Although traditionally ears are pierced with very small gauge needles, many people choose to stretch out their ear piercings for aesthetic effect. Gauging your ear takes time and care, however, and does have certain risks. If you stretch your ears too quickly, you can damage them, causing pain, scarring or even tearing. Take your time and always keep your piercing clean.
Things You'll Need
- Antibacterial Soap
- Cotton Balls
- Piercing cleaner
- Water-based lubricant
Make sure that your ear is completely healed. It should not be red, swollen or uncomfortable, and there should be no discharge coming from it.
Find out what gauge your ears are pierced with. Most ear piercings are 18 or 20 gauge. If you aren't sure, show your piercings to a piercer to find out.
Buy a taper or earring that is one size larger than the one you are currently wearing. A taper is a tool to stretch a piercing. It tapers from one size to another, allowing you to gradually adjust your piercing by pushing it further through the hole.
Clean up and get ready. Remove your previous piercing and clean out your ear and the new piercing with antibacterial soap. Rinse them well and pat your ear dry with a damp cloth. Put a little bit of water-based lubricant on the new piercing and spread it around.
Slowly and carefully insert the new piercing into your ear. Take your time with this step, or you could end up causing bleeding and scarring.
Keep the ear clean. Use a cotton ball to put piercing cleaner on the site at least once a day. Soak your ear in warm salt water for the first few days at least.
Give it time to heal. It might take a month or more until you can stretch your piercing further. Wait until the piercing is pain-free, there is no swelling or discharge, and you can easily move the earring around.
Tips & Warnings
- If you irritate your piercing too much when you try to stretch it, wash the old earring and put it back in.
- Always use surgical steel or another reactive metal when stretching your ear. Acrylics and lower-grade metals can cause a lot of irritation.
- Don't remove the piercing even to clean it until the swelling goes down. Instead, gently clean the area around the piercing.
How to Make Polymer Clay Gauged Earrings
Make a set of your own polymer clay gauge earrings by crafting and baking them yourself. The term "gauging" refers to when...
How to Select a Gauge Size for an Ear Piercing
Selecting the right gauge size for an ear piercing will allow you to choose an earring that will fit your ear, reducing...
How to Gauge Your Ears with Tapers
For some, pierced ears can be an important step in individualizing fashion and appearance. Pierced ears allow for a huge variety of...
How to Change the Air Filter in a Ford F-250 6.0 Diesel
With its 325-horsepower engine, the 6-liter Super Stroke Ford F-250 diesel truck may seem like too much machine for anyone but a...
How to Change Color of Gauges on a Dodge RAM
Stock gauge clusters often come in white, black or red. When you're driving your car everyday, it becomes a little monotonous looking...
How to Measure Your Earring Gauge Size
A normal ear piercing is performed with an 18-gauge needle and post. Making that hole larger by stretching or dermal punching will...
Types of Gauge Earrings
All earrings have gauges, or sizes to describe the diameter of the rods that stick into the pierced holes in the ears....
How to Use Ear Stretchers
Ear stretchers are used to increase gauge size in ear lobes and should be cleaned before each use. Get bigger gauges in...