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September 1961

External Auditory Canal and Lobule Temperature

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;74(3):340-341. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740030347017

The skin is the first organ of the body to come into intimate relation with the outside world and the only one constantly exposed to the elements. By virtue of its exposure to the outside world, the external auditory canal is subject to dermatologic lesions, traumatic and climatic indignities, and to invasion by a host of micro-organisms. Here, a moist milieu containing cellular detritus and cerumen and linked to an alkaline pH often provides ideal conditions for the growth of bacteria and fungi.

The external auditory canal is warm, poorly ventilated, and relatively dark, with an outer opening that varies in size and patency from person to person. While the effect of increased atmospheric heat and elevated humidity has been studied in the experimental production of external otitis,1 little is known about the actual temperature of the skin of the external auditory canal. Nor, apparently, has the temperature of

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