My Nine-year-old's Ear Piercing Ripped, Not All the Way Through, but Close?

Her earring snagged on something and the piercing hole is now very elongated and close to the bottom of her earlobe. I know the procedure to fix the elongation/rip, because I had it done myself a few years ago. (She and I have the same, small lobes.) I'm wondering about best course of action. Should we remove the earrings, let the piercings close, and attempt piercing again in a few years? Or is it best to fix the rip now, when she's younger? Thank you...

Doctor Answers 13

Options to repair torn earlobe ?

If your daughter's earlobe injury is new, you should remove the ear ring and let the piercing heal. It is possible that the tear might heal well enough that she wouldn't require a minor procedure to repair it. If the tear is older or has healed completely it will shrink over time but will never completely close. In that case, she would benefit from an earlobe repair to close the tear and then re-pierce her ear. If she is OK with the procedure, this can be performed under local anesthesia in the office. Patients are typically very satisfied with the results. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Repair of Split Ears in 9 year old

Sounds like this ear lobe is almost totally ripped! They usually in my experience dont heal on their own. If your daughter ia cooperative this is easy to fix in the office setting. It can be repierced at a different location shortly thereafter. 

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

Torn earlobe

From the sound of it, the simplest thing to do is to have it surgically repaired and re-pierced at a later time.  

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Partial Ear Lobe Tear; Treatment Options?

Thank you for the question.

It won't hurt to remove earrings and allow the “tear"  to heal as much as possible spontaneously. Further “reconstruction” may or may not be necessary depending on the degree of healing that occurs spontaneously.

 Otherwise, the timing of the repair ( if necessary)  is a personal decision;  can be done now or at a later date without difference in healing…

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Will my 9 year olds ears heal, or should we have them fixed?

If this is something that just happened, I would remove the earrings, keep the area clean and allow the two raw edges to close back up.  Once the skin has regrown and there is no longer any raw edges, the ears will not heal on their own at that point. Try it and see what happens before getting it fixed surgically.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Ripped piercing on earlobe

There is no one correct answer to your question.  It could be done either way and ultimately would be your choice.  If you remove the earring now, I'm not sure the piercing (and rip) would close on their own, but you could try it.  There would be no harm in seeing if that worked first and then she could always have the rip repaired later if needed.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

My Nine-year-old's Ear Piercing Ripped, Not All the Way Through, but Close?

So sorry to hear about the trauma to your child.  My opinion is that it is best to remove the earring and have it repaired.  It can be re-pierced at a later time.
Garrett A. Wirth, MD, MS, FACS

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

9 year old with torn earlobe hole

This happens all the time. Holes can be uneven. Holes can stretch over time, or are stretched after trauma, (kids pulling on earrings).  We repair these holes often under local anesthesia in the office. Give your local facial plastic surgeon or board certified plastic surgeon a call.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Earlobe repair

Once the earlobe hole has been stretched out it usually requires repair. I would most likely recommend repair with re-piercing 8 weeks later.  

Best of luck!


Jennifer L. Harrington MD 


Jennifer Harrington, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Re: Ripped Ear Piercing and Split Earlobe Repair

If the piercing hole has nearly reached the bottom of the earlobe, it would be best to repair it now as opposed to just removing the earrings and letting the piercings close. This elongation of the piercing will not get better on its own.

A split earlobe procedure is a very common and relatively simple procedure.

After it is done, you can wait around six weeks before having the earlobe repierced.  


Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 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.