Have an old piercing that isn’t what it used to be? We’ve heard the stories - a piercing at a mall kiosk in childhood that stretched from a perfect hole into an elongated line in your earlobe as an adult. Often, this can be caused by wearing heavy jewelry over time, a piercing that was placed too low in the lobe, or trauma such as an earring getting caught on a shirt while getting dressed. It can happen to the best of us, but fortunately there is a fix.
Read on to learn about how a minor surgical procedure can have your lobes looking good as new!
Understanding the Procedure
Having your stretched lobe piercings surgically corrected is a minor procedure that is typically performed by a plastic surgeon in an office setting. First, your doctor will assess your ear and ask questions about your medical and surgical history; this helps them determine whether it’s safe for you to have the procedure done. Once that happens, your doctor’s office will work with you to schedule an appointment to repair your lobe.
Typically you can eat and drink up until the time of your procedure, but your physician may have a preference for you that keeps you from eating right beforehand. It’s very important to follow any directions your doctor gives you.
The procedure starts by using local anesthetic to numb your ear. You won’t be “put to sleep,” however, your medical team will make sure you are comfortable and that the procedure is done pain-free. Depending on the extent of the repair needed, your surgeon may extend the original hole all the way down through the rest of the earlobe with a scalpel (don’t worry – this sounds a lot scarier than it actually is). This will make it so that you will have as minimal scarring as possible. A couple stitches will be placed, and then you’re good to go!
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends waiting around 3 months after your surgery to have your ear pierced again. This piercing should be placed at least 3 milimeters away from the edge of the scar to ensure that your earrings don’t hurt the scar tissue.
If you want to read more about this procedure and see some before and after pictures, our friends at Byrdie have an excellent article detailing one person’s experience.
If you’re suffering from stretched lobe piercings but aren’t ready to take the step of having it surgically corrected, you do have other options! Choose lightweight, hypoallergenic and nickel-free earrings, such as our hoops or studs, limit the use of any heavy earrings, and take extra caution to avoid getting your earring caught on clothing. If you’re around babies, don’t wear any large hoops, as this can be easy for them to grasp onto and pull, causing more trauma to your ear.
Whether you’re looking into having this procedure done, or you’re just wanting a new piercing, our licensed nurse ear piercers at Rowan will be able to help you achieve your dream earscape in the safest way possible.