Unless there’s a problem with them, you might not think about your ears all that much. But, your ears are subject to the effects and signs of aging just as much as the other areas of your body. Thanks to gravity, your earlobes might become enlarged or saggy as the years go on. Certain style choices, such as wearing heavy earrings or stretching out piercings, can also lead to saggy or droopy earlobes, or even a tear in the lobe.
While some issues with the ears are due to time, gravity and style, other ear concerns can be present from the time a person is born. Some people just happen to have very prominent ears. While ears that jut out a lot might not be an issue when a person is very young, they can be something that he or she is teased about as he or she gets older.
Fortunately, there are a number of surgeries that are designed to correct problems with the ears. If you’re not ready for a surgical procedure, minimally invasive options might be want you need to temporarily fix a problem with your ears.
Repair Earlobe Tears
Earrings might add a bit of style to your look or help you dress up for a formal occasion. But, they aren’t without their drawbacks, one of which is that after years of wearing heavy earrings for hours on end, you’re likely to notice that the size of the piercing has grown. That’s because the weight of the jewelry pulls down on the hole.
It is possible to minimize the damage done to your ears by earrings. One option is to use the supportive back that comes with most earrings. The bigger the earring, the bigger the back should be to provide full support and to keep it from tugging on the lobe. You can also choose to wear earrings that aren’t very heavy or dangling. For example, go for a small pair of hoops instead of a pair of 3-inch hoops or choose tiny posts instead of dramatic chandelier earrings.
In some cases, the stretched out earlobe is a style choice. Plenty of younger people spend years stretching out the holes in their ears, knowing as gauging, by inserting plugs of increasing size into the pierced earlobe. While the look might be a popular style in college, it’s often something people grow out of in their mid-20s or whenever they need to start putting on a more professional appearance.
Whether the issue with the earlobe is intentionally stretched out holes or holes that have torn or stretched with time, an earlobe repair surgery can correct them and restore the lobe to its original appearance. Usually, the surgery involves local anesthesia and is a relatively quick and simple process. During it, the surgeon will usually make an incision on the earlobe, near the site of the hole or tear. He will then remove any extra skin from the area, before stitching up the sides of the earlobe.
Make Ears Less Prominent
Another type of ear surgery is otoplasty. Otoplasty is quite different from an earlobe repair procedure. While earlobe repair is usually performed on adults and is done to correct signs of aging or piercing problems, otoplasty is most often performed on children, in some cases on patients as young as age four. The goal of an otoplasty is to reposition protruding ears, so that they sit closer to the head. It’s often performed as a preventative measure, to help a child avoid bullying.
Although otoplasty is usually performed on young children, and it’s usually recommended for children, because the the cartilage of the ears is still flexible, it can also be performed on adults. The surgery is generally more involved than an earlobe repair, although it’s likely that local anesthesia and sedation will be used.
Injections for the Ears
Depending on the amount of damage done to the earlobe, a person might be able to avoid surgery and instead benefit from an injection in the area. One temporary fix is to inject a dermal filler into the earlobe, to plump up the area around the piercing or to add volume to a stretched out, saggy earlobe.
Injectables such as Juvederm can be a good option for correcting holes in the ears that have stretched slightly, but that haven’t torn completely through. The results will last for anywhere from a few months to a year, at which point you can decide to have the injection repeated or try a more permanent option, such as surgery.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Schwartz performs a variety of procedures on the ears. Whether you want to minimize very prominent ears or correct damage caused by youthful style choices, he can review your options with you and help you choose the right option. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-655-5562 today.