Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Ear gauging -- also known as ear stretching -- is the process of placing jewelry of larger and larger diameter through a body piercing. To gauge your ears safely, you must take it slowly. Stretch your ears one size gauge at a time and do not move to the next size up, until your ears are completely healed from the last stretch. Although this generally takes about 3 to 4 weeks, there are techniques that can be used to speed up the healing process.

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Remove the jewelry from your ear.

Dip the jewelry in clean warm water, then wipe it off with a cotton ball. Dispose of the ball.

Put some antibacterial soap on your fingertip. Apply it liberally to the jewelry.

Rinse the jewelry with warm water. Ensure that no soap residue is left. Dry off the jewelry with a fresh paper towel.

Using a cotton swab, apply a thin layer of the tea tree oil, emu oil or saline solution to the inside of the piercing and reinsert the jewelry.

Repeat this process daily, until the piercing is healed, which will take two to three weeks depending on your body.


Ask your piercer which healing products he recommends -- many have their own personal preference.