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12 'Healthy' Hygiene Habits That Are Actually Bad for You

Reader's Digest Logo By Hana Hong of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 12: Some people swear on Q-Tips to dig out ear gunk, but medical experts will warn you not to try it. And for good reason—those seemingly harmless cotton swabs have caused countless catastrophes, from punctured eardrums and ear infections to even hearing loss. According to Brande Plotnick, MS, MBA, the ear canal doesn't even need to be 'cleaned.' Enough water enters the ear canal during showers to naturally slough away wax that has accumulated. Find out what your earwax reveals about your health.

Cleaning out your ears with Q-tips

Some people swear on Q-Tips to dig out ear gunk, but medical experts will warn you not to try it. And for good reason—those seemingly harmless cotton swabs have caused countless catastrophes, from punctured eardrums and ear infections to even hearing loss. According to Brande Plotnick, MS, MBA, the ear canal doesn't even need to be 'cleaned.' Enough water enters the ear canal during showers to naturally slough away wax that has accumulated. Find out what your earwax reveals about your health.
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