Simple fixes to repair damaged earlobes

February 8, 2012 8:47:19 PM PST
Just taking a look at celebrities you can see sparkly, sometimes heavy earrings are back in style.

Sofia Vergara.

Kim Kardashian.

Jessica Simpson.

But it's not just celebrities wearing them and anyone can suffer the consequences like a stretch earring hole.

You may think you can just put a stitch in, but that would be sewing skin to skin so it does not work.

Here's, however, what some women have to do.

Joan Krivy loves her dangling not-so-conservative earrings.

She's made many herself and remembers each pair's significance.

But as the expression goes, too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

Joan's decades long love affair with the heavy ear jewels has caused her earring-hole to stretch. Now earrings won't stay in.

"I was afraid the earring was going to tear through my earlobe," Krivy said.

So she's having plastic surgeon doctor Steven Davis repair her earlobe. He'll numb it, mark it, and then cut away the skin in and around the earring hole, making fresh edges of tissue that can then be stitched together.

"It will be just like those areas are going to seal together now and now you are going to have a little seam from where this repair takes place," Dr. Davis said.

Dr. Davis says because dangling earrings are back in fashion, he's been doing more of these earlobe repairs.

But for others, instead of putting the ear back together, another fashion trend is doing just the opposite.

Pixie Starr is a body modification artist at Rumi Tattoo in Manayunk. She says over the past two years more people have started wearing plugs or I-lets. Some small, some large.

But Pixie has a warning.

"It is changing the look of your ear definitely and if you go past a certain size, it will not go back to normal again by itself," Starr said.

Dr. Davis says if you do change your mind later, many times the fix will involve much more than what Joan went through. It will involve reconstructive surgery.

"[So] I would say make sure you are going to like that look for a long time," Dr. Davis said.

But if your ear issue is more like Michelle Corea's - less dramatic but still bothersome to her.

"I would put my earring in the ear and it would face down or it would be off to the side," Corea said.

For that, there's a simple fix. Facial fillers can plump up thin lobes, helping the earrings to lay evenly.

And as for Joan, after a month of healing, she was able to get her ear re-pierced by Dr. Davis and she can start wearing earrings again.

However, it is recommended that she does not wear too heavy earrings. The cost of the repair is about $500. Rejuvenation is about the same, but that is usually done with other procedures using facial filler.

Dr. Steven Davis:
Rumi Tattoo: