Cotton swabs…not for your ears!

We usually associate cotton swabs, commonly called Q-tips, with cleaning our ears. Nevertheless, we should definitely abandon this practice.

We usually associate cotton swabs, commonly called Q-tips, with cleaning our ears. Nevertheless, we should definitely abandon this practice.

The natural viscous secretions found in the ear canal, called cerumen (earwax), are composed of a mixture of oil and dead cells, and their production varies greatly from one person to another. Cerumen protects the external ear canal by a mechanical action (the evacuation of particles towards the outside of the ear), and a chemical action (it has antibacterial properties). Hence, we should not try to remove cerumen at all cost, as its presence inside the ear canal is normal and healthy. When it reaches the entrance of the ear canal, it can be cleaned quite safely.

Using cotton swabs to clean inside our ears is not without hazard, and is often the cause of perforated eardrums in adults. Furthermore, using cotton swabs stimulates the development of otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) by modifying the acidic pH of the external ear canal. Using these little sticks can also lead to the formation of earwax plugs.

You like to keep your ears squeaky clean? Clean them with a warm facecloth, but please, leave cotton swabs out of the process! You can clean the external ear with your pinky finger, the corner of a towel, or a washcloth soaked with a little warm, soapy water. This will be enough to make sure your ears are kept very clean…and healthy!

The drugs and pharmaceutical services featured on the familiprix.com website are offered by pharmacists who own the affiliated pharmacies at Familiprix. The information contained on the familiprix.com site is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace the advice and advice of your pharmacist or any other health professional. Always consult a health professional before taking or discontinuing medication or making any other decision. Familiprix inc. and the proprietary pharmacists affiliated with Familiprix do not engage in any way by making this information available on this website.