Stretches: how to avoid blowouts?

Stretches are a gradual enlargement of an already existing piercing. The procedure is simple and often painless when performed in the right way, with a few precautions. The majority of stretched piercings we see are the earlobes, septums and labrets. In this blog, it will be about explaining how to size up without any complications and in a safe way, mainly for the earlobes.

First of all, it is important to have a piercing that’s already healed and mature before you start going up in size.  It is possible to do an initial lobe piercing with a larger needle, but it will be necessary to wait for the healing to be completed before stretching again. Suitable material should be used as an initial jewelry such as implant grade titanium (ASTM F-136), uncolored quartz glass, soda-lime glass or borosilicate glass such as Pyrex (ASTM F1538) that is single flared, preferably without any grooves, in order to put O-rings to keep it in place.


Glass tunnel with an O-ring in the back

It will then be imperative that you wait for your lobe to get used to the new size and treat it as a fresh piercing during its healing. It could take a few weeks up to several months, it all depends on the elasticity of your skin. Stretching too quickly could result in a blowout (the skin twisting backwards), tear the skin and/or create excess scar tissue. This could make future stretching very difficult and the whole process irreversible.  If you think you've stretched too fast and your lobes show signs of redness, is bleeding or hurting, the best solution is to remove the jewelry and size down while the symptoms subside.

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Glass color front, single flared plugs

Once you reach your ideal size, daily maintenance remains in order; remove jewelry every day to clean your lobes in the shower, give your lobes rest periods and massage them with a natural oil (jojoba, coconut or other). Various materials can be chosen other than titanium or glass they’re fully healed as well, such as wood, stone, spirals or weights, but must however only be for short-term wear.


Titanium single flared plugs with O-Rings

In short, this body modification, as versatile and beautiful as it is, requires time and patience. This is not something that can or should be rushed, as the consequences can make the process even longer than it already is and damage your lobes permanently. For more information on stretching aftercare, please refer to our aftercare section here.

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