While stretching a piercing, it is important to stick to a few guidelines to make the stretching as smooth and safe as possible.
It is always best to go to your piercer if you want your piercing stretched. Your piercer has all the resources to do the stretching as safely as possible and also has the experience. Your piercer can therefore give you the best advice about how many mm can be stretched, etc. If you want to stretch your piercing yourself, pay attention to the following:
How can you best stretch your earlobe piercing yourself?
The most important thing in stretching a piercing is patience. It is best to leave 3 months between each stretch and not to stretch more than 2 mm at a time. For the small sizes (from 2 to 8mm) it is best to stretch 1 mm at a time because you stretch more tissue in proportion. Use sterile water-based lubricant for stretching to make the jewelry (and possibly a taper) glide through the piercing as smoothly as possible. When you stretch a piercing, your body needs time to repair the collagen of the skin. If you continue too stretch to a bigger size too quickly, your skin will not have time to repair and the skin in that place will lose its elasticity. This makes these spots weaker and thinner. This is often difficult, if not impossible, to fix and can lead to unpleasant results. So be patient!
If it hurts, you’re doing something wrong. At most, stretching should produce a stinging, slightly burning sensation. If it bleeds you are doing something wrong. Never force stretching. If your skin isn’t ready, give it another week and then try again.
Suitable jewelry for stretching
When stretching, the same rules apply to materials as when piercing. Jewelry that you can use for stretching must in any case be made of a non-porous material with a mirror-smooth finish and must be sterilizable. The best material for stretching is glass, but other materials such as titanium are also widely used. Single flared jewelry has a fixed raised edge (a flare) on one side and a rubber O-ring on the other side to ensure that you do not lose the jewelry. Some jewelry has a fixed flare on one side and a flare on the other that can be screwed into the jewelry.
Non suitable jewelry for stretching
Not all jewelry is suitable for stretching earlobes. Double flared jewelry (jewelry with a fixed raised edge on both sides) is not a good choice because you also have to stretch to allow that flare to go through the piercing.That means that you will then stretch one size bigger then needed with all the associated risks. Also, don’t stretch your ears with organic products such as wood, horn or bone. This material is porous, making it easy for bacteria to nest in it and these materials cannot be sterilized. The same also applies to silicone and acrylic jewelry. Besides the fact that silicone is porous, silicone always looks for the weakest place and will exert the most pressure there. Ear weights are also not suitable for stretching an earlobe. These exert a lot of pressure in the same place and will create a weak point there.
Tapers are tools and not jewelry. They are used to stretch the hole one size and then immediately put a suitable piece of jewelry in the hole. When used as jewelry, they can exert uneven pressure on the piercing, stretching the skin unevenly and severely weakening it in some areas. Furthermore, the taper can be accidentally pulled or bumped while sleeping, which can cause unnecessary additional damage to the wound. So just stretch and then immediately add a single flared piece of jewelry.
Care for stretched lobes
Massage your skin daily with jojoba oil, avocado oil, emu oil, extra virgin olive oil or vitamin e oil. 2 to 3 times a day is best. For example, when you put in your plugs in the morning and when you take them off in the evening. It can also help repair weak spots.
Blowout or irritation?
In the unlikely event that you get a so-called “blowout”, a tear, pain or you bleed after streching, remove the jewelry and put your previous size back in. Then let it heal well before trying again and learn from this experience. Sterile saline solution treatments 2 to 3 times a day can aid healing.