Ear Stretching Safety
Are you thinking of stretching your ears?
Or are in need of some information on how to stretch your ears safely?
You have come to the right place. We at BodyJ4You carry a wide selection of gauging kits. Aside from what we carry, we also want to be your go to source for information regarding ear stretching safety and care.
Ear stretching is a rewarding type of body modification. It garners visual satisfaction from patience and dedication. The avenues to express yourself are endless, it allows one to wear something impactful, unique, and bold.
Before you can being stretching your ears, your ears need to be pierced. Then make sure your ears have been fully healed from the initial piercing before starting the stretching process.
What is stretching?
Stretching of the ears is done by slowly enlarging an earlobe to accommodate increasingly larger sizes of jewelry. This is done through the process of slowly increasing the gauge (size) of jewelry in the ear. This is a potentially permanent type of body modification so please keep that in mind.
Will there be pain while stretching?
This type of piercing is a soft tissue piercing, therefore when stretching your ears there should not be much pain or discomfort, if any. If there is pain or discomfort at severe levels then this is a sign you have overstretched. When this occurs consider dropping to a smaller size, or visiting your local piercing professional for some assistance.
What to wear when stretching?
First things first, pay attention to the material of the jewelry before putting it in your ear.
We suggest wearing materials such as surgical steel, titanium, niobium, gold, platinum, and biocompatible polymers when you initially stretch up. These materials are said to lower the cause of irritation, allergy or infections.
It is safe to wear other materials like acrylic, silicone, and organics once your piercing and stretched lobe is healed.
We sell gauges kits with both types of materials for a seamless ear stretching experience:
According to safepiercing.org they recommend “Solid plugs and hollow eyelets are especially popular styles. For initial stretches, they should be single flared or non-flared, and preferably without grooves for O-rings. Caution: It can be damaging to put double-flared jewelry in a freshly stretched piercing.”
Stretching Maintenance & Healing Process:
When your ear is freshly stretched we suggest leaving your new piece of ear stretching jewelry in place for about several days to weeks. You can risk difficulty or not being able to reinsert the jewelry if you take it out too soon. The area can shrink. It’s common that you will feel some soreness and inflammation. This should be rather mild and last a few days, but pass. Once your ear is healed (wait a few week to a month) you can continue to stretch your ears to a bigger size.
Save this ear gauge in-between healing wait times chart for your reference:
It can be helpful to stretch your ears after a hot shower and / or an ear massage. This helps your ears become more flexible and less painful when stretching because it helps break down scar tissue and stimulate circulation.
- How to massage your stretched ears: Rub your ear lobes with an ear lobe balm cream/oil in continuous, circular motions for 5 minutes.
Once the swelling has gone down from the stretch, we recommend you apply antiseptic and lubricant to your ear jewelry. (Always make sure you wash your hands before doing any maintenance or touching of the ears.) Remove the ear stretching jewelry from your ears and clean them. You can do this by rubbing soap on the outside and inside of the jewelry while allowing warm water to run onto the jewelry. You want to wash away dirt, dried and dead skin cells, and any other type of gunk. Finish off by rinsing them with cool water, and letting them dry with a paper towel. Now to clean your ears. You can either do this in the shower or by lathering your hands with soap and warm water. Then use your fingers to clean the inside of your earlobe piercings. Repeat and do the same for the outside of your earlobe piercing as well at the front and back of the earlobe. Then rinse off all the soap with water.
While your ears are clean and wet, insert the jewelry into your earlobes for a lubricated insertion. Or use an organic stretching lube when stretching your ear. Then dry around your ear piercings and jewelry with a paper towel.
If you’ve just stretched your ears and they are really sore and you don't want to take them out, apply an antibacterial cream around the rim of your piercing to prevent infections. We recommend using a cotton swab to remove any dirt, crust, or dried skin from around your piercing.
Massaging your ears once or twice a day, will aid in it accommodating the new size. Use an organic oil when messaging. Try out our best selling ear lobe stretching balm:
Making sure your ears are lubricated when stretching is essential when stretching your ears, its everyday maintenance. But don't go and buy any type of lube. We suggest a quality lube, and make sure its organic. Here are a few recommendations, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Emu Oil, Raw Cocoa Butter, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. There are also others you can use, but do the research before buying one.
Here's a stretching lube we recommend:
Take your time!
Patience is very important. Your ears should be fully healed before you attempt another stretch. If you rush the process, you risk permanent damage to your ear lobes. The longer you wait the healthier your ears will be.
Safepiercing.org says “Overstretching tends to result in a buildup of scar tissue and reduction of healthy blood flow It can also cause an unsightly “blowout,” in which a section of skin pushes out from the interior of the channel. Overstretching can damage your tissue, cause thinning, or even lead to the total loss of your piercing. Stretching more than one full gauge size should be avoided. Half sizes should be used when possible, particularly in larger size jumps or in sensitive areas. Piercings can only handle small incremental stretches without the delicate lining of the piercing becoming stressed, torn, or otherwise damaged.
Your body needs sufficient time to rejuvenate blood flow and produce new healthy tissue, this can take weeks or months.”
Watch for infections
Swelling, green / yellow discharge are common signs of an infection. Although they don't always indicate an infection they could mean just ear irritation. If you notice multiple symptoms at once then visit your local piercer, or medical professional for treatment.
These signs could mean you need to down-size (usually to the size you were previously). Safepiercing.org recommends “downsizing is a great way to keep your tissue healthy. Afterwards, you will need to wait at least a few additional months before attempting further stretching. Go slow from the start and avoid having to downsize or stall your process.”
Ready to get started?
Check out these top recommended products for stretching your ears: