruff-like ears. Additionally, it contains special chemicals that help fight infections. And, when dust and dirt enter your ear, earwax serves as a sticky shield, preventing debris from traveling further.

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