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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 197-200

Antimicrobial properties of human cerumen


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University (Deemed to be), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Medical Research Laboratories, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University (Deemed to be), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, IDS and SUM Hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University (Deemed to be), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
4 Department of Pathology, Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Santosh Kumar Swain
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University (Deemed to be), Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar - 751 003, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/am.am_69_18

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In daily clinical practice, clinicians and otolaryngologists often confront with cerumen or earwax. Cerumen is formed by sebaceous glands and ceruminous glands at the outer one-third of the human external auditory canal and creates an acidic coat which aids in the prevention of infections of the external auditory canal. The cerumen forms a physiological barrier between the external environment and deeper part of the ear. The chemical composition of the cerumen has been thought to be of antibacterial and antifungal properties, although it is under controversy. Other than antibacterial and antifungal activities, it also protects the eardrum by acting as a physical barrier. Cerumen cleaning is not advisable unless it is causing symptoms such as otalgia or hearing loss. A large percentage of people believe in self-cleaning of the ear canal with different objects, which is really harmful, so they should be counseled against the habit of self-cleaning of the external auditory canal.


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