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You may believe that you just happen to have weak skin and that’s why your earlobe tore. However, whether you have weak skin or normal skin, a torn earlobe can happen to you. Typically, earlobe tearing occurs when an earring gets yanked out, or when an earring gets caught on clothing or is even pulled on by a child. Dr. Schultz says, “You can have normal strength skin and still get a tear. If you have weaker earlobes, then you’re more prone to getting a tear of some sort. And many people even get stretched or torn earlobes without even recognizing that there’s been any trauma.”

In addition to a stress caused when earrings are suddenly pulled out, a split earlobe or stretched pierce hole can also be the result of regularly wearing earrings too heavy for your earlobe(s), which gradually creates the tear. In some cases, the shape of your earlobes may even be altered due to previous facelift surgery.

There are two different kinds of torn earlobes. The first kind is an incomplete tear and the second kind is a complete tear. An incomplete tear results in an enlarged, vertically stretched out pierce hole, but the rim of the earlobe is still intact, which gives the appearance of a slice or long vertical gash. When you have a complete tear, the tear extends from the site of the piercing and through the bottom of the lobe.

If you’ve been walking around with a torn earlobe for awhile, don’t worry, you can still have it fixed. Dr. Schultz says, “It doesn’t make a difference whether the tear happened two days ago or twenty years ago. To repair it, my technique will change based on the age and type of the tear, but the resulting outcome won’t be affected.” You should visit a dermatologist right away to fix your torn earlobe, especially if it’s a complete tear.

When healing a tear in your earlobe, you will want to both repair the tear and correct the shape of your earlobe. Dr. Schultz will first utilize local anesthesia so that the procedure is of course painless, and then he’ll surgically correct the tear.

He does this by removing the lining of the enlarged pierce hole or the complete tear, and then sewing the fresh earlobe skin back together with tiny plastic surgery stitches. Because of his precision and attention to detail, there is rarely any scarring. If there is a fine line, he can treat that line with Filler or Laser to give you the best result. After a few months of healing, your earlobe should be strong enough to be repierced.

If you’ve waited awhile to repair your earlobe, your skin may have become stretched, saggy, or even wrinkled. Fortunately, if this is the case, all of those conditions can be helped with Laser Treatments, injectable Fillers, or a combination of the two.

With Laser Treatments, you can get a contraction of the over-stretched tissue. This contraction can cause a plumping of the earlobe and improve the wrinkles and shape of the earlobe. There is often a week to two weeks of healing, but the results will last for years. If you’re using Fillers to rejuvenate and reshape your earlobes, a variety of them can be used. Fillers, like Restylane and Juvederm, are used in the earlobes just like they are used to replace lost volume in other places on the face and body. These injectable Filler treatments take ten to fifteen minutes. They will plump up the earlobes, help remove wrinkles, and help restore the shape of your earlobe. While there is no recovery time from these Filler treatments, they do need to be repeated every four to eight months to maintain your desired results.

Virtually everyone with a torn earlobe is a candidate to have it repaired. There is no real age limit precluding you from having this procedure done. Unless your earlobes are infected or you have a tendency to form keloids, you are a good candidate for this simple repair.

The short answer is: yes you can. However, Dr. Schultz recommends waiting four to five months before you re-pierce. This is because you need to give your tissue enough time to heal and form the strong bond keeping it intact.

Once healed, your earlobe usually does not tear again. In very rare circumstances, spontaneous retearing like that which occurs from suddenly getting your earring caught on your sweater and yanking it out, could happen. However, if you wait the recommended period of four to five months to heal, even that shouldn’t happen due to how the earlobe is reinforced from the healing after the repair.

Dr. Schultz has a specific technique that makes his torn earlobe repair succeed with cosmetically superior results. The way he configures the repair, in terms of how he cuts out the hole that needs to be repaired, generates excellent results. You’ll get a very nice shape to the repaired earlobe because Dr. Schultz will cut some tissue out and and reposition the remaining tissue which helps to recreate a more natural shape to the earlobe. In addition, the length of time he asks you to allow the repaired tear to heal allows the earlobe to become stronger than ever.

When the stitches come out, he asks you to resist repiercing for four to five months and we’ve seen a tremendous difference in both immediate appearance and long term results because of this process and wait time. Between the actual technique of surgery and the recommended healing protocol, you can be sure that you’re getting the best, most natural looking repair you can for your torn earlobe.

When you come in for your appointment, there is nothing to prepare. Dr. Schultz will take a look at your injury and then inject a local anesthetic so the procedure is painless. He’ll perform the surgery to heal the tear. An earlobe procedure takes approximately twenty minutes. After the surgery and repair, ten days later, you’ll return to the office to have the stitches removed.

As previously mentioned, we recommend waiting at least four to five months to allow the torn earlobe to properly heal and strengthen before re-piercing your ears. You may however wear clip-on earrings one month after the stitches are removed. The entire procedure is painless, but afterwards, you may decide to take some pain medicine like Tylenol or Advil if you feel a slight ache at the repair site. Any discomfort typically disappears within 2-4 hours. After your twenty minute procedure, you can go about the rest of your day without downtime.

Also note, during the healing process, you can wash your hair, but avoid using a blow dryer for the first two to three days when your earlobes are still sensitive. And be careful to treat your ears gently and avoid pulling on them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are torn earlobes repaired?

    Local anesthesia is applied, then the damaged tissue is cut out. Stitches Read More

  • Will I need stitches to repair my torn earlobes?

    Yes, you will receive stitches.

  • How long will the stitches stay in?

    For about one week.

  • How long does it take for the earlobes to heal?

    About two weeks: stitches are removed after one week, and the reinforcement Read More

  • When can I re-pierce my ears after torn earlobe repair?

    No sooner than two months after the procedure. It’s usually done around Read More

  • How will my earlobes look after repair?

    Since the damaged tissue is cut out during repair, your earlobes will Read More

  • How do I repair a torn earlobe at home?

    A dermatologist is the best person to repair a torn earlobe, especially Read More

Rejuvenate Your Skin

Make your skin care a priority with leading-dermatologist and New York Magazine’s “Top Doctor”: Dr. Neal Schultz.