conch scarring

Thursday June 5th, 2008 @ 11:17 PM

Filed under: Ear

i’ve got quite a bit of scarring on the back of my right conch. its stretched to 6mm as is my left. i never had any problems with scarring on my left conch and i can’t understand why its happened.

i stretched it slowly as i did with my left conch. ive been using emu oil on it but the scarring won’t go down.

have you got any suggestions as to how i can make it go away?


Cartilage can be a fickle and unpredictable mistress when it comes to both piercing and stretching. The fundamental reason this happened is because the piercing on that side of your head is irritated/traumatized/mad. Exactly why that is could be a bit difficult to pin-point.

However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that you sleep on that side more often and/or use the phone on that side more often. Those sorts of things cause additional irritation, which can cause scar tissue build-up. It’s also possible that the cartilage tissue on that ear is reacting differently to the stretching…just because. That probably sounds lame, but the human body is a mysterious thing.

While you may not want to do this, downsizing one or two sizes might help the scar tissue go away. Scar tissue usually forms because your body is irritated…it’s how your body protects itself from irritation. If you remove the source of irritation, often the scar tissue will go away…or at least decrease. Emu oil and things of that nature may help reduce the scarring, but very often they are only a temporary fix if you don’t address the actual problem.

Best of luck.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

cartilage stretching

Wednesday June 4th, 2008 @ 1:58 AM

Filed under: Ear, Surface/Unusual

im looking into geting my cartilage stretched on my left ear where i already have a 1.6mm stud that ive had for a few years. any tips on the best way to do it as im having trouble finding a guide and the studio’s in my area say the best way is to have a dermal punch which im not too keen on.



Depending on the size you’re interested in getting to Max might dictate what is ideal and what is not ideal. As with stretching ear cartilage there is a lot more that can go wrong, then say just stretching an ear lobe.

I’d advise you to check out this previous question:

Know that if you ARE going to stretch your ear cartilage I strongly advise you to do so slowly, wait YEARS and be very careful…Because with this its not just about causing a tear in the fistula, but more so causing a spider fracture(s) in the cartilage itself.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 4 Comments

Double Flare Plugs

Tuesday May 27th, 2008 @ 7:10 PM

Filed under: Piercing

This is just kinda a general question… but as I was stretching to a 4 today, I was imagining all the jewelery I’m gonna buy when I get my goal (1/2ish??) and then I thought about double flare plugs…

I’m probably gonna sound really dumb, but wouldn’t putting double flare plugs in stretched ears be like stretching them all over again in order to get them in the holes?

hmmmm o_O

When it comes to double flared plugs, there is a bit of a stretch involved in getting them in. The flares on most double-flared plugs is not a full-size bigger than the plug itself. So, if you have been at a particular size for a while, putting in double-flared jewelry is typically not a problem.

If your ears don’t naturally stretch well, or the flares are overly-large on the jewelry in question, they could be a little harder to get it in.

You shouldn’t use double-flared jewelry for stretching, obviously…as you’ll have to actually stretch almost two sizes to get them in…which is a great way to tear your ears.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | Comments


Tuesday May 27th, 2008 @ 4:08 AM

Filed under: Ear

a few questions, if you dont mind =]

is it possible to stretch a cartilage piercing?

does cartilage heal back or does the skin close the hole up but theres always a gap in the cartilage?

does the needle take a section of flesh out or just push it aside?

thankyou, im a bit confused! =]

Yes its possible to stretch cartilage piercings however the main concern is how much stress is applied to the cartilage when you stretch it. What can occur later on eventually is distortion and even stress/spider cracks within the cartilage as it makes an attempt to relieve the pressure that has been applied via stretching.

Cartilage does not grow back, the only thing that can possibly heal back together is the skin once the jewelry is removed. Even then its also in relation to how long you kept the piercing, how healed the fistula is,etc.

A proper piercing with a proper needle will/should not core out tissue. Instead with a proper needle and the proper speed in which to pass the needle through the body, the needle makes an incision and then tapers its way through thus displacing(pushing it aside) the tissue as it cuts its way through the skin.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 4 Comments

Stretching and Blow outs

Tuesday May 27th, 2008 @ 3:52 AM

Filed under: Ear

I got my lobes pierced with a gun three months ago, it was the starter earring, I think it was 24 gauge or something. Now at this point in time I stretched out my lobes to an 8 gauge and I was just wondering if there is any possible danger in going from a 24 gauge to an 8 gauge in less then half a year? Also I can’t seem to fit any single flare or cylinder type of jewelery into my ear, it seems that the only thing that will fit into my lobes are these horn type of earrings, that start off small then they gradually get bigger and bigger, till they stop at an 8 gauge. Last question, when I remove the earrings and I look at the piercing there is a small discolored circle of skin where the hole is at, is that normal, or is that a miniature blowout?

Stop what you’re doing immediately yes this is by far way too fast to be stretching your lobes and yes the discoloration you’re seeing is quite possibly the result of stretching too fast, as you’ve created a lot of scar tissue via tearing the lobes with each stretch you’ve done.

If you would take a moment and search AskBME for lobe stretching advice you’ll find a fountain of knowledge on the do’s and do not’s of stretching your lobes.

My advice to you, in the simplest and purest form, is to stop using organic jewelry and to only use Steel, Titanium or Pyrex jewelry and to stop stretching your ears until you’re properly educated/informed on how to stretch your lobes. Ideally you’ll might even need to remove the jewelry you have in let your lobes relax at a more comfortable size and not consider stretching your ears again for a good 1-2 years.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 4 Comments

Downsizing How Much Smaller Should i Go?

Wednesday May 21st, 2008 @ 7:40 AM

Filed under: Ear

I am wishing to downsize for the purpose of gaining more tissue for further stretching i have dropped from 5/8th/9/16th to 9mm, is this gonna be beneficial i went from really heavy Blackline plugs, to stainless steel single flair eyelets. Or should i downsize more? I have NO blow outs or very much thinning just when i put 5/8ths plugs in they seem very thin, so i have decided to downsize, Thanks for any help.

Although my lobes aren’t massive per se (22mm at their largest), I periodically remove the jewellery for a couple of weeks at a time and massage my lobes with my favourite ear product - Holey Butt’r (although a good quality vitamin E oil will also be beneficial) - and then stretch back up from where is comfortable. This gives my ears a break and the massages help stimulate the blood supply whilst the Holey Butt’r moisturises and softens the skin. Also, when you get to your desired size, leave the jewellery out overnight.

You say you have nice, healthy blow-out-free lobes, which leads me to believe that you live by the mantra - slow, steady stretching without skipping sizes - already. Keep that in mind, give your ears the TLC treatment and you’re doing good.

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Posted by Tiff Badhairdo | Permalink | Comments

Lobe stretching

Friday May 16th, 2008 @ 2:17 AM

Filed under: Ear

I had my lobes stretched from 2ga to 0ga two days ago, professionally. The stretch went well, one hurt a little, the other was painless. They’ve been a little tender but not anything out of the ordinary.

I did a soak today and when I cleaned around the jewelry there was a little blood on both. I’m guessing this means I managed to tear them regardless of the easy stretch. Should I be worried? No signs of a blowout, and I don’t plan to stretch any further…

Can I leave the 0ga in and just treat them real nice?


Definitely sounds like one had a bit more of micro-tearing then the other one, since stretching should not hurt at all if you’re waiting the appropriate amount of time and using the right size jewelry,etc.

And I would agree with you to simply just treat them as if they were freshly pierced (sterile saline soaks once or twice a day,etc) since you do not plan to stretch any further. Treat them real nice and baby them and don’t think about stretching for quite awhile.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 4 Comments

Stretching a vertical labret

Friday May 16th, 2008 @ 1:50 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I’ve been trying to find information on stretching a vertical labret. I’ve searched the main site and have found nothing, as well as rummaging around IAM. I’d like to take my vertical labret (now 14g) up to 10g or 8g.

Do you have any information/advice on this? I know to take it slowly but that’s about it as I’ve only ever stretched my lobes.

In theory, there is no reason you can’t stretch a vertical labret piercing. However, keep in mind that the tissue of the actual lip is pretty thin. So, the more you stretch it, the more pressure you will put on it, and you may likely increase your chance of rejection.

Going slow is definitely the key. In addition, pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you stretch it, and it seems to react badly, be prepared to take back down.

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Posted by Derek Lowe | Permalink | 1 Comment

scalpelling blow outs

Thursday May 15th, 2008 @ 1:53 AM

Filed under: Ear

Ive had blow outs and scar tissue on the back side of both lobes for sometime now and they are rather embarrasing to say the least. Not only do they make it very difficult to stretch but I have to always find or have custom peices made to accomodate the width.

I sleep with my plugs out and do oil massages but the blow outs and scar tissue dont seem to want to go anywhere.

I learned that I can have them scalpelled off and because I have also heard that scalpelling to produce a larger size makes future stretching easier I woould also like to have this done.

I was perviously at 1 1/4 but due to complication from the scar tissure not wanting to stretch to that size have since downsized to 1 1/8

Becuase I like the size of 1 1/4 and plan to stay there for a good while, and than eventually 1 3/8 for a good while and than 1 1/2 etc

I was thinking if getting scalpelled to 1 1/4 from 1 1/8 and at the same time getting my blow outs removed is good idea or not?

Im also a little concerned about thinning and I hear that scalpelling to larger size will redirect the piercing.

Here is a question I’d like to ask…Have you ever tried simply taking the jewelry out, leaving it out, massaging the lobes multiple times a day to see if the blow outs,etc get re-absorbed into the body? If my measurements are precise you only went down one size in your downsizing. With blow outs I strongly advise clients to literally not wear jewelry in their ears, until their lobes re-absorb the blow outs. From there you put whatever light weight jewelry (Pyrex eyelets,etc) fits comfortably and then wait roughly 1 year or so before you consider going to the next size up. From there literally wait 6 months to a year (ideally a year) before going up to the next size and so on an so forth.

Personally I’d suggest that before ever considering the scalpelling route. Lobe Scalpelling/Re-Directing,etc should only be done as a last resort, after all other avenues have been done.

Without seeing your lobes and the blow outs and scar tissue,etc I can’t really give much confirmed responses (ie: how big of a blow out you have,etc). But I’d honestly encourage you to at least try what I suggested if you’ve never done that, before selecting to go with the scalpelling. And I’d honestly literally not even consider the concept of stretching your lobes to larger sizes until this matter is sorted out.

But yes scalpelling and removal of the blow outs can be an option, but like I said I’d encourage you to consider it the very last option.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | 8 Comments

‘Fixing’ Old Blow-Outs

Saturday May 3rd, 2008 @ 12:04 AM

Filed under: Ear

So, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. In hindsight I clearly stretched too fast.

I was pierced at 4g in Jan ‘06 and stretched by my piercer up to 9/16in by sometime in early-mid ‘07. That’s when I realized I had minor blowouts. I wish I could provide a photo because they’re not cat-assy or lippy…more like slightly concave.

Anyhow I downsized, massaged and put in a pair of 00g SSS eyelets.

A few months later I had a piercer suggest weights to ’straighten’ the skin out. So I recently tried for a good month or so with heavy hanging jewelry and it hadn’t done much of anything in terms of ’straightening’ them out.

Now I’m back up to 1/2in from trying the weights (though wearing 7/16in. jewelry) and I’m wondering what else I can do.

Should I continue to downsize and massage or is it a lost cause at this point?

I doubt these last two questions are possible, but I thought I’d go out on a limb and ask anyway.

Would tapering from back to front have any impact on “retraining” the skin or would it just do more damage? (I’m assuming more damage or the possibility for more damage.)

Is there anything that can be done with a scalpel and sutures to pull the skin back into a proper position with minimal tissue loss?

The problem is essentially the waiting game. So many people, and piercers as well, have this notion that within a few months anything is capable of being stretched to a larger gauge. Sure this might work for some people, however for the majority of people it won’t work.

My suggestion to you is to downsize and massage the lobes daily until the blow outs are re-absorbed into the body. From there wear whatever jewelry fits in easily with no problems and don’t consider stretching your lobes again until anywhere from 6 months to a year, potentially even longer.

These problems occur from constant stretching and just like a rubber band when you keep tugging on it, it will eventually break/snap. So like I said remove the jewelry and massage daily till the problem is re-absorbed into the lobe tissue, put jewelry in that doesn’t stretch the pathway. Then from there allow your lobes the time to really establish that they are healed and if anything naturally let them stretch on their own. As you should never technically need somebody to taper your lobes to a larger size, if you simply just wait long enough.

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Posted by Warren Hiller | Permalink | Comments

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