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What does your earwax colour mean?

Earwax is a substance which is naturally produced by the ear glands in the ear canal. Though it is a naturally occurring substance which all humans have, there are many questions people have about it. This is because the ears are self-cleaning and for the most past, there is no reason to have to interfere with the ears, unless you are experiencing excessive earwax, or facing some other problem. One question people may have which is unanswered concerns what the colour of your earwax may indicate.

Interestingly, many things about earwax can vary between individuals, and it depends on a number of factors including your genetics / ancestry, age, and whether you have an infection. So, what does the colour of your earwax mean?

If you find that you have black or dark brown earwax, this is because the earwax is older, and the dark colour is due to the dirt and bacteria which it has trapped. It is more common to find darker, harder earwax in adults.

Next, dark brown earwax which has bits of red in it may indicate that there is blood in the earwax. In this case, you should get in touch with a doctor to figure out what the problem is.

If you have light brown, yellow or orange earwax, then this is healthy and completely typical. It is more common to find soft, lighter earwax in children.

If you find that you have white coloured, flaky earwax, then this colour be genetic and an indication that you do not have a body-odour producing chemical. It may also be a sign of eczema or psoriasis, so if you are suddenly finding that you have lighter coloured, dried wax than usual, then we recommend contacting a healthcare professional.

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