Priscilla Blossom
March 03, 2016 7:59 pm
HBO

How many of you are guilty of using cotton swabs to clean your ears? Sure, it feels kinda nice and seems like you’re doing your ears a solid — but inserting a Q-Tip anywhere on the inside of your ear is actually really, really harmful.

An NYU med school clinical associate professor William H. Shapiro wants us to know that. The professor and audiologist has actually created a short video PSA for all those folks who still think sticking cotton swabs (and anything else smaller than an elbow) in their ears is somehow a good idea. Shapiro tells us that wax (albeit kind of icky if it gets outside of your ear) is actually very beneficial to our health. It not only keeps creepy crawlies from entering into the ear canal, it also prevents fungus from growing in your ear (which would be way, way grosser). And if you push the wax further in, it can even cause hearing loss.

Still don’t believe me? Watch the video below:

So what can you use that big ol’ box of swabs? How about cleansing your skin? Or to perfect your DIY manicure? The possibilities are endless.

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