Safe Ear Stretching

Posted by Valerie S on

Earlobe stretching today is most commonly done to create a visually stunning look. Stretching a single earlobe piercing on each ear is the number one stretched earlobe look. Some people take it farther and have more than one earlobe stretched on each ear, making the look even more dramatic. Proper spacing of the original earlobe piercings is something to take into consideration. If you’re planning on a multiple earlobe stretch on a single earlobe, you need to plan ahead with your piercer to make sure there’s enough space for both to stretch comfortably.

girl with stretched earlobe pink flesh tunnel src wikimedia commons

What Piercings Are Stretched?

Earlobes are the most commonly stretched body piercing, along with septum, lip, nipple and genital piercings. A standard gauge piercing of 16g or 14g is a frequent starting point for most earlobe stretches. However, some piercers can perform an initial piercing of larger gauge to speed up the process. It isn’t uncommon to see 8g initial lobe piercings on a piercing enthusiast who’s excited to start stretching their earlobes. The larger initial gauge can take a bit longer to heal, but the smaller gauge stretches are completely skipped.

stretched septum piercing src wikimedia commons

How Do I Stretch My Earlobes Safely?

Safe stretching is vital. To encourage proper healing, it is important that you do not stretch too quickly. Forcing a taper through when your earlobe is not elastic and ready to size up creates tears and rips in the Fistula. These tears and rips are unhealthy and can result in the formation of scar tissue, which can cause resistance for further stretching.

Earlobes that have been forced to stretch and have tears or rips can be prone to irritation and infection. Bacteria can become trapped in those tears and rips and can encourage infection. Stretching when your ears are ready is the easiest way to avoid irritation, infection, rips and tears.

large gauge stretched earlobe src wikimedia commons

How Long Should I Wait Between Stretches?

A general rule of thumb is to wait at least 3-4 months between stretches. The longer you wait, the better. Our bodies heal from the outside in, protecting the outer surface from external hazards first, then healing the internal channel. While the outside skin on a stretched earlobe may look healed, it will not be healed all the way through. Waiting at least 3-4 months between stretches gives your earlobes enough time to heal and be ready for another stretch.

earlobe stretching with taper src wikimedia commons

What Type Of Jewelry Is Used To Stretch?

Single flare, metal or glass plugs are safe to use when stretching. Wood, silicone and other porous materials may trap bacteria and increase the chances of infection. Single flare styles are secured by a small O-ring in the back, allowing for extra space while healing. Longer single flares allow for any swelling caused by stretching to expand. A piece that is too short may inhibit any swelling, causing irritation and redness. It’s always best to allow the ear to “breathe” when stretching. A constricted, swollen stretched earlobe with too short jewelry may not heal easily or at all.


What Jewelry Can I Wear When My Earlobes Are Healed?

When you reach your target size, it’s time to go window shopping.

Stretched earlobes can be adorned in some of the most exotic woods and metals. Double flared eyelets, tunnels, gemstone screw fit plugs and stone plugs are just the beginning of the list. Comfortable silicone flesh tunnels are a choice option, especially if you're active and enjoy flexible body jewelry. The variety is almost endless for stretched earlobes. The larger the gauge your earlobes are, the more options you have to choose from.

 

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