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Ear Blowouts Explained: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Ear Blowouts Explained: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is a blowout when it comes to ear stretching? This article will explain what an ear stretching blowout really is, how to identify an ear blowout, and how to treat the earlobe blowout for improved health.

An ear blow out can be painful and it can be one the risks when you stretch your ears.

Your ears can stretch to their breaking point, in some cases, where the skin tears and causes irreplaceable damage which requires surgery. Often, though, blowout ear lobes result in scar tissue that envelops around the body jewelry, such as plugs, which causes inflammation and pain.


What causes an ear gauge blowout?

Blowouts can happen when you're trying to size-up too fast. Permanent scaring can happen if you try to stretch your ears quickly. We get the questions from customers all the time:

  • How fast to stretch ears to avoid blowouts while stretching ears?

  • How fast to stretch ears to avoid blowouts and stretch marks?

  • Can I stretch my ears every 2 weeks?

Keep in mind, every body is different so there is no simple answer. We suggest to just listen to your body and gradually try increasing when soreness from the next size has subsided.


Causes for Stretched Ear Blowout

The main cause for blowouts is trying to stretch the ears too quickly. This is commonly referred to as "overstretching" in the community. The proper process to stretch is gradually over time, and adjust to a new size at a time that you're comfortable with, without prolonged soreness.

Jewelry sizes are measured in different ways depending on where you live. For example, in the USA, jewelry sizes are measured in gauges ("g"). But, in other countries, using the metric system is commonplace and are measured in millimeters (mm). It's the same gauge size, however the size is referred to in these different ways, which is important for you to understand so you can find the proper sized gauge for your ears to avoid blowouts.


Quick Answers to blowouts


Below are some of the common questions we receive about causes for stretched ear blowouts.


Are ear blowouts permanent?

Blowouts can result in having permanent scars. Depending on the severity of the blowout, detached earlobe skin could cause concerns to need surgery to fix. Other times, blowouts simply require minor treatment.


Do ear blowouts happen right away?

Yes, they can happen right away, but, not always. Take a look at the Reddit discussion on timing of blowouts, and you'll see that there's a range of timeframes that blowouts can happen.


What to do if you have an ear blowout?

If you have an ear blowout, remove the ear jewelry, disinfect with antibacterial soap and consider using a lubricant two times a day. Until the blowout heals, you should opt for smaller sized gauges.


How do ear blowouts happen?

When the weight of the jewelry exceeds the carrying capacity of your ear hole, this can result in tears which if left untreated, could result in scar tissue and more tearing.  Blowouts are the result of the pressure from the jewelry weighing down the earlobe too much. The earlobes must be trained for stretching over time.


Do ear blowouts go away?

Depending on the type of ear stretching blowout, they will go away in some cases and be permanent in other cases. In a study titled Clinical Analysis of Lobular Keloid after Ear Piercing, lobular keloids (which is raised scarring from piercing holes) were studied in depth to determine treatment options. Surgical incisions coupled with therapy have found "most of these methods have been effective only in a limited scope," and recommends new options with compression therapy. The treatment duration can be long, but in some cases it's the only hope to have ear blowouts go away.


What does an ear blowout feel like?

Until it happens to you, you might be wondering, 'do ear blowouts hurt'? To illustrate the extent for what can happen when a piercing blowout occurs, we went to Twitter to crowdsource opinions on this topic.






Having a gauged ear blowout can be catastrophic for some people, but, it's reassuring that there is a potential bright side. In the example below, the blowout is healing nicely.


How to Heal a Blowout

Healing a blowout can be simple with proper stretching techniques and patience.


Below are some tips for how to treat a blowout ear.
  1. Immediately remove ear jewelry you're using and go to smaller size.

  2. Make sure your smaller sized jewelry is made of either glass or steel-- as this will help to prevent infection and keep bacteria growth to a minimum.

  3. Wash with antibacterial soap (this only needs to be done once as washing too much with antibacterial soap will cause good bacteria as well).

  4. Use a salt or saline solution to naturally keep away bad bacteria.

  5. Try a lubricant with something like Ear Butter in the mornings and evenings.

  6. Overall, leave the blowout alone and don’t be constantly worrying about it – however, if you’re experiencing a lot of pain or funny smells, then call a doctor .

How do you know when it’s healed? If you haven’t had a symptom in several weeks, you’re probably in the clear.

BONUS TIP: if you put in your plugs from the back to the front, it will help to eliminate some of the skin overflow that blowouts are known to cause.

Use the right gauge size

Remember to start with a smaller gauge and then work yourself up to larger sizes (if desired) in order to reduce your chances of blowouts. If you're just getting started, typically 14g to 16g is the most recommended size. Over time, you can attempt to stretch to a more standard size such as 18g or 20g, before moving up. Once you get to 2g, you might require surgery to close the hole fully as this is typically referred to as the point of no return.

Closing Stretched Ears

To downsize in closing the hole in your earlobe, nature will help for the hole to close on its own. You can also help in closing stretched ears going one size at a time. Once you see the ear hole shrinking to conform to the new smaller size, then you can progress with the next size smaller in the case you want to close stretched ears after an ear stretch blowout.

How to heal blowout without downsizing?

If you're looking how to fix without downsizing, then patience is key. Blowouts are caused by stretching too fast, not using lubrication or skipping sizes altogether. Once the blowout heals, then you can gradually start to size-up again.


Caring for a Healed Blowout

Once your blowout has healed, you have the choice for where you want to go with your healthy earlobes. Typically we recommend waiting 6 weeks in the case you want to begin increasing sizes. You want the ear to heal properly and act quickly if you sense the ear needs additional care. Continue to lubricate the ear and be prevent future blowouts by taking care of the ears from this point onward.


To sum up

Blowouts can be irritating and ugly. As you now know, stretching too fast can cause pain or bleeding or both. In bad cases, tears in the earlobe could result in the lobe to break off and cause serious concerns. Blowouts are your body's last ditch effort to have to stop doing whatever you're doing.



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