Taking care of your stretched lobes is one of the keys to having a clean and well-stretched ear lobe. You should always keep in mind that a fresh piercing is different from a freshly stretched lobe.
If you stretch your ear lobe properly, this means waiting between sizes, and waiting until it is healed (4-6 weeks) you won’t have any open wounds that you need to care for.
Open wounds on a stretched piercing happen when you stretch too fast and tear the ear lobe. In this case, you will need to treat your stretched ear like a new piercing.
If you do tear your ear, you will need to clean your earlobe with sea salt and some warm water. You will use this mixture for 5-10 minutes every day until the tear is healed.
It is essential that you don’t use alcohol, Bactine or peroxide on your freshly stretched lobe. These are too harsh and can kill healthy cells.
How Long Do Stretched Lobes Take To Heal?
Once you have carefully inserted your tapered stretchers, your ears are going to need around 4-6 weeks to heal. It might be tempting to put in new plugs, but it is better to wait longer. This will give your ears the best chance of a safe and clean stretch.
If you stretch too fast, you are also at risk of a blow-out, which is where the inside of the piercing hole ends up pushed out the back of the ear. This means you will need to stop the stretching process and go down a size to help it heal (and they often don’t heal completely property).
Is My Stretched Ear Lobe Infected?
In the first few days of stretching, you may notice your ear is secreting a clear or white liquid. This is most like ‘lymph’. This is an excellent indicator that your ear is healing well. The issue is that most people can’t tell the difference between healthy ‘lymph’ and pus.
Here are some of the key differences between a stretched ear infection and normal lymph secretion:
- Is the area hot to the touch? Or does it feel warmer than usual?
- The area may be tender
- General high temperature
- Redness and swelling that goes beyond the first few days
- Pus tends to build up in the ear lobe, and as such you might notice a pocket of pus has formed
It is essential that if you suspect you have an infection your call your piercer for some advice. A mild infection can usually be taken care of at home, however, if after some regular salt washes, it has not improved, it is essential to talk to your doctors.
Before touching your stretched lobe, you should always wash your hands. If you suspect you have an infected stretched lobe, it is better if you don’t touch them at all.
Oil Massage For Stretched Ears
You should regularly massage your stretched lobes. This is going to break down any thick scar tissues and promote the growth of new tissue. A weekly earlobe massage will increase the circulation to the area too – keeping your lobe plump and healthy.
Here is how to massage your stretched lobes:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with mild soap and water
- Remove your ear jewelry carefully
- Apply your chosen oil to your fingertips
- Massage your lobes between your finger and thumb for 5 minutes
- Clean excess oil from your hands and lobes
Oil massages are only suitable for fully healed stretched lobes. Waiting around 6 weeks before starting a weekly massage routine is best. There are several oils that you can use to massage your stretched lobes. Emu oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, bio-oil and some specially formulated lobe oils.
What Is This Ear Funk?
Most people who have a stretched ear or some other piercings will notice that from time to time, it can smell a little ‘funky’. Not only that, but there might be a light crust or creamy build up. Sounds gross, but it is pretty standard.
A mix of dead skin cells and sebum build up in the space between the ear and the plug. This delightful mix of dead skin cells and sebum will begin to smell within a day or two. Which is why you must take the time to clean your ear at least weekly.
The salt wash is the ideal way to clean in the first 6 weeks, but after that, you can clean your stretched lobe before giving it a massage. You can also use organic plugs and tunnels to reduce the build-up after 6 weeks. Organic plugs will soak up some of the natural products from your ear, and allow the ear to breathe.
The big difference between this build-up and infection is that an infection typically comes with heat and pain.
How Do I Clean My Ear Plugs?
You will remove your plug after about 6 weeks in order to clean your stretched lobe, and you can now clean your plug or taper. You will be stretching your ear lobe with acrylic or steel tapers, as they are the safest option for your ear lobe.
For steel and acrylic tapers here is the process:
- Use a small amount of mild liquid soap to clean your acrylic or steel plug.
- Use your hand or a cloth to lather the plug in water.
- Remove any of the dead skin cells and dirt.
- Run the acrylic/steel plug under the tap until there are no more suds.
- Dry it on a paper towel or a microfiber cloth.
If you are replacing your taper with an organic plug of taper, follow the steps above, but before you put the plugin, give it a massage with the same oil that you massage your lobe with as suggested by customplugs.com.
Take care of your stretched lobe, and you will be left with a tear-free, evenly stretched piercing. The surrounding skin will be plump and soft, ready for you to go up a size when you are ready.