How To: Prevent Your Lobes From Thinning

How To: Prevent Your Lobes From Thinning

So, you want to stretch your earlobes but are concerned about thinning. First, congratulations on doing some research first! It’s much easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix one that’s already happened. Buckle in while we take a moment to discuss how to keep those lovely lobes nice and thick while you stretch.

  • If your lobes are already pierced and healed and you want to stretch those holes, take a moment to consult your trusted APP piercer. They can tell you if the piercing was done in a location that will allow you to stretch. By this, it means not too low or too high or too off-center.
  • If you have not pierced your lobes yet, tell your piercer that you plan on stretching them. Not only can this affect the placement of your piercings, they might be able to pierce you with a larger gauge needle so you don’t have to stretch quite so far to achieve your goal.


If you are already in the process of stretching your lobes (and if you are did you read our blog on Dead Stretching? No? Click here)

  • Slow and steady keeps the lobes intact! Don’t rush the process. You should not be stretching any faster than 1mm every three to six months. Don’t skip sizes, don’t stretch faster than the recommended time span. If you try to rush this process, you are liable to wind up with a blow-out, which will necessitate removing your jewelry for a bit or at least downsizing it. Rushing will actually make the whole thing take longer. Patience!
  • Stretching too quickly can also lead to microtears in the fistula. This can lead to thinning lobes and also to that nasty “cat butt” look. Nobody wants either of those.
  • Don’t forget to use quality jewelry to stretch with. Glass, or ASTM F-136 titanium single flare plugs. Tapers lead to trauma which leads to thinning lobe. If you want to get to your goal size, toss the tapers in the trash.
  • Ear Weights and Hangers – These are fine for short term wear (and always an awesome style choice!) but for the safety of your earlobes, they should be worn with a pair of sturdy tunnel plugs. This prevents them from putting too much weight on the bottom of the fistula and causing it to thin.


But what if it’s too late?

  • If your earlobes are already thinning, it’s not too late to save them. First of all, take out your jewelry. This will help alleviate some of the stress on the bottom of the lobe. (The most common spot for thinning.) Downsize and go for lightweight jewelry such as glass or silicone.
  • Consider removing your jewelry entirely. This will give your lobes a chance to tighten back up again and may help thicken those ears to a safer thickness. Once your lobes snap, it requires a doctor to fix it. Better to have to start over from a smaller size than to need a doctor’s visit in order to stitch your earlobe back together.
  • Don’t forget to moisturize and massage! Body compatible oils like jojoba are perfect for this. Rub firmly but gently into your naked lobes for a few minutes once a day to keep the skin healthy and the circulation flowing. You might want to do this right before a shower to make it easier to remove the oil after you’re done.
  • And of course, if the thinning is severe or you’re especially concerned, remember that your local trusted piercer is always there to help. Feel free to make an appointment and consult them about your situation. They can give you options, possibly even solutions, to your situation.


Thinning lobes are an inherent risk that comes with stretching. However, it doesn’t have to happen to everyone – or anyone – if you just take some basic steps to prevent it. (Or treat it as soon as you see it.) Stretching is a lengthy process, but one that can be done safely with a little extra attention to detail. Keep an eye on the health of your ears and don’t forget to give your lobes some love. Happy stretching!