What causes earlobes to tear?
It’s really a fairly common problem to have earlobe injuries from pierced earrings. We have seen patients that have had the earrings pulled through (both accidentally and on purpose) or earrings that are so large and heavy that over time they just pull through the lobes. Either way, the person is left with a very large hole that can’t be used anymore or a “forked” earlobe.
How is a torn earlobe repaired?
To repair that problem requires a surgical procedure to be able to sew the earlobe back together. It’s not all that complicated but it’s not just a simple matter of throwing some stitches in the earlobe. The skin that has grown inside the hole or on the inside edges of the forked lobe has to be removed before the earlobe can be stitched back together and that requires local anesthesia and some very small sutures.
Another problem with earlobes that can occur is with gauges. (The round pieces that are inserted into the earlobes) If a person is considering going into the armed services, they will have to be removed and the hole closed. That usually requires the patient removing them and then a 2-month wait for the hole to shrink and then the repair.
We have done both kinds of problems at QuikSurg with successful repairs. We recommend waiting 2 months before another piercing is done if earrings are desired.
How do I prevent a torn earlobe from becoming infected?
A torn earlobe is a ripe area for infection. Piercings often harbor high levels of bacteria. Bacteria, dirt, and debris can also hide in the patient’s hair. The best way to avoid an infected torn earlobe, is to protect your ear from the bacteria. Wash the area with warm soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a small bandage if possible.