If your earlobes have become torn — meaning they are no longer continuously connected to your face, but have a rip or tear down the middle or at some other point in the soft, fleshy area below your ear’s cartilage – it is often the case that you will know how the tear occurred since most earlobe tears are related to jewellery or piercings.
Heavy earrings can gradually stretch earlobe piercings, eventually resulting in tearing; other types of jewellery, such as ear stretchers (also known as spacers or gauges), which are designed to stretch out the earlobe gradually, can result in tearing.
In addition, your earlobe may have become torn when an earring became caught on something, such as an item of clothing, or from being accidentally pulled on by a pet or small child.
Your earlobes may also experience tearing as you age, as your body stops producing collagen and elastin, and your ear piercings are no longer able to contract after wearing large or heavy earrings.
Your skin’s connective tissues become weaker with age, increasing the likelihood of earlobe stretching and tearing. Earlobe tearing that is the result of gradual stretching – and not a sudden accident, such as a piece of jewellery being accidentally pulled out – is not considered a medical emergency and does not require immediate treatment. When earlobe stretching and tearing have happened over time, having the tear closed and corrected will require a cosmetic surgery procedure.
If your earlobe is torn suddenly due to an earring being pulled out, apply gentle pressure to slow any bleeding, and seek immediate medical attention, as you will need the injury to be closed with stitches or sutures.
If your earlobes have become torn over time due to a loss of connective tissue or simply because of the regular use of heavy earrings, you may wish to opt for an otoplasty procedure. Otoplasty is a type of plastic surgery that can address a number of cosmetic issues of the ears, including torn earlobes, as well as repositioning the ears if they stick out too far from the head. There are three types of otoplasty:
Ear Augmentation: This type of procedure is performed when the earlobe is underdeveloped. Filler is injected into the ear, or the patient’s own fat is used for grafting, to increase the size of the earlobe.
Otopexy or Set Back Otoplasty: This process pins the ears back so they no longer stick out too far from the face.
Ear Reduction: This procedure reduces the size of the earlobes, so they are more proportionate to the face.
During an otoplasty, which is performed under either local or general anesthesia, your surgeon will make any necessary incisions if the ear is being repositioned or reshaped. For an earlobe tear closure, your surgeon will remove any excess or stretched tissue, if necessary, and will close the tear with discrete stitches or sutures.
Your ears should be fully recovered in approximately two to three weeks. During your recovery period, you will be able to resume your regular activities immediately. However, it is important to keep your ears clean, and avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on your ears during the weeks immediately following your surgery: try to sleep on your back, and avoid the use of large headphones that press on the ears. You will be able to wear clip-on earrings two to three weeks after your procedure, but should avoid re-piercing your ears for around three months.
If you are opting for earlobe repair due to the weakening of the connective tissue that occurs with age, you may have also noticed other facial issues – such as drooping or sagging skin around the chin or neck – that have resulted from the natural aging process. In this case, it is possible to combine other facial procedures, such as a facelift or necklift, with your earlobe repair procedure. The surgical team at SpaMedica will be able to advise what types of procedures are best suited for your specific concerns.
At SpaMedica, otoplasty begins at $6,999.
The surgical team at SpaMedica has many years of experience in delicate cosmetic procedures of the face, including otoplasty. Our doctors will work with you to determine your ideal desired outcomes, and will advise on which type of procedure or procedures are best for addressing your specific concerns. SpaMedica is one of the country’s most reputable plastic surgery clinics.
If you are seeking to have a torn earlobe repaired due to age or past injury, contact SpaMedica to book your consultation today.
Reshape, enlarge, or reduce the size of the ears and earlobes to achieve an aesthetically pleasing contour.