Why does soap increase the risk of infection in tympanic membrane perforation (TMP)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Saadi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Under routine circumstances, the surface tension of water may prevent it from entering the middle ear through a small perforation. The addition of soap reduces the water tension. The ear is therefore at greater risk of infection during hair-washing or bathing than from plain water.

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