Ear stretching is a technique in which the piercing in an ear lobe is stretched, using one of several techniques. This allows larger and larger pieces of jewelry to be worn, and creates a wide hole in the lobe. Although this practice is generally considered safe, there are many things to think about before you decide to stretch your ears.
Ear that have been stretched to a larger size do not always shrink back. Generally, ears that have been stretched to a two gauge, or about 6.5 millimeters, or less will shrink back to a normal size. However, because everyone’s body is different, this size does vary from person to person. Even if you only stretch your ears a little, you can’t be sure they will shrink back to their natural size.
In the case of an ear stretching that will not shrink back, surgery may be required. This surgery is a simple process in which the ear lobe is numbed, and then the excess tissue is removed. The lobe is then stitched back together to create a more natural look.
Depending on the size of the stretching, an ear can be back to normal size with just one surgery, or make require several surgeries. Although this is a routine surgery, it can cause redness, swelling and some slight pain for several weeks afterward. Some patients who undergo this procedure may also come out of the surgery with a pointed earlobe.
When considering stretching your ears, it is important to keep them healthy. This will not only make the stretching process easier and more comfortable, but will also help with shrinking the lobes or surgically repairing them if necessary later.
When stretching your ears, it is best to be patient. Stretching too fast can cause tears or scar tissue, which makes stretching much harder. Stretching too fast can also cause pain. Directly after a new stretching, leave your ears alone and resist the urge to touch them. Letting them heal by themselves is often the best method. You can soak your ears in bath salts or warm water if they become inflamed.
After a stretching has healed, massage your lobes frequently. You can use oils or simply give them a gentle rub. This helps to keep the lobe soft and supple, which makes for easier stretching later.