You’re getting dressed up for a special night out on the town. You’re wearing your best “freakum” dress. Your hair is perfect; Makeup flawless. Everything is in place. You take a look at yourself in the mirror and think, “So fresh and So clean”. That special someone is taking you out for a romantic evening. You look so good; he wants to get closer so he can whisper sweet nothings. Just as he’s about to slip his tongue into your ear – SCREEEEECH!! Put on the breaks. A piece of earwax is staring back at him. Yuck! This is a common occurrence that we don’t talk about but it deserves some attention. What’s the proper way to clean your ears? It’s an important step that we often miss or take for granted.
To Clean or Not to Clean?
People have debated for years about how they should clean their ears. We dig into them with cotton swabs, keys, bobby pins and pen caps. We pour alcohol and peroxide into our ear canals because we believe that that little hole (called the external auditory canal) is so dirty and needs to be cleaned. Well, the truth is, you should NEVER EVER stick anything in your ears. Ears are designed for self-cleaning and self-protecting. If you are using the wrong cleaning methods, you can end up pushing the wax back in towards the eardrum (also called tympanic membrane). In the long run, inserting objects into your ears can cause a buildup of wax. The wax can harden and cause blockage which can lead to mild hearing loss. You can also set yourself up for infections and serious injury.
Ear wax (also called cerumen) is produced by several glands (sweat glands included) within the skin of the external and internal auditory canal. The purpose of this cerumen is to coat the ear canal, repel water, prevent dryness (which causes itching), trap dust and germs, (which includes tiny insects), keeping them from reaching the eardrum. Ear wax serves many important functions; therefore, it is unnecessary to attempt to remove wax from your ears. Forcibly removing the protective wax layer, scratching the skin that lines the canal or pushing wax deeper into the ear can increase the risk of serious irritation. Even worse, you could puncture the eardrum. It is best to leave the inside of your ear alone and not interfere with its natural environment. If you ever encounter any type of blockage; if you are experiencing pain or excessive itching in your ears, DO NOT take matters into your own hands. Seek the professional skills of an audiologist or an ear doctor. The internal ear structure is very delicate and should only be examined by a professional.
When you’re getting ready for your date, don’t forget to clean your ears. Take that extra step, especially if you are anticipating getting cozy with your partner. Being kissed in and around the ears can be very stimulating. One of the many ways couples show affection is by close contact with their partners’ ears. That could mean a soft kiss, a lick, a gentle bite, etc. No matter what, you want to make sure that you have checked ears off of your hygiene list. One rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: Only clean what you can actually see. You should grab a cotton ball with a little alcohol and swipe behind your ears. If you have pierced ears definitely clean all piercings you may have. This will prevent the build-up of dirt and skin that can sometimes cause crusty clumps on the earlobe. Take a cotton swab dipped in alcohol (you can also use peroxide) and clean the curving peaks and valleys right outside the ear canal. Sweat and oil from the hair can reside in these spaces. It only takes a few minutes to include these tips into your regimen. To top everything off, dab a tiny bit of your favorite perfume behind your ears. You will feel confident and sexy and your date will show his appreciation for your efforts starting with your ears.