What is earwax made of?

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is produced by the glands of the ear canal. It is made by the body to protect the ears and has both lubricating and antibacterial properties. It is a brown, orange, red, yellowish, or grey waxy substance, which protects the skin of the ear canal, assists in cleaning, and provides protection against bacteria, fungi, and water.

Earwax consists of many components including dead skin cells, hair, and the secretions of cerumen by the glands of the outer ear canal. The major components of earwax are long chain fatty acids, which are both saturated and unsaturated, alcohols, squalene, and cholesterol.

Of course, earwax is naturally secreted by the body, and ears are designed to clean themselves, but it is also possible for there to be a build-up or earwax blockage. This commonly occurs when people use items such as cotton swabs or bobby pins in an attempt to clean their ears. Instead of helping a blockage, it only pushes the earwax deeper into the ears and in some cases can also cause injury to the ear.

It is therefore important not to push objects into the ear canal, and instead to allow the ears to clean themselves naturally. In the case of earwax build-up, there are of course solutions to deal with this. To find out more, or if you have any queries for our team, please contact us and we will be all ears!

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

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