- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Ears and Vaginas are Self-Cleaning
My mother always said, "Don't put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear." It turns out that this is good advice.
Qtips can harm in two ways. They can push wax farther into the ear canal, causing a compact, hard-to-remove ball which interferes with hearing. They remove the beneficial wax. Wax protects the sensitive skin of the ear canal from excessive moisture and infection.
Other objects like bobby pins can do even more damage, scratching the delicate skin of the ear canal or worse, puncturing the ear drum.
If you are prone to wax build-up, your doctor may prescribe wax-softening drops like Debrox and a luke-warm water flush. (Hot or cold water in the ear can make you dizzy and nauseated.) Otherwise, rely on what the ENT doc told me about ear cleanliness: "If you were to mark your eardrum with a pen, the dot would eventually make it's way to the outer ear, where you could wipe it off with a washcloth." Ears are indeed self-cleaning!
Vaginas remain healthy by maintaining their own acid or low pH. Harmful germs don't take to the acidity. Anything that interferes with this, like douching or feminine products, sets you up for itchy yeast and smelly bacterial infections. One exception is the acidy vinegar and water douche used for refreshing after the monthly period.
Other vaginal hygiene tips are always wiping from front to back and using a mild soap like Dove on the outside or external genitalia. If you are prone to vaginal infections, wearing cotton under wear, limiting the number of sexual partners, and condom use may help prevent them.