How to Unstretch Your Ear Piercings

After decades of heavy, dangly earrings being in style and the trend of gauged lobes, more and more people are seeking medical intervention for stretched earlobes. While these procedures are highly effective, it is still possible to shrink your earlobes on your own. If you’re looking to wear dangly earrings again or are simply over the look of stretched ears, keep reading for everything you need to know about making the change.


Whether or not you’ll be able to shrink your stretched earlobes without surgery depends on a few different factors. One of the largest is if you’ve stretched your earlobes intentionally or unintentionally. While many people looking to downsize their piercings have intentionally stretched them, others have experienced stretching due to years of wearing heavy earrings.

Years of intentionally stretching with gauges may be more challenging to shrink than a slight droop caused by hoops. Nonetheless, both cases can be remedied through different methods.

You’ll also want to consider factors like age and genetics. Younger skin is more elastic, making it more likely to shrink back than older skin. Skin elasticity also depends on genetics, however, so every case is different.

Unintentionally Stretched Earlobes

If you’ve just noticed that your earlobes are beginning to stretch, a few small steps may be all that’s needed to repair the fresh damage. One of the quickest fixes is to simply stop wearing heavy earrings for a couple of months. Giving your lobes a break is often enough to shrink them back if the damage is fresh. You’ll also want to stop sleeping in your earrings. Earrings can get caught on things as you move in your sleep, pulling slightly and ultimately stretching out the piercing.

If this doesn’t work, it may be time to seek help from a professional. For less extreme cases, earlobe fillers should do the trick. This procedure takes only 15 minutes and rebuilds the ear’s structure by plumping the lobe area. Results can last up to two years and, with a little numbing cream, the process is virtually painless.

Intentionally Stretched Earlobes

If you’ve taken the time to stretch your ear piercings, it’s fitting that it’ll take a little bit of time to shrink them too. Before you begin the process, keep in mind that despite the most rigorous attempts, the body has limits. If you’ve stretched your ears past a 12 mm gauge, you’re unlikely to experience shrinkage without surgery. If you experienced blowouts or infections that caused scar tissue while stretching, this may also affect the shrinking process. Everybody is different, of course, but be realistic.

Sizing Down

The most straightforward way to shrink stretched earlobes is to size down the gauges you’re currently wearing. If you’ve only stretched your piercings one size or two, you can likely just take the earrings out for a couple of weeks and see the piercing return to normal. Otherwise, follow these steps.

  • Take your current earring out and replace it with the next size down.
  • Wear this smaller gauge for a week. At first, the jewelry will not feel very secure in the piercing but after a week, the skin should shrink down and fit the new jewelry. This can take over a week.
  • Continue to repeat this process, making sure to wait for each gauge to fit before moving to the next size.

Other Methods

You can also size down your piercings by using oil or restorative creams. Instead of replacing your jewelry with smaller sizes, once you remove it, cleanse your lobes with a saltwater soak and then massage your lobes with jojoba, vitamin E oil, hemorrhoid cream, or a specially made “ear butter.” Continue these massages daily, allowing the oils to repair the scar tissue and speed up the healing process.

Make sure to also moisturize your ears after you shower to help skin become softer and encourage blood flow to the area, as well as remove dead skin to let the holes heal without infection. You should start seeing results in a couple of weeks.


If these methods don’t work for you, don’t worry. The surgery to reconstruct a stretched earlobe is simple and relatively pain free. Usually lasting under an hour, you likely won’t need anything stronger than over the counter pain medication after the procedure. Most patients are very happy with the results.

Good luck shrinking!

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