Ear plugs and ear stretching regret

Gemma Marshall's picture
Having used tapered ear piercings to stretch her earlobes in her youth – Becky wanted to reduce the gauge to make them less of a feature – see what happened1
At a consultation at the beginning of the year, Becky mentioned that her ears bothered her, and she was looking into surgical options to have them repaired, because when she was younger she stretched her earlobe piercing through the process of “ear gauging”.  Although it is a fairly old process, it has become pretty popular with today's young to not only get piercings but also stretch them.  
When you have your ears pierced with the piercing gun, typically the size of gauge is around 20G. The lower the number the larger the gauge the smaller the piercing. (e.g. 20G piercing is smaller than a 12G piercing).  
There are a few techniques used to stretch the piercing. Becky used the process of “tapering”. This is the most common method. A tapered, surgical-steel rod is inserted into the piercing. The smaller end of the rod goes in first and the hole is slowly stretched as the wider end of the rod is gently pushed through the hole. Larger gauge jewellery is then inserted behind the taper to keep the hole at its new size.
Becky stretched her piercing to 16mm.  When stretching a piercing, the odds are not in your favour that it will shrink back to normal size when you go above 12mm. As you can see from the pictures, Becky’s did shrink, but just to a smaller gauge.

Treatment options

Traditionally surgery was the only corrective procedure, but now we can use plasma in some cases. Whilst surgery is the only option for very large gauges, for smaller gauges it involves more discomfort, downtime and cost than plasma. At Face & Body, we achieve amazing results using our Plasma IQ device for small gauges at a fraction of the cost of surgery.

How does Plasma IQ work?

When I use the Plasma IQ device it is equivalent to a superficial fractional ablation which stimulates collagen production on the treated areas to reduce the gauge size in the earlobes. Watch me performing the Plasma IQ treatment on Becky:

Becky’s before and after photos

When I asked Becky if she would be willing to give plasma treatments a go to tighten her ear piercings - she jumped at the chance and we started the treatment plan straight away.
I advised her that she would need at least 3 treatments at 6 weekly intervals and then we could finish the treatment with some dermal filler in the earlobe to create more support for when she starts to wear earrings again.  
I applied anaesthetic cream on the ears half an hour prior to each treatment to ensure maximum comfort. Each treatment took about 30 minutes and afterwards I applied a soothing gel.
Following each treatment brown micro-crusting formed and took 5-7 days to fall off, leaving the skin underneath quite pink to begin with (which is completely normal). This is why you need to leave at least 6 weeks in between treatments and why it’s extremely important you wear SPF to protect the skin on your ears.
I am sure you will agree, from the before and after photos, that the results so far speak for themselves!
I asked Becky for her feedback:
“Nobody noticed my ears as much as me, but to me it was noticeable. I started to look at surgical options, but it was expensive and would result in scarring. So, I spoke to Gemma, and when she suggested the Plasma IQ to vaporise the skin and shrink the holes, I was keen to try it. After one session, we noticed a massive difference, particularly in my right ear lobe. Now that we’ve done 3 sessions, I’ve noticed further improvement. I had some filler injected to help support my lobes should I want to wear earrings.”  
If you want to see if a plasma treatment can help you restore your earlobes, call 0131 226 9610 and arrange a consultation with myself.
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