from a 5/8 inch to 3/4 inch

Thursday November 15th, 2007 @ 2:06 PM

Filed under: Ear

I’ve been at a 5/8 of a inch for almost three or four years now. My goal is 3/4 i have 11/16 that i’m been trying to get in for over a year now. i’ve mainly had stone/metal/wood plugs in my ears but they don’t seem to be loosening up anymore. I’ve been rubbing e-oil on them, and i even asked a pro piercer. we told me the tape method. I’ve tried it and i put one layer on and the plugs wont fit back into my ears. Any advice would be great.

thanks guys


You may have simply reached the physical limits of how big you can stretch your ears using more traditional methods. Due to holes initially placed a little too low, and the fact that I have incredibly tight/non-stretchy skin overall, I ran in to this problem when I was at 00ga. After nearly 3 years, I could not stretch to 7/16″ without risk of tearing my ear pretty severely; even though I had a good amount of room on the bottom of my lobe.

If you want to go larger, you may need to consider having your lobes cut. If you are at 5/8″, and 3/4″ is your goal, it’s very likely this could be done using small “relief” cuts, so that no actual tissue would need to be removed. Without seeing your ears there is no way for me to say what the best way to do the cuts would be, obviously. So, if cutting is an option you want to explore, you should find a reputable, experienced piercer that you trust, and speak with them about your options.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

chicken pox

Thursday November 15th, 2007 @ 2:05 PM

Filed under: Ear

I have chicken pox :( and my right lobe is really angry because of it. (like itchy, red, a little painful) any sugestions for my poor ear? I’ve been puting jojoba oil on it and it hasn’t done much.

If you have chicken pox on your earlobe I would suggest using whatever treatments you are using for the rest of your body. Rubbing jojoba oil, or other oils for that matter, on your ear won’t likely help, as though oils likely have no properties to help ease the symptoms of chicken pox.

Good luck. And remember…don’t scratch!!!!

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments

Jewelry for Helix

Thursday November 15th, 2007 @ 1:55 PM

Filed under: Ear

I’ve been considering getting my helix piercing dermally punched out to anywhere from a 6 - 0 gauge. I had a question about the jewelry best suited for this sort of thing. I don’t really like O-rings, so I suppose that leaves me with either single or double flared plugs. I was wondering if it would be possible to put double flares in cartilage and be able to take them out without a hassle.

What other kinds of jewelry could you recommend?

Double flare plugs can be worn in cartilage piercings, although they can be pretty difficult to get in and out, given the flare. They are probably also not a great option to be used in an initial piercing, as getting them in will mean additional stretching. Also, double flare plugs are typically made shorter than single-flare plugs, because there doesn’t need to be room for an o-ring. If the plug is too short for the amount of swelling you experience, you will find yourself in an uncomfortable, and not-great-for-healing, situation.

If you really can’t stand the idea of o-rings, you might want to try and get pierced with a “flesh tunnel”. These are eyelets that look like double flared plugs, but one of the “flares” screws onto the hollow-tube part of the jewelry. Again, the length of the jewelry could be an issue. Also, finding a good-quality flesh tunnel can sometimes be challenging as well.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments

industrial piercing

Thursday November 15th, 2007 @ 1:48 PM

Filed under: Ear

I recently got pierced in my ear twice for an industrial piercing. I noticed the two barbells are slightly of-axis, there is a slight difference in direction of the two piercings, I’ll say about 5 degrees.

How will this be a problem, when I insert the industrial barbell? Will this simply bend my ear and stay that way, or will the holes migrate a little by the tension?

Once they piercings are healed, it is possible that the slight difference in angles won’t affect the end product. However, it might. You may need to have the bar for the industrial custom-bent to accommodate the slight shift in angles of the piercing. Unfortunately, you won’t really know until you actually try it. If the piercings are off, I would suggest waiting at least 4 months, although 6 months is likely better, before trying to put one bar in the piercings. That also assumes the piercings are healing well at that point. If they are still red, sore and/or swollen at that point, putting once piece of jewelry into them probably isn’t your best option at that point.

I personally prefer to do industrials with one bar initial to avoid any potential shift in the angles of the piercings that can sometimes occur when you put in two separate pieces of jewelry. That may not be what’s going on here, as the piercings may have simply been done slightly off to begin with.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

How fast can a human possibly heal?

Thursday November 15th, 2007 @ 1:45 PM

Filed under: Ear

I had my lobes pierced just about three weeks ago (at 10g with an immediate strech up to 8ga) in an experience vastly different than any I’d had before. Keeping piercings above the neck has never been my forte (metal allergies, lost o rings and severe discomfort), but these piercings were never sore. I got crusties for about a week, and minor crusties at that.

As of this writing, they are loose around my plugs, skin all the way around and feel like normal earlobes. Is it possible they’ve healed this quickly?

I suppose that it’s possible they have healed, but it’s not likely. It also depend upon how you choose to judge the “degree” of healing. At three weeks your piercings won’t be able to stand the type of abuse (i.e., accidentally snagging the jewelry hard) that piercing that are months or years old will be able to stand. I would hesitate to call them “healed” at three weeks, but it possible you may not need to be quite as diligent about your aftercare routine at this point.

In general, listen to your body. It will generally do a very good job of letting you know what is okay and what isn’t.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

Stretching and irritation

Wednesday November 7th, 2007 @ 2:17 PM

Filed under: Ear

About a year ago I stretched my ears to a measly 8g. But sadly had to take them out because of work. Even then, I had troubles with my left ear and it always being itchy no matter how much I cleaned my jewellery. I cleaned it by alternating with sea salt soaks and anti bacterial soap. And since now, Ive started to restretch again but slower and just at 10g, but the same itch has come back. Im using lucite [I guess acrylic to you guys] and I was wondering if MAYBE thats the cause of the itch and if there was an alternative to jewellery that came that small in gauge[10g]without having to be specially ordered?

It’s possible your body isn’t a fan of the acrylic/lucite. It’s certainly not unheard of. However, if you’re using o-rings (the black ones) to hold the acrylic jewelry in place, I’d be more suspicious that you’re having an allergic reaction to the o-rings. I’ve definitely run into that much more commonly over the years than I have people reacting to acrylic. If you are wearing black o-rings, you could try switching to clear o-rings, as the clear ones are made out of silicone and not latex or nitrrile rubber.

Other alternatives for jewelry material you could wear include stainless steel, titanium and glass. Plugs in 10ga, made of those materials, should be pretty easy to find in a studio with a decent jewelry selection.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

stretching problem….

Sunday November 4th, 2007 @ 7:46 PM

Filed under: Ear

so, a week ago i went to a tattoo and piercing shop and bought some acrylic crescents and the piercer lady put them in for me. i had 14g crescents in before, but now i’m in spain where they do millimeters instead of gauge. but i got 2.0 millimeter ones. or they were supposed to be. but i realized the next day that one is bigger than the other, like significantly. i assume it’s 2.4 millimeters. so now a week later my ear with the 2.0 millimeter crescent is fine, but the other one is still kinda sore and pusing. ordinarily i would go back to the shop and ask to exchange it, but my spanish kinda sucks. i figured i’d just let it heal, and it would eventually. what i’m getting concerned about is that under my ear there’s a lymph node, i think, that is kinda swollen and hard and painful. is that something i should super worried about?

The joy of Imperial and Metric Systems…I think personally we should just throw them BOTH away and come up with something better, what that is…Who knows…

14ga = 1.6mm, 12ga = 2.0mm,etc.

Acrylic honestly is not something that is an ideal material to stretch your piercings with, and leave that in. For starters the more prominent acrylic out on the market cannot be autoclaved. Also products like Alcohol and Disinfectants will break the material down and cause it to crack,etc.

My advice to you is to go back to the shop or another shop and have them put in either a CBR/BCR, Circular Barbell, Labret Stud that is either Steel or Titanium and treat your ears as if they were just pierced (ie: salt water soaks, for ten minutes, gently remove discharge, etc).

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 3 Comments

stretching ears

Sunday November 4th, 2007 @ 4:53 PM

Filed under: Ear

I have gone from a 10 gauge to 9/16 in about 6 weeks time professionally by someone who has been in the buisness for over 15 years so i do trust him. I actually had my ears cut and stretched from a 10 to a 0 and then to separate stretches to get to where i am now at 9/16 with no problems. I plan on going to 5/8 and sticking with that.

He told me i only have to wait a week or 2 befor coming in again to stretch to 5/8. I need a second opinion.

And i’ve noticed my lobes seem to be swelled. There’s no pain or discomfort at all and the holes are very clean i’ve just noticed they’re a little swollen is this normal since it’s only been a few days since my last stretch? or is there a problem? and if i have or get a blowout is it painful?

There are some piercers who utilize a “rapid stretch” method. Regardless of all the philosophical arguments (i.e, it’s not a race, patience is part of the reward etc.), I think simple logic makes it fairly obvious it’s not the ideal way to go. While you “can” do stretching in this fashion, it doesn’t mean you should.

The main thing I’d be concerned about would thinning of the your lobes…most likely at the bottom. By not giving your body a chance to rebuild some of the skin cells lost in the stretching, you have a higher chance of the tissue becoming thin, which could result in poor circulation on the serious end of the spectrum and could result in unattractive/poorly-placed holes on the not-so-serious end of the spectrum.

As for whether you should wait for more than 2 weeks to stretch to 5/8″, I personally think so. But, considering you’ve gone from 10ga to 9/16″ in 6 weeks, does it really matter at this point? It’s probably a little late to be thinking about whether you’re stretching too quickly.

Best of luck.

Also…lots of people will probably post comments about how they stretched from (fill in the blank) to (fill in the blank) in some really short period of time. As I said….lots of things are possible…whether they are the best approach is a whole different topic.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 3 Comments

Help my poor Lobes!

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:44 AM

Filed under: Ear

I have had my ears at a 9/16 for four years and decided it was time to move on to 5/8. I bought some plugs and couldn’t get them in so I made the mistake of buying silicone eyelets. They felt fine, just mild burning which I thought was just the stretch. After 2 days I couldn’t take the pulsing and burning and knew this wasn’t right. Long story short the eyelets had stuck to my inside lobes. After taking them out my ears were swollen and bleeding with clear liquid dripping out. I cleaned them very well before bed and woke up with my lobes actually crusted together. After a long sea salt soak the only jewelry I could get in were a pair of 0g tapers. A week later now, and my ears are slowly getting better with mild swelling and soreness although it seems like the hole has shrunk to a 0g! I’m wondering what I can do to get my lobes back to the way they were and how long I should wait to try and stretch again?

The wonderful joys of stretching with silicone jewelry. Sorry to hear of the trouble you’ve had involving this matter, it doesn’t sound very fun at all.

In regards to how you can get your lobes back to the size you were at and waiting periods,etc you can be directed to the previous entries involving stretching:

Waiting Time

Stretched Ear Jewellery

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 5 Comments

Closing stretched lobes

Monday October 29th, 2007 @ 3:06 AM

Filed under: Ear

I had stretched my lobes to 00ga, but now a job opportunity that I cannot pass up has required me to remove the jewelry. My question: what are the best/easiest/most effective methods for closing up lobe fistulas?

Fastest/Easiest means of closing up the fistula - Visit a plastic surgeon and have them close it up via a surgical procedure.

Sadly though this procedure usually costs a pretty penny (usually around $500 a lobe from what I hear, plus or minus some money there) and is a route not many go down, due to the cost.

Another option is to take your jewelry out and massage them daily with an essential oil like: Vitamin E, Neem Oil, Jojoba Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil,etc. Do a deep tissue massage once or twice daily and simply do not put any other jewelry in your lobes.

Now depending on the person, as each individual varies, this might enable the holes to close up a lot or it might not close up hardly at all. But I’d say it’s better to try and let them close up on their own before going down the road of re-constructive surgery. So do the deep tissue massages daily for a couple weeks and see how much the holes downsize.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 99 Comments

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