Heavy, dangling earrings may be fashionable, but they can pull down on the tissue of the earlobe (and sometimes tear the hole through to the end of the ear). It can be challenging to heal these elongated holes. Sometimes the only way to fix them is by plastic surgery. Depending on the person, how big the hole is and how long the piercing has been there, the hole may or may not heal on its own.

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Stop wearing long, dangling and heavy earrings. They pull down on the earlobe and cause it to elongate. Consider wearing studs and earrings made out of lightweight materials.

Put a piece of surgical tape on the back of the earlobe. This will give the tissue more support when you’re wearing earrings, and help to prevent further tearing.

Don’t wear earrings while brushing your hair or pulling shirts over your head. Both can “pull” on your earrings, elongating your earlobes even more and preventing healing.

Consider having your earlobes surgically repaired. This procedure is performed in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia; anything from a sag to a full tear can be repaired. Your ear may be re-pierced at a later date.