Industry Bulletin 10/7/2012 - Ear Candling or Coning

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The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) would like to remind licensees that the ear candling or coning is not within the scope of practice of any Board licensee.

  • Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies the ear candle as a device which is specific to medical use.
  • Licensees within the jurisdiction of the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology would be in violation for using procedures not approved by the FDA and by using medical devices which are beyond their scope of practice.
  • Everything must be done for "beautification purposes" pursuant to 7316 of the Barbering and Cosmetology Act.  Research of ear candling shows that the purpose of candling or coning is to remove wax and debris from the ear canal which is not for beautifying.
  • Ear candling is not part of any BBC approved school curriculum.  Board approved schools do not teach the maintenance of ear health.
  • Our licensees may not perform medical assessments on any part of the body including but not limited to the ear.

Suggested Links:

Fact Sheet from the FDA:

Malshet V. Ear Candles:  FDA’s Regulatory Action and Current Position.  American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Bulletin, June 2003

If you have any questions please visit our website www.barbercosmo.ca.gov or call 800-952-5210.

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