Can Torn Earlobes Be Repaired?
Torn earlobes are a common problem with pierced earlobes. Torn earlobes can easily be repaired. Some physicians will do the repair in their office, others in an outpatient surgery center.
Before discussing how torn earlobes are repaired, lets look at some was to prevent the tear from occurring.
- Avoid wearing heavy ear rings.
- Being careful when putting on or removing clothing so as not to "catch" the earring.
- Being careful around babies/toddlers who want to play with shiny/dangling objects can help prevent the lobe from being torn.
- Use an "earlobe support" such as Pierce Mate, a stick-on disc that help support the earlobe when heavy earrings are worn.
Once the stretching occurs or the tear is completed, then the only way to fix it is to repair it. The earlobe repair is a simple procedure done using a local block to numb the earlobe.
There are variations on "how" to repair a torn earlobe, but all require excising (freshing) the edges so they can be sewn back together. The variations are mainly in how the excision is structured–straight, z-plastied, or L-shaped.
A drawback of the straight excision can be the scar may "shorten" over time which may then "gather up" the lobe resulting in a "W" shape at the bottom of the earlobe.
The Z-plasy or L-shaped scar avoid the "W" by changing the scar into a non-straight scar. Which one is best will depend on the tear and shape of the earlobe being repaired.
Re-piercing should not be done for 6 months to allow the scar to reach its greatest strength. The scar will only be 80% as strong as the skin on either side. For this reason it is best to place the new hole to the side of the scar and not in-line with it.
Most insurances will not cover this procedure as they consider it cosmetic in nature.