For many of us, music is a great source of relaxation on morning walks or while commuting to and from work. Some people are even used to listening to music while studying or working. Many mums I know (including me), reward themselves with their favorite tunes during hard-earned ‘me-time’. And the reason for this is very simple.
Music has the power to heal and to soothe one’s frayed nerves. It takes you to a different world, a realm that is a far cry from deadlines, work pressure, temper tantrums, and a lot more you wish to keep at bay for a while. In a nutshell, plugging your earphones in is the best way to ‘isolate’ yourself from the vagaries of life, isn’t it?
But did you know that using earphones for too long, like anything in excess, has its downsides too? Well, if you aren’t aware, let me tell you that prolonged usage of earphones can potentially cause blackheads in your ears. I am sure this is a shocking revelation for you, as we all have heard about blackheads on the T-zone but never in the ears, right? Read on to know more as to how the prolonged usage of headphones can lead to blackheads in the ear.
What Are Blackheads And How Do They Happen?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, blackheads occur because of oil, dead skin, and bacteria blocking the skin pores. If a skin pore that is blocked remains open, then it appears black in colour and is termed as a ‘blackhead’(1). One will often see blackheads on the oily T-zone, and I am sure most of you know how painful it is to get those ugly blackheads removed. It comes as a painful blow, especially when done during your otherwise soothing and relaxing facials.
How Do Earphones Cause Blackheads?
Now that you understand as to what really causes blackheads, you might want to clean your earphones before plugging them in your ears, wouldn’t you? Earphones gather a lot of dirt and bacteria that are often too tiny to be noticed. The skin in your ears is like any other skin on your body that has sebaceous glands (read: oil-secreting glands).
Thus, oil secretions in the skin pores, clubbed with the dust gathered from dirty earphones, can cause the skin pores in your ears to clog. This leads to painful blackheads, which are not as easy to remove as the ones you usually find on your T-zone.
What Needs To Be Done?
The more you listen to music with your earphones tightly plugged in, the higher are your chances of getting blackheads. This is because your sensitive ears are more in contact with the bacteria that tags along with your earphones. If you could try and bring down your music time, it would be best – for a whole lot of other health reasons too! But if you feel morning walks or commuting or doing other chores seems dull and drab without those generous doses of music, then the following precautions must be followed:
- Make sure you clean the earphones well and on a regular basis. This would avoid any potential accumulation of dirt and bacteria on them.
- It is good to wash these earphones with a gentle soap and water, but always be careful as earphones are, ultimately, an electronic device, so do not be overenthusiastic in your cleaning for it may damage your device.
- Make sure you always unplug your earphones from your phone or iPod or any other electronic device before you clean them. This is to refrain from spoiling your earphones and other electronic devices simultaneously!
- Make sure to dry them with a clean cloth as most earphones aren’t water-resistant. This would eliminate any risk of getting an electric shock.
- Last but not the least, make sure you clean your ears well using gentle earbuds so that your precious earphones do not have an additional deluge of earwax to compound the bacteria and dirt situation.
So, if you’re afraid of removing those ugly blackheads from your T-zone, let me tell you that blackheads in the ears are far more disgusting and painful to deal with. Even though you now know a lot about blackheads in the ears and how they develop, I am sure you’re still probably pining for your beloved earphones, aren’t you?
It would be cruel to ask you to abstain from music in your lives. However, trust us, as long as you keep the earplugs on your earphones and headphones squeaky clean, you have no reason to forego the enjoyment of your favorite melodies on the go!
Do you have a music fanatic friend, who can perpetually be found with their earphones plugged tightly in? Share this article with them now!