You Should Probably Stop Using A Loofah In The Shower. Sorry.

July 29, 2014 12:33 PM

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That full, achy feeling from an ear wax blockage may be annoying -- and salons have a solution for it. Ear candles are 10-inch-long, hollow cones that are burned in the ear to supposedly remove wax, impurities and toxins while improving hearing. But experts warn the procedure is dangerous -- the FDA has even issued a safety warning cautioning that the procedure can cause serious health problems, including burns, perforations in the ear drum and blockages in the ear canal. "The ear is a sensitive organ," says Gordon Siegel, M.D., associate professor of clinical otolaryngology head and neck surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "I don't think that I would trust any sensitive organ to a salon." Siegel has seen patients with serious perforations from candling, which he compares to sticking a vacuum cleaner in your ear -- and while many holes will heal on their own, others can require surgery and even cause long-term hearing loss. Instead, he recommends that patients try one of the many over-the-counter wax removal products, most of which soften the wax and then use a syringe to irrigate the ear. If you have symptoms in your ear, though, and don't have a history of wax -- or if you can't remove it on your own -- it's best to see a physician. To prevent build-up in the first place, you can use a few drops a week of a half peroxide/half water mix in the ear, or periodically let water run in and out of your ears in the shower, Siegel says. Cleaning the ears with a Q Tip can actually push wax further into the ear causing additional blockages -- not to mention that it could cause a serious perforation.

You may have a little more trouble relaxing into that massage chair with a magazine after this one -- an unsanitary pedicure could lead a viral infection (such as warts), bacterial infections from ingrown toenails and agressive filing, or a fungal infection of the skin and nails, among other serious...

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