What is "Wet Ear?" Airing Stretched Lobes

What is "Wet Ear?" Airing Stretched Lobes

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     Sometimes we have our piercings for so long that they literally feel like a part of our body – to the point where we almost forget they’re there. Unfortunately, while it’s excellent that one’s piercings have healed so well that they’ve become that comfortable, it can also lead to unforeseen complications. This is mainly true for people who have stretched lobes.

     Did you know that if you have fully healed, stretched earlobe piercings, that you need to occasionally remove your jewelry for a bit? This seems to be something that is frequently overlooked when discussing aftercare. Moisture can collect in the fistula, becoming trapped there by the jewelry itself. If the skin inside never has a chance to dry and air out, you can develop something that is (somewhat inaccurately) referred to as “wet ear”.

     It may come on abruptly, almost overnight. It may come on slowly over time. But suddenly the comfy, healed lobes you had have been replaced with irritated, uncomfortable earlobes. You remove the jewelry to discover that the skin within is red and possibly beginning to break down. This is a sure sign of moisture issues. Once you’ve reached this point, the best thing you can do is remove your jewelry, at least for a couple of days until the skin has healed. You may lose a few sizes on your stretches. It’s an unfortunate necessity but you can always re-stretch your lobes once they’re healed. And the health of your earlobes far outweighs the size of your stretch.

     One of the best times to air out your earlobes is after a shower. This gives them a chance to fully dry out and catch a breeze. The skin does need to breathe, after all. This is so incredibly important if you wear silicone in your lobes. Silicone is NOT meant to be worn 24/7 without some kind of break. The material clings so totally to the skin that accumulated moisture simply has no way to escape. (Please note that silicone is not meant to be worn AT ALL in fresh stretches that haven’t completely healed yet for exactly this reason.)

     Stretched lobes are often seen not just as a piercing, but as an accomplishment, due to the amount of time and effort that goes into getting them as large as desired. As much as you love the look of your plugs, don’t forget to take them out periodically. Let those lobes breathe! They’ll thank you for it and you’ll be able to keep that “so comfy I forgot they were there” feeling. Happy piercing!