Home Ear Care Use cotton swabs correctly

Use cotton swabs correctly

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 233 views

For many people, cleaning their ears with cotton swabs is part of their daily personal hygiene. As long as it only cleans the auricles, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it should be absolutely taboo to penetrate the ear canals with cotton swabs. Read here how to use cotton swabs correctly.

Use cotton swabs correctly

Cotton swabs can be found in every household. The rods, which are about four inches long and have a small cotton ball at each end, are particularly useful for numerous cosmetic procedures. For example, the correct use of cotton swabs consists of:

  • remove smudged makeup
  • correct applied nail polish
  • Apply ointments or tinctures to a small area
  • Cleaning hard-to-reach areas in the home

However, many people use cotton swabs improperly: to clean the ear canal, for example. Under no circumstances should you do this.

Cotton buds in the ear taboo

Our ears clean themselves: the earwax that forms deep in the ear canals reliably transports dirt and dead skin cells to the outside.

Thanks to the effective self-cleaning mechanism of the ears, there is no need to clean the inside of the ears. On the contrary – if you use ear sticks or other devices to penetrate the ear canals, they can seriously damage your ears.

Cotton swabs can easily injure the eardrum if you insert them too deeply into the ear canal. Cotton swabs also remove the fine greasy film that earwax leaves on the skin of the ear canals. New earwax can then no longer slide over the skin so easily and, in the worst case, gets stuck. This can result in a plug that completely or partially blocks the ear canal.

The consequences range from itching and an uncomfortable feeling of pressure to hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus. In addition, you do not remove the earwax with the cotton swab, but push it deeper into the ear canal, which in turn promotes the formation of plugs. Once the plug is there, the only thing that usually helps is to go to the ENT doctor, who can remove the stuck earwax with an ear rinse, for example.

Would you like to learn more about the function of earwax and how to clean your ears properly? Then please read the Ear Wax Removal article .

Cotton swabs for babies and children

Avoid inserting a cotton swab into the ear canal, especially in children. Here the probability of injuring the sensitive baby ears is even greater. If at all, clean your child’s ears only on the outside of the auricle with a soft cleaning cloth, never with a cotton swab .

Cotton Swabs: Alternatives

But not only cotton swabs find their way into the ear canal again and again. There are already numerous alternatives on the market. For example, medical ear cleaners made of stainless steel, cotton swabs made of bamboo, earwax removers with a spiral attachment or reusable swabs made of washable materials are available.

Some of the alternatives are said to be gentler on the ear canal than the traditional cotton swab. However, the gentlest thing is and remains to leave the inner ear to clean itself naturally and not to insert anything.

If you still want to clean your ear, grab a damp cosmetic tissue. You can use it to easily remove earwax that is visible in the auricle. In addition, there is nothing wrong with removing the earwax that is visible on the outer ear with a cotton swab.

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