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What's In Your Ears? Different Varieties Of Earwax

Did you know that earwax actually comes in different varieties?

In fact, there is dry and moist earwax. Dry earwax appears grey and flaky. Most people of East Asian or Native American descent have dry earwax, but people of Caucasian or African descent almost always have the moist type. People from other areas of the world are more likely to have moist earwax too.

What makes earwax gooey then?

One single change on one single gene makes all the difference. If the gene is switched to "dry," then the stuff that makes ear wax gunk up doesn't get produced.

Earwax is a mixture of oil, dead skin cells, and a scented substance that comes from special sweat glands in your outer ear canal. Those sweat glands are similar to the ones under your armpits, and scientists have found that people with "dry earwax" also sweat less, and have less body odor.

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