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How Long Should I Wait To Stretch My Ears?

If you have been thinking about stretching your ears, then having the correct information is the first step. Ear stretching has become a popular body modification in recent years, and this guide should help in your ear-stretching journey.

We will discuss the best ways to stretch your ears, take care of fresh piercings, and do it safely.

How Long Should I Wait To Stretch My Ears?

How Long Should I Wait To Stretch My Ears

The most important thing to know about stretching your ears is that patience is key. You should wait at least 1-2 months before attempting to move on to the next size.  Waiting is vital for stretching your ears safely and successfully. If there is any resistance or pain when trying to insert the next size ear gauge, you should wait another week before trying again.

It can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for your lobes to heal properly between ear stretches. To avoid tearing the skin you should always wait for your earlobes to fully heal.

The first step in stretching your ears is to let your initial piercing heal completely. Depending on your body and the materials used, this can take anywhere from 4-6 months. This waiting period allows your body to adjust and heal around the jewelry, preventing tearing or infection when you stretch.

Once the initial piercing has healed, you can increase the diameter slowly. Start with small sizes, such as 16-gauge or 14-gauge jewelry, and ensure you go one gauge size at a time. You should wait 4-6 weeks before moving to the next size to avoid damaging your ear lobes, also called a blowout.

This gives your body time to adjust and heal between each stretch. It is essential to use stretching tapers or tunnels during this process, as these are smoother than ordinary plugs and less likely to irritate.

When stretching your ears, you should also be mindful of the materials used. Use only high-quality jewelry such as stainless steel or titanium. Borosilicate glass can be used as plugs, but be sure that they aren’t too heavy and put unnecessary stress on your ear. It is also essential to regularly clean and sanitizes your hands and jewelry.

Remember to take breaks. The ear stretching process requires patience, and you should always take your time with the process. If you start feeling pain or discomfort, take a break and use salt water to help clean and soothe the area.

Watch this video explaining what they don’t tell you about stretching your ears:

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Can I Stretch My Ears Every 2 Weeks?

It is not recommended to stretch your ears every two weeks. Stretching too often can lead to infection, tearing, and other complications like blowouts. Wait for a minimum of 4-6 weeks between stretching sessions, and use ear stretching tapers or other forms of jewelry as a way to expand your stretched ears gradually. 

If you feel any resistance or intense pain, you should wait a bit longer before moving up to the next size.

How Long To Wait Between Stretching Ears?

Generally, the recommended wait time between stretching sessions is at least 1-2 months, but some people might need to wait longer depending on their healing rate. The frequency you should stretch your ears depends on the individual and their body’s response. The larger the gauge size, the longer you will have to wait between stretches as well.

If you pull your ear and see some light around the plug, then you could probably stretch to the next size. If you feel pain or resistance, then wait another week.

Watch this time-lapsed video on how long to wait between stretching ears:

What Happens If You Stretch Your Ears Too Early?

Stretching your ears too early can lead to serious health risks and permanent damage. If you stretch them before they are ready, the skin will be unable to stretch without tearing or breaking, resulting in tears and scabs, which can become infected. You must fully heal the tissue before attempting any type of stretching procedure.

Watch the video below where she explains what a blowout is and how to avoid it:

What Is ‘The Point Of No Return’ With Gauges?

It is commonly accepted that once a piercing hole surpasses 0g (8mm) in size, it becomes difficult for it to shrink back to a standard piercing size, thus making it the “point of no return.”

This means that the piercings have been stretched so much that they will not shrink back to their original size. It is important to note that ear stretching is a permanent body modification and can only be undone through a surgical procedure.

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Is It Normal For Ears To Be Sore After Stretching?

It’s normal to experience some fleeting discomfort (warm & tingling) when you increase your gauge piercing size. However, if your ears start to throb or turn red and the pain intensifies, it’s likely a sign of irritation and inflammation.

Soreness, swelling, and even bleeding can occur if you stretch your ears too quickly as the skin and tissue around the piercing site need time to adjust. 

If you experience excessive pain or discomfort, stop stretching immediately and give your ear a break.

How Long Should Ears Hurt After Stretching?

Your ears should not hurt after stretching. Although it may feel warm, tingly, or sting slightly if you have any pain or discomfort, remove the jewelry and wait at least one or two more weeks. 

If your ears hurt when trying to insert the next larger size gauge, you should probably wait a bit longer. 

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How Long Does It Take To Stretch Ears?

Most people will start with a normal ear piercing which is usually a 16 or 14-gauge. Once your initial ear piercing has healed completely – about 4-6 months, you can stretch your ears one gauge size at a time.

It is crucial for safety reasons to slowly and gradually stretch your ears. You should wait for a minimum of 1-2 months between sizes. It is never a good idea to jump sizes, as this could cause unnecessary pain or injury. When you skip sizes and stretch too quickly, it usually does more ripping of your skin than actual stretching.

How To Start Stretching Your Ears

Stretching your ears may seem daunting at first, but with some patience and knowledge, you can safely and comfortably start the process. A few tips and tricks will help you achieve safe and successful stretching.

  1. Wait for your initial ear piercing to fully heal (no swelling, discharge, itching, etc.). This can take 4-6 months.
  2. To warm up and stretch the skin of your earlobe, you can give it a gentle massage. Alternatively, taking a hot shower can increase blood flow to the ear, aiding in the stretching process.
  3. Be sure to wash your hands properly with antibacterial soap and water.
  4. Invest in quality materials. Investing in good-quality hypoallergenic materials for ear stretchings, such as tapers and plugs made of high-grade stainless steel or titanium, is essential. These non-porous materials are designed to be gentle on the skin and won’t cause irritation or infection.
  5. Sterilize all of your piercing equipment with rubbing alcohol.
  6. Lubricate the gauge and your ear. Before inserting jewelry into your ears, it is vital to use a lubricant such as Jojoba oil or an ear stretching balm to help the process run smoothly and reduce discomfort.
  7. Push the taper through the hole slowly. Insert the thinner side into the piercing first. Go slowly. If you experience any discomfort, stop and wait a few weeks.
  8. Put your plug in at the thicker end of the taper, allowing you to insert it into the stretched ear piercing immediately.
  9. Insert your plug into the hole once the taper goes all the way through. Be sure to use single flare plugs for a fresh stretch, as double-flared plugs can be hard to remove. 
  10. Go slow. You should never jump straight into a large size for ear stretching, as this can easily cause damage. Start with a smaller taper and work your way up gradually to ensure that the skin has had enough time to adjust. Stretching too fast can tear your ear tissue. Wait for a minimum of 1-2 months between sizes to avoid problems encountered during the process of ear stretching.
  11. Keep it clean. Always clean your ears, the taper, and your hands on a regular basis. A proper aftercare routine is essential to ensure a successful stretching process. Clean your ears daily with a bar of anti-bacterial soap and warm water, and check for any signs of infection, such as redness or discharge. Always ensure clean hands before touching your healing ear.
  12. Aftercare massage can go a long way in the healing process of your stretched piercings and in avoiding scar tissue.

These tips should help you enjoy stretching your ears safely and successfully.

How To Stretch Ears With Tapers

Start with taper jewelry one size bigger than your current earlobe size. Clean the taper and earlobe with a cotton swab dipped in saline solution. You can make your own saline solution by mixing 1/8 teaspoon of salt in warm water. Gradually push the taper through until it’s snug but not painful.

Wear the taper for around an hour to give your earlobe time to stretch. Remove the taper, and replace it with a plug which you should wear for 1-2 months before attempting to size up to the next gauge.

How To Stretch Ears With Tapers

First Ear Stretcher Size

Start small, with a 14 gauge; that way, you can gradually increase the size as your earlobe piercing becomes more accustomed to stretching. With stretching, it’s crucial to ensure you don’t start too big – it can cause pain and even possible ear damage. Remember to take it slow and be patient.

How Long Should I Leave Tapers In Before Switching To Plugs?

According to Urban Body Jewelry, once you have the taper through, you’ll put the plug in right after.

However, if you feel comfortable with the tapers, you can leave them in for a couple of hours. It’s not advisable to wear ear tapers while sleeping, exercising, or for extended periods of time. These tapers should only be used to slowly stretch the ear to accommodate suitable body jewelry.

Once the taper goes all the way through, you can put your plug in at the thicker end of the taper so you can insert it into the stretched piercing immediately.

How To Heal Infected Stretched Ears Without Downsizing

Downsizing stretched ears helps eliminate tissue blowout at the back of your ear around the gauge. Going down a size or two will help relieve pressure and quicken the recovery process of your ear lobe. However, there are multiple ways you can heal your stretched ears without downsizing.

When you realize that your stretched ears have become infected, it looks like downsizing is inevitable. But don’t fret; there are ways to heal your stretched ears without downsizing. The most important advice is to keep them clean. 

Remove the plug and clean your stretched ears daily with alcohol-free or sterile saline. Get rid of excess moisture. Use a dry cotton swab and pat your earlobes dry before inserting the plug.

Give your ears a break by taking out jewelry for a few hours now and then to give your earlobes some time to heal. Use anti-inflammatory creams or ointments on the area (check with your doctor first).

Wear a loose-fitting plug, ensuring that it is just tight enough not to fall out. This will help avoid any unnecessary pressure and stress on the skin. Place a warm towel on the area to ease any swelling and inflammation. See medical advice if your ears are not responding to these tips.

How To Stretch Your Ears With Household Items

You can use Teflon tape, PTFE, or bondage tape to stretch your ears. The plumber’s tape is one of the most body-safe and inexpensive tapes. However, you should avoid taping your plugs when you have fresh ear piercings because it might cause blowouts over time.

With taping, you should only use glass, titanium, and steel because other materials are incompatible with tape. Then apply a lubricant with jojoba oil or any other essential oil. The lubricant is going to help you remove your plugs easily.

Apply pressure from the back of your ear lobe to remove your plugs using your thumb. Push the plug out carefully so that you do not hurt yourself. Spray the ear lobe to prevent infection and wipe dry to eliminate excess lubricant. Avoid using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as these will slow the healing of pierced areas by drying and killing new healthy cells.

Clean your plugs and dry them with a paper towel. If your plugs smell funky after wearing them for a long time, clean them with rubbing alcohol. Rinse a pair of scissors with warm water and wipe them off. Disinfect the scissors with rubbing alcohol and gauss.

Usually, 2-3 layers of tape on the plug’s rim should be enough for the initial piercing. Lubricate your plug and ear again and reinsert your ear plug. Pull the bottom of your ear and place the taped plug to the front or back of your ear.

Use your index finger and thumb to insert the plug. Add about two layers of Teflon, bondage, PTFE, or electrical tape each week as your ears adjust. If you have had a new stretch, ensure that you are sanitary and extra cautious.

Can You Use Baby Oil To Stretch Your Ears?

You can use any lubricant, including baby oil, to lubricate the skin and make insertion more manageable.

Other recommended lubricants include jojoba oil, Vitamin E oil, and even olive oil.

So if you want your stretched ear to look without ending up with a deformed shape, Betadine is the way to go since it makes the skin supple and eliminates any ear funk while producing disinfectant properties.

Why Do Stretched Ears Smell?

Dead skin cells accumulate over time on the stretched hole, causing an ear funk. It is usual for any gauge size to produce an odor. Clean your ear and the plug regularly, and disinfect at least once a week. If the odor persists after cleaning the area, see your doctor for any infections.

Why Do My Gauges Get Crusty?

Gauges naturally accumulate crust over time due to your earlobe skin’s healing process. Clean them regularly with a bar of gentle antimicrobial soap and disinfect them regularly. Eventually, the ear funk and crust will decrease after each cleaning session. Usually, the crust would take about 2-3 weeks to dissipate. Other times it might take 4-5 weeks.

Do Girls Like Guys With Gauges?

Some girls might be more attracted to a guy with gauges because they think it makes him look edgier or more challenging. However, about 62 percent of girls might prefer a guy without stretched lobes as they find it too extreme looking. Ultimately, the opinion on whether a guy with gauges is likable varies from person to person.