Earwax, quite like the name suggests, is a waxy substance. For the geeks who'd like to know, it is technically called cerumen. Though it appears messy and sticky, earwax serves a protective function in the human body. It collects all the dirt and dead skin from the outer ear and forms this wax-like substance to make sure that no unnecessary and harmful particles enter into the middle and inner ears.
It also protects the eardrum from acoustic trauma, injuries, and infections. The color of the earwax varies from person to person and essentially speaks about the person's genetic origin. It also shows the amount of secretions produced by the apocrine glands (the glands that secrete an oil-like substance to form earwax) and suggests the presence of a possible medical condition. Find out what your earwax can tell about your health.
1. Yellow, Moist, And Sticky
This color and consistency are considered to be optimum. The right amount of moisture in the wax ensures sufficient lubrication. Also, this sort of consistency is most efficient in stopping foreign particles from entering the more sensitive parts of the middle and inner ears. However, children produce paler and a more liquidy earwax, and there is nothing to be alarmed about. It is quite natural, and as children grow older, the color of the wax becomes darker.
2. Dark And Gooey
If your sweat is smelly, you tend to produce earwax that is not only darker in appearance but is also moist and sticky in texture. Also, the apocrine glands that produce the earwax begin to synthesize significant amounts of wax when the body is going through physical and mental stress. Consider this to be a cautionary signal to keep a check on your stress levels.
3. White (Dry And Scaly)
If you find your earwax white in color, and hard and dry in texture, this surprisingly means your sweat does not have a strong odor. The substance present in earwax that makes it look dark brown is apparently the same thing that causes body odor. Who would have thought of a connection between something like earwax and body odor? Anyway, also note that, in certain cases, psoriasis can cause the wax to become scaly or flaky. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you find your earwax unusually dry.
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