It is an awkward situation. The back of your ear smells like ugly cheese, and you are cleaning your ears all the time. How can they be so smelly? If you have a piercing, this is a common phenomenon most people call ‘ear cheese’. It is also known as icky, brownish-gray gunk that builds up on your earring posts and backs, especially the kind with the clear plastic bit over the backing. But luckily for you, there are simple remedies that can help you treat it.
72% percent of people who are pierced are women. 83% of all Americans have at least one lobe pierced. As babies or later on in their lives, ear piercing is very common, and the ‘ear cheese’ affects the great majority of people with piercings. Even with these great numbers, it is still a taboo topic that no one seems to like to bring up!
What is “ear cheese?”
It is a build up of dead skin cells, sebum (oil), and any hair and beauty products that land in your lobe area. This goes on to build up a greenish-brownish-grayish paste and ends up getting stinky as bacteria forms on it. Therefore, you end up having the cheesy odor.
Why do we get “ear cheese”?
Don’t worry, it is all in nature. It s there to show you that your body needs to replace skin cells all the time. Some of these are left behind and the dead skin builds up.
Who can get “ear cheese”?
Unfortunately, almost anyone with ear piercing might get it throughout their lifetime. However, some people are at a higher risk. If you have a new piercing that has just recently healed, you might be at higher risk, because your body will react to the wound and produce extra skin cells. Also, if you never take off your earrings and you are at an older age, the piercing may start to stretch. Be mindful of those earrings!
Fortunately, these simple remedies will help remove your “ear cheese”:
1. Take out your piercing
Well, it was kind of obvious, but you will need to remove the earrings first.
2. Clean your ears
It’s time for cleaning! Use a gentle soap and a soft washcloth. Then, scrub your ears front and back to get rid of the dead skin. If your ears are irritated, use antibacterial ointment as well.
3. Wash or swap your jewelry.
Clean your jewelry thoroughly and dry it out afterward. Using mild soap and a soft cloth to not damage the metal.
4. Don’t overwash.
Be careful not to damage your skin by washing too much! If you scrub them too often, they might get raw and you will end up with an infection.
5. Keep it clean!
You need to make sure all the environment around you is perfectly clean. This goes for bed sheets, pillowcases, and anything where dust can hang out.