Remember ear stretching is a body modification and should be approached accordingly!
There are many opinions on the best and safest ways of stretching. Below is described the method recommended to all of Urban Piercings’ customers.
Stretching is a very gradual process allowing plenty of time for your ear to adjust to each stretch, particularly in the smaller sizes. Stretching should never be extremely painful, draw blood, or cause any long lasting discomfort. The pain of stretching can be best described as a ‘hot’ feeling, uncomfortable but not too painful. For more information on potential problems caused by stretching and it’s accompanying risks please read Urban Piercings’ ear stretching F.A.Q.
From a standard ear piercing the first stretch should be to 1.6mm but if your piercing is already at a 1.6mm gauge the first stretch should be with a 2mm taper. Beyond that the next available size up should be used. So from 1.6mm follows 2mm, 3.2mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm. From 6mm the sizes generally rise in 2mm increments so; 6mm, 8mm,10mm, 12mm and so on. For more information about the gauges of stretched piercing please see Urban Piercings’ ear stretching F.A.Q.
Having bought your taper at the appropriate size lubricate it well. We have found P.D.I to be the best lubricant to use, and as no blood should be drawn from the stretch it is perfectly safe. (For more info on P.D.I lubricant click here.) With your taper lubricated, gently start to push it through your piercing. When you start to feel some resistance twist the taper gently while pushing, and continue to do so until the taper is comfortably seated in your ear as would a piece of jewellery. The whole process should be one smooth, quick, but not rushed, action. However listen to your body, if you experience excessive pain or the taper needs more than only a light amount of force it is best to withdraw the taper, replace your original jewellery and start again another day. For more information on tapers and lubricants please refer to Urban Piercings’ ear stretching F.A.Q.
With the taper in your ear the next stage should be decided on. Do you insert jewellery into your freshly stretched piercing or do you seat the o-rings on the taper and leave it in until your next stretch?
For the first option, an appropriate piece of jewellery will be required. This obviously means choosing jewellery the same gauge as the taper you have just used. It also means choosing only ‘straight’ jewellery, as tunnels or plugs that are in any way flared at both ends are slightly larger on the outsides than the middle measurement. (The measurement they are sold at.) At Urban Piercings we also recommend this initial piece of jewellery is plain steel, plastic or titanium as colourings can sometimes have a reaction to a freshly stretched piercing. With the o-rings removed from the taper, butt the slightly lubricated jewellery against the end of the taper and supporting the surrounding lobe as best you can with your fingers. In one smooth motion use the plug to push the taper out of the piercing, leaving the new jewellery in the piercing. For more information on jewellery styles and suitability please see Urban Piercings’ ear stretching F.A.Q.
To leave the taper in your piercing simply place the o-rings on each side of your piercing. We have found a curved taper to sit more comfortably than a straight one if it is to be worn for a length of time.
Then all that is left is to keep your stretched piercing clean to avoid a build up of plasma, or ‘ear cheese’. Simple anti-bacterial soap will do this well, ensuring the jewellery and lobe are well cleaned.
It is not a case of whether you can stretch so quickly, but more how easy and comfortable the process is, and how it looks and heal back should you want to remove them. An ear stretched with the method described in how to stretch your ears will look good when the desired size is reached, and heal back a lot quicker and cleaner. Rushing your stretching will result in an un-necessary amount of scar tissue which will distort your ear, sometimes leading to a ’blow out’ or a keloid scar growth. These can sometimes become impossible to heal. For more information please follow this link to the wikipedia keloid scar page.
Lumps on the back of stretched ear lobes are called keloid scarring, or more commonly ‘blow outs’. The best way to get rid of them is to remove the jewellery, allow your body to re-absorb the scar tissue and allow to fully heal before re-stretching. It is best to do this at the first sign of a keloid, as allowed to progress it can, in some extreme cases, be near impossible to remove without surgery, and even that is not guaranteed to fully remove it. For more information please follow this link to the wikipedia keloid scar page.