Ear Picks

You've heard it so many times – don't stick things in your ears. You've probably heard that using Q-tips is bad, too. That's true. Q-tips and other cotton swabs are okay to use to take off wax from your outer ear parts, but are not to be put inside the ear canal at all. What happens when you put a Q-tip in your ear canal is that a bit of wax gets stuck on the cotton, while the majority of the wax jets pushed back, packed into the back of the ear. Not good.

ear pick

And yet in Asia, ear picks are the most popular tools for earwax removal. Also called a curette, the ear pick is like a tooth pick with a small scoop on the end, and its use is quite self-explanatory. In Japan, there is a whole industry of decorative ear picks:

ear pickear pick

Do Ear Picks Work?

Here's the thing: Asians tend to have drier ear wax than others. I don't know why this is. Some believe it is genetic and some think it is due to diet or climate. In any case, the dryness of the earwax is the reason why it can be easily scraped and scooped out with these ear picks. If you have this type of earwax, you can try using an ear pick - but be careful of your ear drum!

ear pick

Are Ear Picks Right For You

Only use ear picks if you have "dry-type" greyish, flaky earwax, not the more common yellow/amber syrup breed. And always make sure to be extremely careful when inserting the device into your ear.

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