Accredited Doctor - Skin Cancer College Australasia

Torn Earlobe Surgery & Reconstruction

Torn Earlobe Repair

Our earlobes are composed of skin and fat tissue only. There are no bones to provide underlying support and no cartilage to offer any resilience or structure. Earlobes that have become torn and damaged due to accidental injury or through the prolonged use of heavy earrings can be aesthetically displeasing and sometimes even painful. The good news is, torn earlobes can be easily repaired.

How Are Torn Earlobes Repaired?

The treatment is performed under local anaesthesia and surgery is typically completed within 45 – 60 minutes. The actual time required will depend on the severity of your tear. Firstly, the torn earlobe is cleansed with an appropriate disinfectant. Your doctor will remove the skin that lines the tear, eliminate any surplus tissue (if required) and stitch your earlobe back together again. A sterile bandage is then applied to the treated area.

What Causes Earlobes to Tear?

There are a number of common causes for torn earlobes, including:

  • Heavy Jewellery – the continued use of large and cumbersome earrings can cause the earlobe to split over time. Sustained use of heavy earrings eventually forces the earring to gradually fall through the skin, increasing the likelihood of the earlobe becoming fully torn. Although it’s possible for earlobes to sometimes heal themselves over time, this can create undesirable scarring. Having torn earlobes surgically repaired is a relatively simple process and will not impact the wearer’s ability to re-pierce their ears. However, it’s important to note that the more the significant the tearing, the more complicated it will be to repair. For this reason, where tearing is occurring, it’s recommended that patients seek treatment immediately
  • Accidents or Injuries – other times, patients may have their earlobes torn due to an accident such as getting their earrings caught on an item of clothing or hairbrush, or through their infant constantly tugging on the earrings. In each scenario, the tear happens in an instant, so the affected skin tissue is still robust and healthy, enabling patients to recover more quickly from treatment. Whenever a tear such as this occurs, patients naturally think to seek treatment straight away, however, spontaneous tears often cause swelling which can inhibit the ability to re-join the tissue. For this reason, it’s typically best practice to have the earlobe repaired around two to three weeks following the accident

Are There Are Any Side Effects?

Whilst only minor discomfort is reported by most patients following treatment, it’s important that appropriate post-operative care is taken to help minimise the chances of any surgical complications. If you have had prior instances of keloid formation, you may be required to have steroid injections after your treatment.

Post-Operative Care

Following surgery, the earlobe must remain bandaged for 3 days and cannot be exposed to water during that period. During the first 7 days following surgery, it’s important that your earlobe is not subjected to any form of stress or strain, such as resting in bed on the side of the treated area. Your doctor will assess your treated earlobe 2-3 days after surgery, where a light bandage will be administered.

Stitches are typically removed around eight to ten days following the procedure. The outcome of your surgery will be fully realised around twelve to sixteen weeks after the procedure.

Can My Earlobes Be Re-Pierced Once They Have Been Repaired?

Yes. The treated earlobe will typically take between 3 and 4 months to completely heal, after which you can safely have them pierced again.

Contact Skin Clinic Robina

If your earlobes have begun to tear from wearing heavy earrings or if you’ve recently torn your earlobe completely, help is at hand. Contact the friendly team at Skin Clinic Robina today, specialists in earlobe repair.