stretched lobes

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 2:13 AM

Filed under: Ear

hey i had my lobes stretched to 00G a few years ago. i took them out and they shrunk up most of the way and i put 2 12 g rings in on each side and i pierced 2 more 12 g rings behind the previous holes. i was wondering if it would be possible to re-stretch the holes back to 00G? do the new rings not leave enough room?

You can totally stretch your first holes back up, however I would suggest to take out the second ones during the process.

They can put nu-necessary pressure on the stretching piercing causing it to potentially ‘change direction’, but more importantly I don’t know if there will be enough room to allow for the flare(s) of a tunnel.

You could always stretch them back to your desired size and then if you feel there is room, you could stretch the second ones back to 12g.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Polymer Plugs

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:08 AM

Filed under: Ear

I’m a metalsmith who has been asked to design a line of Teflon plugs to replace an entire case of acrylic jewelry. The intent is to provide higher quality affordable jewelry that doesn’t degrade, become porous, and off-gas like acrylic. According to the APP, PTFE is safe as long as it meets ASTM F754-00.

My question is more of an ideological one. I’ve noticed that folks (once they are serious about their bodies) often seem to align on one side of a the aisle: Organics vs. “Industrial” materials.

I design custom work in precious metals like niobium and titanium, but also understand that we all sometimes need a ‘throwaway’ pair just for a good stretch, especially on the smaller end of the scale (up to 20mm ish).

I’m curious what you think about implant grade “synthetic” (ie. PTFE) materials, or if you have any comments about the “nobility” of certain materials versus others. I’d also just like to hear whether PTFE in the real world is sufficiently hypoallergenic, or if people continue to report reactions similar to acrylic.


Ryan Holandes

PTFE (aka Teflon, aka Polytetrafluoroethylene) is a fantastic material for body jewellery. It is bio-compatiable, hypoallergenic and its soft texture makes it also great for large gauge oral piercings.

The only thing that I would say while making it is be VERY careful, teflon fumes are carcinogenic and can really mess you up.

Make sure you are using virgin-grade PTFE and try to stay away from ALL other polymers (such as Delrin) as people can have reactions to them. I personally wear Delrin in nearly all my large gauge piercings, however just as acrylic it can work with some and not with others.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

3 year olds and piercings?

Saturday May 12th, 2012 @ 3:22 PM

Filed under: Ear

My twin girls are turning 3 and want to get their ear pierced. They ask everyday and while I have nothing against it. I was 3 when I got mine done. I want NOTHING to do with those mall piercings. I have never gotten a piercing at a piercing pallor and not sure how they would even do a 3 year old or if they would. Do they do both ears at the same time?

This is a very tricky question and a hot subject of debate in the modification community. It is a very good idea to stay clear of malls and piercing guns. I wont even get into the risks involved because it sounds like you are already aware of some of them.

Personally I will not pierce a child’s ears until they are old enough to discuss the piercing with me. The main reason I wont pierce children younger is I hate the idea of hurting a child and making them cry.

I’m sure you can find a reputable shop that will be willing to help you out. If you are lucky enough to find a studio that has two piercers on duty then they might be able to do both piercings at the same time.

Check for studios on The A.P.P. website or here on BME411

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | Comments

Sudden tear in ear lobe

Saturday May 12th, 2012 @ 4:07 AM

Filed under: Ear

I was writing to get an opinion and maybe an answer for my current problem.

I woke up this morning and noticed that my ear had the tiniest ache to it, it felt similar to when I’ve accidentally put my plug in wrong and twisted my earlobe inside out, after a few moments of wearing it like that I can feel that it’s uncomfortable and I of course take it out and put it back in. I took a shower a little while after I got out and wound up taking my plugs out entirely after I’d gotten out of the shower and my ear still felt sore, on closer inspection I saw that my ear had turned red, was warm to the touch and swollen.

I’m completely taken back by this because I haven’t done anything to my ear, I haven’t stretched or changed them out for new plugs, nothing and all I’ve been wearing the past few months is metal and stone.

I’ve done two sea salt soaks now, but I noticed a few moments ago I have a tear in my earlobe, it’s not a major one but it’s definitely good sized and I’m beyond baffled as to why my ear is doing this.

I’m going to do sea salt soaks over the next few days and not wear any plugs, I definitely don’t want to further irritate my ear or make the tear worse.

I was just wondering if this is a common occurrence?

The only thing I can think of is that my puppy nibbled on my earlobe earlier today, or tried to, he didn’t bite it he just tried to nibble at it and lick it.

I can understand that irritating my ear a little, but cause a tear?

I have personally had the EXACT same thing happen to mine only a couple months ago. Normally I sleep with mine out (which is great to do to promote healthy happy lobies), but this time I slept with them in and must have either layed on my actual tunnel or rolled over and pinched the bottom of my ear.

The end result was a decent ‘indent’ from the edge of my flares, which resulted in the same swelling and a scabby line (running along my lobe, not across it).

I think it would be more likely that this was the same cause, rather than your puppy (although animal saliva contains lots of bacteria and nasties).

Your initial reaction was spot on! Remove your jewellery (until FULLY  healed). Keep up with the cold saline soaks to relieve the swelling and dry the little tear up and after a couple weeks (when its FULLY healed and not flakey or scabby) you can slowly  stretch back up.

For me, it took around 4-5 days for the scab to fall off and another couple days to be fully settled back to normal. I stretched back up to my regular size over around a week (mine didn’t shrink much). Make sure not to pick at any scabs (or you will slow your healing) and let em fall off when they are ready.

Try sleeping with your tunnels out too, I find after a good warm shower and a little bit of oil - they slip right back in easy. I used to pop in a size just under my ‘normal’ set while I got dressed and had a coffee, then pop my normal ones in after 20-30mins.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Infected Conch Piercing?

Friday May 11th, 2012 @ 4:21 PM

Filed under: Ear

So I got my left conch pierced about a week and a half ago and it has never been fine since I got it. It was never really sore feeling like my right conch was, it just always felt irritated/painful on it’s own. I was pierced with a 14g 1/2 in titanium circular barbell due to my surgical steel allergy. The irritation was increasing, so I went back and had it changed to a 14g titanium 3/8 barbell after a week. My piercer told me it was infected, and blood and puss was coming out of the hole. He told me to do sea salt soaks even though I’m not a fan since they really dry out my skin, and I did, but to no avail the pain was still there. Well the irritation/pain got worse and turned into an awful infection. I had been cleaning it like I should, I wasn’t over cleaning it. I never touched it unless I was cleaning it and even then it was with clean hands. I haven’t slept on it, and I keep my hair tied back away from it and keep all hair products off of it. I don’t know what could have caused the infection. I’ve been really careful with it. And I had my other conch pierced and had no problems with infection whatsoever. I woke up this morning in seering pain. My ear felt like it was on fire and the back of it was hot, red and throbbing. It hurt so bad, I felt like ripping the piercing out of my ear. I went to the doctor and got antibiotics for it and am currently hoping that those will help my poor ear heal.

So my questions are: What could have caused the infection? Could a person theoretically be doing everything right and still get an infection like I did? I don’t think it was the piercer’s fault. I tried out a new place this time since I moved and had the best piercing experience by far I’ve ever had. Everything seemed clean and sterile. My piercer thoroughly cleaned the work space, changed gloves multiple times, and used sterilized tools. And plus this place has had wonderful reviews. I had my right conch taken out when I got my left one changed to a bar due to the awful angle/placement, and want to get it

Theoretically yes. While recommended aftercare is in place to help prevent infection, there is no way to be perfectly safe. Bacteria can be found on every square inch of your body, most of this bacteria is not infectious however. People with compromised immune systems are at a significantly greater risk of infection.

You have done everything you can, just continue your antibiotics and follow your piercers recommended aftercare.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | 2 Comments

Ouch! Getting in tiny double flares

Friday May 11th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

Filed under: Ear

Hi BME. I have 3 lobe piercings in each ear and have been wearing 16g jewelry in all of them for a couple of years without any problems. I got some really lovely mini plugs from Glasswear Studios in 16g, and somehow thought that getting a double flare version would be a perfect idea: backless jewelry that would stay in! Sweet!

Er…no. So they’re basically like any other single flare plugs (except tiny, obviously), and the second flare is a slightly larger bead, kind of like a nosebone. I haven’t done any stretching at all and didn’t think this through properly. The ball end is probably 14g, though I can’t be sure.

Am I going to need to get a taper to get these suckers in? I managed my original/bottom lobes without too much fuss; they’re 15 years old and definitely the stretchiest. The other two refused to go all the way, so I backed off and put my old jewelry back in for now, then did some remedial salt soaks. I’d love to be able to wear these awesome things that were custom made for me.

Hi BME reader,
I don’t think you will need to purchase a 14g taper. My suggestion is just go down and see your piercer and ask them politely to help you out. Most piercers will just have a small fee for putting a piece of jewelry in and if they don’t charge tipping is always welcomed and appreciated.

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Posted by Ryan Mills | Permalink | 1 Comment

Stretched Ear lobes

Tuesday May 8th, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Filed under: Ear

So my left ear lobes is becoming quite thin. I heard about fat injections and wanted to know if it would be to my advantage to get fat injections into my earlobe.

As far as injections go, there are no really ’safe’ things you can inject into your lobes to make them thicker.

You can naturally thicken up your tissue, by taking out your jewellery for a week or two (letting them shrink up) and massing them every day with jojoba oil (or Emu Oil if you can get it) will promote more blood circulation to the area and in turn thicken them up. As you SLOWLY stretch back up to the size you were at, you will notice that your lobes will feel thicker and healthier - this is because you are promoting the natural growth of collagen in your lobes.

Oiling daily is a very important part of having stretched ears, it keeps them happy and healthy and lets them relax much quicker (letting you stretch quicker).

Try swapping to oiled woods, especially while you sleep (or sleep with them out). This will also help you to naturally thicken them up.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Stick out lobe

Tuesday May 8th, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Filed under: Ear

Hey guys! just hoping I could get a definite answer for something that’s been bugging me for a little while now, my ears are currently at 5/8ths and ever since about 8mm ive noticed my left one sticks out a little while the right one lies in line with the rest of my ear. Is this due to one being pierced in a different spot? and also is there any way to fix this? ive thought about maybe scalpelling to remove some excess skin from higher up my ear and stitching that up to pull my ear into place, any advice or answers would be greatly appreciated! scalpelling and surgery however would preferably be avoided!

It’s very normal for both your ears to sit differently once stretched because your ears are different at birth. I found that one of my ears stuck out a fair bit while I was stretching and scalpeling did make it sit flatter against my head - however don’t just scalpel your lobes up to fix that.

Scalpeling should really only be done as a last resource to correct an off placement or to stop a thin spot from getting worse, you could potentially limit your maximum size by unnecessarily scalpeling.

If you do decide that you want to cut em, make sure you shop around for a reputable piercing with a HEALED portfolio of lobe scalpeling.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

thin,ear tear help!?

Tuesday May 8th, 2012 @ 5:07 AM

Filed under: Ear

i just found a tear in my ear im at 32mm

i did not notice until yesterday that it was there

the thinner part is sore and kind of black

i have no idea what actions to take or how to go about doing anything

i massage daily with Jojoba oil

what should i do?

These sort of things usually build up for a while before becoming that bad, often its caused from low quality jewellery (silicone/plastics) or from not oiling your wood jewellery before wearing it. If you have been oiling with Jojoba oil (a fun oil to say and a fun oil to use!) then you really should have noticed something funny going on earlier.

You should remove your jewellery (and leave it out) IMMEDIATELY as not to make the situation worse. I would leave it the hell alone for at least a month and then see either a plastic surgeon or a body modification artist to get the thin bit repaired.

Often a trained specialist will be able to remove the offending thin and damaged spot and re-connect it leaving only healthy tissue. You will have a scar line and your chance of it thinning out in the future is increased, however anything is better than having a dying bit of your ear hanging on for dear life.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

Healing time - 4ga lobes

Tuesday May 8th, 2012 @ 4:42 AM

Filed under: Ear

I had my lobes pierced at 4ga just over four weeks ago (Sept 3rd). They were done with a needle, followed by single flared tunnels. I am aware that fresh piercings of this size take longer to heal than typical lobes but I am concerned with the fact that I am still cleaning off bits of blood from behind my ears after my sea salt soaks (twice daily). In addition, I am finding a lot of yellowish build up mixed in with the blood.

Should I still be seeing blood at this point or are my lobes just not healing?

Often the little yellow crusties are similar to scabs on a cut - if you pick at them, it doesn’t get a chance to heal.

The white/yellow fluid is most certainly lymphatic fluid, which is totally normal during healing and if the piercing is fresh or has been aggravated recently. I would suggest to keep doing your 2x daily warm saline soaks to promote blood circulation and speed up the rest of the healing.

Make sure that your o-rings aren’t too tight against your ear either, they can cause irritation and also get stuck to your ear with crusties.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | Comments

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