10 Facts about Wax


     I'll admit it. Last Saturday night, I cleaned my ears with a Q-tip. 

    My entire life I've always heard to never stick anything inside my ear canal that is smaller than my elbow but I had an itch that 
I couldn't scratch otherwise.

     And now I know why that old saying exists. 

     The next day, I felt something become lodged inside my right ear. I could barely hear anything, until a physician scraped out huge clumps of 
black wax .
What exactly is ear wax and was it normal that mine was black

Here are 10 interesting facts that I found in the process of my cerumenal exploration. 

1)  Ear wax (Cerumen) is mainly made of dead skin.

2)  Fear, Anxiety, and Stress increase production of ear wax.

3)  There are two genetically different types of 
ear wax--wet (found in people of Caucasian
 and African decent) and dry (found in people
of East Asian and Native American decent ).
Anthropologists have used ear wax to track human migratory patterns.

4)  Wet Ear wax (containing more fat) is golden orange, brown and black. It glows in a black light:

Dry Ear wax 
is white and flakey.

Dry Ear Wax

5)  Every time you chew, the movement of your jaw bone, or mandible, helps to push the wax up and out of your ear.

6)  Recent research has found that  wax has antibacterial/antifungal properties.

Ear Wax under Electron Microscope
7)  Ear wax has a slightly acidic pH (6.1).

8)  A 1938 article in a women's magazine suggested ear wax to be applied as a form of chapstick.

9)  In medieval times ear wax, and other substances such as urine, were used to prepare pigments used by scribes.

10)  Be thankful for your ear wax! It keeps your ear canal lubricated and clean.