Torn earlobes can occur due to trauma, wearing ear stretchers or after wearing heavy earrings for an extended period of time. Earlobes can then be completely torn or the area of the piercing can just be widened. This is a very common problem affecting women and men. Repairing an earlobe is a relatively simple, uncomplicated and effective procedure which at Cedar House Clinic is carried out under local anaesthetic by Mr Stewart Good our Consultant Surgeon.
Depending on the severity of the tear, sometimes the piercing can be left in place or can be redone after healing.
Healing time for earlobe repair is generally 4-6 weeks.
What does the procedure involve?
Repair of the split is carried out under local anaesthetic. This procedure is usually very well tolerated by most patients and the discomfort experienced is minimal. The torn skin edges are excised and the fresh edges are stitched together with sutures that need to remain in place for about a week. No dressing is needed other than an antibiotic ointment.
Following the procedure, patients should apply the antibiotic ointment after washing their hands. It is advisable to keep the area clean and dry. The use of a hair dryer should be avoided in the first few days. The first follow up appointment should take place after about a week, when the sutures will be removed. Heavy exercise for the first few days is not advisable and it is recommended to sleep with three or four pillows for the first couple of nights to minimise swelling.
The final result is usually a thin neat linear scar which generally fades away with time.
When can I pierce my ears again?
Minimum time before ear piercing is six weeks. However, it is advisable to allow between three to six months after surgery and to start with small stud earrings. Repaired earlobes are weaker than uninjured earlobes and if heavy earrings are used again the problem may recur.
What is the down time associated with this procedure?
Most people can go back to work straight after the procedure. For those in cosmetically sensitive jobs, it is worth noting that the stitches will be visible for the first week.