Is ear candling a safe way to remove earwax?

Answer From Charles W. Beatty, M.D.

Ear candling — a technique that involves placing a lit, hollow, cone-shaped candle into the ear canal — can cause serious injury.

Research shows that ear candling is ineffective at removing earwax and is also not an effective treatment for any other conditions. In fact, the technique can actually push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Ear candling can also lead to:

  • Deposits of candle wax in the ear canal
  • Burns to the face, hair, scalp, ear canal, eardrum and middle ear
  • Puncture of the eardrum

If you develop an earwax blockage, avoid ear candling. Instead, consult your doctor about simple steps you can take to safely and effectively remove the wax.

With

Charles W. Beatty, M.D.

Aug. 22, 2020 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. A Very Happy Brain
  2. Acupuncture for back pain?
  3. Alternative cancer treatments: 10 options to consider
  4. Aromatherapy: Is it worthwhile?
  5. Candida cleanse diet
  6. CBD safety
  7. Chronic fatigue: Can a natural remedy boost my energy?
  8. Colloidal silver supplements
  9. Colon cleansing
  10. Considering complementary therapy
  11. Cupping therapy: Can it relieve fibromyalgia pain?
  12. Detox foot pads
  13. Diabetes treatment: Can cinnamon lower blood sugar?
  14. Do infrared saunas have any health benefits?
  15. Prickly pear cactus
  16. Ear infection treatment: Do alternative therapies work?
  17. Echinacea: Is it effective for the common cold?
  18. Ginkgo biloba: Can it prevent memory loss?
  19. Herbal supplements: Not risk-free
  20. Herbal supplements: Safety first
  21. Supplements and heart drugs
  22. Huperzine A: Can it treat Alzheimer's?
  23. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  24. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  25. Integrative medicine: Find out what works
  26. Kombucha tea
  27. Kratom: Unsafe and ineffective
  28. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  29. Kratom for opioid withdrawal
  30. Learn to reduce stress through mindful living
  31. Massage
  32. Medical marijuana
  33. Meditation 2.0: A new way to meditate
  34. Mindfulness exercises
  35. Mindfulness practice: Can it reduce symptoms of MS?
  36. Miracle cure or marketing scam?
  37. Natural aphrodisiacs
  38. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective?
  39. Oil of oregano: Can it treat sinusitis?
  40. Pet therapy
  41. Probiotics and prebiotics
  42. Fish oil supplements
  43. Tai chi
  44. Tai Chi and Cardiac Rehab
  45. Valerian: A safe and effective herbal sleep aid?
  46. Tai chi
  47. Vitamin B-12 and Alzheimer's
  48. Alternative psoriasis treatments
  49. What is hot yoga?
  50. What is reflexology?
  51. Wheatgrass
  52. Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units
  53. Yucca: Can it relieve arthritis pain?
  54. Do zinc supplements shorten colds?