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Remember when I wrote about Jessica Simpson and the growing popularity of ear candling? Well, now the Food and Drug Administration is really serious about the danger of putting a candle in your ear. Recently, both the FDA and Health Canada issued important alerts about the products, including warning manufacturers and issuing injunctions and seizing shipments.

Manufacturers of ear candling products market the candles as treatments for removing earwax buildup, sinus infections, even for improving hearing loss. Some ear candle companies also promote the products as capable of purifying blood, strengthening the brain, curing cancer—even as appropriate for use in children. But don’t fall for the gimmicks: the FDA not only believes that there is “no valid scientific evidence for any medical benefit” from using ear candles, but what’s more disconcerting is that ear candles can cause serious injuries.

Among injuries reported by former ear candle users, there have been burns to the face, ear canal, eardrum and middle ear. Fires have occurred because of people wiggling while having the hot wax drip into their ear. Sadly, others relied on ear candles for treating their illnesses and became sicker because they failed to seek appropriate medical treatment for a serious condition. Please don’t use ear candles, even if Jessica Simpson is doing it.

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