This is why your earring backs smell like gross cheese


Ear cheese. If you have your ears pierced, you probably know exactly what we’re talking about. The backs of your earrings can get a buildup of dark gunk that smells like stinky cheese. Disgusting, but totally normal.

83% of Americans have at least one of their ears pierced, and lots of us get them pierced when we’re really young, so ear cheese is something we need to talk about more! Here are all the answers to this nasty phenomenon that you’re probably too embarrassed to ask.



What Is Ear Cheese?

Ear cheese is an excess of dead skin cells, oil, and any products you may use around your lobes. The gross reason behind the smell is that the longer bacteria have to feast on this mixture, the stinkier it gets.

Why Are We Cursed With It?

This happens to everyone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Our bodies can get dirty and all kinds of unflattering things happen as a result. Too much debris in our pores causes pimples, and too much sweat causes body odor. These conditions are more noticeable, which makes them easier to treat. You don’t always think to clean your ears, which is why ear cheese can build up.


Who Can Get It?

Anyone with any piercing is likely to experience ear cheese at least once! However, those who have newer piercings are at higher risk because your body responds to the piercing by producing more cells than usual, and thus more ear cheese. If you never remove your earrings, are older, or have stretched piercings, you also have a higher risk.

How To Banish Ear Cheese

Method 1: Remove Your Earring

Unless you just got your ears pierced, you should make it a habit to take out your piercings every once in a while and let your ears breathe for a few days.

Method 2: Clean Your Ears

Give your ears a spa day! Clean them with a gentle soap and washcloth to exfoliate the dead cells. If your ears are red, consider using a drop of antibacterial cream. To complete the deep clean, rub a little lotion on your ears to moisturize them.

Method 3: Wash Or Change Your Piercing

You should make it a habit to wash all of your metal backings with soap and always wear clean earrings when you put them back in.

Method 4: Don’t Overdo It!

You may be tempted to scrub your ears often, but exfoliating is a balancing act. Don’t scrub too hard or too often or you can damage your skin and leave it open to infection.

Method 5: Keep Things Clean

You should keep your body clean, but you also need to be aware of your environment. You may not think of doing this, but make sure you wash your pillowcase weekly! This can help eliminate both pimples and ear cheese.

Make sure all your pierced friends know how to ward off ear cheese by showing them this article!