Ear stretching is in vogue globally. While it is trendy, if you are planning to undergo one, consider taking a few precautions to avoid damage to your earlobe. Ear stretching is an age-old tradition observed among many ethnic groups of India, East Asia and other old civilizations of Egypt and South America. It is a symbol of status, beauty, or both, depending on what a culture believes in. However, today, many in the west have adopted ear stretching as a fashion. They stretch their ear lobes to flaunt body jewelry. It is also a way for some to create a different identity for self. In the United States, the younger generation associates ear stretching with lifestyle choice and punk fashion. Nevertheless, if you are planning for an ear-stretching job, it is advisable to see the following precautions:
If you have an ear-piercing of size 20 or 18, and want to stretch to an ear gauge of 00, do not pierce a larger hole instead go gradually. Punching a hole can remove a huge chunk of tissue, making sizing back down later difficult. Gradually stretching provides enough healing time, thus preventing scars and restoring flexibility of the earlobe.
Use ear tapers and ear plugs made of stainless steel for a simple and almost painless stretching. You can also use ear tunnels instead of the plugs. These are almost similar, but hollow in the center.
Prepare your ear lobe for stretching. Apply vitamin E or Jojoba oil. Before beginning the tapering the process, apply the warm water compress to the area. Disinfect the ear tapers before use, and lubricate it with a water-based solution. Once the taper is through the piercing, replace it with the plug or tunnel. On completing the process for both ears, soak your ear lobes in a water-based, sea-salt solution for five minutes each. Clean and massage daily for faster healing. Occasionally rest your ears by leaving them free. Let your ear heal completely, before going in for the next round of stretching.
Do not use acrylic tapers, as body temperature can easily break it down to release toxins. Do not use wood or bone plugs, as they must more care. Do not use Vaseline to lubricate the taper, as the Vaseline can trap bacteria and cause infection.
Consult a Professional
Always consult a piercing professional before you start the stretching process. During the stretching process if at any time you feel uncomfortable or develop an infection, immediately see a professional for help and medical advice.