The Color And Texture Of Your Ear Wax Reveals Everything About Your Health

Like most bodily fluids, ear wax is seldom talked about. However, the color and texture of the stuff inside ourears can tell some very interesting things about our health, and how the rest of our bodies work.

Other than being surprisingly interesting, ear wax actually serves an important purpose for our health. According to Clear Ear, it’s scientific name is cerumen.

Technically, ear wax is made up of long-chain fatty acids, squalene and alcohols that amongst other things, provide a waterproof lining that prevents infection.

The purpose of ear wax is to protect the hollow hole that is our ear canals from bacteria and debris. Ear wax is our body’s way of keeping the bad stuff out of our ears and trapping dead skin cells. With the help of wax, our ears stay clean, healthy and functional.

Of course, ear wax being a helpful substance doesn’t stopour urge to clear out our ear canals once in a while.

However, the doctors at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery do not recommend the use of cotton swabs or any other foreign objects as an ear cleaning tool.

Scroll down to see what your ear wax says about you!

How Should I Safely Clean My Ears?


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Before anyone reaches for a cotton swab, it’s important to know how to safely clean your ears.

A cotton swab should never be inserted into the ear canal. In fact, your ears have their own way of self cleaningby pushing wax out of your ears by itself.

Sometimes this can cause ear wax to build up on the external part of your ear, which can be gently cleaned using a cotton swab or wet cloth.

Resist all urges to place a foreign object inside your ear canal.

Ear Wax Type #1: Soft And Pale Yellow


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Wax that is soft and yellow in texture most often belongs to children, according to Web MD.

It is normal and healthy for children to produce a lot more ear wax than adults. As children grow older, they will produce less.

Ear Wax Type #2: Wet, Sticky, And Yellow


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Wet and sticky yellow ear wax is one of two common varieties of cerumen had by most people.

The wet and sticky texture is especially good at lubricating the ear canal, which prevents them from being dry and itchy.

Ear Wax Type #3: Dark And Sticky


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Dark ear wax is indicative of the way your body releases sweat.

The darker in color it is, the more likely you are to have a chemical in your sweat that’s linked to your ability to produce body odor.

People with darker ear wax have a tendency to produce more body odor than people with lighter wax.

However, both varieties are perfectly healthy.

Ear Wax Type #4: White, Dry, And Flaky


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White, dry, flaky wax is the other most common type of wax to find inside your ears.

This variety of cerumen is linked to a recessive gene.

In turn, this color ear wax is usually had by people that produce less body odor.

Ear Wax Type #5: Thick And Dark


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Apocrine glands inside your ears are what produces wax.

When you are stressed or afraid, these glands react by producing more wax than normal. It’s a similar reaction to sweating under pressure.

When ear wax producesat a faster rate than yourbody can naturally push it out of the ear canal, wax build up can occur.

Too much ear wax can cause a blockage and lead to temporary hearing loss.

Ear Wax Type #6: Dark Brown Or Black


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While black or very dark brown wax is scary looking, it is probably not cause for alarm.

Dark ear wax could be a sign of the overproduction of ear wax from stress as mentioned above.

Dark ear wax is also a sign that it has been in your ear for a while. The fats in your ear wax’s reaction to oxygen causes it to darken.

The longer it has been in your ear canal, the more oxygen the ear wax is exposed to, and the older it probably is.

Ear Wax Type #7: Bloody Wax


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It is normal for older and darker ear wax to have a similar appearance to blood.

However, it could also be the indication of a ruptured or perforated ear drum.

To be safe, it’s best tosee a doctor immediately.

Ear Wax Type #8: Wet And Runny


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It is normal for ear wax to leak from the ear canalfrom time to time in small degrees; it is your ears’ natural cleaning mechanism.

However, large volumes of drainage with blood and pus in them is a sure sign of a ruptured or perforated ear drum.

Again, see a doctor immediately.

Ear Wax Type #9: Grey


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If your ear wax is usually the wetter, stickier type, but you notice it looking grey in color, it is likely the result of dust build up.

The grey might look unusual, but it’s just a sign of ear wax doing its job by protecting your ear drum from foreign objects.

On the other hand, if the grey wax is accompanied by cracking, dry or itchy skin inside the ear canal, it could be seborrhoeic eczema. A doctor can provide treatment in this case.

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