Top 6 Reasons for Earlobe Repair

By on March 22, 2023 under Plastic Surgery

Earlobe repair is a less common plastic surgery procedure but it can be an important one. If you’re looking for ways to repair your earlobes, then a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Hall is the best place to start. Here’s what to know about earlobe repair and how you can benefit.

1. Aging

Earlobes droop and lengthen with age.  Like drooping of a breast. And like the breast, some young patients have drooping earlobes at a younger age.  I had a 20-year-old patient from overseas that told me “ I have my grandfather’s earlobes “.  Like other parts of the body,  There are mathematical proportions that make an earlobe more beautiful.  A beautiful earlobe is a more youthful earlobe. An earlobe lift is a procedure that we commonly perform under local anesthesia in the office and can give the earlobe a more youthful and attractive appearance. It can be performed by itself or at the time of a split earlobe repair.

2. Heavy Jewelry

Heavy jewelry like large earrings can pull on the earlobes over time, stretching the skin to the point that it breaks. But this is actually less common than the following reasons.

3. Physical Trauma

It’s possible for the earlobes to tear when catching the earring on a phone or sweater  In some cases, earlobes can tear when large earrings catch on things or are pulled on by children or pets.

4. Sleeping with the earrings in.

This is one of the most common causes of a split earlobe. People tend to favor one side for sleeping. When the earring pulls back and forth against the pillow, it is like a wire cutting through cheese and slowly tears the earlobe. When this is the cause, it tends to be mainly on one side.

5. Nickel allergy

This is a surprisingly common but not always recognized cause. It tends to affect both ears rather than mainly one ear as in #4.  Patients have a history of chronic redness that they sometimes think is an infection. It tends to get better when the earrings are removed. With the earrings in the redness and irritation cause a slow splitting of the earlobe piercing that continues to progress. Nickel is found in stainless steel and the United States allows more nickel than they do in Europe. Titanium tends to be safe as is most higher-quality jewelry.  But even some of the higher quality jewelry could have nickel as part of the alloy process to strengthen the precious metal and cause a reaction. (24 Karat gold is too soft for most jewelry). When we re-pierce the ears, typically at three months, we will often recommend using titanium for this reason.

6. Gauges

Gauges are one of those decisions that some people make in their teens and early twenties.  Even though King Tut had gauges more than 3000 years ago and it is considered a sign of wisdom in the Massai Tribesman of Kenya today, many patients decide in there later 20s and early 30s that the gauges no longer fit their current image or stage in life. They are generally not allowed in many jobs such as finance, casinos, or the military. Patients with gauges tell me they are being judged unfairly by new people they meet. Or they simply want to have normal earlobes again for their wedding. The gauged ear repair is more complicated but is still typically accomplished under local anesthesia in the office. ( link to gauge video and gallery )

Schedule a Consultation

Earlobe repair is a quick and easy way to restore your earlobes with the expertise of a board-certified plastic surgeon. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hall, contact our Boston, MA office by calling or filling out our online form.

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