ear lobe stretching

My 13 yr old daughter tried to put gauges sz 14 in her ears 6 days ago. She only got them through the front. Will these go back to normal size.

Doctor Answers 7

Ear lobe stretching

Thank you for the question. It may go back since it is only partial injury to the earlobe and only happened the day before. By now four months after the incident, if the earlobe is still stretched, it can can be repaired. The repair is performed in the office under local anesthesia. The results are usually very satisfactory.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Ear Gauging

I think there's a very good chance that the injury to her earlobes will recover with time, given that 14G is relatively small and they weren't fully inserted.

I recommend that your daughter stop wearing earrings for 3-4 weeks, then wear lightweight earrings (such as studs, not heavy dangling earrings) for the next few months. Taking all pressure off the ear lobes will help them return to normal size. That said, if your daughter doesn't wish to follow this particular recommendation it's not so important to the eventual outcome that it warrants risking your relationship over it.

I echo Dr Crawford's statements - ear gauging eventually has permanent effects on the ear lobes. While surgical repair and closure is definitely possible the best way to have ear lobes that look normal is to not stretch or injure them in the first place.

I hope all goes well, good luck!

Jill Tomlinson, MBBS, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

Earlobes and surgery

At my Austin, Texas area plastic surgery practice I do a fair number of earlobe revisions for patients who no longer desire gauged earrings. For your daughter I would say take out the earings and see how much closure occurs over the next 4-6 months. If the earlobes still don't heal right it's an easy fix that can be done in the office to make things look more normal. Cheers, Dr K

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Ear Lobe Stretching?

Thank you for the question.

Given your daughter's age and the duration of time that the earlobe was stretched,  I think she stands a great chance that the ear lobes will “bounce back" to near normal size  without surgical intervention.  If not,  surgical correction is a relatively simple  in office procedure done under local anesthesia.

Best wishes  for the remainder of your parental responsibilities....


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Ear lobes after gauges

Living in Austin, we do get frequent questions from patients about gauges.  The time that the gauge was present as well as the size really matters.  Old and matured gauge defects will not generally close.  But, fresh ones will to some extent and possibly enough that she will not need anything done.  So, give it at least 6 months if not a year to determine what her tissue is capable of doing on its own.  Even if she needs them surgically closed, it can be done under local anesthesia in a procedure room and the down time is minimal.  Please tell her that if she continues to pursue this type of piercing, the results can be permanent, can make interviewing for certain types of jobs more problematic in the future, and can become very difficult to fix surgically once the gauge size has advanced. 

Jennifer Lauren Crawford, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Time will tell whether your daughter's earlobes will shrink down after gauging her ears.

Time will tell whether your daughter's earlobes will shrink down after gauging her ears. If her gauge piercings do not shrink down after several months a minor office procedure can be performed to close the hole and her earlobes can be re-pierced if she desires 3-4 weeks after the repair.

Thank you for your question.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Ear Gauging

It depends on how long the gauges were left in for and how much stretching has already occurred.  While the earlobes may contract a little bit, it is difficult to say without proper evaluation.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you in achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.