What is a Ear Stretching?

Location: Ears, Lips, And Most Other Piercings
Jewellery: Tapers, Plugs, Tubes
Healing: Do Not Stretch New Piercings

The process of ear stretching, also known as gauging up, has gained recognition and acceptance almost as quickly as piercing itself. There is no one answer for how to stretch your ears, but it should be done gradually and slowly with patience, and should never be forced. Old piercings cannot typically go more than one size at a time, so allow the time needed for the tissue to adapt in order to avoid injury, scarring or even tissue necrosis.
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Ear Stretching - When?
Typically you should wait double or triple the time it took your original piercing to heal before stretching your skin tissue to avoid problems.
Ear Stretching - How?
Many people consult a piercer for help stretching, but you can stretch at home using ear stretching kits and accessories such as tapers.
Ear Stretching - Accessories
There are a wide range of accessories to help you increase the size of your piercing including tapers of all shapes, sizes and colours.
Ear Stretching - Tips
Use a good deal of lubricant, and get some into the piercing before stretching by using your existing jewellery or the tip of a good taper.

More About Ear Stretching

The process of ear stretching is becoming a more popular kind of body modification, extending from various cultures around the world into the mainstream. And whilst it is a form of body modification being chosen by more and more people, it is important to remember that it is still piercing and, as such, can be dangerous if done improperly.  If you are considering this procedure, you should always consult a professional first, even if you have a ‘self-piercing kit’ from the internet (although this is thoroughly discouraged).  While there are numerous ear stretching tips available, the most basic one is simple – visit a professional.  The first step in the process is a basic piercing, creating an opening that can then be stretched gradually into a flesh hole.  However, once you have your initial piercing, ear stretching should not be done until it has fully healed.

The process of ear stretching can begin once your piercing has fully healed. This can be done using several implements and which one you choose depends on recommendations and personal preference. Tapers are used to gradually increase the size of the ear stretching and are available in a range of colours and styles, not advised for wearing every day or at night, tapers allow you to slowly increase the gauge of your body modification without over straining your lobes. Before you begin the process, wash your hands and sterilise the piercing and jewellery to prevent infection - if you feel uncomfortable doing this, ask your piercer to do it for you.  In most cases you should feel a slight pinch but never extreme pain – if this is the case, stop and consult a professional who can recommend the next step for your ear stretching procedure.

The idea of ear stretching is to simply expand the hole in your ear gradually over a period of time.  Any attempt to do it quickly is likely to result in pain, possible bleeding and may affect healing if you ever wish to go down a size again.  Using various sized jewellery in your flesh hole will allow you to slowly increase the size over weeks, months and even years.  The jewellery you can use for ear stretching includes:
  • Flesh Tunnels
  • Stretching Tapers
  • Flesh Tubes
  • Stretching Spirals
  • Expanders
As with all piercings, ear stretching requires that you clean the area concerned daily – a salt water solution is most commonly used.  Take your piercing out, clean your ear and dry thoroughly, also doing the same with your jewellery.  This helps prevent infection and cleans out dead skin, dirt and removes moisture.  By taking care of your ear you should end up with a cool, professional looking piercing and a stylish body modification.  Following the correct procedure is important so don’t stretch too quickly, or this can lead to a blow out.  This is when the pressure becomes too much and the flesh hole becomes deformed, sometimes causing permanent damage.  No one performing ear stretching wants this to happen, so make sure you take care and allow your ear stretching to progress at a rate that's comfortable for your body.

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