Maria Sykes
Maria Sykes
February 27, 2024 ·  3 min read

Doctors Warn: Wearing Headphones Too Long Could Cause Blackheads In Ear

Blackheads are never fun. They’re these annoying little clusters of black dots that clog your ‘invisible’ hair follicles. You have probably experienced them on your face, nose, or chin. But did you know you can get blackheads inside your ear?

Everything You Need to Know About Blackheads

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 50 million Americans experience acne, blackheads being a mild form of this skin disorder.[1] As we mentioned above, blackheads are these small, dark bumps that form on your skin as a result of clogged and unclean hair follicles. They usually form on the face, as so many of us unfortunately know. Surprisingly, blackheads can even form on lesser known parts of the body, such as your:[2]

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • In your ears

In a recent episode of The Doctors, they aired a shocking video that shows that can happen when there’s a production of too much oil and dirt in your skin, or your too dehydrated. You can watch it below:[3]

First of all, we’re sorry if that ruined your appetite. But while it was an extreme and surprising case, this lady’s blackhead really emphasizes the importance of regularly cleaning your skin (and your ears). All it took was regular use of earbuds (or plugs) to constantly push dirt deeper into her follicles.

Like the nose and chin, your ears actually have a lot of the same sebaceous glands – i.e., tiny glands that release natural oil into your hair follicles for lubrication. In a case as bad as in the video, many of us think that won’t happen to me. However, as you’ve now seen, these tiny blackheads can become quite a big problem when neglected.

Read: A 16-Year-Old Has Died After Being Electrocuted By His Headphones

The Doctors’ Tips for Preventing Blackheads in Ear

  • Wash your ears when you’re in the shower
  • Don’t wear earbuds for extended periods of time
  • Regularly clean your ear earbuds (or even use headphones instead, which cover your ears)
  • Wipe the accumulated grit, grime, and grease off your phone screen

If you’re wondering how you can safely wash and clean your electronics without damaging them, simply follow the steps below![4]

  1. Before you actually wash them, check if there’s a lot of dirt or dust in the metal part of your earbuds and try brushing them with a dry toothbrush to dislodge the dust.
  2. Use a gentle soap and warm water cleaner. If you want something a bit stronger, try mixing dishwashing detergent and water.
  3. Grab a gentle cloth and apply a small amount of the soapy mixture. Remember, earbuds are small so you don’t need much at all! Doing so could leave residue on or in your earbuds.
  4. Some earbuds, like Apple’s In-Ear Headphones, come with removable/replaceable silicone covers, so try removing them and cleaning those separately.
  5. Do not submerge them in water – they are not waterproof (unless stated otherwise, in which case that’s pretty cool!). You can damage the wiring, so don’t run them directly under water either. Even for just a second.
  6. Last but not least… only clean your earbuds once you’ve removed them from your iPod or other device!

Read next: Simple facial massage for glowing skin


  1. Acne. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2017, from
  2. Blackheads: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2017, from
  3.  T. (2017, November 10). Could it Happen to Me?: Ear Blackheads. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from
  4. Ellington, K. (2017, October 19). Why You Must Clean Your Earbuds ASAP – and How. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from