What gland is earwax produced by? 

Earwax is a substance found in the ear canals which, unsurprisingly, many people do not know all that much about! Either it is not discussed enough (probably because the ears are self-cleaning, so you usually don’t need to make that much fuss about them), or because some people find it kind of weird. First things first, earwax is actually medically known as cerumen. It is there for a number of important purposes, such as protection and lubrication. It also functions as an antibacterial and provides a protective barrier from bacteria, fungi and water. So, what exactly is earwax made up of and where is it produced?

Interestingly, though its name would suggest otherwise, earwax is not really a wax at all. In fact, the name only comes from its waxy texture. Earwax is composed in part of the skin cells from the ear canal, and this area is made up of skin which is constantly being renewed. 

In addition, earwax also consists of secretions from two other glands, the ceruminous and sebaceous glands. The ceruminous gland is a sweat gland which rests on the outside of the auditory canal. The sebaceous glands excrete oil which helps to lubricate the skin. 

Broken down, earwax is made up of 4 different substances, long-chain fatty acids, alcohols, cholesterol, and squalene. This all mixes with the dead skin cells, hair, dust and dirt to create earwax. 

We have locations across the North West of England for your convenience

Share This Post


£15 OFF*

We have locations across the North West of England for your convenience and enjoy the service of our NHS trained Audiologists.

*Excludes 1 ear,  home visits & under 12 years old.