“Ear blowout” is a term you hear often when talking about stretching your lobes: It’s a serious risk for anyone who stretches their lobes.
Keep an eye out for ear blowouts when you stretch, because they need to be caught early for any chance of getting rid of them.
What is a Blowout?
A blowout is when the skin inside your fistula (the tunnel of skin that is directly in contact with your jewelry) is forced out through the back of your piercing. It can look like a lump or flap of skin on the back of your piercing, or like your piercing is trying to turn itself inside out.
It usually protrudes from the back of the piercing, and becomes less prominent when the jewelry is removed and the skin can relax back into the fistula.
Are Ear Blowouts Bad?
Ear blowout can be unsightly, but a minor one usually won’t be very noticeable since they tend to show up on the back of piercings.
Having a blowout may affect the type of jewelry you can wear. For example, you may need to make sure to get plugs with a longer wearable area, because the blowout in effect makes your fistula longer.
Another risk to keep in mind is that an ear blowout usually indicates that the stretching isn’t being done properly, so it could indicate the possibility of other problems like infection.
What Causes Ear Blowout?
Ear blowout is a reaction to trauma from stretching, and it’s usually caused by stretching too fast.
If you are:
- Skipping sizes, like stretching directly from 12g to 8g
- Not waiting long enough between stretches
- then you are putting your ears at risk for blowout!
How Do You Prevent Ear Blowout?
To prevent blowout, don’t stretch too fast, and be sure to use a lubricant while stretching.
Stretch one size at a time, and let your ears rest between stretches. Remember, it’s not a race. Listen to your body and don’t force anything. Your health should be your top priority when stretching!
See: How long should I wait between stretches?
Also, be sure to always use a lubricant when stretching. It will help your skin to be more pliable and flexible, and protect your skin from abrasions and micro-tears.
How To Fix Ear Blowout
When it comes to getting rid of a blowout, you need to catch it early. A new, unhealed blowout can most likely be corrected, though there’s no guarantee.
Blowouts can be healed if you immediately downsize as soon as you notice it. Downsize a few sizes, at least 2 or 3. Then allow your ears to rest, just like after a fresh stretch. This could be anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Once your ears are ready, you can stretch up to the next size. Be sure to not stretch again too quickly this time! Only stretch up one size at a time, and give your ears plenty of rest in between stretches.
If the blowout has already healed, you may not be able to get rid of it. Some experts suggest massaging it with a lubricant daily to break down the tissue. It may take some time to see results, but if you stick with this regimen daily, you may be able to reduce the blowout, or at least increase its pliability so you’re able to continue stretching if desired.
Though massaging with vitamin E oil is often suggested for reducing scar tissue, research hasn’t found any evidence that it helps. In fact, in some studies vitamin E massages actually increased risk of adverse reactions like contact dermatitis (i.e. skin rash). Most studies conclude that further research is needed- and it’s worth noting that these studies were done on scars from injuries and surgery, etc., not on body mods, though the same principles should apply.
The only guaranteed way to get rid of blowout is to get it surgically removed, but this can be expensive. If you’re interested in this option, you can talk to your regular doctor, who may be able to recommend a surgeon who could perform the surgery for you.