What is a split earlobe?
A split ear lobe is when the soft part of the ear skin, where ear ring piercings are placed, tears. This can be unsightly and also prevents you from properly re-piercing your ears.
How did I get the split in my ear?
There are several factors that contribute to this. The majority of torn earlobes results from a combination of the following:
1) Heavy earrings- People like to wear large heavy ear rings, such as hoops. Years of wearing this type of jewelery can lead to stretching of the ear lobe and an eventual tear.
2) Trauma- Simple tugging or pulling on ear rings will also weaken the ear lobe over time, leading to stretching and eventually a split in the ear skin. A forceful pull on an existing earring can also create this problem.
3) Skin sensitivity- Skin sensitivity to certain metals such as nickle can be quite common. Costume jewelry and less expensive ear rings are often made of nickle. Over time, this nickle sensitivity can weaken the skin of the ear lobe and contribute to a tear. It is important to note that some expensive earrings made of very soft gold (24 karat) also use nickle in the posts in order to provide a harder metal to support the ear ring.
I have a split in my earlobe, can this be repaired?
Yes. Torn earlobe repair is a common procedure that we perform in the comfort of our office procedure room.
Is the procedure uncomfortable or painful?
No. A local anesthetic will be used in order to numb the area. You will not feel anything during the procedure. After the procedure most people do not complain of any pain. If you have any discomfort at all, extra strength Tylenol can be taken.
Can I drive myself to have my earlobe fixed?
Yes. Since we perform the repair using only local anesthetic, you will be able to drive yourself to and from the appointment.
My earrings do not fit well anymore, but the earlobe is not split yet, can this be fixed?
Yes. Before the ear lobe will become torn, it stretches. Repairing it at this point is beneficial. Many people find that their ear rings do not fit well any longer and request us to close their holes.
Can the ear be repierced afterwards?
Yes. In most cases we recommend that the ear be repierced 2 months after we repair it.
My earlobes are extremely stretched out because I used to wear large gauges in my ears. Can this be repaired?
Yes. Stretched out earlobe skin is commonly seen after years of wearing large earrings, called gauges. Depending on the size of the ear lobe, we will recommend the best method in which to repair this.
Do you perform this procedure often?
Yes. We see patients from all over for repair of their earlobes. Dr. Steiger has been featured on ABC news for torn earlobe repair.