People all around the world are getting their bodies pierced. The ear is the most frequent body part that is pierced. Along with this fashion statement comes the risk of tearing the ear lobe. Depending on the style, size, and type of earrings there is a risk of a widened ear lobe, which may result in a tear.
How can you tear an ear lobe?
Ear lobes are made up of soft skin and a small amount of fatty tissue. When studying the ear lobe appearance and anatomy, one will often be surprised about the variation in size, form and shape. Torn ear lobes are a common problem with pierced ears. A torn ear lobe usually takes place after the pierced hole widens over time from the weight of earrings. Once the ear lobe is thin, continuing to wear heavy earrings can form a tear. Torn ear lobes can also be caused by trauma such as accidentally pulling the earring through the lobe.
I wear earrings all the time. Is there anything I can do to prevent tearing my ear lobe?
How to avoid tearing your ear lobe:
- Avoid wearing heavy earrings
- Remove clothes carefully so nothing can get caught to the earring
- Remove earrings before you go to bed
- Be careful around toddlers who may pull on your earring
See a doctor if you start to notice lengthening of the pierced hole. They may be able to guide you as to how to prevent a complete tear.
Can a torn ear lobe be fixed?
The good news is that a torn ear lobe can be fixed.
- Make an appointment with your ENT doctor. Your doctor will examine the ear lobe and decide whether or not surgery is needed.
- Ear lobe repair is a short procedure done at the doctor’s office with local anesthesia. It usually involves cleaning the edges of the tear and re-stitching the open lobe. This can even be done if your ear lobe was torn a long time ago. *There should be little to no pain during your recovery.
- Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor to have the stitches removed within one to two weeks after the surgery. Once the stitches are removed, massage your ear lobe regularly.
You will be able to pierce your ears again after four to six months.
As with most things, the best treatment is prevention so avoiding wearing heavy earrings is the best route. However, occasional use is usually fine and will not result in lengthening of the pierced hole or a pull-through.