Heavy earrings, a snagged oversized hoop, and many years of wearing ear jewelry can all lead to stretched-out or torn earlobes. It is a common injury, and, although a torn or stretched earlobe isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can be unsightly and make it impossible to wear your favorite jewelry. Although earlobes are easy to tear due to their lack of cartilage, this also makes them easy to repair.
Spectrum Dermatology specializes in earlobe repair, making results look as natural with unnoticeable scarring. “Earring accidents” are often the most common cause of earlobe repair, but there are also other factors. Some people enjoyed gauged earlobes in the past, but now want to close those oversized holes. Others are genetically predisposed to extra-large earlobes, while others have noticed their earlobes seemed to have grown with age (it’s true, ears and earlobes do continue to grow throughout life). If your earlobes are giving you trouble, earlobe repair can give you back the shape and size you desire.
Repairing a torn earlobe is a simple in-patient procedure. Local anesthetic is applied so there is no pain or discomfort. No general anesthesia is needed, which means you forego the risks associated with “going under.” The procedure for both repairing and re-shaping earlobes involves trimming the edges and suturing the earlobe. The healing period can last several months, although the process stops being noticeable to the naked eye a few days post-surgery. The exact extent of the healing period depends on the amount of damage and repair necessary. Smaller tears can heal much quicker. However, your dermatologist will advise you on when you can get your “new” lobes re-pierced, if desired.
Sometimes skin “keloids” after an incision. This most often occurs with accidental cuts, not surgical cuts (although it can happen with any laceration). Keloids are formed when skin has gone above and beyond the call of duty to repair itself. It results in a thick, ropy scar. Those with more melanin are more prone to keloids, although it can happen to anyone.
Not only do ears keep growing with age, having earrings and simply sagginess due to aging can happen in earlobes. Just like the rest of the body, earlobes also tend to lose fat with age, resulting in a saggy appearance. In addition to surgical “trimming” of the earlobes, another option is a filler injection. Clients who like the overall shape and size of the earlobes but think they look deflated often opt for a filler. The same fillers for other parts of the face, like the lips and cheeks, may be used for the earlobes. These include popular options like Restylane and Juvederm.
Even a small injury like a normal ear piercing can cause a keloid scar. If you notice your pierced area is thick, or if it tends to itch or look darker well after the healing period, it might be a keloid scar. Keloids are effectively treated by steroid injections. This can minimize redness, burning, itching, and thickness. When steroid injections don’t help, a surgical removal of the keloid might be required. Surgical removals are often paired with steroid injections and/or radiation therapy to discourage further keloid scars. There are also “pressure earrings” to minimize the odds of a keloid.
If your earlobes are torn, stretched, or need to be re-shaped or filled, contact Spectrum Dermatology for top quality earlobe repair and restoration. Get back to wearing your favorite jewelry quickly and restore your confidence in a fast, easy appointment. Schedule your appointment by calling (480) 948-8400.