Earwax is a naturally produced secretion that protects the ear canal. It is a mixture of skin, sweat, hair, and debris (such as shampoo and dirt) held together with a fluid secreted by glands inside the ear canal (ceruminous glands).

The ear canals are self-cleaning. Earwax helps filter dust and keep the ears clean and is usually eliminated from the ear naturally. Normally, earwax is a self-draining liquid that does not cause problems.

Current as of: May 22, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine