6 tips for caring for ear expansions

For thousands of years people have applied body modifications for aesthetic, cultural, sexual and religious reasons. They are also used as a form of personal expression. Among the most prominent are tattoos, piercings and the expansions in the ears, which must be taken care of.

In particular, ear dilations are a practice that is part of extreme body modifications.

This kind of practice consists of piercings in the earlobes that are stretched with an expander. The holes can be small or large, depending on the taste of the person.

If you want to know more details about how to take care of ear expansions, we invite you to continue reading this article.

How are ear expansions performed?

It is recommended that the expansions in the ears be carried out by a professional, in order to avoid infections and damage to the area due to inexperience.

The process to expand the earlobe is lengthy. The dilation expands for weeks until the desired size is achieved. Here are the steps:

  1. A piercing on the earlobe.
  2. When the piercing has healed, a water-based oil or vitamin E is applied to lubricate the area and avoid irritations.
  3. The expanders are then disinfected by rubbing a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol.
  4. Warm water or compresses are placed on the earlobes for better elasticity.
  5. They use 2 mm expander cones to widen the diameter of the dilations.
  6. To end, every month the expander cones are replaced by new ones that are 1 or 2 millimeters larger.

Tips to take care of the healing of the expansions in the ears

Scarring plays an important role in expanding the earlobes. In fact, to continue the dilation process, the initial piercing must be fully healed.

Also, the earlobe should be healed each time a new size is applied. Therefore, to take care of the healing process and avoid infections or tears, we present the following tips.

1. You should not rush

Waiting will be your best friend in the healing process. To take care of the expansions in the ears, you have to wait from 6 months to 1 year until the initial piercing heals.

Similarly, wait 1 month or more for your ear to get used to the size of the expander cone and you can increase it. If you waited and the pierced area is swollen, red or scabbed, you should not expand yet.

2. Use stainless steel or titanium expanders

This type of material is ideal for recent ear expansions. In the same way, it avoids the appearance of infections that may arise in the ear lobe, since any substance can be prone to bacterial colonization.

3. Clean the area every day

It is very important to keep the expansion neat, both to help prompt healing and to prevent infection. The recommended cleaning routine is as follows:

  • Before being in contact with expansion wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
  • With a cotton ball apply physiological saline for 10 minutes. Do this step 3 three times a day.
  • Wash the earlobes with mild soap.
  • By last, apply a regenerating cream to contribute to the healing process.

Discover: What is physiological saline for?

4. Disinfect the ear expander jewelry

Similarly, jewelry used for ear dilations should be cleaned daily. However, disinfection methods vary depending on the material:

  • Synthetics, acrylics, silicone, glass and metal: wash with antibacterial soap and water.
  • Of horn, bone or stone: rinse with mild soap and cold water.
  • Wood: Clean with a damp cloth and a drop of jojoba, olive or coconut oil.

5. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol

The consumption of tobacco and alcoholic beverages delays and hinders wound and perforation healing. Therefore, they should be avoided during the healing process of ear expansions.

6. Avoid risky activities

To prevent infections it is necessary to do without certain activities during the healing process of the initial piercing and when you expand the size of the same. Don't wear dirty clothes avoid lakes, swimming pools and saunas. Don't touch the piercing, either, unless necessary.

Know: 5 fruit masks to accelerate the healing of your skin

Can the expansion process of the ears be reversed?

If you had a dilation in your ear and you no longer like how it looks, you will surely want to know if it is possible to close the holes. The answer is a big yes. However, healing methods depend on the size of the expansion.

In case you have a dilation in the ear of 8 millimeters and you want to close it, you can use the following home method:

  1. Gently pull the dilator out of the hole of the earlobes. Try not to stretch your skin too much.
  2. Then wash the holes with cold water and liquid soap.
  3. Rinse and remove excess soap.
  4. Finally, towel dry the lobes and do not put the dilators back on. As time goes on, the holes will close on their own.
  5. If you want the expansion to shrink faster, use hemorrhoid cream every day.

On the other hand, if you have an expansion of 12 millimeters or more and want to reverse it, you should opt for a plastic surgery, better known as lobuloplasty. When it comes to large dilations, the ear hole does not close completely with home methods, but leaves an opening of 4 millimeters.

Taking care of the expansions in the ears prevents infections

Sporting this type of extreme body modification requires daily grooming. If you don't have proper healing, you are prone to infections, pain, bleeding, and tears that warrant surgery.

Therefore, be patient and do not force expansions to avoid permanent damage. Also, remember to keep the ear area and expanders clean to aid healing.