Earrings are one of the most common ways to decorate the face in Western culture. Piercings are often performed early in life. As you age the ears continue to grow but the skin and soft tissue of your earlobe begins to thin. With a lifetime of wearing earrings the weight can pull through the lobe leaving an almost snake-tongue-like deformity. For other patients, usually those younger, the earrings can be accidentally pulled out through normal activities. Others have chosen to have gauges placed in the lobe but change their minds regarding the appearance. Regardless of the reason for the ear holes being pulled through or elongated, these can be corrected in the office. It is a straightforward procedure performed under a local anesthetic.
Piercing can also be performed at a separate time. For our younger patients (infants and children), Dr. Guy places a topical anesthetic prior to given the local anesthetic to pierce the ears with a surgical instrument. The benefit of this is the parents are able to provide input about where they want the piercing to be as opposed to relying on a person in a mall. Piercings that are placed too low are one of the most common reasons Dr. Guy has to repair and pierce the ears again. This is not from Dr. Guy’s previous piercings but rather from piercings elsewhere. Furthermore, for those who undergo repair of the earlobe, the piercing cannot be placed in the same location as the original piercing. The reason is that the scar tissue is never as strong as the original skin. If you pierce the same place after it has been repaired you will notice the earring slowly marching its way down the repair until it pulls through again.
For those patients who are bothered by enlarged earlobes, there are ways the can be reduced surgically. This is often performed as part of a facelift, but can also be done on its own in the clinic under local anesthetic. If you would like to discuss this with Dr. Guy, please schedule a consultation.