There are two distinct types of normal human cerumen. The usual type of cerumen found among Japanese, Chinese, Mongolian, and American Indian populations is brownish-gray, brittle, and dry in nature. It is commonly called “rice-bran cerumen” (nuka-mimi) in Japan because it resembles a particle of rice bran. When accumulated in the external auditory meatus for a long period of time, a thin slice of this cerumen of a fairly large size will often form. The other type of cerumen is brown, sticky and wet. This type is sometimes called “honey cerumen” (ame-mimi) or “cat cerumen” (neko-mimi). The wet type is very prevalent among European and African populations. An intermediate type which can be classified as neither wet nor dry occurs at a low rate of about 0.5% among healthy Japanese (Matsunaga 1962).
KeywordsSebaceous Gland Sterol Ester External Auditory Meatus Apocrine Gland Unidentified Lipid
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.