Earring Despair? Consider Earlobe Rejuvenation

Melissa Doft M.D.

Whether from an accident, aging, or wearing too much bling, I am seeing more and more women come in to my office complaining about torn, deflated or sagging earlobes. The main problem is that their damaged earlobes make it hard to wear earrings, which is no insignificant concern. Today, we think of earrings as a fashion statement, from bold hoops and chic studs to statement chandeliers. But even before the age of fashionistas, earrings have played an important role in style and culture. They have been discovered in the tombs of the ancient Pharaohs and written about in the Bible. Sailors would pierce one ear to denote having crossed the equator. It is no surprised that earrings have become an integral part of our society and we have become very attached to our accessories. The good news is that it is actually quite easy to fix damaged earlobes to continue to enjoy wearing all styles of earrings even when your earlobes have not held up well over the years. Here are the options I offer my clients:

The Problem: Sagging, deflated earlobes
The Solution: Restore volume with dermal filler

As women age, they not only loose elasticity and volume in their faces and breasts, but also in their earlobes, causing them to become thinner, creased and wrinkled. This loss of volume reduces the foundation upon which an earring sits, usually causing the earring to droop forward in an awkward position. I have found that injecting a small amount of dermal filler like Restylane, Juvederm or Belotero will plump up the deflated earlobe, helping to prop up your earring into its correct position, and leading to an overall more youthful appearance. The procedure is done in the office, only takes a few minutes and has no downtime. Women walk out feeling much more comfortable about how their earrings fit. As an extra bonus, these hyaluronic dermal fillers last much longer in the earlobe than in other areas of the face, likely due to a lack of wear and tear from muscle movement.

The problem: Stretched earlobes or torn earring holes
The solution: Reshaping of the earlobe, then re-piercing the ear

When an earring gets snagged on clothing or pulled by accident, the result can be a torn earlobe. I have seen several mothers whose toddlers pulled their hoops straight down, splitting their earlobes from the hole to the bottom. Earlobes can also become stretched from years of wearing heavy earrings, leading to an elongated earlobe and stretched earring hole. To fix torn or stretched earlobes, I first remove the lining of the old hole by closing it with stitches. Then, I reshape the earlobe back to its natural form using a variety of techniques to re-distribute tissue, depending on how much tissue was lost. This procedure is performed in my office using local anesthesia or Lidocaine. Patients do not require any prescribed pain medication afterwards. For most patients, the only dressing necessary is a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.

Seven to ten days later, I remove the sutures. Then, six weeks later, once the earlobe is fully healed, I re-pierce the ear, placing a new hole adjacent to the old piercing. Patients are thrilled that they can finally wear their earrings with confidence once again. If you have any concerns about your earlobes, we would be happy to discuss earlobe rejuvenation with you. Please call or email the office for a private consultation with Dr. Doft.