Everything You Need to Know About Ear Stretching (Ear Gauging)

Everything You Need to Know About Ear Stretching (Ear Gauging)

When you stretch out pierced holes in your earlobes (also known as ear gauging), it’s called ear stretching. Given enough time, the diameter of these holes may range from a pencil to a soda can. It takes time and effort to extend your ears. If you don’t perform it correctly, you risk permanent injury or scarring, as well as an infection.

Many people regret pulling their ears out and trying to reverse the process, so please think twice. Let’s look at how to properly extend your ears, how to avoid difficulties or undesired side effects, and how to reverse your ear gauges.

What is the definition of lifting ears?

Ear stretching has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to improve one’s appearance. Communities such as the Maasai in Kenya and the Huaorani in the Amazon still practice it today.

The earlobe of the famous “Iceman,”, and a well-preserved human body was discovered in Germany in 1991. It has a history of nearly 6,000 years, and it turns out that it has been elongated.

What you’ll Need to Stretch Your Ears

The first step is to get your ears pierced. It is easy to go for a reputable piercing, pierce your ears, and then wait a few months for the piercing to heal.

Choose a perforator licensed in your state. Tattoo artists and beauticians often receive additional piercing training. If a piercer does not employ clean equipment and techniques, hepatitis, HIV, and other infections are possible.

You may purchase all the equipment you need to expand the size of your piercings after the piercing has fully healed.

You need:

  • cone
  • plugs
  • grease


These are the lengthy, spiky items you stick in your piercings to stretch the skin out. Depending on how far you want to stretch out your piercing, they come in various sizes (or gauges).

The majority of tapers are made of acrylic or steel. Which one you use is entirely up to you. Steel cones are popular because they pass through holes more easily. However, they are more expensive.

Cheaper taper and plugs are frequently of questionable quality, causing ear pain and obstructing the healing process.

The diagram below depicts various taper sizes and their related plugs.

Ear stretching tapers and plugs
Illustration by Monica Pardo


Plugs are circular jewelry that you insert into your ear to keep it stretched. They are made of a variety of materials, each of which has its own advantages:

  • Steel is a durable material.
  • Titanium is similar to steel, however, it is lighter and less likely to cause ear irritation.
  • Silicone .Silica gel is a substance that does not cause allergies. May require more frequent cleaning.
  • Glass, processed wood, polished stone, or any non-man-made materials are organic options.

Many connectors have “flared” sides, which makes them easy to install. It’s a good idea to store upon them so you don’t have to worry about not being able to get your plugs in.


Any type of safe lubrication will aid the taper’s passage through the piercing.

Commercial grade lubricants are widely used, but vegetable lubricants such as coconut oil or jojoba oil can also be used.

Avoid using lubricants that contain chemicals or additives because they can irritate or infect perforations.

How to Stretch Your Ears

  1. Allow time for your ear piercing to heal completely (no swelling, discharge, itching, etc.).
  2. Massage your earlobes to warm and condition your skin.You can also take a hot bath or shower to increase blood flow to your ears.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect all puncture tools..
  5. From beginning to conclusion, lubricate your piercing and taper.
  6. Begin pressing the taper through the hole, starting with the thinner side of the taper in the piercing. Slow down. You’ve done too much if you’re experiencing any discomfort.
  7. .Place the plug on the thicker end of the cone so that you can quickly insert it into the stretched perforation.
  8. Once the taper has gone all the way through, insert your plug into the hole.

How to look after your ears when stretching and thereafter

The most critical component of the stretching process is to wait until you’ve started stretching. You can damage or harm your ear cartilage if you stretch your ears too far and too quickly.

Here are some suggestions for keeping your ears healthy during the stretching process and after you’ve attained your desired gauge:

  • Wash your piercing with warm water and a chemical-free soap at least twice a day.
  • Soak your earlobes in warm, clean water at least twice a day, and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water.
  • To keep your earlobes hydrated and promote healing, massage them with coconut oil, jojoba oil, or another safe oil at least once a day.
  • Wait at least 6 weeks between measurements, but be aware of your perforations.If you experience redness, swelling, or irritation after 6 weeks, go to the next indicator It could take longer depending on how quickly you recuperate.
  • To avoid introducing bacteria, don’t touch the piercing with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid squeezing or tangling the perforations with anything that can stretch or stretch them, such as loose threads.
  • Don’t worry about the slight smell. Because dead skin cells can’t be drained out of the piercing while you’re stretching, a gauged ear can smell a little. This is quite natural. However, if the smell persists after washing, please see a doctor.

During the ear stretching procedure, there should be no excessive redness or swelling. If you do, your ear skin may have been torn or injured. Make sure to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer. Consult your doctor if you suspect you’re developing an infection.

What precautions should you take, and what side effects should you be aware of?

When you expand your ear too quickly, scar tissue forms in the hole, causing a “blow out.” This can lead to the formation of scars and will last a lifetime.

Stretching too quickly may tear the ear tissue in half or cause the skin to peel off the earlobe and hang on the head.

An infection might also be caused by stretching too quickly or neglecting your ear. Here are some symptoms to look out for if you have an infection:

  • redness or swelling that hurts
  • the piercing is causing bleeding
  • discharge from the piercing that is hazy yellow or green
  • fever
  • lymph node swelling

What if you have a change of mind?

If you don’t strain your ear too far, it will grow back. Excessive stretching can cause holes in the earlobe.

Lengthened ears can be corrected by surgery. A surgeon will do the following:

  1. Half-cut the extended earlobe hole.
  2. The overstretched tissue in the ear must be removed.
  3. Sew the two halves of the earlobe.

Please note that this is cosmetic surgery and is not covered by insurance.


If you’re patient and follow the techniques correctly, ear stretching is safe. Stretching too quickly can result in an infection or permanent injury to your ears.

It’s also important to look after your hearing. You risk infecting your piercing or developing a buildup of undesired scar tissue if you don’t follow a suitable aftercare routine.

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