Let’s face it – earwax is nobody’s favorite topic. But just like the rest of your bodily fluids, earwax is very important and can tell you a lot about your health.
Your body produces earwax as a means of protection against the outside invaders such as bacteria and dirt. Thanks to the earwax, your ears can be healthy, clean and functional. However, if your earwax starts changing color, texture or starts building up, something might be wrong.
1. Yellow, wet, sticky
This is what a healthy earwax looks like. This earwax protects your ears and helps keep them clean and healthy.
2. Pale yellow
This is the healthy earwax version for children. Note that children produce more earwax than adults, so don’t be alarmed if your kid seems to produce more earwax than yourself.
Although strange, gray earwax is usually nothing to worry about – it’s a result of the ear’s natural cleaning process. However, if the earwax is also dry and brittle, it could be a sign of eczema.
4. Dark and thick
If you notice that your earwax has changed color and texture to dark and sticky, this could be a result of too much stress or a weakened immune system. In any case, you may want to consider having this flushed by a doctor so you can avoid potential problems.
5. Dry, white, flaky
Although it may appear unusual, this is a normal type of earwax that people with less body odor than usual produce.
6. Dark brown, almost black
If you have very dark brown earwax, it’s time to visit a doctor. But don’t worry – it’s probably nothing serious, just a build up. Our ears produce more wax when we’re under chronic stress, so wax that doesn’t get removed and stays in the ear can change color.
If you notice blood in your earwax, see a doctor immediately as this could be a result of a perforated eardrum.