Simple Surgical Treatment of Earring Hole Tears and Stretching

Torn Earring Hole

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In the photograph above, deformations and tears in the auricle of a patient who previously wore earrings of different sizes to different areas of the earlobe and auricle are seen. The area on the patient's right auricle, which was seen as a tear on the upper side, emerged as a result of the baby accidentally inserting his finger into his earring. The lower treated area, on the other hand, emerged as a result of the wearing of heavy ear tags, the stretching of the earring hole and its almost tearing. Detailed information about the process is given below.

Photographs of the right auricle are seen above and below of the patient who has tears, stretching, torn and earring hole shape changes due to earrings in the auricle. 

Especially in patients who wear heavy ear earrings, downward enlargement in the area where the earring is attached, gradually expanding the earring hole in a longitudinal way, and a tear in the earring hole may occur over time. In some patients, even if the earring is not heavy; Traumatic injuries such as earring hole tear, elongation or tissue rupture may occur in large ear tags due to wearing and contact with surrounding objects. The patient above has a torn earring hole and elongated stretching earring holes at the same time.

torn earring hole, earring hole tearing, stretching ear hole, widening ear ring hole, auricle injury

Surgical Technique

Simple techniques can be used in the treatment of earring hole tear. As you can see in the photos above, in the earring hole treatment, the epithelialized V-shaped part of the incision area is excised and removed after the aesthetic infiltration. Afterwards, the mutual incision area is sutured aesthetically and the procedure is completed. In earring hole stretching treatment, the skin area in the epithelialized hole is cut and removed after local anesthetic infiltration. The incision sites are sutured reciprocally and the hole is closed. As seen in the photo above, because the patient is considering wearing earrings again; After the wound healing was completed, a black suture with silk suture material was passed through the wound so that a re-piercing procedure would not be performed, so that a limited hole remains (for re-attachment of the earring).

Treatment of Acute Earring Hole Injuries

When the holes of the ear tags are traumatically injured, it is sufficient to bring the wound edges together in the acute period, protect them from water contact, and wait for a few days by bringing the wound lips together with an aesthetic wound band such as sterile strip tape. Epithelization is completed a few weeks after the injury, and after this period, there is no other treatment option other than surgery.

Cost of Earring Tear Treatment

The total cost of the procedure may vary according to the price list of the hospitals, materials and whether the procedure is under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. Generally, this procedure can be performed under office conditions, and when it is done under office conditions, the total cost of the procedure is around 1000 US dollars for the procedure that may take 5-10 minutes, while it can be around 1,500-1750 US dollars under local anesthesia when it is performed under hospital conditions, and 2250 US dollars when it is performed under general anesthesia.

Patient Care After Earring Hole Tear Surgery

After the procedure, you must follow the recommendations of your doctor.  I usually perform a torn earring hole operation using simple excision and suturing techniques under local anesthesia. After the procedure, I use suture materials that can dissolve in the body and I recommend my patients to apply local antibiotic cream.  Usually, after two weeks, almost all of the stitches dissolve or fall off.  Some clinics may recommend antibiotic creams for the first week and epithelial creams for 2 weeks.  Although regular antiseptic application is not absolutely necessary, it may be beneficial to disinfect only the half part with a batikon solution every few days.  Although the incision scar becomes invisible after 3 weeks or a month;  Scar removal gels (such as Contractubex, ScarFade, Sacarex gel, etc.) can be recommended to our patients who still have redness at the incision site and who want this scar to be reduced as much as possible. Closing the wound site using aesthetic tapes (such as SteriStrip or 3M Brown Micropore Tape) for a week It may be beneficial to reduce the contact with sunlight.It is normal for a small amount of blood to come from the incision site for a few days after the procedure. It is appropriate to prevent water contact with the incision site during the bath for 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure and to cover the incision site with plenty of cream.

One week after the fixing of earring hole tear

torn earring hole, earring hole tearing, stretching ear hole, widening ear ring hole, auricle injury

In the photo above, the photo of the auricle in the 1st week after the procedure is seen. Some of the absorbable skin sutures are still visible. However, very few incision scars are seen at the incision sites.

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In the photographs above and below, the wound lips were sutured together with Prolene 4/0 suture material after the circular tissue was removed from the epithelialized earlobe tear (desepithelialization) under local anesthesia. In order for the patient to be able to wear earrings, one full-thickness stitch was applied and the procedure was completed.

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What to Do in Acute Rupture of Earring Hole?

This can happen for various reasons, and it's essential to take care of it to prevent infection or further damage. Here are some steps you can take if you have a tear in your earring hole:

Remove the Earring: The first step is to remove the earring that caused the tear. This will prevent further irritation and allow the wound to start healing.

Clean the Area: Gently clean the area around the earring hole with a saline solution or an antiseptic solution. Make sure your hands are clean before touching the area.

Avoid Removing Jewelry: If you have other earrings in nearby piercings, it's generally best to leave them in place to avoid the hole closing. However, avoid wearing heavy or dangling earrings that could further irritate the tear.

Apply an Antibiotic Ointment: Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the tear to help prevent infection and promote healing.

Keep it Dry: Keep the area as dry as possible. Avoid swimming, submerging the area in water, or using excessive amounts of water while cleaning the wound.

Avoid Excessive Movement: Try not to move or twist the earring hole excessively while it's healing to prevent further damage.

Monitor for Infection: Keep an eye on the area for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional.

Consult a Professional: If the tear is severe or shows no signs of improvement after a few days, it's a good idea to consult a professional piercer or a healthcare provider. They can assess the injury and provide appropriate guidance or treatment.

In some cases, if the tear is significant, you may need to let the hole close and get it repierced once it has healed completely. It's important to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure the healing process goes smoothly.

Remember that everyone's body responds differently to piercing injuries, so it's essential to take appropriate steps to promote healing and minimize the risk of infection. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

While paying attention to the above recommendations is generally sufficient in acute ear tag piercing trauma; If the tear becomes epithelialized and permanent, it is appropriate to perform the procedure as shown in the photographs at the top of the page.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon

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