Body alterations have been practised by us for 5,000 years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as adorning ourselves is a way to express our personalities and show off fantastic jewellery pieces.
Most people have ear piercings, but fewer have stretched earlobes. It can indeed be a sight to see, and if you’re successful with ear stretching, you’ll be able to wear plugs and tunnels that undoubtedly draw attention.
However, ear tunnels are something you need to put lots of care and attention into. Otherwise, it can go horribly wrong.
Read on for the essential dos and don’ts of ear tunnels.
Do: Get the Right Tools for the Job
You can’t go straight from a 16-gauge piercing (regular ear piercings) to a 0-gauge plug/tunnel straight away. And you certainly can’t do it without the right preparation.
In addition to different-sized plugs and tunnels, you’ll also need tapers and lubricants. A fan favourite is coconut oil, so try that if you want. You can also buy commercial-grade lubricants from piercing shops.
Do: Wait for Your Piercings to Heal
If you already have an ear piercing, you’re good to go. But if you need to get your lobes pierced first, you must wait until they heal completely before you embark on stretching gauges.
If you don’t give your lobes adequate time to heal, you’re inviting many problems. Trust us when we say that waiting will be worth it. Starting off with properly healed earlobes will give you the best chance of making it up to your desired gauge.
Don’t: Rush Ear Stretching
You might have an end goal of 0 or even 00 gauge ears. Even if you’re going from 16G to 10G, we can’t stress enough that you shouldn’t rush it!
We know it’s cool to have ear tunnels, but it’ll be all for nothing if you rush things and end up with infected earlobes that have to close up. So it’s essential that you have patience in this process.
You might be staring at your collection of gauge earrings, but you’ll be able to wear them with enough time. The main thing is that you should focus on slowly gauging up and ensuring your earlobes heal up before moving onto larger tapers and gauges.
Do: Use Plenty of Lubrication
As with most things, you can never have too much lubrication. When you’re sizing up your ear tunnels, you’ll want to lubricate the taper, earlobes, and plug/tunnel. That way, you’ll have the best chance of stretching your ear with little problems.
Don’t be afraid of spending some extra money on lubricants. It’s better to use an excess rather than be stingy and end up tearing your earlobes and/or getting infected.
Don’t: Touch Your Ears
It’s tempting to touch and rotate the tunnels in your ears. The same goes for when you get an ear piercing, period.
No matter how big the urge is, resist the temptation to fiddle with your earlobes. When you touch them, you’ll introduce bacteria to them, increasing the chances of infection. This is especially true if you haven’t washed your hands.
If you must touch your earlobes, then make sure you wash your hands with warm water and soap first. This ensures that you’re not introducing harmful bacteria into what’s essentially an open wound.
Do: Sterilize Everything
It’s essential that you keep things as bacteria-free as possible. So even if you haven’t touched your jewellery, tapers, tunnels, etc., you should clean them often with rubbing alcohol, especially before you put something through your ears.
On that note, you should also sterilize your earlobes before stretching. That way, you won’t push bacteria into the open wounds.
Do: Massage Your Earlobes
Many people don’t know that massaging your earlobes can help stretch them. Of course, before you touch them, you should wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap.
Before putting tapers in, massage your earlobes to promote blood flow. This increases the chance of the stretching going well since your ears will be more pliable.
Don’t: Worry About Small Odors
It’s normal to smell some odour coming from your piercings. This is because your earlobes aren’t able to shed dead skin; the jewellery’s in the way.
The odour should go away after you’ve washed your earlobes, though. If it doesn’t, then you might have an infection.
Do: See a Doctor if You Suspect an Infection
Not only will an infection hinder progress with earlobe stretching, but it can also have a profound effect on your health. If you think you have an infection, then don’t hesitate to call up your doctor.
The signs of infection include:
- Abnormal discharge from piercing
- Swelling in lymph node
Your doctor can correctly diagnose you and prescribe antibiotics if needed. You should take these medications as prescribed and stop ear gauging until you’re healed and the infection’s cleared.
Do Ear Tunnels Right
Ear tunnels can look superb and striking, especially if you’ve got some fabulous jewellery. But it’s a process you shouldn’t rush, especially if you want some larger gauges in your ears.
So don’t be eager to upgrade your jewellery, even though it’ll look amazing. The important thing is to listen to your body and ensure everything’s healed before you size up. There’s no such thing as waiting too long, so have some patience, and you’ll achieve your desired gauge before you know it.
Read the rest of our blog page for more informative articles.