Some people can successfully close a gauged hole without surgery; others require plastic surgery to achieve a normal earlobe appearance, according to Michael Bermant, M.D., a plastic surgeon from Bermant Plastic Surgery. Your success on closing the hole in your gauged ears without surgery will vary according to how big the gauged hole is, how old you are and your particular genetics. A younger person’s skin is more resilient and more likely to shrink back to normal than an older person’s.

Gradually close the hole in your gauged ears by “gauging down.” Gauging down is when you gradually decrease the size of the hole by wearing smaller and smaller pieces of jewelry. Start with one gauge size smaller than you normally wear. Wait for the skin to shrink so that the gauge fits correctly, and then put in the next-size-down gauge jewelry. Repeat this process until you are wearing the smallest gauge. After your earlobe skin has shrunk around the smallest gauge, remove the jewelry and let the remaining hole close.

Choose lightweight gauge jewelry to reduce the weight on the earlobe and reduce stretching of the skin.

Wear flesh-colored gauge jewelry to conceal the hole while you are gauging down, if you want to hide your gauged ears. The flesh color of the jewelry blends in so that the jewelry is not noticeable at a quick glance.

Skip the gauging-down process if your ears are stretched only to the smallest gauge. After a while, the skin may close up on its own, without surgery.

Consult with a plastic surgeon if the results from gauging down are not desirable. A plastic surgeon can reconstruct your earlobe to give it a natural and normal appearance. Reconstructive earlobe surgery for gauged ears usually results in pleasing results, according to Dr. Barry Eppley, plastic surgeon.


The process of gauging down takes 2 or more months, depending on how large your gauge is and the elasticity of your skin.