Need help with ear piercings and stretched holes. What are my options? (Photo)

I had put heavy earrings in when I was 15 years old and I left the jewelry out for a while and thought at the time the holes were a good size and tried wearing small ones but it's not small enough and of course I know they can't magically close anymore now I am 30 in a few months 31 and was just wondering if there is anything to help tighten the holes to make them a bit smaller?

Doctor Answers 11

Stretched holes

It is a common problem that presents to plastic surgeons.  The hole will remain because the skin has grown over.  The procedure is rather simple and can be done in the office under local.  The skin edges would be freshened up and the tissue may need to be rearranged.  This would help the small notch and close the hole.  I usually wait 6-8 weeks prior to re piercing the ear. Its also a good idea to avoid heavy earrings in the future.  Best of luck


Oak Lawn Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ear lobe

This looks like a simple split or enlargement of the ear piercing that can be repaired as an office procedure under local anesthesia

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

No problem

This is a very common problem that I correct in my office.  Using local anesthetic the hole can be closed or made smaller.  If you want to keep the piercing ask your doctor what type of earring to bring along at the time of surgery.

Guy Cappuccino, MD
Mount Airy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Correcting stretched ear lobe holes

Thank you for asking about your ear lobes.

A plastic surgeon, with a short procedure done in the office with local anesthesia, can close the holes and re-pierce your ears. Please use only study - avoid heavy and wire earrings as these tend to stretch and cut through the lobe.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Need help with stretched earlobes. What are my options?

Good morning Hope430!  Perfect name!  There is hope for your earlobes.  This is such a simple procedure.  I do these all of the time under local anesthesia in the office setting.  Once localized,  I make an incision (wedge type) around the old scar (the hole), remove the tissue, then align the new lobe.  I will then use sutures to adhere the two sides.  Local wears off in an hour or so and you are good to go.  You are not out of work or daily activities and it is not painful.  You will need to keep sutures in for one week, heal for about 4-6 weeks, then come back for re piercing (if you want). Not expensive and only takes me about 15 minutes! 

Shelby Brantley, MD
Jackson Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Stretched holes and ear piercings

Thank you for your question and pictures!  Earlobe repair is a relatively painless procedure performed in the office by using local numbing medicine. Approximately 8 weeks after the repair, the ears are re-pierced.  Best of luck to you!

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Stretched Ear Piercing Holes

Thanks for your question!  I think you are a great candidate for an in office ear lobe repair.  This is a quick and relatively painless procedure that will close off your previous piercing sites.  Six weeks after repair you can have re-piercing of your ears.  Best of luck to you!

Stretched ears

I would recommend seeing a facial plastic surgeon to help close the holes.  This can usually be done in the office with just local numbing medicine.  Unfortunately I don't know of any creams or anything else that can be done to tighten the holes.Best of luckDr Rodman

Regina Rodman, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Earlobe repair

Earlobe repair is a very common procedure. Frequently, we have patients who will have the procedure done the same day as the consultation. Typically, the cost is between $450-850 per earlobe, depending on the severity and the length of the procedure.You may be able to find a doctor who will do this under insurance but i am not aware of any.The length of time the ears have been gauged should have no effect on the procedure. As long as the tissue is no longer irritated or inflamed, there is no reason not to give it a try. Gauged ears are sometimes more difficult than some other earlobe repairs since the tissue is so over stretched, but we are still able to create a natural looking earlobe. You can get your ear re pierced about 6 weeks after and should be included in the pricing. Shop around in your area and see if you can find a plastic surgeon in your budget. Insurance typically wont cover this. 

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Treatment options for stretched earlobe piercing holes

I would say the best option to improve the stretched earlobe piercing holes that you have is to surgically close them first.  Approximately two months later, they could then be re-pierced to give you a smaller opening than what you have currently.  

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.