By Jackie Manno/Aug. 31, 2021 5:38 pm EDT
Everyone remembers the pop punk and emo days of the 2000s where ear gauges (most professional piercers would prefer for you to refer to them as ear stretching) were everywhere you could turn your head. These edgy body modifications work by gradually increasing the width of your ear piercing with tapers, and can go up to the size of about a soda can, via Healthline.
Given this, it’s no surprise that ear stretching permanently alters the state of the earlobe, and they often do not revert back to their original size (via Bustle) — making the warning of many concerned parents. true. And as of today, more and more rebellious teens who indulged in the stretched earlobe fad are hoping for “normal” earlobes again, because the loose skin can be a hassle for many.
For those who don’t want to live with loose earlobes for the rest of their lives, but are worried that the damage has already been done, there is fortunately one handy option out there.
Surgery can fully repair the damage caused by ear gauges
Those who have stretched earlobes and want to reverse the process and reinvent their lobes will have to opt to their local plastic surgeon’s office to get the most effective results. Although the idea of surgery may be intimidating to many, Allure reports that it is a quick, simple, and relatively pain-free reconstruction procedure that takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Local anesthesia is also used. “The inner lining of the elongated earlobe hole is removed surgically, and the edges are put back together with stitches,” plastic surgeon Min S. Ahn told the outlet. “If the earlobe has been significantly stretched, the surgeon has to be a little creative in order to devise a way to stick the cut edges back together, so that it looks like a normal earlobe,” Sandra Lee, aka “Dr. Pimple Popper,” added.
The stitches will be taken out about a week after the surgery to reveal earlobes that were their original size before the stretching process began, so those with ear gauges can breathe a sigh of relief if they didn’t want their stretching adventures and subsequent damage to the earlobe to be permanent.
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