Plugs - maybe you’ve heard of them and maybe you haven’t- plugs are indeed becoming more and more common pretty much everywhere today. What are plugs? They are one of the most common types of piercings available, and people have been getting them for hundreds of years. An ear plug can be worn in order to stretch the ear lobe to a certain size. Stretching is a relatively safe kind of body modification- it does not usually bring on any kind of consequences unless done incorrectly or improperly cared for.
Stretching your ear - doesn’t that hurt? Well, it all depends, of course, on many different things, such as weather the piercing was done right and also on the person’s pain tolerance. However, it is usually not painful to stretch. However, there is a major factor to consider- ear stretching is a pretty permanent thing. Once a 2 Gauge is achieved, there is a very small chance of going back. This means that once your ear is stretched to this point, it is unlikely to shrink back to normal size again. Thus, be aware of this if you are unsure of how much you want to stretch your ear.
Tapering is the most common way to stretch your ear. In this process, a conical piece of jewelry is used to slowly stretch the ear to the larger end of the jewelry piece. The best material for this kind of jewelry is either titanium or surgical steel, because these are the kinds of metals that will work best to prevent infections or the buildup of bacteria. This process takes time, and being impatient is not a good thing. Always increase your size only by the next increment and no more or you might risk permanent scarring. Such a blowout on the ear can be repaired with surgery and while it may not be a very difficult one, it is still best avoided.
But if you are impatient, there is a slightly faster, though possibly more painful and longer-healing way to achieve a larger gauge. This method is called dermal punching. In other words, the process literally cuts the flesh of your ear to a desired size. Unfortunately, this size is limited to the smaller gauges, but it will certainly speed up your process of stretching to a desired gauge.
Once you’ve achieved a desired gauge size, you can then begin to use various different materials instead of your first piercing for your plugs. These materials include wood, bone, horn, and other natural stones. Make sure that you consult your body modification expert for suggestions on the right materials for you to wear and also for when exactly you can take out your original jewelry piece. Safety first no matter what.
Disclaimer: Everyone heals differently. This post is meant only as a general guideline for ear stretching. Please discuss with your professional body piercer for any additional assistance.