Ear Stretching Methods
Ear Stretching Methods.... The Good.... The bad... and Everything in between.
There are many ways out there to stretch a ear lobe... dead ear stretching to ear taping to ear tapering we've got the information covered
From your initial piercing, the basic idea (not to mention safest, and therefore most highly recommended) is to gradually increase the size of the hole by placing something slightly larger than the hole through it. This can be done easily with tapered plugs (ear tapers), which look like long, graduated spikes and are measured by the gauge of the large end.
The technique involves lubricating the ear (emu oil or jojoba oil work well – keep it natural, and don’t use an antibiotic ointment!) and pushing the taper through the ear hole, stepping up in size by pushing larger jewelry through parallel to the taper. As with any stretching technique, it’s best to work slowly; allow about two weeks between stepping up in size (depending on how quick your lobe heals). The last thing you want to do is draw blood! If you stretch too quickly – no matter your chosen method – you run the risk of blowing out your earlobe and developing nasty and uncomfortable scar tissue called a keliod.
Similar to tapering is a method known as taping. All this involves is a roll of non-stick Teflon tape, which is supposed to be safe for piercings. All you do is wrap a layer of tape around the jewelry and re-insert it into the piercing, gradually adding more tape and increasing the size of the hole. This slow gradual stretch is good for your lobes however it is very hard to keep track of what size you are currently at.
Dead stretching is another method, and doesn’t involve any special tools or equipment. Essentially, you just shove the next size jewelry into your piercing. Again, a lubricant might be useful here for the faint of heart. In my own experience, I’ve found dead stretching to go a little smoother after a couple days of “working” your piercing (wiggle the jewelry around to stretch the skin a bit), and after a warm shower when the skin is more elastic. Again, be careful – you don’t want to do this too hard or too quickly and tear your earlobe.
Ear stretching with weights seems like its an easy way to gauge up using gravity. Ear stretching with weights carries the risk of migrating your piercing, which could lead to thinning of the skin and irreversible damage. While you stretch you want to maintain healthy thick lobes, with this method you run the risk of creating portions of your lobe that are thinner than others.
Silicone plugs, although an easy method, allows less room for healthy healing of your precious piercing. The idea behind stretching with plugs of this material is that they are super simple to get in; all you do is squish the plug to fit through your hole, and when it springs back to size, it automatically stretches your skin along with it. Sounds great, right? The problem this method creates surfaces during the healing process. The silicone creates a sort of vacuum between the jewelry and your skin, trapping any potential infections and causing them to spread internally.
We've heard many things ( all negative ) about stretching with silicone. We have also heard that the silicone can actually heal into your skin. We have not yet tried this ( and don't want to) or have seen it.