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Will Stretched Ear Lobes Ever Shrink Back to Normal Size?

I was wondering if you would always have to get surgery after stretching your earlobes. I have heard from others that depending on how big you stretch them, they will shrink down but I want to make sure with a professional. I will attach a picture that shows the top size i would like to go to. So in other words, will they ever close up if ear lobes are stretched, if not will they ever shrink down to a normal ear piercing size like 18mm?

Doctor Answers (29)

Surgery will bring it back to normal


This is a common question. The holes will shrink to a certain degree but never completely close. Surgery is your best option if you would like to have a closed hole. The procedure is an office procedure performed under local anesthesia. Good luck.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Shrinkage of stretched ear lobes


The ear lobes may shrink by themselves, but only by a modest amount. Surgery is probably the only predictable way to reduce them.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Will I need ear lobe surgery after gauging?


The earlobe will shrink but never look normal again without surgery.  I would wait until it finnishes shrinking on its own before cutting out and closing the hole.  You cannot wear the gauges for the entire time that it is shrinking.

Westchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Ear lobe stretching


This is a very common issue in the young patient population.  The short answer is no.  The long answer is that it also depends on how stretched the skin was to begin with.  No matter what, you will need some form skin closure to close the hole and then re-piercing after that.  That is your best solution.

Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Small to medium gauge piercings will permanently stretch your ear lobes


Small to medium gauge piercings will permanently stretch your ear lobes. I agree with my fellow plastic surgeons that even though your gauge piercings are smaller than some others that your earlobes will never completely heal on their own. They WILL contract but there will always be a hole there. Repair can be performed in the office and typically results in a nice appearing earlobe.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Web reference:

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Will Earlobes Shrink Without Surgery


If the ring is removed the size of the hole will decrease but by how much is unpredictable.  This will occur over approximately 6 months.  Based on the photograph you provided, I would not think that the final size -  in the absence of surgery - would be cosmetically acceptable to you.

Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Gauged Earlobe Holes Will Shrink But Never Go Completely Away


You have small gauged earlobes in comparison to some I have seen. When you remove your gauges, your earlobe holes will shrink down to some degree. The holes will never completely close and it is just a matter of how small they will get. After 6 months they will likely shrink down leaving a residual hole about the size of half a pencil width.

Web reference:

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Earlobe gauges


Earlobe gauge holes will shrink down on their own to arguing amounts once the gauge is removed, but they will not close. They will require surgery to get them closed all the way. Fortunately,the procedure is straightforward and I try to keep the price reasonable, about $300 to $400 per side.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Surgery Unavoidable


Hi Alva97,

I would agree with the other posts here. There can certainly be some shrinkage, but not enough to provide an adequate cosmetic result for you. The surgery is fairly straightforward, done as an office procedure under local anesthesia, and provides great results. The particular techniques employed depend on the eventual size of the hole, how much the lobule has been stretched and how much the skin has been thinned. In the right hands, you can achieve a very nice and natural cosmetic result. Good luck!

Dr. Alexander

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Torn cleft earlobes & big holes!


With ear piercing more popular and gauged lobes, too, we see more patients requesting repair of their once attractive lobules. The torn (split) lobes from earrings that got pulled out are simple to repair. The large stretched lobes from gauge jewelry take a bit more expertise. But both of these little surgeries are usually performed under local anesthesia in the surgeon's office.  Healing is usually rapid and within a few weeks the ears typically look good. So, the answer is  "no", these do not self correct! 

Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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