Your Baby's Earwax Buildup: What Can You do About it?

Baby’s proper hygiene and grooming

During the first months of your baby’s life. It is a common practice for parents like you to take extra steps in maintaining the baby’s health and hygiene. And cleaning your baby’s ears can be one of them.

If you’re worried about your baby’s ear wax buildup inside his or her tiny ears. Don’t worry, earwax is a common thing and it does good, but if you really want extra steps in maintaining your baby’s cleanliness specifically in your baby’s ears, read more to find out.

What is Earwax or Cerumen

Human earwax which is medically called cerumen is a waxy substance inside the ear canal comprised of dead skin cells, cholesterol, squalene and long-branched fatty acids which are comprised of saturated and unsaturated acids. Earwax which looks gross when extracted can be a variety of colors, ranging from, green, yellow, brown, reddish and orange undertones.

Earwax is an essential component of the ear canal. Due to the fact that any openings in the human body are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, earwax helps prevent it by clogging up a necessary amount of space in the ear canal preventing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other small insects from getting in.

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Not only that, earwax traps dust and dirt that may enter the system. It also provides cleaning and lubrication inside the ear canal. it does this due to the fatty acids present in the ear wax which is a good lubricant to the ear canal. So, even ear wax may seem gross, it is still greatly beneficial to the ears.

Also interesting to note that, earwax color is highly associated with a specific type of race. European and African populations tend to have a wet-type of ear wax which is dark-brown or orange while east Asian and native Americans are susceptible to the dry type of ear wax which is gray in color.

Studies also suggest that types of ear wax are directly associated with the formation of sweat glands and body odor.

Do I need to remove my baby’s ear wax?

With all the benefits of having your baby’s ear wax stated above. It isn’t a hygienic practice to remove your baby’s ear wax as it provides numerous. If, not great benefits, besides the fact that it provides lubrication and protection to your baby’s ears. Ear wax comes out by itself without any human interaction.

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Earwax removal in babies is deemed unnecessary and unhealthy because any kind of ear canal cleaning such as sticking cotton buds to the child’s ear canal could potentially damage the eardrum which could result in hearing impairment. Along with that, sticking cotton buds inside the child’s ear just push the earbuds deeper into the canal route.

Any kind of grooming buds is not advisable to clean up your baby’s ear wax buildup, normal cleanliness check such as daily bathing is the best at keeping your child’s ear healthy and clean.

Can too much earwax buildup happen in babies? What are the symptoms of Excessive ear wax buildup?

Too much of something can also be lethal when applied to the human body. Unfortunately, earwax buildup can be deemed as just as risky as having no ear wax at all as it can cause pressure inside the inner layer of the ear canal. Which in turn, could result in ear canal pain, hearing damage or worse, hearing loss.

It is known that one common symptom of extreme ear wax buildup in children is a pain and discomfort inside the ears accompanied by an itchy feeling or feeling of blocked ears, also blocked hearing is common in those cases.

If your child is experiencing this and you’re suspecting it might be an earwax buildup. Moreover, wiping the outside of your child’s ear with clean wipe cloth and at all costs discard the use of a cotton swab or any sharp stick that can damage your child’s eardrum.

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Consult your doctor:

Consult the doctor and ask for advice on what over-the-counter. Also, an earwax removal kit is best for your child’s case if things don’t work out. Give it to the doctor to have some serious medical ear wax removal.

Medical ear wax removal is usually done at the doctor’s clinic or office. However, it is only done in extreme cases where there is too much buildup of earwax that could result in hearing damage.

Some of the most common ear wax removal therapies done in the doctor’s office are:

  • Scooping or pulling out the ear wax through a medical instrument
  • Softening the ear wax and scooping it out method
  • Suctioning devices that pull out the ear wax from the ear
  • Ear candling, although this is a new method that is proven effective in treating and pulling out the entire ear wax, is still not studied for its safety and therefore could be deemed risky and harmful.

How to clean your baby’s ears?

“Prevention is better than cure”. And instead of going to the doctor to have those troubling ear wax of your baby to be removed. Certainly, there are necessary steps that could prevent too much ear wax buildup by having a proper and regular hygiene check.

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  • Have lukewarm water prepared, place it in a bowl and put some cotton balls in it.
  • You can also prepare a white clean washcloth dipped in lukewarm water instead of cotton balls
  • Gently wipe the outer layer of the ear, behind the ear and outside the opening of the ear
  • Wash your baby’s ear with a gentle baby-formulated cleanser that is hypoallergenic and clinically prescribed for baby’s skin
  • Wash the outside and behind the area of your baby’s ear 
  • Pat and dry the ear area gently
  • Do this regularly to keep the surface of the ear clean and free from bacteria.

Other ways to delicately clean your baby’s earwax:

You can also ask the doctor to give your prescription on some ear drops that soften and remove excess ear wax:

  • Let your baby be relaxed for about a minute
  • Gently change the baby’s position to the side where you want to place the ear drops
  • With gentle care, pull the lower life and gently stretch the opening of the canal
  • Place three to five drops in your baby’s ear, howeverthe number of drops can depend on your doctor’s advice
  • Make sure your baby keeps on the same side of lying position for ten minute
  • Repeat the instructions on the same ear
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Cleaning the baby’s ears is a necessary and vital part of your baby’s regular hygiene. Usually, just gentle cleaning consisting of warm cotton balls or wet washcloth is enough to keep your baby’s ear healthy and clean from any dirt.

Final notes

There are also available over the counter and prescribed ear drops that can clean your baby’s ears, although these things are deemed unnecessary, considering wax buildup can provide numerous benefits to the baby’s ears.

Always remember to ditch any kind of cotton swabs as it can cause ear injuries to the baby. So; if you’re concerned about the baby’s discomfort on his or her ears and you’re suspecting excessive ear wax, consult the doctor to prevent any further complications.

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