How to Treat Stretched Earring Holes

May 9, 2008 by Kristie Leong MD  
Published in Skin

Do you have stretched earring holes from repeatedly wearing heavy earrings over the years? Here’s what to do about this problem.

Chandelier and long dangle earrings look fashionable hanging from your ears, but heavy earrings can wreck havoc with your earlobes over time resulting in stretched earring holes. Not only can this be unattractive to look at, it can also cause earrings to hang improperly. If you have stretched earring holes from years of wearing heavy earrings, what can you do to correct the problem? Here are some of your options:

Use support patches

You can purchase a product called Lobe Wonder Support Patches for Earrings which are small patches worn behind ear lobes to strengthen and reinforce them. This gives the earlobe more support so they’re less likely to be further stretched by the weight of earrings. Assuming you don’t have a complete tear or excessive stretching, this product may help to solve your problem. They do come with a money back guarantee if the product doesn’t work for you.

Inject the Area with a Filler

An effective but more expensive option is to have your stretched earring hole injected with Restylane, a filler used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. Restylane is made up of hyaluronic acid which fills in the injected area adding strength and support to the pierced lobe. This procedure is performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon and the results last up to twelve months. At that time it would need to be repeated. With each injection costing several hundred dollars, this option doesn’t come cheap.

Surgical Repair

If your stretched earring hole has progressed to the point where the earlobe is torn, surgical reconstruction may be the only option. Earlobe repair surgery is done under local anesthesia at which time the stretched earring hole is sewn closed until healing occurs. Repiercing can then take place. Sutures are generally left in the earlobes for two weeks before being removed. It may also be possible to just sew the stretched ear hole closed just enough to introduce an earring into the hole, eliminating the need for repiercing. This type of surgery is best performed by a plastic surgeon.

The best way to avoid problems with stretched earring holes is to avoid them in the first place. Give your earlobes a break from heavy earrings on occasion. Consider not wearing earrings for a day or two or wearing clip earrings. Avoid brushing your hair when you’re wearing earrings since the earring can become caught in the brush resulting in a tear. Also avoid pulling sweaters or other tops over your head when you’re wearing earrings since they can lodge in the fabric and tear your earlobe. Enjoy wearing earrings but wear them safely.

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