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A torn earlobe can be caused by a traumatic incident or simply by wearing heavy earrings. A split earlobe can initially be painful before becoming a cosmetic reminder of the injury to your ear, keeping you from looking and feeling like the best version of yourself. No matter the cause of your torn earlobe, Dr. Michele Green in NYC can perform a quick, easy earlobe repair surgery with just a few sutures and restore the appearance of your earlobes and your self-esteem. It is important to be selective when looking for a medical professional to perform your earlobe repair procedure. Consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon or board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green for your earlobe repair will decrease the risk of unwanted side effects such as infection, pain, and scarring. Additionally, earlobe damage can be worsened due to the natural decrease in collagen production that is a part of the aging process. Dr. Green is an expert at suturing tears that occur on the earlobe, repairing any damage, and ensuring that patients who are interested in having their ears re-pierced can do so at her office in as few as six weeks.

In addition to her ability to effectively suture torn earlobes, Dr. Green is an expert in all forms of earlobe rejuvenation. For patients experiencing sagging skin that prevents them from wearing heavier earrings, Dr. Green offers dermal fillers to boost collagen production and provide additional support to the skin. Scarring, as a result of facelift surgery or ear piercings, can also occur on the earlobe but can be ameliorated in Dr. Green’s office with the help of laser treatments, dermal fillers, or cortisone injections – depending on the type of scar. When you begin your consultation with Dr. Green, she will assess the damage and treatment area to determine the treatment, or series of treatments, that will best meet your needs.

Dr. Michele Green is an experienced, board-certified dermatologist who has been expertly treating patients in her Upper East Side, New York City office for more than 25 years. Frequently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York City, Dr. Green excels at several medical and cosmetic treatments, including dermal filler injections, Botox, laser treatments, chemical peels, and other means of facial rejuvenation and anti-aging. When you work with Dr. Green, you can discuss your specific skin concerns and develop a customized treatment plan that meets your needs and aesthetic goals.

Before & After of Earlobe repair – 3 months

What causes a torn earlobe?

There are many potential causes of torn earlobes, ranging from accidental damage to age-related collagen loss to deliberate earlobe stretching. Patients with traditionally pierced ears risk damaging or tearing the earlobe by wearing heavy earrings that, over time, can stretch the delicate, thin skin of the earlobe, making it more vulnerable to trauma. Furthermore, any accidental catching and pulling of an earring – such as having it pulled by a child or an animal or caught on an article of clothing – can tear the piercing hole further or cause the earlobe to rip. Having multiple earrings close together or too close to the bottom of the earlobe can also result in torn earlobes over time. In such cases, repair to the earlobe will require suturing the wound. Other patients simply have sagging or drooping earlobes due to age and the natural loss of collagen over time. By restoring this lost volume in the earlobes through injecting dermal fillers such as Restylane® and Juvederm®, the earlobe is rejuvenated, making it easier to sit your earrings properly on them.

Outside of accidental injury, it has become fashionable over the years to stretch the earlobe to insert larger ear ornaments such as “flesh tunnels” and “flesh plugs” within the earlobe itself. The practice, also known as gauging, causes an increasingly larger-sized hole to form over time. At the earlier stages of this process, the hole can be reversed. However, as the hole in the earlobe increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to reverse. In these cases, the hole size in question will determine how best to repair the torn earlobe.

Can a ripped earlobe be repaired?

While ripping the earlobe can be painful and traumatic, an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, can repair the ripped earlobe. Dr. Green uses the best cosmetic surgical techniques and dermal fillers to perform your earlobe repair and rejuvenate your torn or sagging earlobes. With Dr. Green performing the suture, the repair is clean, and the wound generally heals into a small, fine scar. Additionally, six weeks following the treatment, patients can return to Dr. Green’s office to have the earlobe pierced again. Having Dr. Green perform the re-piercing ensures that the new piercing hole is the proper distance away from the repaired rip so as not to cause any further damage to the ear.

Can a torn earlobe heal itself?

Unfortunately, torn, split, and stretched earlobes are unlikely to heal independently without surgical intervention. This is because scar tissue forms around the piercing hole during stretching or tearing, preventing the hole from closing naturally, as opposed to raw tissue that would close on its own. In some cases, patients may opt to live with a minor tear in the earlobe, provided it isn’t impacting their daily lives. However, for many, a torn earlobe can be a very frustrating or uncomfortable experience. Torn earlobe repair is the best solution to promote healing within the earlobe’s skin and prevent unwanted scarring or damage to the earlobe. If you are struggling with torn or stretched earlobes and want to restore their form and function, seek an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Green, who can assist you in feeling confident and being able to wear your favorite earrings again.

How do you fix a torn ear lobule?

The earlobe tear can be repaired through an in-office surgical procedure where the scarred area of the earlobe is removed, and fine sutures are used to stitch up the hole. A tear can occur for several reasons and can vary in severity from a small tear due to frequently wearing heavy earrings or an acute event such as snagging an earring on clothing and tearing the lobe. While small tears may be able to heal on their own, the potential for thick scar tissue is high if a healthcare professional does not do a suture. Failing to repair the tear properly may result in an inability to re-pierce the lobe and unsightly scarring. As such, an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, should perform the earlobe repair.

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What does the earlobe repair procedure entail?

Torn earlobe repair is a simple in-office procedure performed by a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green. You will begin with a consultation appointment where Dr. Green will carefully assess the damage done to the earlobe and determine if you are a good candidate for an earlobe repair procedure. She will attentively listen to your cosmetic goals and create the best repair plan for you.

The procedure is simple, relatively quick to perform, and does not require sedation or general anesthesia. Rather, Dr. Green will apply local anesthesia to numb any potential pain. Dr. Green will then repair the torn or ripped earlobe by removing the scar tissue lining the tear and then suturing the wound together. The specific procedure Dr. Green uses to suture the tear will depend on the severity of the rip – whether the ear has been lightly torn or ripped all the way through. Dr. Green may additionally use hyaluronic acid dermal fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane to lift and plump the lobe for patients with sagging earlobes.

Following the treatment, Dr. Green will review the proper post-op care. Most patients do not require any special prescription pain medication after the treatment. Dr. Green typically recommends easy-to-access over-the-counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol if patients are experiencing any discomfort after treatment. Two weeks after the procedure, patients should return to the office to have the sutures removed. Six weeks after that suture removal, patients may return to have their ears re-pierced by Dr. Green. Re-piercing of the ears by Dr. Green guarantees that the piercings are performed safely, the new piercings are symmetrical, and the new holes are not causing additional unwanted damage to the repaired site.

How long does it take to repair a torn earlobe?

Each torn earlobe repair generally takes 30 minutes to perform, and both earlobes can be repaired in one visit. The procedure may take longer if more than one tear or piercing must be repaired.

How painful is earlobe repair surgery?

Dr. Green ensures that the surgical procedure is as painless as possible. At the start of the procedure, a local anesthetic is administered at the site to numb the area. This makes the entire process generally pain-free. There is typically no pain after the earlobe repair surgery, although Tylenol can be taken as needed. Any discomfort will subside within 24 hours of the procedure.

What are my instructions after the torn earlobe repair?

Most patients can return to normal daily activities on the same day of the earlobe repair procedure. Pain medications are not typically necessary, though Tylenol can alleviate discomfort or aches. If there is any discomfort, it typically resolves within 24 hours post-treatment. Dr. Green will instruct you to apply antibiotic ointment, such as Bacitracin ointment, to the earlobe repair surgery site. If the repair was extensive, she may have you take an oral antibiotic to prevent infection. You will be advised how to care for the area and use over-the-counter Steri-strips. In addition, you should refrain from swimming or saunas for two weeks while the sutures are in place and the earlobe repair is healing. Dr. Green will have you return to the office for suture removal two weeks after the earlobe repair procedure. You can then schedule an appointment six weeks after suture removal for Dr. Green to re-pierce the ears. This timeline may be adjusted if the sensitivity of the earlobes persists after the repair.

How long does a torn earlobe take to heal?

The recovery is straightforward as the earlobe repair surgery will start to heal with the sutures in place. You should continue topical wound care and antibiotics until the sutures are removed two weeks later. The two weeks after torn earlobe surgery is the most important in terms of routine topical wound care, and patients must closely follow Dr. Green’s skin care instructions for the two weeks that the sutures are in place. Steri-strips are generally placed on the site after the stitches are removed until they fall off independently. The earlobe will continue to heal on its own for several months.

When can I re-pierce my ears after an earlobe repair?

In addition to performing the earlobe repair procedure, Dr. Michele Green will have you return to the office for re-piercing the ear in the correct location, generally six weeks after the cosmetic surgery. One of the advantages of having Dr. Green perform your ear piercing is that she ensures the correct placement of the new piercing.  Dr. Green will ensure that it is in the desired location and completely symmetric with the opposite ear, ensuring no further damage is done to the newly repaired earlobes. Earlobes are re-pierced only after the surgical area has completely healed from the earlobe repair procedure. 

Once Dr. Green re-pierces your ears, she will advise you to wear small earrings with posts similar to the stud earrings you used first to pierce your ears. You should also avoid wearing hanging wires, hoops, or heavy earrings. The new skin that was repaired will be weaker than normal for at least three months as the area heals and new collagen forms.

How much does it cost to fix a torn earlobe?

The price for a torn earlobe repair depends on the extent of the repair involved. A complicated repair is more expensive than a simple earlobe repair. In addition, if both earlobes are involved, the cost of the surgical procedure increases. If you’re curious about how much it costs to fix a split earlobe, the answer will vary based on the severity of the split. However, for most patients, the cost of earlobe repair varies between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on the dermatologist’s expertise in performing the surgery, the complexity of the reconstructive surgery, as well as the geographic location (for example, New York’s costs may differ from San Francisco’s).

Does insurance cover split earlobe repair?

Though a torn earlobe can be a frustrating experience for many patients, the surgery for split earlobe repair is considered not medically necessary and, therefore, is not covered by health insurance. However, in the case of keloid scarring, insurance companies may cover the excision of the scar. If you think you may qualify for insurance coverage for your split earlobe repair, contacting your insurance company directly before proceeding with earlobe repair procedures is best.

What other plastic surgery procedures involve torn earlobe repair?

Facelifts often involve correcting the earlobe as well. Many patients with a full facelift, facial plastic surgery, tummy tuck, or blepharoplasty will choose to have earlobe repair surgery performed simultaneously while under general anesthesia. Some patients, it should be noted, are unhappy with the shape of their earlobes after a facelift, as the position of the ear can sometimes be affected. After surgery, there may be a notching at the base of the earlobe without the normal curved arch. These patients may need a more complicated otoplasty or other surgical repair and a face or neck lift.

How do you fix scars behind the ears from a facelift?

Plastic surgery is often an excellent method for facial rejuvenation, but to many patients’ dismay, it can leave behind some unsightly scars. Whether an individual has a scar from having an ear surgery or other type of reconstructive surgery, such as a facelift, neck lift, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, skin cancer removal, or liposuction, Dr. Green can help. Dr. Green offers numerous non-invasive cosmetic solutions for effectively and safely reducing the appearance of surgical scars. With over 25 years of experience providing the best treatments in cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Green uses the most cutting-edge methods and the latest skin-resurfacing laser technology. Fraxel, V-Beam, and eMatrix are among Dr. Green’s favorite laser treatments for diminishing the appearance of surgical scars.

The Fraxel Dual laser is an innovative skin resurfacing laser treatment that Dr. Green calls the “magic eraser” for its unique ability to target a wide range of skin concerns. The Fraxel laser treatment can effectively reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, and surgical scars. The combination of two different wavelengths, 1927 nm, and 1550 nm, allows the Fraxel laser to be useful in treating many issues, including surgical scars on various body areas. The 1927 nm wavelength Thulium laser is catered to diminishing pigmentation, skin discoloration, age spots, and sun damage. This occurs because the specific wavelength of energy targets chromophores or colored elements within skin cells to create a local thermal reaction to diminish pigmented spots. The 1550 nm wavelength Erbium laser can improve skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and scars by focusing the energy in the deeper areas of the skin to stimulate collagen synthesis. Minimal downtime is associated with having a Fraxel procedure, so scheduling a treatment session can be done easily.

The eMatrix sublative rejuvenation laser is another excellent treatment option for eliminating surgical scars and minimizing acne scars, stretch marks, and other skin texture irregularities. The eMatrix treatment uses bi-polar radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the skin deep within the dermis while preserving the top layers of the skin. This means there is no risk of hyperpigmentation that usually surrounds traditional ablative resurfacing as long as it is performed correctly by an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Green. Applying heat stimulates collagen production, creating a smoother, clearer skin surface. Additionally, the eMatrix is safe for use on patients of all skin types and skin tones, making it a safe treatment option for all patients with surgical scars.

Sometimes, the surgical scars appear red in color. The VBeam laser is considered the gold standard treatment for these scars. VBeam is a pulsed dye laser (PDL) that works via selective thermolysis, specifically targeting any red pigment in the skin. This makes it an ideal treatment option for surgical scars, rosacea, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, broken capillaries, and more. The VBeam treatment does not require any downtime whatsoever and, as an added bonus, contains a patented Dynamic Cooling Device, or DCD. The DCD releases a cool burst before delivering the laser beam to the skin, making the treatment very comfortable for the patient – so much so that no local anesthetic is required. No matter what your surgical scar looks like, Dr. Green has a non-invasive treatment option for you.

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How do I treat sagging earlobes?

Dr. Green often recommends Restylane or Juvederm injections to rejuvenate them to treat drooping or sagging earlobes. These hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers can help lift sagging earlobes and provide more durability to take on heavy earrings. Hyaluronic acid fillers are a useful revitalization tool for the earlobes, as they use a naturally occurring substance in the body – hyaluronic acid – to stimulate collagen production and restore volume and plumpness. This, in turn, can rejuvenate the skin of the earlobes, improving elasticity and offering greater strength to this area of tissue.

In most cases, “earlobe rejuvenation” or “lobe lift” treatments only take a few minutes, and there is no downtime or recovery. These earlobe injections are often combined with other facial injections to create a non-surgical or “liquid facelift“. This facial rejuvenation can also be combined with chemical peels, fractionated lasers, and other minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.

How do I treat keloid scars on my earlobes?

Depending on the size of your keloids, it may require surgery to remove it. Keloids are a hereditary form of raised scar tissue that can develop due to injuries to the skin, such as an ear piercing. Typically, patients with darker skin tones are more prone to developing keloids. These keloids typically grow behind the ears and result from ear piercing. Smaller keloid scars may be able to be treated with cortisone injections alone to shrink them. Dr. Green also recommends using Kelo-cote topically for these keloid scars.

If you develop keloid scars from an ear piercing, intralesional cortisone injections into the earlobe may be right for you. Cortisone injections can reduce the scar tissue within the ear, helping to flatten the scar and reduce the overall appearance of the keloid. Additionally, if you experience redness or discoloration due to keloids, Dr. Green may recommend the V-Beam® laser. The V-Beam laser is a gentle skin resurfacing laser that reduces redness on the skin’s surface and is an excellent treatment for patients dealing with keloids, rosacea, prominent veins, acne scars, or facial redness. It’s an excellent way to treat this scar’s redness without downtime.

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How to fix stretch ear piercing at home?

Gauge earrings are a popular trend in which the skin of the earlobe is stretched around a small ring, called a gauge. When you gauge the ears, the earlobe skin is weakened, which can damage the ears. Though smaller gauges can be removed, and the earlobe will be restored to its previous size, larger gauges often lead to permanently stretched earlobes with too large holes to support traditional earrings. Earlobe stretching can also occur through consistently using heavy earrings and continually sleeping with earrings well after the piercing is fully established.

At earlier stages of the earlobe stretching, the hole can possibly reverse; once the hole has increased in size, a much more complicated repair is required to reduce the appearance of gauged or stretched earlobes, including earlobe reduction surgery. This earlobe reduction surgery will involve an incision in the crease between the earlobe and cheek, removal of the overstretched earlobe tissue, and fine sutures to reconnect the earlobe. In the case of this more complicated surgery, it is vital that you work with an experienced earlobe repair healthcare professional to achieve your desired results.

How to fix a split earlobe at home

If you are dealing with a torn earlobe, you should not attempt to repair the earlobe tear at home. For patients who experience a tear in the earlobe due to a traumatic incident, injury, or sudden pulling or a rip, it’s best not to apply ice or a cold compress directly to the skin of the wound, as this can restrict circulation and may lead to a delay in the healing process. Instead, it’s better to place gauze over the wound, apply a cool compress, and seek treatment from a healthcare professional in a medical setting. Dr. Green has had success repairing a variety of torn earlobes, and the safety and satisfaction of her patients is her top priority. 

Can you glue a split earlobe?

It is not recommended under any circumstance that a patient glue a split earlobe in an attempt to repair it. The safety and efficacy of any treatment should always be considered, and gluing a split earlobe is not necessarily safe or effective. Applying glue of any kind to a split earlobe puts patients at high risk of developing an infection and may prevent proper healing. If you are seeking a solution to damaged earlobes, it’s best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Dr. Green is an expert who can carefully and artfully repair your torn earlobe. Working with Dr. Green to restore your earlobes guarantees that you can avoid risking infection or other unwanted side effects.

How to repair split earlobes without surgery

Unfortunately, if your earlobe has split, the tear must be repaired with a surgical procedure. The surgery is quick, comfortable, does not require significant downtime, and will not interfere with your normal activities. Although reconstructive surgery may sound somewhat intimidating, it is actually the safest and most effective way to fix a split earlobe. Entrusting an experienced and skilled board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, such as Dr. Green in NYC, will guarantee ideal cosmetic results while avoiding unwanted side effects such as scarring or infection. If your earlobes are not split but have become stretched due to collagen loss, Dr. Green can restore the appearance and strength of your earlobe tissue through the use of dermal filler injections. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler products, such as Restylane and Juvederm, are commonly used to rejuvenate the appearance of a sagging earlobe. Consulting with Dr. Green is the best way to determine which earlobe restoration procedure would suit you best.

How to heal a ripped ear piercing

A ripped earring hole can annoy you and keep you from feeling and looking like the best version of yourself. Luckily, a quick in-office surgical procedure can be done to fix the ripped earring hole and restore your self-confidence. Dr. Green in NYC is a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience repairing torn earlobes, whether the split was caused by a traumatic incident or by wearing heavy earrings or gauges. Usually, patients who undergo earlobe repair surgery have a quick recovery time and don’t need to take any time away from other responsibilities to accommodate downtime. Most patients resume their usual daily activities immediately after the ear lobe repair procedure is completed. Dr. Green will provide detailed aftercare instructions following your ear lobe repair to ensure you get the best cosmetic results from treatment.

Can a torn earlobe be repaired?

A torn earlobe can be repaired through our in-office earlobe repair surgery. The scarred area where the earlobe is open will first be removed; stitches will be placed to close the area. This procedure is painless and has a quick recovery time, allowing you to feel like your best self as soon as possible. You can re-pierce your ears and wear earrings typically six weeks after the procedure.

Who can fix a torn earlobe?

Dr. Michele Green regularly performs torn earlobe repair procedures in her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Selecting a skilled and experienced board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to execute your torn earlobe repair is important. This will ensure that your earlobe repair surgery is done safely and that your cosmetic results are optimal. Dr. Green has over two decades of experience repairing torn earlobes. Her artistic background, careful surgical repair, and patient adherence to proper post-procedure skin care produce superlative results and a quick recovery.

How do I get started with repairing my torn earlobes today?

If you’re bothered by a partially split earlobe, a complete earlobe tear, or keloid scarring, Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Whether the look of your earlobe has been affected by an injury, wearing gauges, or heavy earrings, Dr. Green can repair your earlobe in a quick and simple outpatient procedure that allows you to resume your normal activities the same day. Dr. Green is an internationally renowned cosmetic dermatologist with over 25 years of experience providing the best non-invasive treatments, including earlobe repair. Exceptional patient testimonials and outstanding patient satisfaction support her expertise and artful skills. She is consistently voted one of the best physicians in New York City by Castle Connolly, The New York Times, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine. The safety and satisfaction of her patients are always Dr. Green’s top priority, and she will take the time to develop a treatment plan for you that centers on your specific concerns and aesthetic goals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and learn more about earlobe repair, please call our NYC office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online.

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