A Doctor Explains Why You Should NOT Be Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Get Rid of Earwax

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We tasked best-selling author and physician Dr. Ian Smith with breaking down some of the most popular social media health trends: from chia seeds for weight loss to “nature cereal”. Here, he explains whether or not it’s safe to use hydrogen peroxide to clean out your ears.  

Trend: Pour hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal to help resolve earwax buildup 

Dr. Ian Says: Don't do this  

"We all know that hydrogen peroxide works for cuts, scrapes, those kinds of things, but you have to be very careful with hydrogen peroxide because it could be very irritating. It can irritate your tempanic membrane, which is your eardrum and cause major problems," Dr. Ian explains.  

Dr. Ian also wants you to know that ear wax is good. "The reason why the body has ear wax is to prevent certain types of irritants from getting into your inner ear," he adds.  

So, if you want to get rid of some of your external ear wax that's closer to the outside, go into your shower and use warm water. Use nothing smaller than your finger because you don't want to reach into your membrane," Dr. Ian says.  

"The one thing I want to say about Q-tips is that you have to be very careful. The recommendation is to use your finger. People tend to insert the Q-tip too far and they puncture their membranes. So, be very careful if you're going to use Q-tips," he explains.  

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