Close up on unrecognized woman listening.
Here’s The Right Way To Clean Your Ears
Why The Wax?
Earwax, or cerumen, is a sort of natural cleanser for our ears with some antibacterial and antifungal properties. As the earwax moves through our ears, it collects any stray debris, dead skin cells, and hair before harmlessly flaking off.
Cleaning The Outer Ear
In general, any area of your outer ear that can be touched by your fingers is safe to clean with a wet cloth or tissue, as cleaning this area can help prevent the transfer or introduction of germs to the inner ear. Don’t forget to also clean behind your ears!
Don't Clean The Inner Ear
The inside of the ear canal actually doesn’t need to be cleaned — your earwax does that job by grabbing skin flakes and other debris as it moves out of the ear. Your earwax’s role as cleaner and moisturizer is important, so it’s best to leave it alone.
Causes Of Excess Earwax
If you feel a fullness in your ears, ringing, dizziness, or even itching, it may be a sign of excess earwax. Extra earwax can be caused by wearing in-ear buds, skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, an excess of ear hair, and simply getting older.
OTC Remedies
Most over-the-counter earwax remedies are generally safe and consist of a few ingredients that create a softening solution. You can even replicate these remedies at home — use mineral oil to soften the wax over a few days before rinsing out your ears with sterilized water.