Do Your Ears Hang Low?
I got my ears pierced in kindergarten. Thus, my lobes spent nearly four decades supporting oversized hoops, dangly plastic circles (hello, ‘80s) and chandelier earrings. By my late thirties, my earring holes had morphed into stretched-out slits, and the diamond studs my husband gave me as an anniversary present drooped from my ears like wilted flowers.
I mentioned this to plastic surgeon Gerald Pitman, M.D. when I was interviewing him for a piece for Shape magazine. We were talking about how doctors were using hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane to plump saggy lobes. He told me to come in for a consult, but when he took one look at my ears, he said I was way beyond fillers. He advised that, to see real improvement, I’d need to cut out the existing holes (and the scar tissue around them), stitch them closed, then wait six to eight weeks for them to totally heal. At that point, I could get them re-pierced.
Given that I could not wear most of my earrings because they were too heavy and threatened to rip all the way down my lobes—or they were studs and would not sit upright in my saggy holes—I was game.
The process was simple. Dr. Pitman numbed my lobes and carefully cut out the hole and stitched me up. As I recall, I was in and out in thirty minutes with three tiny stitches in each lobe. The wounds healed quickly, and I was indeed able to re-pierce my lobes two months later. I had Dr. Pitman do that for me to ensure I got the new holes high on the lobes (and to minimize any risk of infection).
At the time (about eight years ago), the cost was around $600. But that was New York City, where pricest are usually highest. According to realself.com, the range today is between $500-1000. Not pennies, but I think worth every cent. And to preserve the investment, I recommend wearing supportive stickers on the backside of your lobes anytime you wear heavier earrings. I like Lobe Wonder Earring Support Patches ($6/60stickers; lobewonder.com). They've minimized my lobe stretching and allowed me to safely and comfortably wear my favorite statement dangles.