Long-term use of heavy earrings or trauma can lead to stretched earring holes. Trauma can also cause tearing of the earlobes. Dr. Khatri uses surgical techniques, sometimes combined with laser procedures to repair stretched and/or torn earlobes. Results are satisfactory and if patients desire, they can re-pierce their earlobes.
Earlobe Repair FAQs
What are the common causes of earlobe damage/deformities?
Earlobe deformities may be congenital or acquired. Examples of congenital deformity include cleft earlobe, duplicate earlobe, and protruding earlobes. Research has not determined an exact cause of congenital earlobe deformities. Acquired earlobe damage or deformity most often results from heavy earrings or holes that will not close. Traditional ear-piercing can result in unclosed holes due to the natural formation of scar tissue. More commonly, unclosed holes result from large gauges that stretch the earlobe too greatly for self-repair.
The earlobes can change with age, becoming elongated and thin to the point of drooping. Interestingly, there is also a problem called “pixie ear” that can occur after a facelift.
Will a split earlobe ever repair itself?
It is not likely that a split earlobe will heal on its own. This is because, when the earlobe tears, scar tissue forms at the edges of the split. This seals the separated edges, preventing them from rejoining.
Can treatment repair both stretched, split, and torn earlobes?
Earlobe repair is a customizable treatment that can address various problems, including sagging, splits, stretching, and tears. Dr. Khatri has been trained in surgical and laser techniques. When necessary, the two can be combined to achieve the most cosmetically pleasing outcome.
How is the procedure performed?
Earlobe repair is usually performed in the office. A local anesthetic is administered to the earlobe to numb nerve endings and prevent the transmission of pain sensations. Patients are very comfortable during their procedure. If the repair is done only with a laser device, it may not be necessary to anesthetize tissue.
Surgical repair begins with cleaning the earlobe with antiseptic. To repair an overstretched earlobe caused by gauges, a small instrument is used to cut away part of the skin around the hole or tear. This creates clean margins that can then be stitched together. Two sets of sutures may be placed. Sutures placed to repair inner tissue will dissolve on their own. The second set of regular sutures is placed to close the skin. These need to be removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Recovery from earlobe surgery typically does not require prescription pain medication. Our staff can recommend an appropriate over-the-counter medication to be taken as directed if necessary. Post-treatment care usually involves washing the ear a few times a day. Normal activities may be resumed within a week.
Can my earlobe be re-pierced after earlobe repair?
If there is a desire to re-pierce the ears after laser or surgical repair, this must not be done for 2 to 6 months after the procedure. Earlobe repair, whether surgical or nonsurgical, could cause scar tissue to form. For this reason, it is not advisable to have the ears re-pierced in the exact same location as the original piercing. In many cases, a person who wishes to have their ears re-done may do so by having an experienced piercer or plastic surgeon pierce the ears a few millimeters away from the area that has been repaired.
Will I have a scar?
Great care is taken with the performance of earlobe repair. In most cases, the scar that is left after surgery is flat and discreet. At first, the scar may be pink or red. As the tissue heals, the scar fades. Also, Dr. Khatri may perform laser treatment once the incisions have healed to help reduce the scar even more.
Will my insurance cover my procedure?
Earlobe repair is most often considered a cosmetic procedure and, for that reason, is elective. Cosmetic procedures are not medically necessary so are not typically covered by insurance.
What are the risks of earlobe repair surgery?
When earlobe repair surgery is performed, the skin is cut. Though small, this results in certain risks, including infection, bleeding, pain, or a visible scar or “notch” in the skin.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about laser or surgical treatment to repair an earlobe deformity or damage, contact the Skin & Laser Surgery Center today! Our offices are located in Nashua, Revere, and Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Call (617) 381-1717 to schedule a consultation.
to schedule a consultation.