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How to Stretch Your Ear Piercing to a Larger Gauge

Updated on February 01, 2016
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Whitney is an expert on piercings and tattoos with experience in the body modification world.

Joined: 9 years agoFollowers: 3,491Articles: 1,072

Ear Gauging

Although it is fairly old process, it is now pretty popular for today's younger people to not only get piercings but also stretch them.

Even if you have a piercing that was pierced to a standard size—generally 20 gauge, 18 gauge, and 16 gauge—you can still stretch your ears to a larger size. What's more, it doesn't matter how recently you got them pierced. It will work even if you got them when you were five and you want to stretch them now that you're 21.

It takes time to stretch your piercings properly, as you will want to give your ear time to relax after stretching. Stretching too quickly can cause other concerns.

You can stretch any piercing, but the most common piercing that is stretched is the lobe piercings. Other commonly stretched piercings include the inner conch, septum, nose, belly button, tongue, and ear cartilage.

Piercing Gauges

The typically, lobes are pierced with a 20, 18, or 16 gauge, but it will usually depending on where you go to get your piercing. The mall, for instance, pierces with piercing guns, so the gauge of the piercing will be the gauge of the stud that you choose to start off with, which is a 20 gauge.

As for other piercings, for the most part, you will find that they are pierced with 14-gauge piercings. Cartilage, nose, septum, navel, etc, are all typically pierced at a 14 gauge.

Common gauge sizes are named in even numbers down to 00, with the size of the gauge increasing as the number decreases. For example, a 10-gauge piercing is smaller than a 2-gauge piercing. For sizes larger than 00, the gauges are represented by fractions.

Ear Gauge Size Chart

(by Stephen DeToma, Anomaly Studio, Pasadena, Ca)
(by Stephen DeToma, Anomaly Studio, Pasadena, Ca)

Will They Shrink Back?

When stretching a piercing, the odds are not in your favor that it will shrink back to normal size. So, when you decide to stretch, be sure that you are prepared to handle a permanent stretch.

But, it is not impossible for a stretched piercing to return to a normal size. It will depend on a few factors:

  • Size of Stretch: The larger you go, the less likely it becomes that it will go back to its original size. Generally, 0 gauge has been called "the point of no return," meaning that once you have stretched that far, it's not going to go back. Over the point of no return, your ears can shrink, but they may not return to normal, just a smaller gauge.
  • Length of Stretch Time: If your piercing has been stretched for a couple of years or more, it's pretty well set and probably isn't going to shrink back to a completely normal size. Shrinking to a smaller gauge is possible, though.
  • How It Was Stretched: If the piercing was stretched too quickly, especially if there was resulting scar tissue, it probably won't revert very easily. If it was done with a scalpel or dermal punch, it definitely won't shrink.

But, as everyone's body is different, the amount of shrinkage will depend on you. Just make sure that you make every stretch as though it will be permanent.

Tools to Stretch a Piercing

There are several different methods that you can use to stretch a piercing.

  • Tapering: This is the most common and safest method of stretching most soft tissue piercings, such as ear lobes. A tapered, surgical stainless steel rod is inserted into the piercing. The smaller end of the rod goes in first and the hole is slowly stretched as the wider end of the rod is gently pushed through the hole. Larger gauge jewelry is then inserted behind the taper to keep the hole at its new size.
  • Weights: This is not a recommended method, as it doesn't stretch the piercing evenly and can thin the skin around the piercing, causing drooping and sagging. The weights apply pressure to the piercing to help weigh down the hole; you can use heavy steel jewelry as a weight. Just make sure that you only wear the weights for short periods of time, if at all.
  • Dermal Punch: This method cuts away a section of flesh by "punching" a hole through it. The dermal punch method is as traumatic to the skin as it sounds, but it is sometimes preferred over tapering for stretching cartilage piercings, as cartilage has less blood flow and can be damaged under the pressure of tapered stretching. The dermal punch can also be used to stretch several gauges at once, but it is still only recommended for cartilage, not soft tissue. Just make sure that you know that the guy who's doing your dermal punch knows what he's doing.

  • Tapered Claws and Talons: This method uses pinchers or similar body jewelry to slowly push through the piercing until it is at its thickest point, which, depending on the jewelry, is either at the middle or end. This method allows you to push the jewelry through as you see fit, allowing yourself healing time. (This is my personal favorite method, as it is the easiest and least painful.)
  • Scalpeling: Scalpeling is a more extreme, almost surgical, technique. A sharp blade is used to cut away enough flesh to allow for larger gauge jewelry. Sometimes the blade is heated enough to cauterize the skin as it cuts, and then the jewelry is inserted. This technique is prone to infection and generally requires a long healing process.
  • Taping: Once a piercing has already reached a large size, taping is the most common method to continue stretching. A plug or tunnel is wrapped with a layer of tape in order to increase the diameter of the jewelry, which is then inserted back into the hole. This is repeated (after each stretch has healed) until the desired size is reached.

Dermal Punch

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Tips for Stretching Your Ears

It's important that you change your gauge gradually, allowing plenty of healing time between sizes, because if you move too fast, you might damage your skin enough to create scar tissue. Scars make your ear look as if it is cracking around the hole and also make it very difficult to change gauges, whether up or down.

Use stainless steel jewelry for initial stretching because steel is not porous, so it will not absorb bacteria. Also, steel is heavy, and the weight will help the stretching process, ever so slightly. You do not want to use acrylic or wood jewelry to stretch you ears because they are porous; save them for when your piercing has healed.

Note: You never want to use acrylic, silicone, bone, stone, wood, or any other material that's not steel or titanium to stretch a piercing.

As everyone is different. You will need to listen to your own body while you are in the process of stretching your piercings. Don't stretch to a larger size until you are comfortable doing so.

You will want to buy jewelry that is the next size up to your current gauge; if your piercing is a 16 gauge, then purchase 14-gauge jewelry. You do not want to skip gauges because then you will risk complications.

Usually, the longer you keep the old gauge, the easier it will be to insert the new, larger jewelry.

Do consider that smaller gauges tend to be easier to pop right through than larger gauges, especially if you have the smaller gauge in your ear for a longer period of time. So your best bet for easier stretching is to wait longer in between stretches. The minimum time lapse in between should be no less than two weeks.

Stretching Your Ear Piercing

  1. Make sure that your hands, the piercing, and the jewelry are clean.
  2. Massage the earlobe for a few minutes.
  3. Insert the larger piece of jewelry into the piercing. Depending on the size of the new gauge, it may not slide right in, so gently push the jewelry through. You may have to use some kind of lubricant (water-based) to help the jewelry through.

Do not force the jewelry in as you can cause tears and bleeding. If you have problems inserting the new jewelry, even with a lubricant, give the piercing a rest and try again later or the following day.

Another option you can try, is to stretch your ears in the shower. The warm water will loosen the piercing, making it a little easier to slide the new jewelry carefully through the hole.

Expect some soreness as your lobes heal and adjust to the new hole size.

Stretched Ear Aftercare

Healing a newly stretched piercing is going to be similar to healing a brand new one. It's very important to keep the piercing clean and allow it the opportunity to breathe.

Sea salt or saline soaks are important in keeping an infection from developing. The soaks will also soothe the soreness of the piercing.

Do not use alcohol or ointments on a newly stretched and healing piercing.

Complications While Stretching Your Ears

Bleeding and soreness are common but can continue longer than necessary if you stretch too fast.

Blow-outs can occur if you stretch too early and too quickly before the piercing has the proper time to heal. A blowout occurs when the skin tunnel is forced out of the back of the piercng, which results in an extra "lip," or skin tissue around the edge. The lip of skin will continue to grow with further stretching. You need to downsizethe gauge if this occurs; some people have to have it removed if they insist on stretching further.

Tearing can occur when you stretch too fast too soon. This particular complication will not heal itself, and the ear lobe will remain with a large split or opening. You may want to inquire about plastic surgery to correct ear tearing. If your piercing tears, it's not recommended to continue stretching after you consult assistance of a doctor.

Infections can develop if the piercing is not cleaned regularly/properly, or if you use improper jewelry.

Pictures of Stretched Piercings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
(by John Durante, Laughing Buddha, Upland, CA)(by Jairo Camargo, Led´sTattoo& Piercings Para-fusos, São Paulo / Brasilo)(by Adam, Off Ya tree, Perth, Australia)(by Ze, My Home, Milano)
(by John Durante, Laughing Buddha, Upland, CA)
(by John Durante, Laughing Buddha, Upland, CA)
(by Jairo Camargo, Led´sTattoo& Piercings Para-fusos, São Paulo / Brasilo)
(by Jairo Camargo, Led´sTattoo& Piercings Para-fusos, São Paulo / Brasilo)
(by Adam, Off Ya tree, Perth, Australia)
(by Adam, Off Ya tree, Perth, Australia)
(by Ze, My Home, Milano)
(by Ze, My Home, Milano)


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    • dntbhrt 3 months ago

      I had my earlobes at a 00 gauge for four months now. Is it a big jump to go up to a 1/2 inch?

    • dntbhrt 3 months ago

      I had my earlobes at a 00 gauge for four months now. Is it a big jump to go up to a 1/2 inch?

    • cameron j8052 4 months ago

      OK.. Just so nobody gets hurt, there's a ton of bad information here. I'm 25, been stretching my ear lobes since age 17 on and off. The way I did it: I had my tattoo artist pierce me at a 14 horseshoe, wore that for 6-8 weeks. The initial piercing needs time to heal. Give it that. 2 months should be fine. Clean it as directed by your piercing artist. STRETCHING: I used a friend's kit, and against my own advice (I was young) went from my 14ga. horseshoes to the 10ga. tapers he had. NOW, I will say, I have used acrylic always, because it's easier to get and cheaper for the most part. I have never had trouble, but if your ear looks fucked up or you're allergic, don't risk it. Use the steel or titanium in that case. Back to stretching, I kept the 10's in for about a month, then 8's for a month, 6's for a month, 4's for about 2 months (I was able to notice that this one took a while to heal.), and then got to a 2ga. and left it at that for years until just recently. I've always wanted to go 00ga. but when I was younger, my 0ga tapers just wouldn't go in without too much pain. 2 to 0 is a large jump. Let me make that clear! Some people need to use a 1ga. intermediate taper to make the jump, OR use PVC/similar tape on your 2's. Just measure accurately. Add .5mm to each side and you're at a 1ga. Anyways, I've had my Zero 0ga. acrylic tapers in for a few days now, loving the size and look, however my right ear was bleeding earlier after twisting my tapers around. (Due to the trauma of a 2mm jump from 2 to 0, I recommend lathering them in neosporin and not touching them whatsoever. Not even to twist it. For a week or two.) So from here I'll probably give it a solid 1-3 months before making my "final" jump to 00ga! This is also a 2mm jump. Hot shower, lots of neosporin, don't push too damn hard, and keep them clean. Enjoy!

    • Emma 3 years ago

      I stretched my ears from a 4mm to 5mm around 2-3 weeks ago. I use vitamin e oil and a surgical steel taper and placed surgical steel plugs in my ears. It had been at a 4mm for 2 months and the stretch had been extremely easy and it just slip in nicely. However recently a red ring has formed at the back of the hole, it's not pussy or a bubble. I went to a professional pierce and she told me that there was nothing wrong with it, as I left I noticed her daughter had her ears stretched with an acrylic taper at about 8mm, so they don't seem very trustworthy or they'd know that it's not the correct way to stretch ears. Is my ear ok?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 3 years ago from Georgia

      Everyone's body is differently, so you want to wait enough time in-between stretches to ensure that the lob is fully healed. Use metal to stretch, as it isn't as porous. You want to avoid using acrylic and wood, but if you find metal horseshoes that taper or just metal straight tapers, they should be fine.

    • Morgan 3 years ago

      I am gathering as much knowledge as possible before I start to stretch my ears in hopes of doing it properly and with as little problems and undesired outcomes as possible. I still have a question though. I have read that it is not advisable to use taper as jewelry, but what else is one supposed to wear while stretching? I know what one should wait a few weeks before going from size to size to allow the ear to heal and get accustomed to being stretched at the new size, so I figured it would be ok, and even recommended, to wear the taper while waiting. How long would you say it is safe to wear a taper while stretching before making the change to jewelry?

    • erick 4 years ago

      People who suddendly have swelling or redness after been gauged to a size for a while, from personal experience it could be from how your sleeping and what you are wearing in your ear. Tapers can end up causing your lobe to twist to an ackword position that would lead to this problem


    • ChaoticDren 4 years ago

      I have a question I currently have a 2g steel taper in my ear, I have had in for 2 days. Can anyone experienced tell me how long I should wait until I put the next size (0g) in and how can I when put it without having to buy a taper for 0g? I'm kind of strapped for money at the moment being an art student, advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Lili 4 years ago

      I think I had like a 12 for about 4 months and I always felt like my right ear was never ready but I placed on a 4 and it hurt like a bitch. The left ear ate it up like a man.

    • alex 4 years ago

      I went to a size 7/8 in two months!! no blowout

    • Ms 4 years ago

      Ive stretched my ears all the to an inch and it went back and closed right up I had the inch for 5 months I used plastic tapers and used neosporin to push my tapers in and yeah it does hurt but you get over the pain

    • Eghan 4 years ago

      @DanielTAD don't worry if that strech hurts the most so far. I just streched from an 8 to a 6 and mine didn't hurt as much as the 10 to the 8(but that's because I did that one too quickly). From the 8 to the 6 is the first time you truly size up and entire mm, each one before that is a partial. Don't worry, rub your ears with some hot water and try. It should be okay !

    • brittany 4 years ago

      I started gauging my.ears from the regular piercing to a 2 gauge, ripped my earhole into an x and bleed, I took em out Nd a week later put in a four, the four went in, hurt like a bitch though, for two weeks afterward it was swollen, throbbing, bleeding and lots

      of pus. So took em out and had some else shove them back in, hurt but right after that they went to normal. Ever since then my gauges have been fine no blow out whatsoever $6. This was 2 years ago. Now I'm at a 9/16 and my 5/8th won't go in, I've has my 9/16 for almost 5 months so why the problems now?

    • lori-erin-wood profile image

      lori-erin-wood 4 years ago from Alaska

      @David, some people have skin that is easier to stretch. Just because your friend could stretch that much in a very short period of time doesn't mean everyone can. To be safe you should only stretch one gauge size until the hole is healed again.

    • David 4 years ago

      I'm sorry but the poster of this Hub is kinda dumb. Reading through some of the comments its obvious. Don't mean to be hateful but you're simply wrong. I started at a 12, no big deal. Went to a 8, then a 6, and a 2. I intend on going to a 00 really soon. Just put money in my pay pal to purchase them. Yeah, it hurts, but that's about it. I've had friends go from a 20 to a 00 and not tear or blow out. It hurts like a bitch but that's about it. No scar tissue either. Also reading I saw that you said you shouldn't wear plugs at small sizes? Why not? They wouldn't be made if you weren't supposed to wear them, they also wouldn't be sold in packs. There is no difference from wearing a taper and wearing a plug, other then the plug is easier to sleep in and it gets in the way less.

    • kevin 4 years ago

      I've been gauging for four years now once you get past 00 use tape for the safest easiest way to go use pvc tape.

    • Mariella 4 years ago

      @Tucker Trujillo I just stretched my ears for 0 to a 00 what I did was just wait a month or so and when you feel you're ready wash your hands, use a lubricant of some sort, and use stainless steal tapers. Mine just slide right in(:

    • LuNa 4 years ago

      I just started n it started bleeding n i started freaking out n took it out idk what to do ):

    • Tucker Trujillo 4 years ago

      Hey! I'm at a 0 right now and I'm just not sure what the best way to go about going to a 00 is, if someone experienced could help that would rock! Thanks :)

    • Erin 4 years ago

      Im thirteen and my Ears are an inch!

    • adfr 4 years ago

      am at 5/8 right now and i try putting my 3/4 in bout it wont go in my eaqrs so way should i do

    • emosamy5 4 years ago

      ya i had a qwastion im at 3/4 and i just tryed putting a 7/8 taper in and it wouldn't go in and its been 2 months since im last stretch so should i start taping the single flar tunnel or push the taper in harder?

    • mark 4 years ago

      i was at a 2g in both ears and i wanted to go to a 0g. it's a 2mm jump. i got it almost all the way through and it started to bleed a lil so i stopped and now i just put 3 layers of medical tape on my 2g plugs and im going to go up a layer everyday until i get to a 0g.

    • Joe 4 years ago

      I have my ears pierced but not gauqed . Can I put ^ ga in ?!

    • Tristin 4 years ago

      So I am at an inch and have been for about two months now and woke up this morning and my lobe hurt and was red and looked kinda like a slight blow out but maybe just swollen and inflamed was wondering if it was possible for it to blow out in my sleep somehow

    • Junior 4 years ago

      Alright so I went from a 2 to a 0 and my ears were throbbing for three days when I took them off to see what was wrong my ears started to bleed, I want to know what can I use to clean them and how long will it take

    • DanielTAD 4 years ago

      So this is what goin down,I got my ears pierced a few months ago at 20g and yeah cool. So my friend gave me his old kit,and the smallest size was 14g so I stretched. Good enough I didn't feel anything. But besides that, I haven't skipped sizes. But now I'm at 8g trying to stretch to 6g and im using tapers and they hurt like shit!!! This is the only size that has hurt this bad. I have the tapers in only halfway and I'm going to continue slowly pushing them by hour. Is this a good idea? Oh and by the way, I cleaned the whole kit to save infection. And one more thing, I'm 13 and only going to a 4g for now. thanks for your help.

    • Andrea 4 years ago

      So Yesterday My Aunt Bought Size 2G And I've Been Wanting To Get My Ear's Guaged So My Crazy Aunt Decidided To Gauge My Ears I Went From A Normal Ear Pearcing To I Size 2G . I Took It Like A Beast .. So After The Fact That I've Been Reading That I Shouldn't Be Skipping Sizes I'm A Little Concerned So I'll Do An Update To Let You Know If I Have Any Complications Or Problems So Far Everything Look's Great &; I Love How My Guages Look Nice &; Clean Oh &; Btw I'm Only 13Yrs. (x

    • andie 4 years ago

      just gauged them... size 14 cu there wasn't any 16.... should i sleep with them in? yes no maybe? :/ help!

    • Brandon Nunez 4 years ago

      well that is some crazy stuff but i am at 7/8 about to move up to an 1inch

    • Ben 4 years ago


      Hi there!i'm 17, and i went from a regular piercing to a 6 to a 2, now at 0 looking for 00. but anyway i've had no problems with my lobes, they've been fine the whole way. just give it enough healing time and if it's 2 much don't force it.

    • DearestDaniiel 5 years ago

      @ Alyssa Hello! I am at 7/8 stretching to 1" possibly 1 1/2" and i had trouble getting to 7/8. The best thing to do is just oil your ears with Jojoba oil (you can find it at natural food stores) and that thickens lobes. You have to just go with the flow. I didn't know if i could go up to an inch but i am trying it out and if my lobes are thin, i'll just downsize. My suggestion would be to tape your ears to 7/8 with teflon tape. Its very inexpensive, nonporous tape that wont stick to your ears. Since you've been at 3/4 for a while, i assume you have a pretty rad gap in between your ear and the plug when you pull down? Wrap it with tape until you can put it in with no gap, but its not painful to put in. Then, add 1-2 wraps everyday and soon, you will be at 7/8ths! I hope it helps. :)

    • Kristina 5 years ago

      im 15 and i went from a normal size earring to a 12... is that bad?? should i go to a 10 next ? ive had it in for about 3 weeks and i wanna change is it safe to?

    • Alyssa 5 years ago

      Right now im at 3/4ths, and my aunt for christmas got me a gorgeous pair of glass plugs... But they're 7/8ths. I'm concerned that my lobes wont stretch that much more. So my question is when do you know you shouldn't stretch more? I've been stretching slowly for years. And I've been at this size for the last year. my lobes don't seem thinner in one spot or another or seem overly thin, but they definitely don't have the bounce back they used to haha. Anything would help, thanks

    • kane 5 years ago

      jus startn out i went from a 20 to a 10 on the 23rd of this month and i love it im ready to go big

    • KrypticKid 5 years ago

      Yo I'm Em, I've been stretching my ears for six months, and I'm prepared to go to 0g. I've been taking them approximately a month at a time and it seemed to suffice, except when I went to my current size, 2g, my ears bled for a day or so whenever I removed my tapers to clean them and I was inquiring whether this was bad or somewhat normal. I'm just a stupid kid trying to distort her body a bit, I also have 3 lip piercings, septum, eyebrow, and rings up my ears. Ah life is good. :P

    • max 5 years ago

      i went from the smallest size to an 8 in one day

    • Amber-Rose 5 years ago

      I Started at a 6G,Than went to a 4G and now I'm at a 0G,

      I Know its not good to skip Gauges but I get it done by a Piercing artist,And they always suggest to skip,so,..

      but yes every time i go larger it hurts a lot,Probably because I skip,..

      Btw.This site really gives goo information,Well done !

    • FoxxNastiee 5 years ago

      I Stretched Mines From A 16 to a 00 and from 00 to 1/2 and from 1/2 to 5/8 in just three days .

      one of my ears is at 3/4 , the other still at 5/8

    • jen 5 years ago

      just went to a 6g from an 8g :3 progress has been made~

    • Aiden Elizabeth 5 years ago

      Also, i was wondering if tapers are best to use for stretching to an inch.

    • Aiden Elizabeth 5 years ago

      it only took me about a year to get to an inch, actually an exact year lol

      i just stretched mine up, my right ear stings alittle bit but it'll stop. i only had ONE blow out, and you can barely tell its there!

    • lolsees 5 years ago

      im at inch and a quarter its all about taking your time if you take your time your ear will be able to grow stronger and adapt to having a gauge in there so later you can stretch farther if you get a blow out when it gets big it looks like a but hole lol but also if you have a blow out rub emeu oil on it everyday once a day they will go away over time and it you wanna move up fast use the tape method every 2 weeks i should know i been a piercer for 4 years

    • LH213 5 years ago

      i had my ears pierced for about two years before i but in a 14g and i skipped sizes i went to a 10g then to a 8g then to a 4g and then to a 2g and i just recently put in a 0g and i hurt a little but im fine like its all about your pain tolerance really if u can take pain then skip i mean its better then wasting your money on a pair of guages your just gunna wear for a little while u know so my advice is to just do wht u want when it comes to guaging if u wanna skip then skip and if u don't then don't its as simple as that

    • Sam 5 years ago

      Suck it up and take it like a champ, i stretched my ears from a 20 to a 2 then 00 three days later, and their doing grrreat, i plan to take them to a half inch by christmas

    • Tristynn 5 years ago

      I'm currently gauging my ear too a 7/16 and I've had previous blow outs with these . I was wondering what should I do too ease the earing in ?

    • pabss 5 years ago

      Im on size two 2 and my goal is 00's. I started jiu jitsu and am wondering if any of you have tips for me to keep my piercings safe?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      Stretching frequency will depend on how fast your body heals and when your body is ready. The time frequency between stretches will not be the same for everyone.

    • Heather 5 years ago

      Anyone have a round about estimate on when to stretch to the next size? like i heard a week or so ...

    • Sam Ertle 5 years ago

      I just went up from a 0 to a 00 earlier today, no tapers or anything. I did lube up the new tunnels but there was a lot of bleeding. I already knew most of what was in this article but decided I'd be fine. And now I'm going to have to deal with torn scarred ears. But if you follow the advice in this article you should be just fine. Take your time and DON'T FORCE THE JEWELRY THROUGH.

    • Sam 5 years ago

      Hey i was wondering, im at a 8 gauge right now would it be okay if i go to a 2? i have vitamin E oil could i do it?

    • me 5 years ago

      dang, when i gauged my ears, i jumped to a 18 to a 8 gauge.take it like a beast and just don't waste your money on size 14 16 or whatever. no matter what its going to hurt. bad. tip is, once you gauge your ears play with it, like turn it, or whatever, then once you gauge it another size its less pain. and now im at a 00, and about to go to 7/16. and it was painless.

    • dori 5 years ago

      okay so right now i believe i have and 8 in my ear but im not sure and i want to go to halves but im scared that's to big what should i do?

    • Hope Jimenez 5 years ago

      Wellll. This seems old but whatever. Hey I'm 15 and I've been stretching my ears for about 5 months now. Granted I didn't know about ANY of this. I did NOT stretch my lobes because "everyone was doing it" I did it because I wanted to. And I'm very patient so waiting for two weeks between each stretch isn't too bad. I'm currently at 4s and I bought my Batman plugs about a week ago. The plugs are 0s and I know I should buy 2s and THEN move up to my 0s but..... Temptation is getting the best of me... Good thing I can't size up with the Batman plugs. I'll just wait. And I tend to take out my tapers for hours and slide them back in... I wanted to know if this was a bad thing? I mean... They don't hurt but I wanted to make sure this wouldn't permanently damage my ears.


    • Abby 5 years ago

      alright so im stupid and have been "stretching" i guess is the word, my lobes since i was 14. ive had my ears pierced since i was 2 months old. im 17now. i have my lip pierced and gauged to a little 14 no big deal. im at a 2 gauge in my ears right now... well actually my right ear is a 2, and my left ear is a 4, because ive been struggling to get my second 2g in my left year all day. i put the 4g in my ear for now the 4th time 2 days ago. my right ear was easy, and im having problems with the left. the highest ive ever gone up to was a 00 but my mom made me take them out, i was at that size when i was about 15 i think. im trying to get back up to by at least a 0 because i bought batman gauges last night and they are 0s. i go up a size about every 2 days, and that's why im stupid. but oh well im young. but my problem iiiiis, how do i get my 2 to go in easier, i tried numbing them, i tried icing them, i tried warming them up, i tried everything. any advice for this stupid 17 year old trying to destort her body ?

    • The D 5 years ago

      Help me, im 21 and i have had this piercing for 4 months and i had 1.6 mm stretch (it is more like an earring as it is small)and im trying to get 5mm now, BUT im gentle and i can handle pain like any other man, but i tried 2-3 methods but the pain of stretching is very bad and i started and stopped 2 times.

      So any Detailed tips or tricks to do it and how long it should take.


    • MattieMurderous 5 years ago

      I'm 20 and i've been sizing for about 3 months and i'm already at a 2.It did hurt skiping a few sizes but not too bad since i have a somewhat high pain tolerance.I'm going up to 2 inches.I'm really excited to get to 1 1/8's since i'll stick with that for a bit before i starting moving closer to 2 inches.:)

    • rochelle thompson 5 years ago

      i'm at 5/8 now and i used acrylic tapers and such through most of my stretching time except from 1/2-5/8 with no problem at all. when i sized up then i used the taping method but my lobes are getting really dry. should i just put lotion on them or what would help best?

    • Suzanne 5 years ago


      Everyone I know that has stretched ears just did it without even asking for their parents' approval, and once the parents noticed, they couldn't really do anything about it except complain. Personally, I waited until I moved out to stretch my ears.

    • WJ 5 years ago

      Ok, so I've been gauging for about a year and a half and I'm 17. I'm trying to gauge to 5/8th but it hurts like a bitch. I've had my 9/16th in for about 2 months and I was pretty sure I was ready to gauge. Am I not ready to gauge up? I mean I never ever had to wait this long to gauge up. It's been smooth sliding after 00. If I'm not ready, how much longer should I wait?

    • Tessa 5 years ago

      I turn 15 in 3 days, and ive had my ears pierced for 4 or 5 months now and i keep looking at the jewelry on ebay, and all the jewelry i want i would have to stretch my ears, but that doesn't bother me. My mom is majorly against it but not against as much as me getting my lip pierced... but the problem i have is im busy 24/7 i do volleyball year round, and i also doing wieght lifting everyday, and sometimes twice day. but i just want to know from those that have their ears stretched, did you talk to your parents about doing it or did you just do it? or how did you convince your parents to let you stretch your ears?

    • Leeluh 5 years ago

      I just used acrylic's to gauge my ears from a 6 to a 4 and it's pretty painful. im afraid it could be infected. Any tips?

    • Ashley 5 years ago

      All you little 12, 13, and 14 year old KIDS who are at 0 and 00. You really are just doing it for the trend.

      Knock it off.

    • Kenna 5 years ago

      Aha Im only 14 and i NEVER wore my regular earrings and i decided to gauge, so i trotted on down to Hottopic and purchased me some nifty 10G pinchers and stuck em right in. It only hurt a little and in about a week im planning to go up to an 8(:

    • Shelson:D 5 years ago

      i've had my ears peirced for a little over a year now, and i think i want to start gauging my ears. i'm 13, and i think the small ones look cool, i definitely don't want to get big gauges. but i'm not sure if my mom will let me start gauging. x3 am i able to get fake gauges for now?

    • Lela Acron 5 years ago

      The easiest stretch is going from 0 to 00 in my opinion. I didn't even have to stretch Just lubed them then stuck them in. my opinion to all starting off start your stretch at 10 or 8 if you have had earrings for a while. I found my ears were already stretched to an eight from the weight of all my earrings I had worn over the years. Tapers where the only thing I used up to 00 use them with vitamin E oil and it should be a breeze. Also if you are not sure if you want to keep your gauges you should probably not do it at all. I plan to go to a 1 inch and will never take them out.

    • Victoria 5 years ago

      thanks for the tips, i accually started at gauge 12 about 1 month ago, now im at gauge 10, n' im using tapers to strech, it doesn't hurt ATall, lol idid an experament to see if my ear would go back to the original shape , and it did! but i acually left it out too long and i could barely put my regular earing in! LOL ,anywaysthanks 4 the tips.. kpce :)

    • Megan 5 years ago

      I first stretched my ears when I was 12 and this was back in 2002. My best friend and I actually didn't use tapers or any gauge at all, we used straws, and yea at this point I know it wasn't the brightest idea but now hers are at a 0g. A couple of years ago I let mine heal up and they had been at a 0g for 3 years, and they grew all the way back up. Now I'm at a 7/16th and have had no trouble using the plastic tapers from hottopic. I'm almost 100% positive that the peeps in tribes who stretch their lobes don't run out to their nearest hottopic to buy tapers, they've been using bone and other natural material since the beginning, therefore, it can't be too bad. Happy Stretching folks!!

    • robert 5 years ago

      honestly i love my ears :D

      im at 30mm and im not stoping until i hit 2" lol i took my gauges out when i was an inch to see if they would go back as an experament and it letrally depends on your body because mine shrunk back to around half inch in abuot 2 in a half weeks.. then i started stretching again and now at 30mm in fact i was just at 28mm just a few seconds ago until i decided to put em in lol then decided to look up "easiest" ways to stretch your ears and honistly its a loooonnngggg process :D

    • 5 years ago

      What's the point in stretching if you're only going to stretch it so it "looks like there's a stud in my ear"? Why do it? Sounds like you're doing it to please a group of friends or something. And no, a smaller size gauge will NOT bar you from college...

    • Alex 5 years ago

      So I just stretched my right lobe with a surgical steel taper, but the tunnel is a bitch to get in. It's not flared, but it just won't. Would leaving in the taper for a little bit help? Oh, and I used Holey Butt'r, which helped a lot in getting the taper through. I used to use rubbing alcohol, because I didn't want to use lotion. I'm stretching my lobes to a 6g from an 8g right now. It stings a little bit, but eh. I took an Advil and now it's fine. But yeah, would leaving the taper in for a bit help to get the tunnel in?

    • Laina 5 years ago

      Honestly it depends on YOU! I went from 10s to 0s in two weeks! And I used acrylic spirals for stretching. So, it's different for everyone, because my ears are healthy and healed!!

    • Jayne 5 years ago

      This is VERY useful. I'm currently at 00g and I am planning on stretching to 7/16ths soon. It's been over a year or so since I've stretched and I wanted to make it as smooth as possible. Thanks so much for the tips.

    • Chris 5 years ago

      I swear some ideas people have are inane. As for skipping sizes, It can be done without ripping/ blowout. Although not everybody is the same.I went from 14g to 8g myself, didn't skip any sizes beyond that and certainly would not recommend it because once you get up to 8g the increments seem to become larger. As far as the waiting period is concerned from my personal experience, give it the time to heal and usually if you are ready to stretch there will be a bit of excess space in your piercing or the jewelry just wants to fall out.I have always used this as guideline for when it is good to stretch and never had a blowout or tear.Just let your body tell you when it is ready. I had mine up to 9/16 inch and they healed up to 4g.I've also known people that had up to an inch and it healed up to around 00g or 7/16 inch ( Can't tell for sure.)

      I was also wondering where I could buy bondage tape, as I'm wanting to re stretch mine to at least 3/4 inch and heard it is easier to work with than teflon tape.

    • 5 years ago

      Some earrings look like chunky jewels, but the clasp is actually gauged moderately; I'm not sure what the exact gauge would be for those which look like this.

    • Stupid person 5 years ago

      Okay, so I waited exactly two weeks to stretch from a 4 to a 2, but during this process, my loves started to burn; not the normal sort of, minor discomfort that I've previously expierenced while stretching, but a somewhat unbearable pain that I couldn't much tolerate. Five minutes later, I took my two's out with the intention of putting my four's back in to wait longer, but I noticed what seemed similar to a blowout on my left lobe. I immidently cleaned the hole and put my four's back in through the side of where I think the blowout is and continue to do this daily. The tapers I used to stretch to a 2 are steel, and the plugs I have in now are acyrilic, but my question I need to downsize to a 6, or am I okay with sticking to my 4's?

    • nikki 5 years ago

      Hey i actually have a question that may be a little stupid. But i have just started gauging my ears I'm at a 14g now an wanting to go to a 12g then to a 10g in time after my ears heal properly but while i was ordering me some 12g stainless steel circular barbells they asked me to pick my gauge then my size...Well what did they mean by my size like a 2mm for 12g is that right?

    • Dustin13 5 years ago

      my ears are at 00g and i'm only 13 and not sure if i will still want me ears spaced when i get older and was wondering if they will still close???

    • chelleydee33 5 years ago

      I've stretched my lobes for years. I let them close up sometimes and then wind up stretching them again. For some reason this time the plugs don't look centered in my earlobe. There is nothing wrong with the whole (no tears, blow out or anything like that) they're just not centered. Any ways to fix this?

    • Nick 5 years ago

      hey i don't even have my ears pierced yet but am interested in getting them pierced. i only wanna go to about twelve. might it go back?

    • Hana  5 years ago

      The First Time I stretched my ears i went from a normal 20g to an 8g. It hurt like hell but my ears eventualy healed. I use only acrylic to stretch. I also find that if your constanly playing with your plugs and pulling on them it makes the holes stretch graudualy.I don't even need tapers to stretch I can just put the bigger plugs in. Maybe its just me but i haven't had any problems with stretching with acrylics. I've been stretching for a year and a half and they are sitting at 9/16. I Have no Issues with them and I don't even do half the shit that's recommended for after care.

    • carmenmare 5 years ago

      okay so im been stretching my ears for a while now, and i want to go dwn to a 0 but im trying and trying and its so painful and it doesn't want to go in alll the way just half, what do i do? i tryed the shower and lub even lotion alcohol and nothing......... its never been painful until now and i want a 0 and stay here but i need to know another way to make it go in. should i get drunk and try that LOL

    • Kittyboo 5 years ago

      So I was wondering if I could go from a 14 to a 4 I have done it before with no issues at all. What do you think?

    • Chay 5 years ago

      I'm 16 and I really want to gauge my ears, but I'm scared my ear won't shrink back and I won't get excepted into college and all of that. I just want it to look like the stud of an earring is in my ear, so nothing too big, but I don't know what size to get.

    • Kimi 5 years ago

      Wow, just saying, alot of you are REALLY young, mind you, im only 17, but im only stretching to a 6g. Just make sure you all are considering the consequences of skipping sizes, and also that you really want to do it not just because everyone else is, if I did it when everyone else started I could probably fit my fist through my ear, really really think about it before doing, as mentioned in the article, it may be permanent. I put my 12g swirly earrings in right away, just because my ears were previously gauged to an 8g, and that was over a year ago, so, it shows that everyone's ears heal and shrink differently. Everyone doing this please be careful and take good care of the piercing.

      Anyway, thanks Whitney for posting this, it truly was a lot of help! Keep up the great work.

      Much love

    • chaza gh 5 years ago

      i went from a 12 gauge to a 0 in two weeks nothings happened everythings fine but it hurts a lot!

    • Maryrose Omundson 5 years ago

      Wow. That's weird. I'm hoping to get up to a 1 1/2

    • Gauging youngg 5 years ago

      okay well

      im pretty sure what i just used to stretch my ears was acrylic

      im 14 and im at 12

      i had the regular 14g peircing

      if i keep the acrylics in

      will the bacteria cause MAJOR problems or will it just be bacteria

    • Bailey 5 years ago

      I am a professional piercer, and reading these comments makes me lose hope in people. Its really not that difficult to understand.

      No, you shouldn't skip sizes. Just because you *can* doesn't mean you should.

      Using acrylic to stretch your ears (again, is doable) is totally unsanitary, and even though its possible, isn't advisable.

      If you have just had your ear pierced, the proper healing time is 6-8 weeks. Stretching before this is just plain risky.

      You are a moron if you are piercing yourself with safety pins and paper clips. if you want something pierced, save up for it and get it done professionally or ask your parents. Doing it yourself is just... Stupid. For people that think boiling a safety pin or pouring alcohol on it makes it sterile, it doesn't.

      Use your common sense. Don't take piercing advice from friends, people at the mall, or Hot Topic employees. You wouldn't go to a shoe store asking questions about your health. Don't put faith in people that have no professional training.

      If you're stretching your ears quickly because you're impatient, maybe you need to rethink the entire process. Ear stretching is an ancient, spiritual ritual that is being totally disrespected by a bunch of impatient teenagers. Stretching slowly also allows you time to consider what you are doing to your body. If you are worried about getting jobs, thinking you are going to take them out eventually, or hoping your ears will grow back to normal... Don't do it. Its as simple as that. Ear stretching is supposed to be a commitment you make with your body, not a snap decision made to be like your friends.

      Furthermore, if you can't afford to stretch properly, then don't do it. Save up a little at a time and get them stretched by a professional, or buy a pair of tapers at a time and save up. If you're truly interested in the lifelong commitment of ear stretching, then having to wait for it shouldn't bother you. In fact, many see it as part of the process. Its supposed to be an evolution that you pay attention to and respect, not just an uneducated decision made because everyone is doing it these days.

      If you skip sizes, pierce yourself, stretch too quickly, or any number of bad decisions, its as simple as this: expect blowouts, complications, infections, scar tissue, and problems.

      Be smart about it. It is body modification after all.

    • Kayla J 5 years ago

      Hahaha, some of the people that comment here say the stupidest things. It made my night reading this. Great article, btw.

    • Teagan 5 years ago

      I've been gauging my ears recently, I got them pierced about a month ago, and I had the piecer who did it stretch them for me (from 14G to 8G with bone spiral tapers)and I want to go from 8 to 6, but I'm scared to get a tear or blow out, I'm using A&D for lubrication. I make sure to take an extremely hot shower first, my ears are healed, but it's only been a week since last stretch, will it be okay to go from 8 to 6 when my new spirals arrive (glass 6G)???

    • Haylee 5 years ago

      I've strected with silicone, and acrylic and never got infected, also I strected every two weeks amd was fine. Some ppl just don't heal as quick

    • Mike g  5 years ago

      Ive used tapers to stretch. I'm at a 6g now. But from a 10g to an 8g i used a tunnel, had no pain at all. Now from my 6g taper, i'm going to a 4g tunnel, What do you think?

    • Elizabeth  5 years ago

      @Zachary green, it is safe to go to a 6 from a 10 but it may hurt. I'd go to an 8 first but that's just me, however to answer your question, it is safe.

    • zachary green 5 years ago

      hi i am 14 and right now i have a size 10 in is it safe to go to a size 6 or should i do 8 first

    • Chantel 5 years ago

      Well i put in 14 gages in the 12th of may and i bought 10 gages today. i put them in and it hurts so bad. should i take them out or what. it was bleeding.

    • Josh 5 years ago

      Its not expensive to go slow you just use the non porous tape to wrap around the gauge then move on every once in a while

    • ditommaso007 5 years ago

      Is it safe to just put a larger earring in? And will that stretch it?

    • asfghj 5 years ago

      I've had a minor blow out. I just have the lip, and there was a tiiiny bit of blood, I'm talking like less than half a pea size amount. I was only at 3mm, so, would I be able to put a normal, 1mm earring in now? Or do I have to leave it with no jewellery in for a while?

    • Jocelynn 5 years ago

      Everyone, just know that all of our bodies are different. I've been stretching my ears for a year and a half and i'm just now at 1/2 inch. Don't rush the stretching process. Listen to your body, if anything hurts or is really uncomfortable when stretching, take it out and downsize. If you want pretty little circles, and no tears, then wait. If you don't wait, then you'll end up having holes that are wrinkled and look like butt-holes, just saying. I know it's fun, and it's an adrenaline rush, but you want to be proud about your ears.

      Also, a tip that I've learned, once I got to 00, I started waiting three months in between my stretches and I no longer have to use tapers. Your ears will become elastic, stretchy, and the larger jewelry will be able to slide in with some emu oil or vitamin e oil. Taking hot showers then stretching is wonderful!

      NEVER NEVER NEVER use acrylic tapers to stretch with or put acrylic plugs in right after stretching! You'll increase the chance of getting infections!!! Never leave the tapers in either, those aren't an everyday jewelry! They will stretch your ears unevenly.

      Be pre-cautious, be sanitary, and be respectful of your ears!

      Happy stretching! (:

    • Ligxtning profile image

      Ligxtning 5 years ago

      so i stretched my ear to a oog. nd im wondering if they'll close cuz i gauged then back like 7 months ago nd i plan on keeping them for years. and i do have some scar tissue around the hole. and i have a new piercing in my ear that's at my upper ear lobe like half in the cartilage half in the lobe. and it was pierced with a 14g needle and i only waited a month and a half to stretch it. and i stretched it to a 4g. i know i did it wrong.. i don't want to know what i did wrong i just want to know if my 4 gauge is going to heal since its half cartilage? nd the 4 gauge is glass is it bad that i used glass to gauge my ear. ?

    • Fallingleaf5 5 years ago

      So Whitney, quick question. I pierced my ears at a 16g, waited 8 weeks, moved up to a 14g, about two weeks later (today) I got my 12g and put it in, do you think that is fine? I am going to wait a month to put the 10g in but at such a small gauge do you think it will matter much, that is that i went from a 14 to a 12 in two weeks and the plug is a pyrex plug and they seem to work really well.

    • Havok 5 years ago

      OK so i was at 0s and jumped to 00s in 2weeks but when i did it didn't feel like a stretch at all so two days after i went and got my goal size which are 1/2s and these are the hardest 2 put in yet. ive never had this much of a problem putting gauges in. i have my left taper in but the right one just wont go through. its really tender and swollen. any tips?

    • Maddieee 5 years ago

      I just put paper clips in my ears.. Is that bad?

    • jasmine 5 years ago

      I was a 14 g then I did a 10 g and my homeboy just got tapers and shoved them to a 4 g it hurt but he said my ears were perfect they dint blow out it tear two weeks later I went to a 2 g and yesterday I'm officially a 0 g but I want a 1/2 g :D

    • benji 5 years ago

      well im 14 and i got 00g but my ears have crust around them because i got them about 3 days ago.. is it bad for them to be crusty?

    • Danny 5 years ago

      Ok so the last time I posted a question I was at 8g. Now I'm at at 2g. Waited a little over a month to size up to a 2g was totally worth it. no pain at all, slid right through. Now I know that the jump from a 2g to a 0g is 2mm and I think I'm prob gonna need more than a month or 2.....what's the ideal waiting time for that big a jump? 'cause i don't want any blowouts or bleeding or excruciating pain....all the youtube vids I've seen of that stretch, people were basically crying

    • amy 5 years ago

      I have been stretching for a year and have had no problems,. I started at 18g and a week ago just did my last step 00g. one ear is fine but the other ear hurts and on the front and back of the hole there is kinda a hard ring. what is this? will it go away?

    • cameronslife 5 years ago

      Im at a 9/16 which is right above a 7/16, and im trying to use my 5/8 tapers and ive already had one blowout so im really worried about sizing up again only this time on my other ear, any tips?

    • Fernanda 5 years ago

      ok so ive been doing exactly what you are saying and its going really good i wait at most 2 1/2 weeks to change gauge i im at 2ga but i wanna get to 0ga cause its not to noticeable, but i don't want the hole to stay forever do u think it will go down to at least a 8ga

    • Faith 5 years ago

      I'm thinking about gauging my ear with some very small gauges. I don't want to go over a 10 or 8. My question is for anyone with gauges or experience with them. What would the chances be that if I removed them within a year or two that they would return to normal?

    • Inara 5 years ago

      And I don't blame the author for not replying to any of these posts. More than half of these questions are addressed in the article. It's really not difficult to follow. If you didn't understand how to stretch your gauges from the article and you still have questions then you have no business stretching your gauges in the first place. You obviously can't handle it. And if the article didn't help, most the likely the answer to your question would be "don't do it that's stupid". Not trying to piss any off just trying to point out some good old common sense.

    • Inara 5 years ago

      I think it's differet for a lot of people. If you don't know what you're doing or too timid to just go for it then definitely go the safe route. I was pretty impatient to get to my desired size of 2g. I waited a week at the most in between stretching. I didn't skip any gauges though. I used acrylic for every single one of my gauges without any infection or complication. Yes it was painful every time you stretch just don't be a big sissy. All it did was throb. You take a couple of tylenol and you're fine within a day. I would change them in the shower and when I got to about a 6g and up I started used neosporin. It's antibacterial and a lubricant. What better thing to use for stretching? It's stupid to try and gauge your ears if you're so young you have to hide it from your parents obviously it's not going to heal right if you're constantly taking them out. And if you're worried about whether or not your gauges will shrink back then you have no business gauging them to begin with. You need to act as if this is a permanent process like getting a tattoo) and accept them as they are or don't do it at all.

    • Vanessa L 5 years ago

      i started to stretch back in October now im a size 2g. i used acrylic tappers because they where the cheapest but i made sure i cleaned them twice a day with warm water and soap I would like to go down to a 0 or 00 but I’m scared to do so

    • Kiara B 5 years ago

      Okay so I have had my ears pierced by a piercing gun for about 4 years now, and i was wondering if it would be okay if I just went straight to a 12 gauge. I was told my the woman who sold it to me, that it would be okay if I put them in after I showered. Also, they are acrylic spirals, is it okay to stretch them with these, if Im not wanting them to be permanent?

    • Jessica K. 5 years ago

      My ears are BOTH at an inch and a fourth. I love them and I'm keeping them.

    • james 5 years ago

      hi whitney, that's great you nhave all this information but im at 2inches and have gtten to that size over 18 yeares. i grew up in this culture, and yes if i take these 2 iches out they will grow back but as you said only if you stretch without ripping scaring. ive only used a strecher twice to get this far after the intial peircing which back in the day started with a 20 gauge. i know many people that hve takin the lobes out and they grow back to pin holes. i naturally streched them just by sleeping on them. over time you just slide in the next gauge and by sleeping on you ear to srretch it will only take a month or 2 before you cab just slid a new one in. another thing is that if you are to stretch you ears wth tapper its always good to start rubbing them with extra virgin olive oil. it helps the elsticity in the lob. if you happen to have scar tissue and want to go bigger,that is why the dermal punch came to be. and dermals mobiously wont grow back. and cartalige cannot be streatch far, it should be punched because you can shatter cartalidge if stretched to far. just a note that all surface peircings do grow out.

      there was a girl asking what reasons are for peircing and it varies for everyone. most kids these days are getting it done for fashion. i originaly got mine done to piss my parents off(it worked), eventually it became status symbole in my city after i grew from the attention i took 21 peircings out and now left with 8. and the ones i chose to leave are all for sexual reasons. like i said this is over 18 years. the natives in canada have different reasons for peircing. some boys are not considered men until they can break peircings in there pecs hanging from a line tied to a top of a tree. if they cry they are still considered children(sun dance). some peircing also show the wealth of the also shows if one is married. peircings in the nose not septum just on the side. they also show the age and elders in some tribs. and in warriors it shows the level of leadership. now in others, some use it for meditation(hanging from hooks placed specificly to your hight and mass so it hold you weight while suspended from ropes from the ceiling).

      for materials bone and wood is the best thing you could have in you body. it is a natural matrial that absorbes the sweat wich causes ear cheese wich is that smelly stuff. wich is perfectly natural to have a smell from glass, stainless steal and acrylic but acrylic is quicker to pop out the ear to wipe clean from years of experience. but if your to stretch with bone, you should use gazell horn wich is that smooth black bone you can by at any tattoo shop. anything smooth works, its just for stretching and for wearing. like the talons or claws you were talking about.

      feel free to edit this. i just thought you should give people proper information from experienced people. i only came across this to read about gecko and just wanted to see what everyone including yourself has to say. if you would like more info or any question feel free to email me. i can provide littrature for you. and also for your gecko morph amature breeders, there are many gecko morph calculators out there online. you just plug in the gecko you have and possible hets if you know them to get a more accurate answer. here is the first one that came up when i googled it.

      im not being disrespectfull to your information, just wanted to help clear some things up. i enjoyed both this blog and the gecko one. thanks.

    • Elisha 5 years ago

      I am at a 7/8 right now and my left lobe is starting to look a little thinner than the right. Most of the questions on here are a bit ignorant and are already explained. I just want to know when is it time to stop stretching your lobes? I am wanting to go to an inch which is only a few mm away but I don't want to rip my ear lobe in half.

    • Annie 5 years ago

      I have a question. i recently stretched my ear to a 8g, im gunna wait a while to stretch it any bigger. But i am wondering the next taper i have goes up to a 2, is that okay? and how long should i take to stretch it all the way to the 2g?

      Also is vaseline okay?

    • Christineee 5 years ago

      my eaars are stretched to 8g and im wondering if its possibLe to go from the 8g to a 00g ? or if it wilL Liike infect or bLow out ?

    • SS 5 years ago

      Not sure if anyone has said this yet but you can stretch with wood and such. Stretching piercings has been done for centuries even before steel was around. It just effects people in different ways. Ears 2" septum 8mm.

    • austen 5 years ago

      i work in a shop and have a friend whos been piercing for 15 years do mine. my ears weren't even pierced and i got them pierced and stretched straight to 0. my ears have no scar tissue, no blowouts and look better then the rest of my friends, just go to someone who knows what they are doing

    • Stefy 5 years ago

      Hi. Where are you? I see you haven't replied in a few wks and I'm wondering if you'll reply back.

      I was wondering if I have my cartilage punched at 1.5mm, would it be better to wear 16g or 14 g. I have a 16g captive bead titanium earring I really like. I was told they wouldn't punch any smaller. I don't want big holes in my ears, just, I'm prone to keloids & piercing related infections so I'd just rather have the hole punched. What do you think? It would be at the helix. Also if I have to wear the 14g jewelry, chances are the 16g would be too small later, right?

    • kate 5 years ago

      listen to your body for me i had no "point of no return" i spent 8 months going from nothing to 00s and then back to nothing im like a 18 now...

      don't force it if your ears hurt your going to fast

    • keeko 5 years ago

      I stretched mines to a three and a week after a five mm and no compllications it has been 4 days now

    • Mattoo 5 years ago

      Iv had Regular piercings in for about 1 year and wana start by going to a 14is that ok and will it leave scars?

    • blahblahmoo 5 years ago

      I had my ears pierced and I had to close them up but now I want them pierced again. Later on, I also want to stretch them to maybe a 4G. Will this work? There's a hard part in my ear from the previous piercing so....

    • Tatiana39 5 years ago

      Well first off you shouldn't skip any sizes cause you can really mess up your ears. You should probably wait at least 2-3 weeks before going up another size I went from a 10 to an 8 within a week and I took out the 8s to clean them and my ears started bleeding what should I do? I PLEASE HELP I have to take out my gauges certain times during the day to keep it hidden from my parents will that cause a problem? Oh and yeah what that guy told you was a bunch of bull:/

    • Chrissy 5 years ago

      SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME! So today I went into a piercing place and felt like stretching my ears. The piercer guy (who looked well knowledged I might add) he told us both to start with a 6mm taper, and wear it as jewellery if we like. He said to keep pushing it in and it will be in within like 3 days. After reading this, it sounds like this guy told us a bunch of bull??? Someone please tell me??

    • casseeann 5 years ago

      So i just got my ears gauged, i started at a normal earing and am now at a 10. How many sizes can i safely jump? I have a tappers in a 6, would that be ok to go to next? AND how long should you wait between each time you stretch?

    • Dayna 5 years ago

      im trying to head up to a size 2 and stay there to have simple cute little stretched ears but me being parinoid ima afraid in later years if i change my mind and wanna shrink them they will not go back to normal size, is it true that a size two taken out of an ear will let the ear go back to normal size?

    • natalie reyes 5 years ago

      i am also doing a research project about how piercings have evolved throught time, and the different symbols and meanings in today's and past meanings of piercings and strectching. if anyone can give me a good place where i can get some info or can maybe tell me by personal expirience it will be greatly appriciated :)

    • Eden 5 years ago

      I've had my ears pierced for quite some time now. Ever since I was a baby pretty much. I've just started stretching my ears. Without knowing, I pushed in large paper clips that stretched them a bit over time. I wasn't aware that they actually stretched because I wasn't familiar with the gauges. When I started stretching, a 14g slid right into my ear. Only one of the piercings was a little itchy for a few minutes. They are very loose now. And I'm wondering if I could just skip to a 10g. I'm thinking the 12g will be a waste of money, but I'm really not sure.

    • Victoria 5 years ago

      I Am 13 At I Was In A 14g . Is It Ok If Im Putting A 10g In? Will It Harm My Ear?

      I Would Like To Know If I Can Stretch My Ear Too Much B y Skipping To 12g?!

    • jess 5 years ago

      So I've had my ears pierced since I was 5. Im now 17. When I was 8 they got infected and got steel 14g shoved thru them at a tattoo shop. I let them gow back to a stud until just last year when I bought new lip rings. I shoved 16g thru them. That was a year ago. 2 days ago I used tapers from hot topic and gauged them up to a 12 and now want to gauge them to an 8. How long do I need to wait at the minimum

    • Lucas J. Rice 5 years ago

      I'm not saying I'm an expert, to start off. My ears are currently at a 5/8th :] Everybody is asking questions without fully reading the original post. Please read before asking more silly questions!

    • Mena 6 years ago

      Danny: wait at least two more weeks if its hurting that much. sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and push the taper in. it'll sting a little more but its totally worth it!

    • james 6 years ago

      Ii have only been stretching for about 4 or 5 months and I'm at a 9/16 and everything is fine with me :)

    • danny 6 years ago

      I started stretching mine in December, but because I wore heavy earring before, the smallest size I could start with was a 12g. Now I'm at 8g and my 2 week wait is over but every time I try to put the 6g in it hurts like a motherfarmer.....I've tried the lube and the shower....I wear pinchers cuz they're more comfortable to sleep in. Will the 6g go in easier if i make the pinchers or the plugs stay in longer?

    • Nikki 6 years ago

      okay so i got my ears pierce like 15 years ago, and i want to start gauging them. can i go right to a 14g?

    • Alex Hill 6 years ago

      ok my ears are gauges at 7/16 and im getting my cartlige pierced and im wanting to gauge it obviously its only gonna be to a 10 but would it look stupid ??

    • Mena 6 years ago

      i've been stretching my eras since junior year in high school (2008) and i'm now at 10mm (00). The jump from 0g to 00g was very drastic and probably the most painful. i use emu oil to help the tapers slide in and to help my ear heal. question; how bigger is a 7/16 from a 00? is it as big a difference as from 0g to 00g? after going to 7/16 can i still wear 00g jewelry without having it reduce its size?

    • Aiden Annette 6 years ago

      I went from a normal sized piercing to a size 6 in a day, thank god nothing went wrong! I just wish I would've known the risks of doing so beforehand, Its better to be aware of the dangers. But this was last year, I'm barely a size four now, going onto two. This helps for people always tell me different things, a friend of mine had a blow out which I had no idea it was one (didn't even know it had a name), because a friend of mine got one and all she said was, "It's normal, It happens to everyone that gauges their ears" I was like "No...I don't have that"

    • alylynnk 6 years ago

      I've been stretching my ears for a little over a month, I'm at a 0 and I'm going to a 00 in a couple days I've only stretched with acrylic tapers and I started at a 10, they both got infected really bad, they were red swollen and painful it hurt even down into my neck. I got this stuff called h2ocean and it was gone in 3 days it was expensive! like 20 bucks but it's amazing! I recently used it on my cartilage piercing for an infection I only put it on once and it's gone so that's just my advice :) my sister and I have really stretchy ears and we can go up 2 sizes in one day but my right ear is a little more painful then my left cause when that one got infected I took the gauge out and it formed a little scar tissue. so if your ear gets infected but u still want to stretch your ears don't take it out just get rid of the infection! also my sister went up to a 4 and her ears were back to a regular earring hole within a week

    • dan 6 years ago

      ive got these 2 inches in nd i heard if i take them out your lob will get thicker nd you can start spacing to a bigger size

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      In general, it's a pretty stupid idea

    • Jen 6 years ago

      Is it ok to qo from a size 10 to a 6 in a week..

    • blazeone 6 years ago

      I am getting ready to start stretching my ear. I'm at 16g and going to a 14g I have never stretched before. I have a 14g stainless taper do you leave it in when your clean it or take it out and should you spin it or leave it alone I plan on going to a 1" but want to do it right

    • Ammyy 6 years ago

      Uhmm, you say to wait a month at least to a few months, when actually you only have to wait 2 weeks AT LEAST to stretch up; &honestly if you're going to give advice, give it to the people correctly. I mean comw on miss it isn't THAT hard to do._. learn your information&THEN give helpp.

    • Oh? 6 years ago

      I started with just normal gauged holes, (not sure of the exact size) and stretched them to a 10g in one night an it did no harm. I stretched up to 2g "patiently and properally" wWITH plastic tapers, then stretched to 00g in 2 days, now after waiting maybe 3 months I've just stretched to 1/2 inch with wooden pincers and I've healed perfectly fine every time. I used polysporin and it never even hurt me, I think follow the directions on this page, not mine seeing as they are really quite good and intelligent but don't be scared to do it your own way if you feel comfortable.

    • Lexi 6 years ago

      I was stupid and didn't do my research before going from a 16 to a 6 in like 5 hours. I don't see any major issues at the moment. I took them out to clean it earlier and it bled a bit, soaked a few q-tips. They hurt and are redish. Should I get an 8 and let it heal? Or just take them out completely? I tried just looking for similar questions everywhere, but I didn't find any.

    • Stacy 6 years ago

      Hi, I've been stretching my ear lobes since about 6 years now, Ive had my 00g for 3 years and I wanted to gauge my secondary piercing above them, turns out the original pierce (about 18g) was too close the the primaries. So, I consulted with the body piercer and we concluded to make new piercings above a bit closer to the cartilage. He used a 6g needle on unopened/unstretched/unpierced skin. MY right ear turned out perfect, sore but fine. Now, my left ear has been steadily bleeding since about an hour after the pierce. It bled all night and soaked through my towel onto my pillow. It keeps bleeding and gunking up. It's now been about 24 hours since the pierce. I'm not sure what to do about the gunk and keeping it clean as it just keeps coming back and it's pretty painful. Any input and advice? Thanks!

    • Emma 6 years ago

      I've considered stretching my lobes, but I'd like them to be no bigger than a size used for largish conventional earrings. This is because I don't personally like excessively big sizes and because I'd like to try stretching, but not have it be a hindrance in the superficial job market.

      Is this remotely possible, or would I just have to suck it up and not stretch?

    • Failburdy 6 years ago

      So every time I'm going to shower (which is every other day) I take out my guages, (size 4g are acrylic) and like i get out and they don't fit in my hole, or it takes time? like i fell asleep forgetting to pop them in and now they really wont fit.

      It's barely been a now i popped in my taper. Is my ear healing that fast or maybe its because I'm pruned?

    • Alison 6 years ago

      I have 20g ear lobe peircings, if I slowly went up to 14g or 12g, will they heal back to the regular 20g ear hes?

    • Cody 6 years ago

      Pierced myself, (18g) then exactly one week later I gauged to (4g) I know I shouldn't of but it was my choice. No problems, just took my time. Then I waiting three weeks to stretch to (2g) and yesterday (like a week later)I went from 2g to 1/2. No problems so far. It all depends on what YOU'RE doing/feeling. But I recommend if you get to 2g to go to 0 then 00, instead of me skipping three sizes, be safe about it. Take your time!!!

      By the way, great info up top. Nice to know if I blow my ears lol. Good luck.

    • Joey 6 years ago

      I got my ears pierced at a 6 gauge, and tapered to a 2 gauge in the same sitting. I waited about three weeks for my lobes to heal, and tapered them to a 0 gauge yesterday. So, within a month, I went from nothing to a 0 without any complications. It just depends on your body and how it reacts to the mods.

    • Trebor 6 years ago

      I just tried to stretch from an 8 to a 6. I had the 8s in for a few months and thought I was ready. I waited til after a shower to make sure my lobes were nice and loose. It was a tight fit and one ear had a blow-out! I took that jewelry out and replaced it with the smaller gauge. I'm considering waiting a week and trying again with surgical lubricant. Do you think a week is long enough to wait? Where can I find surgical lube? Is there a better way to go about this? Thank you so much for your sdvice!

    • kayla 6 years ago

      hey i want to start putting in some gages, i have some from a friend that has no use for them. i tried to put them in but they wouldn't budge; my ear is a little soar so i stopped, but i only hope to go to a 6 gage or smaller... what do u think i should do to start...

    • bbritters17 6 years ago

      umm i just got 10 and 8 gauges from spencers. i started with my second holes. i put the 10's in tonight.. but i didn't use anything to help i just put them in and now they are really hard to move and hurt wen i try to move them.. is it ok to start with a 10, and on the 2nd hole. i have 8's for my first hole but i am waiting to but them in till the 10's heel. can i please get some tips or advice. Im not sure if these are good to use but i couldn't find steal or glass tapers. is it find to keep the tapers in or should i switch to plugs? someone please help me!

    • Liz 6 years ago

      So i've just started this shit two weeks ago now im at 2 mm it doesn't ache at all or anything, no pain, no sore, no blood, so may i switch on to 3 mm?

    • Hannah 6 years ago

      i just got mine to an 8g about four days ago is it okay to go to a 6g now?

    • Kc 6 years ago

      Hii, can someone PLEASE answer my question? Im currently at a 6g and there healed. I wanna know how to put a 6g sillicone plug in because there really small to try to fold them so there eaiser to put in and i cant seem to get them through. How to i get them through, any special way? Please answer my question. THANKYOUU :D

    • Lovely 6 years ago

      so, im thirteen and my ears are currently at 7/16.. i was wondering if they'll ever go back to normal size, if not, how far will they go?

    • Taylor 6 years ago

      HI I guaged my ears yesterday from to a 14 from a 10 and I just learning about guages. well last night my gauge ripped out of my ear wile I was sleeping! How can I stretch my ear easy to fit it back in?

    • james l 6 years ago

      i got my ear pierced a week ago but i hate the stud, i bought a clear acrylic spike thing which is only like 2mm, does it really matter if i put that in now or will it get infected or something?

    • Alex123 6 years ago

      Hello i got my cartilidge peirced like 3 weeks ago and bought the lip peircing spirals and they wont go through HELP! I really want them in but my hole is tiny..... any way without killing my ear thx so much :)

    • kris10marie 6 years ago

      QUESTION: I recently decided to start stretching my ears w/steel tapers & plugs. I was at a 14g for years, and tried to stretch to a 12g. The taper went in pretty well, but I could not for the life of me follow the plug through. Would go halfway, and then stop. It is a single flared plug. Not sure why this would happen. Maybe it's a sign to not stretch my ears. LOL. Any help or suggestions? Thanks so much.

    • liz 6 years ago

      i have my ears pierced and i want to get a normal size gauge that will not be to big ideas?? ... do i have to keep streching them ??

    • Brett 6 years ago

      I stretched my ear from 14 gauge to 1 3/4" in 4 months and my ears are fine. it's all on how you do it.

    • gideon 6 years ago

      i got my ears pierced on june 2nd i with a 16g i am now at a 2g does that sound about right?

    • Damon 6 years ago

      i have 2g in each of my ears right now and i have 1g tapers that ive been tryig to get in but they get about 3/4 of the way in and they just stop. even if i push hard they refuse to move any further. what should i do?

    • Cachetes 6 years ago

      I really wanna gauge my ears but ive had then pierced before like a normal ear piercing but now they have closed up and on the back of my ear lobe i have bumps. Will i be ok if i try to gauge my ears or is it a bad idea? email: please answer asap :D would love my ears gauged

    • swallowrazoes 6 years ago

      i have 1/2" gauge plugs. ive had them at that size for the better part of 4 years. i want to go up to a 5/8" gauge. is it safe to stretch them straight to 5/8 from 1/2 or should i use a 9/16" in between. i plan on staying at 5/8 and not go larger after that, and would rather spend the money on some nice 5/8 plugs rather then buy 9/16 plugs that after a while i wont even wear anymore.

    • Nichole 6 years ago

      how do i make it easier going from a 2 to a 0?

    • Bekah 6 years ago

      I just recently strectched my ears to 8 gauge....but i did it a little differently . I used 2 tongue rings(metal) at first because i couldn't find gauges in my town. then i found some and they were like the steal pinchers, only plastic . I now have 8 gauge plug like things in but they are plastic as well. Using plastic wont create a higher rish for infection will it ? :S

    • Jay 6 years ago

      Well, in my experience of gauging my ear I went from a normal size earing to a 6, only pain was a burning sensation. Three days later I went to a 4, two days after that I went to a 2. I waited for two weeks then went to a zero. I bought a zero plug online but was actually a 7/16. Now I am going to a size above an inch. No blowout, no tear, no infection. All good

    • Wondering 6 years ago

      I just stretched my ears from 14 to 10s an it didn't really hurt just a lil pinch is it normal to feel a little bit or pain or sting?

    • Suck It. 6 years ago

      i have 3/4 inch plugs in. and since i was at 00 i have used the flesh tunnels to reach larger sizes. they're silicone. i have never had an infection nor a blowout. tapers are bad for your ears even if they're steel. so do whatever you want people. don't let this fool tell you what's safe and what's not. if you think its safe go for it.

    • chantel 6 years ago

      the easiest way ive found for stretching my ears is to use 14/16/18 gauge hoops, putting an extra one through every couple of days allowing any sensitivity to fade. once u have two in, you should be able to separate them slightly forming an opening in the middle for another to be put through and so on. I have 4 lobe piercings on each ear, all stretched. 00 first, then 2, 6, 10. all stretched using this technique. 00 took about a month and a half, 2 about a month, 6 2 weeks, 10 1 week. i wanted to avoid tearing my ear, so i went slow. i would suggest anyone stretching does the same :P

    • nicky 6 years ago

      hey so if im getting fake gauges or plugs, would the post stretch my ear at all? i noticed that some of the ones i looked at online are 16g, and isn't that bigger than a normal ear piercing? would 18g be any better?

    • laura 6 years ago

      if i get fake plugs they won't stretch my ear at all right? my parents won't let me stretch my ear so this is my only option.

    • mackenzie 6 years ago

      seriously guys, it bothers me when people say im gonna gauge my ears.

      you are not gauging your ears, you are stretching them. gauge is a size. not a stretch. learn your knowledge, people.

    • Candice 6 years ago

      First, I didn't read these comments so sorry if this was already said but,

      Bleeding during stretching is NOT normal. You need to downsize back to the previous size if this happens. Also, stretching should not hurt too much. Some soreness or slight sharp pains is normal, but don't continue if it is severe.

      I am not sure if this was mentioned in the article, but using tape around your plugs is a good way to transition to the next size. It allows you to go little by little. Don't use any tape with adhesive, as it may stick to your ear. The best tape to use is actually bondage tape, you can find it on amazon or at adult stores.

    • Jason 6 years ago

      ok so i was wondering if it was safe to go from an 8g to a 4g if my ears have already been to a 2g lol i know that's alot ok gauges but i was just wondering thanks

    • ant 6 years ago

      Ive got a double O tape in my ear and I was just wondering how long i have to keep it in before I can change it into a plug?

    • Cat 6 years ago

      Hi! i have a question: i have 2 cartilage peircings that are 16 gauge. i want to gauge to a 14, but i want to know if it is safe to wear metal tapers for a period of time?

    • robbie 6 years ago

      half of this is a joke. good luck find anything to actually stretch your ear that's not acrylic... and iv never had any infection from using acrylic tapers. i wait two weeks in between and have had no ripping or blow out complications

    • Rachel 6 years ago

      I've really been thinking about gauging my ear lobes. I only want to have a 6g or 4g. How long does it typically take to reach these sizes? And if I decided to take them out, how long would it take to heal and shrink to normal size? I know these things depend on the person but I was just wondering if anyone had personal experience that would give me a rough idea.

    • Skyenique 6 years ago

      Hi I've had 2g for about 7+ months. I've been trying too go to a 0, I've tried tapers but they they were kind of odd so I bought some better ones. I've lubed and tried everything and they won't just slide through, I'll really have too force them (Ive tried many times) I know that 1g exist but the cheapest I can find a pair is about 20 bucks or so, does anyone know good cheap site with 1g tapers? :\

    • tyler Liddle 6 years ago

      im on 8mm and that is the last that i can go.becouse 8mm is the last . and it matters what tip of lobe you got like if it is small there is least chanse of it going back witch i have a bigger ear and the question is what tip of job do you want like if you want to be a loayer don't get one in the first place.

    • desirae 6 years ago

      my brother went to a 0 gauge and it closed but his friend went to a 0 gauge and it never closed . so idk if yours will heal. i went to a 14 and it closed . if you go i size at a time and leve it in for two months and clean it every day it wont hurt. hope this helped.

    • Shillan 6 years ago

      This is about as useful as an article can get! thanks heaps :)

      I have one question though

      How the hell do you put double flares in your ear? it just doesn't make sense. Does the you ear need to be stretched to the width of the flare?

    • alex gage 6 years ago

      right now im ata 7/16 and when i first gauged my ears they wernt even pierced. i put a sewing needle through and then a 4 the next week a slipped a 2 in with no pain then lik a month later 1 put in a 0 then slid it out and put in a 00 i had my 00s for bout 2 months and a 7/16 sliped right in... i was wondering if you could tell me the next 3 sizes

    • >.> 6 years ago

      It's called ear stretching, not ear gauging.

      Useful site though.

    • Chris 6 years ago

      hey I had 8 gauges and I use telefon tape to stretch and I only stretched like on Wednesday about four days ago and they felt pretty painless so I put to more wraps of tape on do you think I'll get a blowout? they feel ok to me right now. I think I'm at a 6

    • ben 6 years ago

      Im at a half inch gauge size and an going to 1" its a fun learning process

    • Alex 6 years ago

      quick question... if i put teflon tape over my acrylic plugs are they safe to wear with a fresh stretch?

    • Mazzy 6 years ago


      I want to stretch my ears for the first time and I would say that my piercing is about 20 gauge and I want to stretch to a 14 gauge though my goal is a 10 gauge. I have a second hole pierced in the same lobe and I still want to wear a stud in that. Is it possible or will it mishape my ear? I would also like to use a steel taper to stretch the hole then follow it through with a plug as I don't want to keep the taper in. Is this ok?

    • Cassie 6 years ago

      I just want to mention that tapers are only safe if your ears are ready to stretch (like mentioned in the article) and if you don't actually wear them as a plug. If you use tapers to stretch your ears, make sure you have that size plug to push in after the taper. If you wear tapers, it can distribute weight unevenly to the ear and cause problems. I'm stretching my ear super slowly and i've found that taping (with surgical tape) is the most efficient way to stretch safely. I have friends who have used this method, and have never had any blowouts and they have moved to large sizes (ex: 1/2 inch, 1 inch, and 2 inch).

    • Lance 6 years ago

      There are ways to get your ears to stretch back down from big sizes. All you gotta do it stretch up a size and tear your ear and then but in jewelry two sizes under. Had a friend close his ears up from 1 3/4 inch that took him a couple months. The holes are gone and he just has huge earlobes. But its possible to close up from large sizes.

    • gaby 6 years ago

      i started gauging my ears in may, i started with an eight, something i sort of regret because i have a scar in my inner ear now. But now i'm at a two, i took my time when gauging because i basically figured out that if i went to fast there would be nasty complications, i see my friends who started smaller than me and are already at 7/16 and higher and their ears are really groddy and nasty, scarred and whatnot, they may think it looks kool but yeah. Unfourtunatley, i can only get my hands on plastic gauges but i tend to let them sit in achohol a whole night befoer i decide to move up, it seems to have worked for me, but guys you should really think this through, it seems like a fad right now, so dodn't do it just because it's popular, i'm doing this for a friend who died so yeah.

    • Carly 6 years ago

      I'm 12 years old and have been stretching my ears for about two weeks now. I am at a10g right now in my first piercings in both ears. My friend gave me his 8g's but every time I try to put them thru, my left ear starts to bleed. Is this bad?

    • -joce. 6 years ago

      I started stretching my ears last year (2009) in august, i'm just now at a 00, i usually wait a month to two months in between my stretches, I've been asked many of questions, like does it hurt? what lube do you use and stuff?

      well here's my responses, and i hope it's beneficial for any of y'all that come onto here with questions that remain unanswered.

      it does hurt, but over time you get used to the pain. it's not a pain that you can cry over, but it burns and don't freak out if you ears swell up a little after stretching. i've had infections before, and the best way i found to treat them is to goto a local tattoo parlor and get this stuff called "green soap", two days of using that, and my ears were back to normal and doing okay. DON'T rush the process of stretching your ears! all bodies are different, and we all have different responses to it. and i must inform you, i used acrylic tapers to stretch my ears, i made sure they were cleaned with alcohol, and i also cleaned my ears with alcohol and anti-bacterial soap. for lube, i either use ky jelly, water-based or vitamin e oil. i'd highly recommend the vitamin e oil, not only does it allow the taper to slide through easily, it also reduces the chance of getting a lot of scar tissue. i like to purchase steel plugs though, i never use acrylic plugs. just so that a lot of bacteria doesn't get attracted and steel is easier to clean for me.

      NEVER skip gauges, and never wear tapers as an everyday jewelry. It'll give you uneven stretches, causing the plug to possibly not go in.

      Make sure you're sanitary and have fun(:

      My goal is to goto 5/8s!!!

    • bexxi 6 years ago

      i decided to stretch my 12 mm up to 14mm after about four years and it got infected so i went doctors and went on antibiotics and went back down to 12. I tried again to go up to 14 and looks like its infected again. is this because i left it so long between stretches ? Ive been stretching my other ear and haven't had a problem.

    • Raymond 6 years ago

      I've been stretching my ears for a while now, and a few days ago I got to the point where I figured I could put in 0g. I had waited 2 weeks after the 2g, by the way. So, I tried it, with a water-based lubricant, and eventually I got it through, and was followed by dancing around for a minute or so in pain, haha. It hurt for a while, but the pain gradually started going away, so I thought, alright, awesome. The next evening they were a bit irritating, and figured i should maybe get an extra clean in for the day. I took it out, and it bled some, which worried me a bit. I went back to 2g, and now it's a bit swollen. It doesn't hurt or anything, it just feels like there's water or something in my lobe. When i clean it, which is every night before bed, I use a salt water rinse. I know I should get some great oil stuff, but I'm wondering what kind I should get? So any tips for the swelling or a good oil for cleaning? Thanks!

    • Becc 6 years ago

      Hey, I'm looking at starting to stretch my ear..but my existing regular piercing is fairly close to my face.. Will this be a problem? I also have a second hole. Do you recommend get a fresh piercing between the two and stretching that one? Or will it be a problem for that one to run into the other two?? Please help!! Thanks (:

    • zach waxman 6 years ago

      i got mine pierced at a 16 aug 2nd, how long should i wait till i go to a 14. and what should i use to stretch it to a 14 with i am staying at.

    • jordan 6 years ago

      I've been trying to stretch my ears up to a 00 for months and months now and I'm only at 10 so far. for some reason I've had some trouble going up sizes (at least from 12g and on). I keep them in for months at a time so it's not like they're not healed. is this a normal thing or is my body just wack? I got some 8g expanders today (I've been trying to move up to an 8 for a while now but could never get any jewelry in). I've done my research and all the necessary steps but I'm really having a difficult time. any suggestions?

    • xxjuggalette 6 years ago

      my 0 gauge taper wont go in.

      any tips

    • RachTitch 6 years ago

      Hi Whitney.

      I was a 6mm (English measurements sorry lol) for at least 2 years and recently decided to stretch to an 8mm. I gave it a few days to gently push the stretcher through but realised yesterday that my ear was hot, red, swollen & bloody at the back. I've taken the stretcher out this morning and cleaned it with rock salt solution & germolene (an antiseptic numbing cream). I still really want to stretch my ear, what should i do? The hole has got quite a bit smaller & the wound is still open at the back of my ear but the front looks fine.

      Thank you in advance!

      Rachel, England x

    • Cassi 6 years ago

      i just started gaging my ears and im at a 16g when should i change it and to wat size?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      You stretched WAY too fast. Patience is a virtue, and without it you risk your health. Many people have skipped that many sizes, but that doesn't mean it's smart. Some people's body will acclimate fine, but others will react poorly, as you've severely stressed out the tissues. It was actually a stupid move, but immaturity and impatience is common for your age. Hate to be blunt, but it gets old when people are ignorant to their body and safety.

    •  6 years ago

      hey Ms. Whitney im going into the 8th grade and my friend let me borrow his size 4 taper. last night i was 14 and now i stretched to the 4 taper (it hurt like hell!). i don't think i notice any signs of blow outs or tearing but i really don't know much about this..(i'v noticed that nobody has ever really skipped this many sizes).. do you have any recomindations???

    • Ryan 6 years ago

      Could use some help Whitney please, have googled and everything, i have some black like dots forming on the inner part of my gauge hole. My friend like ripped my 7/16 tunnels out today and it didn't look like that before he did it, any idea what i would be? i was forced to downsize because my ear then took the form of a teardrop hole and a 7/16 anything wouldn't go through it. Need help!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It may take a day or so, but there shouldn't be any reason why you shouldn't be able to get the 12g's in. Sometimes it just takes patience, and the longer you wait and slower your stretch, the easier it becomes.

      The larger you get, the longer in-between stretches.

    • Samantha34577 6 years ago

      Thanks. If that doesn't work tho should I just try again with 14g tapers?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Nope. If you force you may cause a tear. You want to just let the ears relax at where you're at right now, then try again in the shower or tomorrow.

    • Samantha34577 6 years ago

      I tried starting out at 12g tapers but I can only get them in halfway. Should I just try to push them in?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I would suggest not stretching any further.

    • xERIK 6 years ago

      Hey I'm just wondering if u can give me advice on my gauges. I have a 00 in my left ear and I'm afraid that I've over stretched it because when I look at it it looks like it's not centered and it looks like the right lower part of my ear is not as thick as the rest of it. And when I was at a 2 I only had it in 4 like a week and I tried to stretch them to a zero and I ended up getting a tear on the inside of my ear lobe and it got infected. And when I saw that it was infected I driwned my ear in alcohol and benzyl peroxide (bad mistake) and I ended up making it worse until I finally soaked it in sea salt and water. And when I put peroxide on it, some skin on my ear turned really clear and it came off. And now to me my ear doesn't look even and I'm afraid that I over stretched and I'm also scared that if I keep stretching my ear it won't stretch evenly and I'll end up having part of my ear thinner than the other, please help.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'd say it depends on what gauge they are and how long you've had them. When I first started stretching mine, I started with a 16 gauge, as I was pierced with an 18g when I was young, but I had no problem getting them in. I went to a 14g, then 12 without any issues. The 12g had a pinch of a burn, but nothing serious. Granted that was with about 13-14 years between initial piercing and first stretch.

    • John 6 years ago

      Just wondering what is the recommended time between initial piercing and first stretch? sorry if it has already been asked.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It all depends on the person, and everyone is different. I've seen some 0 guages go down to a normal hole and even close up, but I've also seen people who have had trouble getting gauges smaller than that to shrink. It really just depends on the individual.

    • Adam 6 years ago

      Hi, Whitney05, I have 6 gauge (4mm) stretcher in my ear, and I'm wondering if I go to a 4 gauge (5mm) one, and if I change my mind, will the 5mm hole grow back to a normal hole? (20 gauge)?

      Thanks a lot, hope you reply!



    • Dana 6 years ago

      I have just stretched from a normal piercing to a 6g. I asked a woman in the shop I bought the tapers and plugs and she said it was fine. There only a little swollen and only a little sore with no bleeding. Is this ok, I'm not so sure after reading this. Also people seem to but plugs in right after tapers is this normal I thought you had to leave the tapers in until it heels then put in the plugs. Also do you have to turn them in your ears like you do with fresh piercings.

    • bbc11 6 years ago

      i gauged my ears from a 8 to a 6 and i had my 6 in for about a week or week and a half but when i gauged it to a 6 they were fine but the second day of having them my right ear swelled up and i took the gauge out to clean them and it started to bleed and i put them back in...should i keep them or take them out...i just want the swelling to go down.


    • Elicia 6 years ago

      Hey Whitney.. I slept in the tapes. Know I pry shouldn't have but it worked. They slipped all the way thru in the morning. Got my 6G single flare studs in the next morning. The shafts were too small tho, had some terrible swelling to deal with for a few days. But it settled down. Got some steel segments to wear. Pry gona keep them in till Turkey-day or christmas. Then think about some 4G tapes

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'm not sure. I'd stick with what's recommended, as it's been proven.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 6 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      I heard that bondage tape is commonly used for taping,but it is nearly impossible for me to get a hold of.Is there some way a thirteen year old can get some?Would teflon tape work?Thanks.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'd say you're really young, and I'm quite surprised that your parents don't care what you're doing. You are very young and stretching can be irreversible to some degree on certain people. Keep that in mind.

      Just work slowly.

    • yellow-cupcakes 6 years ago

      heya ! so im 15 and i have been streching my ears on and off since i was 8 . yesterday i bought new apers and the guy ther had hugely gauged ears and i told him i was at a 10 wanting to go to a 6 . he said he has done it before and it is painful . im trying and i have gotten about 1/2 - 3/4 the way up . and advice to make it slide in easily and with the least amount of pain ?

    • Ryan 6 years ago

      @Ben im curious about that as well. My ear has been bleeding for a couple of days since i put 1/2 in. using inkwell piercing healing spray doesn't seem to help. but the piercing doesn't just slip in like it would if ripped so idk honestly. Take it out. and try to put it back in. if it goes in easily. could be possibly?

    • Ben 6 years ago

      If you are stretching your ear and it bleeds, does that mean it's ripped?

    • Ryan 6 years ago

      @James heh not much imput i can put but your brave for actually doing that. I can take alot of pain but i went 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 00 and now slapping in 1/2 after 4 days of being in 00. Id give it a couple days. check it. if it looks raw give it a salt water bath.

    • james 6 years ago

      hey Ms. Whitney im going into the 8th grade and my friend let me borrow his size 4 taper. last night i was 14 and now i stretched to the 4 taper (it hurt). i don't think i notice any signs of blow outs or tearing but i really don't know much about this..(i'v noticed that nobody has ever really skipped this many sizes).. do you have any recomindations???

    • Ryan 6 years ago

      I initally got my ears pierced at a 14g at a tatto parlor. in about 2 months im now at a 00G, i usually waited a period of about week or so between each sometimes faster at smaller sizes, but i got over excited and went from 0 to 00 in 6 days and really felt it, its been red for a day and its better but curious, my ear is starting to be shaped differently? is that normal?

    • Emily 6 years ago

      I went from a 14 to a 10,(I had the 14's in for a couple of months)a couple of days ago and the inside of my holes are bleeding a little. Is that okay? I just don't want a keloid, because my cousin had one.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'm not sure what you're asking. What do you think the Vitamin E will help?

    • Wes 6 years ago

      I have 5/8 plugs and one of my ears is thin on the bottom. My ears are already healed and i can take out the plugs if needed. Should i still downsize and do Vitamin E oil massages or can i stay the same size and do the massages? Thanks for the help.

    • Bailey 6 years ago

      I want to stretch my piercing to a size 2 or 4....but I hav a second piercing on my ear, Will the Gauge rip into the 2nd one and deform my ear?!?!?!? =\ help

    • carson 6 years ago

      if i dermal punch my lobe to a zero, will i be able to stretch within the minimum 2-3 weeks of the punch.

    • Lindy 6 years ago

      I've had my ears pierced for years, and I decided to finally start stretching them. So yesterday, I put 14g plugs in. They had been at an 18g, so yes I did skip 16g. Maybe that's the problem. However, my ears were quite stretchy already. Anyway, I woke up this morning and they were bleeding. I don't think I tore them since they are at such a small size. I don't really know what else it could be.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I wouldn't change to tunnels until your ears have relaxed and healed up a bit. If you change now, the tissues may get more inflammed, as they are already quite irritated.

      Try single flares, they're easier to get in.

    • alexa  6 years ago

      sorry im responding really fast haha, But to change them into tunnels. I woke up with drusy blood around each end of the hole and the inside looks raw. its hard ive been trying to put the tunnels in, ,but they are screw in ones, and on the one end pushing it through feels as though i am actually pushing a nail through it. Thank you so much for your help!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      In regards to changing the jewelry or what exactly? I'd wait till the irritation goes down

    • alexa 6 years ago

      me?. I woke up and its bleeding, when should i take the taper out?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      You've stretched too much too fast. You've greatly irritated the piercing. Just leave it alone for right now. Let it heal up some in-between stretches.

    • Alexa  6 years ago

      Ok hi. I got my ears peirced (for the 4th time, meaning a lot of scar issue was already set in place) with a 10g needle as the initial peircing. I waited about 10 weeksand then gauged them to 8. Today i went and got a METAL taper and size 4 gauges. The guy said if i go SLOW that i can gauge them 2 sizes. My lobes are very big and it was so simple to go from a 10 to an 8. I have been using the taper and slowly pushing it in for about 12 hours. It took me so long and now i can finally get it fully through my ear. When i put the tunnel earring in it will go through but wont fit through the back. I have yet to even start gauging my right ear. Im not sure what to do, right now my taper is in through the backside (point sticking towards the front) so that i can let it be and stretch out the back. I am trying and going to sleep with it like this for my ear is extremely swollen. It hasn't bled which is a good sign but do you have any ointments to use as lube? Im using neosporin, but why is it so difficult and painful to stretch when it was so simple going from 10-8?. What should i do and what will make my right ear less traumatic?

    • andy 6 years ago

      im at 2 inchs now and im now trying to seem why my outter skin is starting to turn purple and what do u think i should do

    • Paige 6 years ago

      I was wondering if anyone could help me. I'm re-stretching my ears. The last time I stretched, I skipped a size which cause scarring. I'm not having AS difficult a time stretching in my right ear, as my left.

      The gauges don't go through my left ear well, it feels like it's getting "stuck" and I don't want to tear the lobe. What should I do?

    • Chelsea 6 years ago

      I went from a 10 to an 8 gauge a few days ago, they went in no problem, couldn't even feel it. They're not torn or infected at all and I have no discomfort moving them around. How long do you think I should wait, is a week okay, or longer?

    • Elicia 6 years ago

      Hubby and I have been working on streaching my lobes for a while now..And I was ready to go from an 8 to a 6. wasnt quite as easy to just pop, the flat headed single flare studs in like I did with 12, 10, and 8.. So we decided to get a set of steel tapers. Its just not possible for me to push them all the way thru. It just hurts too bad. Is there a way I can use the tapers over a period of time? without sleeping in them?

    • harley 6 years ago

      I'm at a gauge 4 right now which isn't very big and i was planning on going to a 2. but i am having some concern that they will not shrink back to a normal earing size.

      i have always waited at least 2 weeks to go up a size. and they have never really smelled bad. i never cleaned them with alcohol only antibacterial soap and but nelsporan on them. but for some reason now they look a little red andlook like they have a circle around them when i take out my gauge. should i be concerned? or is it fine for me to go up one more size? will they be able to shrink back if i do? or should i take out my gauge and let them heal completely? im kinda scared now. what should i do?

    • Emily 6 years ago

      I'm going to stretch my ears soon but I don't know what to use to make it slide in better. I've heard you can't use vasline or baby oil. And I heard you could use lube but I really don't want to keep that in my room with family coming in and getting the wrong idea etc.. I saw some online but it's a bit expensive and the tapers I'm getitng are already costing me. Is there anything that is not too expensive that you could get from a supermarket or a health and beauty shop?

    • Charity 6 years ago

      I went and hade my ears stretched lastnight from a 2g to a 0g at the tattoo shop. Well this morning they had dried blood on them and they are a little sore. No blow out "thank goodness!" Is it okay to leave the 0g I don't want to downsize and have to go back through that crap again.

    • Damien 6 years ago

      I'm havin a hard time going from 5/8 to 3/4 I've had 5/8 for about 8 months now and I can't get my 5/8 in I've tried doing it in the shower with the water as hot as I can stand it but no luck any ideas

    • Kirin 6 years ago

      I started stretching my ears last august, and just stretched them to a 1/2 inch yesterday. I think this may have been my final stretch, but I might change my mind in the future. But anyway, stretching from 18g to a 1/2 inch over the course of 11 months, would you deem that a sufficient amount of time ?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It is hard to say for sure, as everyone is different. You should just always make each stretch as though it will not shrink back.

    • Sierra. 6 years ago

      I have 2g plugs. And I want to go up two 00g

      But will they go to a smaller size if I take them out?

      Like 4g or 2g?

    • Katie 6 years ago

      I got my ears pierced at a mall whenever I was 5 (im 14 now, so i'm guessing they have loosened and stretched a bit) I've done a lot of research because I want to stretch correctly. However, I have two questions. Is it safe to stretch from a mall piercing? I heard sometimes there is scar tissue around the piercing that prevents it from being stretched. I only want to go to about a 6 or 4 gauge, so nothing huge. But I don't want to mess anything up.. Also, what would be a safe gauge to start stretching at? I was thinking a 16 or 14, but im not exactly sure..

    • christian 6 years ago

      will you ear have a blowout if you just wear tapers

    • dakota 6 years ago

      i went from a 18g to a 0 gauge in a total of five weeks i didn't have any problems but i was very lucky, its all about your pain threshold and your body, also I would nnot recommend using pincers, the gauge can be uneven and not as slow of a progression as most people would like

    • la nena mala 6 years ago

      it gonna be my first time gettin dis done i want 10g and i was thinkin about doing it with tapers what do u recommend because i want 2 do it on my own

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Try to avoid using wash rags. Stick with a q-tip, cotton balls, etc. Peroxide can easily dry out and irritate a piercing. Try using saline solution instead. Neosporin can clog up a problem piercing so that it can't breath and it can create a sticky area to collect bacteria and whatnot; if you opt to use it, make sure that you wipe away any excess ointment or cream off the skin around the piercing.

    • Elicia 6 years ago

      Hot showers and clean wash rag with out jewelry in that spot. And peroxide on a Q-tip once or twice a day. So I should put my segment ring back in? Would it help to rub it down with a lil neosporen? And I actually slept with nothing in that spot last night

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Elicia, stop taking them out so much. Just leave them in to clean. You are probably irritating the piercing by removing the jewelry to clean every time. Also, put a ring back in. The studs can harbor bacteria on the butterfly backing. Avoid sleeping on the piercing. What are you using to clean it?

    • Fhvrrafg 6 years ago

      I used acrylic tapers/plugs from hot topic and they were fine

    • Elicia 6 years ago

      Im having difficulties with the right side of my upper cartilage pierce. There is no puss that I see. But in the last cpl wks its gotten really hard. and its sore when I sleep on it. I had them pierced back in Feb. The left side is doing just fine. I didn't want to cause I cant get them back in on my own, but I took my segment ring out of that side and put in an old ear stud (standard size). Im going to be taking it in and out several times a day cleaning it. Should I go to the doc or take it out completely?

    • torie burks 6 years ago

      I gauged to 3/4 almost an inch when i took out my gauges they closed in a month but everyone is different but gauges most of the time have to be repaired surgically

    • Katy 6 years ago

      Goin down to 6's tomorrow! This was very helpful!!!

    • August 6 years ago

      About four months ago i had a friend of mine pierce my ears, just so i could begin stretching them, He pierced them with safety pins and they seemed mostly centered. Within about a week and a half i had stretched to 0 with no complications, after about 2 months i was at 7/8ths of an inch, and i finally noticed how off centered my piercing was. I took out the piercing about four days ago and i'm at about a half-inch, maybe smaller. I want to keep stretching, but the earlobe was too thin due to placement. I'm considering ear scalpeling to correct the placement( I am positive i want to stick with stretched ears forever) is my earlobe too big for that, Around how much does it cost, And how do i find someone i can trust to do a good job on it?


    • Emillie 6 years ago

      Ok I'm 13 and really want to do my ears. Nothing big. I have two holes done with about 20ga on each side. I asked a friend and she said I could use belly button piercings to start. Is that to big?

    • Dallas Greene 6 years ago

      i need help i pierced my ear with a piercing earring and i sterilized it and my idiot self went from a 20 to a 6 in one day no gauges in between and it got swollen and infected i went to the doctor and got antibiotics and it went away i got it pierced professionaly and i put a sterilized tongue ring in my ear and it kinda hurts to take it in and out..... is it getting infected again?

    • Ali 6 years ago

      So I successfully stretched my ears to a 6g from an 8g. After about 2 days I took my left one out to clean it and it started bleeding. I don't know if I should size down or not. I put some antibacterial ointment on it and stuck the 6g back in and it's still a little sore. So the question is should I downsize back to an 8g or keep it at the 6g and just keep cleaning it regularly?

    • ben 6 years ago

      I'll tell everyone on here, the easiest/lest paintful way to stretch your ears, from the normal piercing ( 16g ) down to a fairly nice size, take your normal ear piercing, and wrap a piece of eletrical tape around it, and shove it in the whole, every nite, your ears will be sore, but willnot blowout or scar, and it will stretch from a 16_>8g in about 5 days, that is how i did mine, then i got a set of 8gs, let them sit in for a week, until i could fully turn the gauge without it being sore, then went to a 4g, let them sit for a week, then a 0 and now i'm where i wanna be for good, and it only took about 3 weeks, no flares, no blood, no blowout, make sure if u use the tape technique, you clean them consistently.

    • stevenn 6 years ago

      i got my peircing it was a stud on my lobes and i left it on for 5 days then took it out and put on my plastic 14g pinchers to stretch is that bad? cause ive had these plugs on for 3 days and it hasn't shown any puss , bleeding or soreness even when i twist it... does that mean its going to be fine?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      That should be fine. Just keep an eye on it. It sounds like you've got it all planned out, which is definitely good.

    • J.B. 6 years ago

      I got my initial piercing 14G titanium a couple weeks ago. Planning to let it heal for at least 6 months before gauging to 12. Is it okay to gauge with ASTM F-136 titanium if you're sensitive to other metals?

      Thanks for the great article.

    • AndrewP 6 years ago

      i just started stretching my ear, it is currently at 4mm, and i am going to stretch to an 8, in the correct time of course. i am planning to take them out after i have finished college (2 years). The idea of doing this is that by the time i have finished university they will healed up, so i won't have stretched ears by the time i am looking for a job. Do you think that my ears may heal up? if not healed up completely but to a standard ear piercing size?

    • joshua pope 6 years ago

      Ok so I noticed there are tons of people on here giving their 2 cents to people and a majority just say do this, don't do this. This is what i'm going to tell you from experience.

      First of all I was pierced with a 16G to begin with about a month later I went from 16G to a 12G. The tapers went in pretty easy with almost no pain and only a little soreness for like a day or so. Next stretch was 12G to a 8G 3 weeks after the 16G-12G. Again the tapers went in smoothly, very minimal pain/soreness. Next stretch was 8G to a 4G again about 3 weeks. Same results as last two stretches. Now here is where I switched shit up. I went from the 4G to a 2G(3 weeks) because 2G to a 0G is a 2MM jump not 1MM like the others. I waited another 3 weeks and tried to go from a 2G to a 0G, I tried to put in the 0G tapers and automatically I could tell they were not going to go in. I was in the shower, massaged my lobes and hot water + water based lube and they were still hurting I just knew if I put to much pressure I was going to rip something so I stopped, got out my 2G tapers and used a little Teflon tape. I did this about 2 to 3 times and from doing that I was able to get the 0G tapers in and I got the same pain/results from all of my other stretches..... Now i'm thinking about 00G.. The moral of the story people is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! don't listen to everyone else because I can guarantee that if someone else tried to do a stretch like I did(2 gauge jumps) it wouldn't work for them and they would end up with a blow out or a cat butt..... Do what your body tells you. If you go to put in a taper and you're sensing a level of pain that makes you think "fuck man this shit hurts BAD" then STOP!! and maybe think about using a little tape to wrap around the taper and stretch enough so you can use the taper you want to go to.... I hope this helps because I know there are so many people out there that don't know what they're doing and fuck up their ears because they have had no guidance or help. BE SAFE AND HAPPY STRETCHING!!!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Why didn't you just have the piercer pierce you with a larger gauge? You really shouldn't stretch until the piercing is well healed and relaxed.

    • kylegoode1990 6 years ago

      Hi, i just got my left ear pierced Sunday June,13th. And was wanting to stretch to a size 16g or 14g.IDK which yet, but i was wondering when and how i can do it. Do I need a taper or would just the ring itself work?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Samantha, it could be stuck because the tissues haven't adjusted of from lymph. Just be patient with it. Try to wiggle and gently push it out in the shower when the tissues will be most relax.

      sXehXc, If you don't stretch properly and carefully, you can cause tearing, infection, irritation, and/or blowouts. Using someone elses used jewelry, can cause infection and irritations. The jewelry needs to be carefully and thoroughly cleaned in an autoclave if the jewelry is stainless.

    • sXehXc 6 years ago

      Thanks so much for all of the info. I have a few friends who borrow gauges from one another. I tell them it's a bad idea, but they won't listen. How much harm can this actually do? I purchase all of my own pinchers.

    • Samantha 6 years ago

      is it normal for my taper to be stuck? like i cant move it at all.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I'd leave them alone right now, you're first real stretch was the 10g just a few weeks ago. You could probably stretch to the 6, but you may be pushing it. I'd give it another few weeks just to make sure.

    • Mar 6 years ago

      Hey Whitney05 Just wanted your opinion. I had my ears pierced since I was about 5. I am now 21. I stretched my ears for the first time 2 weeks ago I tried a few different sizes and the only one with resistance was the 10 so thats what I went with. Now today I wanted to see how tight the 8 was so I put it in but it went stright through. I didn't have to stretch them at all. I thought this was weird but anyway should I still Keep the 8's in anyway and for how long until I should try a 6.

    • Lee 6 years ago

      I have my ears @ 5/8s lip @ 10g nipples @ 14g and tongue @ 00g. I can pull my tongue ring out without taking the ball off so I am searching for a larger ring. Do know of anywhere I can get a larger barbell that is light weight so that it doesn't stretch its self? Thanks in advance.

    • October 6 years ago

      Whitney, I commend your tolerance for answering the same questions over and over.

      Just started stretching my ears the other day. I knew the basics about the process, but I figured I should look up a good article about it to see if I was missing anything, just in case. Turns out I pretty much had it down, but this article is really great for anyone that has no idea what they're doing, haha. Awesome job!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia


      Some go straight to inches. 7/16", 1/2", 9/16", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", then 1"

    • Piper 6 years ago

      I'm currently at a 00. What size is next?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kristina, don't ever get a piercing at the piercing pagoda, especially cartilage piercings. You want to go to a professional body piercer. The piercing pagoda and most places at a mall will use a piercing gun which will cause more damage to the tissues. You want a professional to use a needle. 18 is typically too small for a cartilage piercing. Most professionals will recommend piercing with a 16 or 14 depending on the location you're trying to get pierced. 14 is average for most cartilage piercings.

    • Stephanie 6 years ago

      I have been reading alot of comments on here that people have been putting wood plugs in their ears when they weren't fully healed, i would not recommend that! i have a friend who did that and his ear actually healed into the wood and he had to get it cut out of his ear! Also, your information on here is extremely helpful, i am at a 2 gauge now from starting at a 10 gauge and honestly I did it in a time frame of 1 month, after reading this i am deffinitely going to stop rushing. THANK YOU! (:

    • KristinaLouise 6 years ago

      Hello, I was planning on getting my cartilaged peirced this summer at Peircing Pagoda. But when the peircing heals, would it be safe to put an 18 gauge ring in it, or would that just rip it? And is it possible to eventually stretch it up to a 16 gauge? Thanks!

    • sarahmascara 6 years ago

      im at a 16mm at the moment, and have always used acrylic tapers to stretch my ears and use acrylic tunnels/plugs. Iv never had a problem with using them, but did find that the steel ones are ALOT better to wear. But i clean my ears everyday with alcohol swabs (once healed! DON'T do it just after you stretch, it hurts! D: ) but ive never had any problems using acrylics

    • Taylor 6 years ago

      Okay. When I put gauges in my ears I only felt pain when I slept that first day. Then there was some crusting. I haven't gotten to far since that but I was wondering... Do you think my ears are healthy enough to go to a 1/2 gauge and still be able to come back after words? You know. Once I get a job and a life?

    • Christie 6 years ago


      I just started gauging my ears today. They're a 14g and there have been no problems yet. What is the safest size you should gauge your ears to? As far as them going back to a normal piercing when you don't want them anymore? I read that 0g was the "Point of No Return". I was thinking I should maybe go 4g or 2g, because I don't want them too big.

      Also, can I skip to the 12g if I want? Because 14g doesn't feel tight, or like it's stretching my ears at all; it just feels like i'm wearing a regular earring.


    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Just because the soreness has gone away, it's still ideal to wait a little bit. The tissues need time to adjust to the piercing before a stretch.

    • drummerlock46 6 years ago

      hey i read through most comments tryin to find a answer but, i got my ears pierced at 10 gauge to start streching as soon as possible i've been cleaning them with the h20 ocean spray multiple times a day and have let them heal for about eight to nine days so far. i was told to wait longer to stretch to 8g but is it ok if the soreness has gone away? and it'd be ok if i took good care of it in the future?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Tyler, that's not a dermal punch but a 10 gauge piercing.

    • Ali 6 years ago

      So my ears were at an 8g and then after a week I decided to stretch them to a 6g. I can't get my right one all the way through, what should I do?

    • Tyler 6 years ago

      If your piercer uses a 10g needle to pierce your ears, it's not the same as a dermal punch is it? Because no skin came out it was just a bigger gauge then say a 14g and it's not going to take as long to get to the 4g that I want. Do you think that my ears will still heal up properly even though he used a 10g instead of a 14 or 20g?

    • matt 6 years ago

      what's the best way to strech out my ear? i got my ear pierced a few months ago but my hole is small what should i buy for streching it out

    • ashley 6 years ago

      this hub is so great! thanks to this page, i've stretched my ears to 00 without any complications. thank you so much!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It's kind of stupid to pierce yourself; you must be a skilled piercer to attempt that. Not Many piercers will even pierce themselves unless the piercing location is just right. 16 is about average for a lobe piercing anyway though.

    • Nick 6 years ago

      If I pierced my ear by myself would it be ok to go to a 16g right away

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Jess, I wouldn't skip anything. Go gauge by gauge.

      Devyn, it is stupid absolutely irresponsible to go from a 20 to an 8. Purchase smaller gauges.

    • Devyn 6 years ago

      Would it be bad if I went from a 20g to 8g? My friend did it and his turned out fine, but I'm just not too sure. I don't have anything smaller than 8.. And neither does he.

    • Jess 6 years ago

      as concerning my above question of if i can stretch again...

      i had to take the 6g taper out, and i put a 14g ring in it, so my ear is at a 14 now, can i skip to an 8 or should i go to a 12 than a 10 than an 8?

    • Sarahh 6 years ago

      I just ordered a taper set online, So when My ears healed I'll start stretching smart. Thanks...

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Yep.. Definitely impatient and a huge risk to your body. Kind of stupid... Anyway... You can overclean, keep that in mind. Other than cleaning say twice a day there's nothing you can do.

    • Sarahh 6 years ago

      I went from a 16g to a 0g in about a month an a half, waiting about a week between each size. I went to a 0g about two days ago, and it hurt to put in but not more then the others, and Today I noticed that the bottom part of my earlobe seemed a little stiff, and sore. I've been gauging with homemade tapers made out of clay( I know it not good at all, I just have no money right now)When i took the gauge out I noticed lots of puss, which didn't surprise me,but there was also a small cut. I assume this was because I didn't lube the taper, and It wasn't really healed. I put my old 2g in and I've been cleaning it every 2 hours or so with goldbon antiseptic spray and salt water, Is there anything else I can do for it? I know I really should have waited before I fucked it up, but im a super impatient person.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It's easy to listen to friends because you trust them. Sometimes though they don't always have the best information.

      I would just leave the piercing as is for now. Let it heal and relax. Wait some time then try to stretch again. You're getting into larger gauges, and it causes more stress on the tissues the further up you go.

    • Emily 6 years ago

      Wow... I have been going about this so wrong. I trusted two of my friends who have gauged ears (both at 2s) who said that waiting just a few days, or til the pain subsided, before moving to a larger gauge was alright. I thought I was being on the safe side when I waited 5 days to a week between each step. I decided to do some research to see if your ears return to their normal size when you remove the plugs, and I stumbled across this. I'm at a 4 gauge (just moved up today before finding this), and have yet to have any problems other than a bit of swelling and soreness. I'll be sure to give these a month or so before I even consider moving to a 2.

      In your opinion, do you believe it would be safer for me to move down a size, even if I haven't encountered a tear or blowout?

      Also, I wasn't aware of the dangers of plastic or acrylic tapers... I can't believe I thought I was being cautious.

      Thanks so much for posting this. You could have just saved my ears.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It's going to vary per person, so there's no definitely answer to your question. Just give it a good bit of time before stretching again after the infection has healed. I'd say at least a month.

    • Jess  6 years ago

      how long do you suggust waiting til i start stretching them again?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It is possible that you may be able to stretch another gauge. Definitely give your ear plenty of time to recoup from the infection. I wouldn't start stretching immediately after the infection is gone. Definitely wait some time after.

    • Jess 6 years ago

      Hey, so i started streching my ears. i was at a 6 (with acrylic tapers because i couldn't find steel ones) and my left ear got pretty badly infected.

      i went to the doctor, and im on antibiotics now.

      my question is, after my infection in my ear is gone, can i stretch it again? im only planning on going to 4's.

    • Jordan 6 years ago

      Okay so I've been stretching my ears since February and about a week and a half ago I went from a 2 to a 0. They went in fine like every other one and they were in for about a week, but at a party I lost an o-ring and put a hair tie on it. When I got home the next day I put in some silicon tunnels (my ears were a little sore but I put the size 0 tunnels in). Now my right ear is horribly red and twice as big as my left. I took the plug out once and there is an opening that is oozing yellow puss constantly. It looked a little torn. I put the silicon back in and i have it in now. I've been fighting what i thing to be a bad infection (my lymph node in my neck is huge) with bactine, basitracin, and sea salt soaks. Its gone down a little but is bad on the back of my ear.

      My goal size is 1" 1/2 so I need to know what I have to do to save my ear and keep is healthy enough to get that big.


    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It's possible, but I've always used tapers, as they're safer to prevent tears and blowouts as long as they're used properly.

    • dl0. 6 years ago

      So, is it possible to get a 00 in without using a taper to stretch?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      No, the 00 will not just pop right in. The flare could just be a smaller flare; my 10g's are like that. I have seen short flared 0g jewelry. You may not have as much trouble, but the 00 more than likely won't pop in just like you were wearing 0g jewelry.

    • dl0. 6 years ago

      This is an extremely informative piece, so kudos to you! My ears are stretched to a 0 right now. Will a 00 plug be able to pop right in?? The face/front of the current plugs I have in are able to go through my ear the whole way if I push them out.. with no pain as well. Does this mean I'm actually a bigger size than my gauge, or are my ears super stretchy?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Jordee, just keep cleaning. Cartilage is a little different than stretching lobe in terms of the tissues and pain. It may take some time before it's back to normal. I can't give you a specified time because depending on how much the stretch really was, it may be like basically getting it pierced. I doubt it'll be as bad or as long healing though.

    • Twist 6 years ago

      Thanks a ton for the teflon tip, Ive had plugs at 00 for awhile now and want to size up to 5/8 or 7/8 but have had difficulty finding a tapers with a fine increase in size to get me there. Going to pick up a roll of ptfe and see what it can do for me



    • Jordee 6 years ago

      Heyy.. Got a question for you..

      So, I had my septum peirced for about a year and a bit, but unfortunately I lost the jewelry one night. Soo a few weeks later I got another one, same size, and tried to get it through. It wouldn't fit, but a size smaller did. So i attached them together, because it was a tunnel I was trying to put in my nose, and then I pulled it through. So I stretched my septum. It hurts and stings and feels like I repeirced it :( Should I expect the same amount of healing time as when I first got it peirced? Cause its super annoying to try and blow my nose with this thing in there.

      I know how to take care of it and stuff, I'm just curious as to how long I'll have to wait before I can take it out and properly clean it and properly blow my nose.

      THANKS! :)

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Generally, you don't want to completely remove the jewelry when you develop an infection. It is best to leave the jewelry in so that you don't trap the infection within the tissues. At minimum, you could just reduce the gauge and let the infection heal. Once the infection and wound has healed, you can get it repierced. You can start gauging once the new piercing has healed. If you have to completely repierce the piercing, start with a larger gauge so that you don't have to stretch as much. Try a 10 or a 12 gauge. If you decide to do that, just make sure that you wait longer before trying to stretch.

    • princeali 6 years ago

      Hey, i just have a quick question. my ear recently got infected due to stretching. i was going from a 4g to a 2g. i took the gauge out to let the infection heal, but the hole has closed from the back. btw, the infection is fully healed. how long should i wait to repierce my ear? and is it safe to start gauging again?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kristen, sometimes they can be found in sets but a lot of online sellers sell them by individual pieces. You don't have to by them in stretching sets, like you described, but sometimes it can be cheaper depending on how far you're stretching. I always bought mine in pairs when I was ready for the next stretch, never as the stretching kits.

      Mike, it wouldn't be smart to stretch so far by August. I would wait several weeks before each stretch. You still have to wait for 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2. In my opinion and experience, that's at least 4-6 weeks per stretch, even longer between 4 and 2 because that's actually a large jump, and my hardest. It took several days to stretch to a 2 from a 4 gauge, and I've been told that's normal, and I had my 4's for months before I stretched. If you push yourself, you will cause problems.

      Kayde I would wait 4-6 weeks before each stretch at the smaller gauges, and much longer before larger gauges.

      cinthiflowers, You need to wait until the 18 gauges are healed. I'm quite surprised that a proper peircer pierced you at 18gauge, as the norm is 16 for lobe piercings. 18 gauge is what the piercing gun does with the studs. Definitely wait a while before you stretch since they're freshly pierced.

      Mugs, I've never experienced it. I wouldn't say it's a good thing though. Keep a close eye on them. Sometimes, it's good to stop when you feel the most tightness, let the tissues get adjusted for a day or so, then try again the rest of the way.

    • Mugs 6 years ago

      Sorry i forgot to post it. K well i'm currently in the process of stretching my ears right now i'm at a 4 gauge. My question is....I had my 6 gauges is for about 4 maybe 5 months anyways just last night i put in some 4 gauges in the shower. Now while i was pushing them through when it got to the thickist part they wouldn't budge. I kinda push them through anyways and it made somewhat of a popping sound on both sides. Is that normal? My ears didn't bleed and i don't seem to have a blow out or any skin around the my pinchers or anything. they are a bit tender today though. It never happened when i was doing the switch with the other gauge sizes, so is that normal?

    • cinthiflowers 6 years ago

      I recently got my ears pierced one lobe is re-pierced and one is newly pierced, right now they are at 18 and I'm pretty sure I have size 14 tapers how long should I wait to start to strech them and will it hurt a lot? I'm just a little reluctant on how I'm going to take the pain. @___@

    • Kayde 6 years ago

      Uhm...I just stretched my ears up to a 12 gauge, and I was wondering how long I should wait to stretch em', I was thinking 2-3 weeks, but I dunno.

    • Mike 6 years ago

      I didn't research any of this information until afterwards, but I am noticing a few areas where I messed up. I started out a bit over a month ago with an 18 and I am now on a 12. My goal is a 2. I plan to chill out for the next few weeks with stretching (probably 3-6 weeks) to a 10. My ears have bled a very small amount after the first stretching (3 weeks after the piercing), but they don't hurt for more than a few hours and they don't swell.

      How unwise would it be to try to be at a size 2 by the end of August?

    • Kristen 6 years ago

      Hi, I have had average 20g peirced ears for about 7 years now (I'm 16) and I am considering getting up to a 4g stretch so I was just wondering about the pricing of the process. Are tapers bought individually or in sets? I've seen packages on ebay that have a selection eg. 18g-6g, so is this how they are always bought? And how much is the general cost if they are sold indiviually or in sets?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Typically a blowout is when the inner tissues are forced outward. The soreness could be irritation. The bump could be like a keloid. If a keloid, it won't go away on its own, if not a keloid it may go away.

    • Jordan 6 years ago

      how do i know if i actually have a blowout? i gauged my ears down to a 6 a few months ago and didn't feel like i was rushing but my ears did bleed occasionally. i just started gauging them again and realized my right ear hurt a lot more than my left and when i looked at the back of my ear this is a small bump on the edge of the hole... i guess thats a blowout? but i feel like i would of noticed back when i had them guaged. any thoughts? will this bump ever go away?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Start with a gauge or two lower than what you currently have. Typically you only go down one gauge, but if you've had them pierced for a few years, they've probably stretched a little on their own, which is why two gauge won't hurt anything.

    • Ashlee 6 years ago

      I got my ears peirced a few years ago and now i want them stretched, what size should i start with? Please reply? Thanks C:

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Push as far as you can without causing too much strain.

    • rell 6 years ago

      I juss got my 14g stainless steel pinchers in today, and I've had my piercing for like 10yrs now. and I was wondering if I push the pincher all the way thru til the mid point?? Or do I just go as far as I can?..

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I would wait until the piercing is healed. The stretch from 14 to 12 isn't that big. Just wait a week before you stretch to a 10g. You seem to be wanting to rush the process.

    • crayon 6 years ago

      When i placed my 14g tapers it kinda hurt but i moved up to 12g in a day and it did not bother me i want to know if i can move to 10g ear feel comfortable and i can move around my piercing with no problem and my ear looks alright to move i have to wait a long time even though it looks fine and is not bothering me?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Some actually recommend removing them at night and putting the jewelry back in, but I wouldn't necessarily suggest it as the holes may close smaller than they were. But, it's thought to toughen the tissues. Carefully removing a gauge to clean and replacing the jewelry, shouldn't cause problems.

    • reese 6 years ago

      also if they are not healed yet should i take them out briefly to clean them? or is that damaging

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Be careful of the wood, especially if the stretch hasn't healed. I would recommend using and leaving the stainless in until the stretch is healed; it may not take a few days to a week or so depending on the gauge.

    • reese 6 years ago

      No i am just worried about getting one, i've had the tapers in for 3 days but i swtiched to wooden flares, i guess it'll be fine. But next time i stretch should i keep the stainless steel tapers in?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I purchased mine online. I'm not sure if Walmart would have it or not. You may be able to use the Neosporin ointment.

    • Elainee 6 years ago

      Hey, quick question, and I'm sorry if it's already been posted. Where can you buy surgical lube? Or is there another lube I could use? I live in a really small town, so all I have is a walmart :/

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hannah, if you went from a 16 to a 14, there shouldn't be that much of a difference to cause the pain. If you jumped to the 8gauge, that just wasn't smart, and yes you should've felt pain and the blow out. One gauge at a time, never skip guages.

      reese, Are you experiencing complications of an infection? Or are you just worried about contracting one? If the piercing is healed, the chances are less, but during the healing of a new stress, stainless is better.

    • reese 6 years ago

      I stretched with acrylic to an 8g from a 10g and i'm actually wearing the tapers right now. I was dumb for not realizing i should of bought stainless steel to stretch. My concern is, it is not a for sure bacterial infection? I'm just trying to figure out if i am screwed or if i should put stainless steel in, idk?

    • hannah!! 6 years ago

      hello. I've ordered a tapering kit from the internet, and all my plugs and stuff but they've been taking a while to get here so I went to my local tattoo shop and bought a 14g to 8g taper, and my lobe had previously been a sixteen. I started putting it in, but I got a slight blow out and it hurt like a mother. lol, am I just a pussy or is that taper to big??

    • ashley 6 years ago

      yeah, it's more clear! thanks! :)

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      lyn, you can leave tapers in an wear as jewlery, You can get small tunnels at 10gauge. I actually use them in my 10 gauge piercings. Just be careful, as I have had mine slip out because the flare on the end isn't substantial by any means. They're also longer than I'd prefer, but at 10 guage there isn't much difference.

      ashley, what kind of pus? Pus is a dark yellow, green color. If it's more clear, then it's just lymph, which is healing. Keep it clean.

    • ashley 6 years ago

      okay, so i just stretched my ears to 6g yesterday, and now there's this weird pus stuff coming out of my one ear.. is that normal, or should i take it out?

    • lyn 6 years ago

      this website is really helpful! i had started stretching and stupidly got 12 g acrylic tapers from hot topic, my right ear was fine but my left ear seemed to be getting infected so i took it out. i ordered a 14 g, 12 g and 10 g steel taper kit offline. my ear seems to be fine now, but once i can the tapers and get them in (im going to strat with the 14 though), is it okay to just leave the tapers in? because do they even make plugs that small? i couldn't find any. if someone could help me out that'd be great thank you!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      When gauging to any size, the stretched piercing may or may not go back to a "normal" size. It all depends on your body.

    • seb 6 years ago

      mine are at 14 mm, and have been for like 3 months,. if i take them out now, is it possible to ever get them back to normal?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Either a tattoo shop or online.

    • Sarah 6 years ago

      Hi, I'm considering stretching my ear lobes, they're currently at a size 16. I was just wondering where the best place is to buy good tapers/plugs for new stretches.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      You will want to wait a good while before each stretch, as cartilage isn't like stretching loose tissues, like lobes. Best way to stretch without using a punch, is to purchase stainless pinchers and slowly push them through over a few days. Start small though. For example if you get 14gauge piercings, purchase a 12 gauge pincher or a 10 gauge pincher, making sure to use the O rings to stop once you feel the pressure. Make the stretch slowly; do not rush it. You can create more damage by rushing a cartilage stretch than a lobe.

    • mikeyp9 6 years ago

      Hello! i've been searching for answers all over the web and this has been the most useful info yet! i do have a question though. I plan on getting a cartilage/helix piercing and want to gauge it. i don't want to punch it so i was wondering what the best method was. also, what would be the safest gauge to stretch to? thanks!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It may not get infected, but you may. You may see some irritation. You will need to be very careful, as you stretched very quickly.

    • Jon 6 years ago

      Okay I got my ear pierced the Lobe, I was in patient and stretched 3-4 weeks after it being pireced straight to a 2mm, A week later i stretched to a 4mm im still on the 4mm im jus wondering if i will be fine or due to this i will get an infection.

    • Roachie 6 years ago

      I saw this a long time ago and used it as my guide to stretching my ears now im at 00g and couldnt be happier so thank you

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      ashley, do you already have your ears pierced? you can try acrylic, but you have to be very careful. If you take them out daily, you may cause irritation.

      natehatred, yes always use acrylic carefully, as it can harbor bacteria and cause infection.

    • NateHatred13 6 years ago

      This site was extremely infomative as far as what TO, and NOT TO do when stretching your ears. I have to disagree with the acrylic tapering being a problem though. I have stretched my ears from 24G to 0G with just an acrylic step kit. It may not be as good as steel, but it did the job just fine. I havent had ANY problems, no tenderness or infection. You just have to keep your shit clean, and if your going to stretch your ears, you better be clean regardless. So if all you have is acrylic tapers, use them, they're fine, just be careful. Use your head and keep everything steril. Happy Stretching...

    • ashley 6 years ago

      okay, so i understand that acrylic is porous and can cause infection, but i'm allergic to every kind of metal but gold, so i have to use acrylic to stretch my ears. should i be safe if i clean the jewelry every day?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      You could very carefully. One gauge at a time. If you notice complications with a stretch, then you just downgrade to the below gauge and let the complication heal up.

    • Jackie 6 years ago

      I have really sensitive ears that can't take anything except silver, gold, or titanium. Am I unable to stretch my piercing at all?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It shouldn't affect them. Mine were uneven as well, but not noticeable unless you really looked.

    • Kaitlyn 6 years ago

      I also have another question. My two holes are a bit un even on each side, and since I got them pierced when I was 3, will it affect my stretching in anyway?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      mark, it's good you've found something that works.

      Elise, acrylic is just potentially increases the risk of infection because it's a porous material. It's not ideal or recommended to use for stretching, but doesn't mean it's impossible. Just means, sometimes it's better safe than sorry.

    • Elise 6 years ago

      I've been stretching my ears since last August and just got up to a two. I've been using acrylic tapers and have not gotten an infection. The only time my ear got infected was when I skipped a size and had to downgauge for a little while to let it heal. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying it is possible to gauge up with acrylic tapers and not get an infection as long as you do it correctly.

    • mark 6 years ago

      yeah now i am using two o rings per ear.. like i put one behind my ear like normal and one in front but behind the flare so the tunnels dont go through my ear. its been working out pretty well

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Are you using the O ring? It's just how you're sleeping. Mine slip all the time, as over time your ears relax and stretch naturally.

    • mark 6 years ago

      single flare. but for the past two nights ive put the plug in the other way with the flare in that back and i havent had any problems.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      The tissue is scarring up, which is causing the toughness. I wouldn't see much good coming out of it, but you never know. If the piercing was pierced at a 10, and you quickly put in the 8, then there's a high chance that the reason the plug is moving is not becuase the jewelry is big. Is it a double flare or single flare plug?

    • mark 6 years ago

      hi, I recently had my ears pierced at a 10g and immediately stretched to an 8g. while i was asleep the the plug got shoved into my ear so the flare was my ear. it hurt. i finally got it out and the same thing has happened two more times. does this mean the plug is too small for my ear? and will i have damaged my ear for doing this? the ear that it happened to feels harder around the piercing than it did before.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Because you've already tried a few times and have run into complications, give it time before trying again.

    • julian 6 years ago

      alrighty then ill wait a whole year before i try it again oh i would be so saddened if i couldnt hit my goal of 3 inches but thank you for your insight

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      You should probably be more patient as 2 inches and 7 months is a lot for your ears to handle. But, it could be that you can't go further. It's hard to tell. Personally, I'd wait a good while longer and try again. If it gets irritated, red, and infected again, then you're probably done stretching at 2 inches.

    • julian13 6 years ago

      i really wish i could have the patience you have lol ive had my ears stretched to 2 inches for quite sometime now like a week shy of 7 months theres a lot of space between my earlobe and the jewelry but everytime i put the 2 1/8th steel tunnel in it gets infected ive done this twice and waited about the same time in between the 2 1/8th stretch it doesnt hurt but after a few days my ear just freaks out and gets super sore and just smells horrific and it never seems to heal unless i downsize does thismean i personally cant go any bigger or am i just gonna have to wait a while longer

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Samuel, redness is not necessarily a sign of a blowout. Blowouts aren't typically red.

      Kaitlym, there's no reason why you can't.

    • Kaitlyn 6 years ago

      Hi, I have two lobe piercings and I want to stretch my first holes. They aren't that close together, and I would like to go up to a 2g.

      Will it be okay if I stretch them?

    • Samuel Hewitt 6 years ago

      well its not red anymore, and it looks fine now, thx for the info though. you have a great site, and ive informed a few friends who like to gauge theirs ears about it. thanks again

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      If you forced the jewelry in place, the likelihood of blowout is higher. Is the piercing red? Generally it's caused by the stretch. The inside tissues basically twists outwards.

    • Samuel Hewitt 6 years ago

      hi, i just gauged my ear to a 0, and im wondering if its blownout. The gauge was kinda tight going in and i was wondering if it was the skin just being pulled back because it was tight or if it was blown. it doesnt really hurt at all or anything, but when you blow your ear, does it happen right away, or does it take a while for it to show up? thx, get back to me.

    • Rochelle 6 years ago

      You are amazing! Thank you so much for putting this up, I have been researching up the wahzoo about stretching before I actually begin (as smart person should do) and you have been the most helpful. I cant wait to begin.

    • Tavia 6 years ago

      Hey Whitney,

      I just wanted to say it was really great for you to take your time to type this all up and share your knowlegde with all of us stretching or planning on stretching our ears and other piercings, and answering those questions that people have asked. When I started stretching my lobs I did tons of research before hand and went to a million sites that only gave bits and pieces of information. This is absolutely wonderful what you have written. It gives so much information, like everything you need to know to stretch a piercing successfully. I just find it to be really wonderful you took your time to do this.


    • Layne  6 years ago

      This is great!! I've been streching my ears for about 2 years I've had 2blowouts and I've finily gotten to a 2 ! And my goal is a 00. I've just found out I've been doing it wrong since I had my 8 in!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      It wouldn't hurt to do that. The plastic can potentially harbor bacteria. The steel won't. Keep the piercings clean, using saline or diluted sea salt solution.

    • kelli 6 years ago

      i have 12G's in right now and i think my ears are infected because they are red, sore, and have puss come out of them sometimes. the jewelry i have in right now are pinchers and are not made out of steel like you said they should be. but i do have a pair of 14G steel earings. so should i go down to the 14G and let the infection heal.

      Any help would be nice :)

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      thomas, when you say "hill up" do you mean "heal" or do you mean close? If you mean close, the time will vary from person to person. If you mean heal, it may take up to 6 weeks.

    • thomas 6 years ago

      hey whats up, i when from a 16g to a 10g and i was just wanting to kno how long it will take them to hill up

    • SaraMC 6 years ago

      I am just starting out, my ears arent guaged at all, and this info was ver helpful! thanks!!!! It makes me excited to start mine!!!!!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      When it is healed. It may be hard to get the double flared in because in most cases the flare is going to be at least a half to a full gauge larger than the middle portion, which can be hard to get into the newly stretched piercing.

    • _deedeedarlene 6 years ago

      i stretched from a 4g to a 2g last thursday. how long should i wait before i try to put in my 2g double flares?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      That is fine. You can promote the hub, but please do not copy anything from it. A link would suffice.

    • TattoGuy 6 years ago

      Jeeez that makes my ear piercing hub look pathetic, you deff know your stuff and you are deff one hell of a writer, I have started a Body Art Group on my Facebook which is growing really fast and with your permission would like to promote your tattoo and piercing hubs, it has deff increased my traffic as I am selecting only Body Art lovers, anyways the offer is there !

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      I would be more patient with your stretches. plastic can harbor bacteria. there is always risk of damage, and by not following precautions you're increasing your risk.

    • Laura 6 years ago

      well i havent followed many of these :/

      im at a 5mm now, i started with a 2mm left it a week then went to a 3.2mm i waited two weeks and went to a 4mm, which bonded with my ear and was difficult to remove. i waited 6 days before putting my 5mm in but im not in any pain now. im scared in case it will be damaging my ears at all though?.

      im using plastic tapers.


    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      14 gauge is pretty small, so the likelihood of too many problems is slimmer. Depending on what size and how long they were that size before you stretch, you may need to wait longer than a week before trying to change jewelry, especially before changing the gauge again.

      It's not the tapers that's the concern, it's the plastic.

    • Paige 6 years ago

      Hi, I was just wondering why it's bad to leave tapers in? I've heard it makes your lobes slope slightly.. I just started yesterday and bought 14g tapers they hurt for like a second when I put them in.. do you think they'll be okay if I leave them in for just this week and when I go to the mall Friday to pickup some pinchers and plugs, also would it be okay to get the 12 gauge ones? I didn't have any problem getting these in... if I get those I'm planning on leaving them for a while

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago from Georgia

      Stainless is better, reasons mentioned above. Do not twist because you'll potentially irritate the piercings.

    • chele 6 years ago

      im at a 6g right now n i have been using acrylic tappers n pinchers n plugs that i gpt from hottopic. i havent had any problems but should i still switch to stainless teal ones?? also my recently pierced his ears i would say like 2 months ago n he also is at a 6g n has been usin acrylics, should he switch to stainless?? we were also told to twist them.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Jessica, wait longer than a month if you can. Although there's no set time frame you should wait. As for it wasn't your fault when it fell out and you shoved a new one in; it was still your choice to shove it back in, so in a way, it was your fault.

      Megan, the diluted sea salt soak will help. There's not much you can do but let them heal.

    • Megan 7 years ago

      What an informative site! Thanks for not only putting up this article, but also for responding to questions. Oddly enough, this is the only place where I could find out what a "blowout" was. Everywhere else just said it was if your ears started bleeding. I went from an 18g to 6g in probably too fast a time, taking about 8 months, doing one every month or so, taking two months for this last stretch. I don't appear to have any scar tissue, so hopefully they are ok.

      I was finally able to put in my 6g tonight (this is my end goal, no more after 6) - it's slightly more uncomfortable then the other stretches. I'm not bleeding, but this is definitely the most painful stretch - they don't hurt per se, but they do feel like they're on fire. :D I'm going to soak them in warm sea salt water and take some advil - is there anything else I could be doing to help them?

    • jessica 7 years ago

      oh , and liek 3 days later , i was at a party & it fell out when i was sleeping , & i cudnt find it , so i left it till i got home & many hours later i had another 8 gauge the same , so i pushed it through , but the hole was already shrunk down kinda , so i hope that isnt bad :| , cuz thats pretty much , like stretching way to fast , but it wasnt my fault cuz it fell out :\

    • jessicaa 7 years ago

      mhm this is kinda important , im actually freaking out a bit . Ok um iv had my ears pierced since i was like 2 yrs old , im 16 . & iv had belly button rings in my ears for the longest time i think there like 16 im not sure its liek the normal belly piercing size. & i bought 8 gauges the other day , & put them in all at once , when i probly shud have only put half through at a time, it hurt but it wasnt to hard to get them in , & my ears are fine , but after reading about "complications & scar tissue" it really scared me. so im gunna wait a month or more to put a 6 gauge in :|

    • linda 7 years ago

      i started stretching my ears last year and i started at a 16g and jumped to a 10g. I'm now at a 7/16" and none of them hurt...everyone keeps telling me think about my future and everything but i don't really care hehe but thanks for the info =]

    • Cristina 7 years ago

      Wow Whitney! You are a very patient person for answering almost every question, even when the info is all there! Not at all being sarcastic or putting anyone down for asking questions, but I commend you for it. Your character really shows! :) I'm sloooowly stretching to a 4g and your info was helpful and concise. Thanks!

    • jodi 7 years ago

      most of the people i know who successfully stretched their ears skipped sizes, used plastic, acrylic, and earskin plugs -- without any complications at all. It all just depends on your body and knowing your limits. Cleaning is essential, however, not so much to ward off infection - but to reduce the smell. I am now at 00g and i prefer to use earskin plugs, you just fold them and put them in and they do the work for you -- i believe they're only larger sizes though. Anyway -- this site is helpful for the most part, but its really not that much work. P.S. don't do it period if you plan on taking them out - its not like a piercing that will close up. And don't say 'my gauges' gauge refers strictly to the size - the actual jewelry is plugs or pinchers - or whatever you use. not gauges.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      There's no problem in leaving it in half way, and then in a few days trying to push a little more.

    • chauntel 7 years ago

      Hello my gauge size is at 6 and im trying to go to a size 4. I can only get it in half way, but it wont go in any further. I wanted to ask is it okay to keep it in half way then push it in a little bit at a time, i dont want to rush and i have been taking my time all the way from 16-6, i wait about a month before i go up one size.

      so i want to know is it okay to have it in half way for now, but keep trying to push it in slowly?

    • halfincher 7 years ago

      you might wanna, consider talking about guaging down in your post. As stretching up and putting smaller jewlery in helped me down from half an inch to nothing. 0g will go back to normal on it's own. to be honest putting a figure on what is the "point of no return" just scares people from reaching their proper stretching potential

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      hobbs, You can go pretty high witht he initial piercing. You can also get a dermal punch, but then you're in for more permanent for sure. I've heard of 6 and 4 guages being the initial piercing. You make every stretch as though it's going to stay, so if you think there's a possibility you may shrink, stick with smaller gauges because you don't know how your body will react.

      john, sometiems blowouts will minimize, but in most and many cases, they don't completely go away.

      Micayla, you're skipping too many gauges at once. Stop forcing it or you'll have complications. Let your ears adjust to as far as the tapers will go, and use O rings to prevent the tapers from sliding. After a few days, try a little bit more.

    • Micayla 7 years ago

      ok so i have 16 or 14 and i got tapers and they are 10's. im having diffuculties putting them in. i can get them half-way then i try to slowly move it in farther it hurts and wont go in farther. i try to keep doing it but it wont go in. i even tried putting it in through the back but that didnt work. i even put some neosporin on it so it might go in easier but nope didnt work. what should i do?

    • john 7 years ago

      Ok. So I was at 1/2 and decided to put double flares in even though I was only at 1/2 for a day or so. I am now a victim of a blow out. I dropped to 7/16. Is this thing gonna go away? Its a very minor blow out.

    • hobbs 7 years ago

      What is the largest size you can be pierced at without it affecting you? I've been told 8 but is this going to lead to problems in the future if I decide to take them out, similar to a dermal punch where a large hole will always exist?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      No, it is not ok. The plastic tapers are also not a good idea. Hopefully, you have steel ones. Push them through as far as they'll go, and wait a week or so, and push a little more. Be careful as steel ones can be heavy and not good to do this way if you're jumping that many gauges at once. Don't push too hard as you can cause a tear, and make sure to take it slow.

    • Alanah 7 years ago

      is it okay to go form a 18 to a 10 in one strech? the people at hottopic said that it was okay and im having trouble putting them in using a swirl not a taper

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      could have been just healing from where they were stretched too early. leave them alone for a while.

    • Alex 7 years ago

      Well I cleaned them finally

      but when I took them out, one showed a little blood, and the other ear

      the whole didn't look good red, perhaps maybe startin to tear ? What do you think happened to them does that mean that it's obviously unhealthy/bad? Or is it just a sign of healing

      what do you think it is

      I also went back to 8's and will just wait? I'd rather be safe

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      It's normal to be tight for a few days or so after stretching. The longer you wait inbetween stretches the better.

    • Alex 7 years ago

      Hey I just went from 8 to 6g last night and waited about a week to do so. It doesn't look red or have any signs of scarring, not swollen. It has just been really sore. It's been a day later, no longer hurts, just difficult to move Or adjust them, cause I wanted to clean them in the shower but I can't take them out?seems like it's too tight in there

      I'm just wondering if it'll be okay or if it's normal for the first couple of days to be like this? What should I doo

      I know for sure next time I will wait weeks, or a month before stretching due to avoiding this again and allow real healing time.

    • miguel 7 years ago

      didnt really look at this till now but im at a 1/2 and wanting o go bigge and the next sizes look prettttyyyyy PAIN full so wish me luck...

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Cartilage is harder to shrink back to place. I would be more leery of stretching cartilage if you think that there's a big possibility that you'll want it back to a smaller gauge.

    • shelby 7 years ago

      Seriously listen when they say to not skip sizes and don't stretch your ears too much too fast, I messed my left ear up to the point if I try to stretch it anymore...the connection from my lobe to my head will rip. Take your time stretching, you don't want massive blow-out and ears about to rip.

      Also, vitamin E oil helps with making your ear more elastic, just massage it on before you take a shower and then rinse it off. It helps a lot.

      Oh and I was wondering how far can you stretch your cartilage before it won't go back?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'm not really sure what you're asking. Are you asking what gauge your ears are when you can put 3 studs in them? The studs are either 18 or 20 gauge. Your ears may be a 14 or 12 pushing it. But that's a pure guess.

    • Jess 7 years ago

      Hi, I was wondering if you could help me with stretching my ears. I had them pierced with a piercing gun for 4 1/2 years now, and last night I put 3 studs in my ear.(Like the same kind that they use to pierce your ear with an earring gun) I would like some help with the gauge I should start off with and tips...Maybe what the tapers are and any random tips that cold help me? I really appreciate it, thanks


    • KatiieLou 7 years ago

      I just moved upto a 4g :)

      love them! cant wait to go to a 5g and im sticking at that for now! gonna leave it a few weeks before i move up!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Good luck. Be prepared to make the stretch as though it'll never go back. Also keep in mind, it's sometimes hard to say you're done.

    • Pete  7 years ago

      Ok thank you again, i see now that it wasent just one of those mother things. Im glad to say that im going to a 00 then im done. so thank you once again

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      There is a possibility, but it's not guaranteed. You're not even guaranteed the shrink if you tried it again. You should make every stretch as though it'll never go back.

    • td 7 years ago

      hi ive gauged up to a 2 and i took them out and they completely closed back up in 2-3 months approx... to the point where i had to take the original piercing i got my ears pierced with and shove it back in... i was curious im back at 2's now and thinkin about going to 0's... think that they would close back up similar to the 2's or no... i love my gauges and wanna go up.. im 20 but after my school getting a job could be i wanted to see of they would close up from the experience i had with the 2's


    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      It could cause irritation if it's not fully healed yet. If it's healed, then you should be fine switching it out. Just be careful.

    • Nath 7 years ago

      I recently decided to get a small flesh tunnel and had it pierced by a reputable studio straight away with a 3mm tunnel. After a couple of weeks of having the tunnel in, I woke up one morning and I must have been lying on the ear all night. It was quite sore, very swollen and I could only see the O ring on the front of the tunnel and not the one on the back. I went to the studio and the O ring had actually gone inside my lobe, so the piercer took it out and put a 2mm bar into my ear that was a lot longer to allow it to heal. He said after a few weeks I'd be fine to put the tunnel back in. I've decided I want to wear a taper in it most of the time, so I bought a 3mm taper which I pushed into my ear tonight. It went in without too much trouble and a bit of lube, slightly stinging and a tiny tiny bit of swelling. I'm worried that if I sleep with it tonight and lean on the taper it might cause some problems again, would I be okay taking the 3mm taper out at night and sleeping with the 2mm bar in, and then put the taper back in every day?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Even at 0 gauge, your ears may not shrink back all the way. There's no guarantee that your ears will ever shrink back at any gauge. You make each gauge as though it will never shrink back because you're never guaranteed it. You mom is right to have worries about you continuing to stretch your ears. Most employers highly frown on stretched ears.

    • Pete  7 years ago

      Hello, i was just wondering if i go past a 0 gauge will i be ok? I have pretty fatty ears and they are pretty thick. do you think the hole will go back to down a few sizes. Im asking because im only 15 and my mom is flippin out on me cause she thinks they wont grow back, and she worried about me getting a job with these in. Im at a zero now and i want to go to a 00 in a few months so i just need to make sure that im all set and she needs to know that they will grow back a little bit. but after im at a 00 im done, but i want to go bigger could i do that and still be ok?

      thank you

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Because his weren't ready to be stretched. How long had you had your 20s? How long did he have his 16s? They may not have been ready.

    • JMD 7 years ago

      i let my 20 heal then skipped to a 14 with barley any swelling, pain, or blood, but my friend went from a 16 to a 14 & his ears were still bleeding the next day & had puss around them why?

    • ear gauges profile image

      ear gauges 7 years ago from cali

      those are some of gnarliest pictures!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I can't tell you if you permanently did anything bad to your ears. Because you skipped so many gauges you should have expected bleeding. If you stretch one gauge at a time and do not force it though, the stretch should not bleed. Let them heal and try stretching properly.

    • lisa 7 years ago

      I stretched my ear too quickly today (down from a 12 to a 6) and after reading this could ruin my ears i took them out. My ears are bleeding, have i seriously messed them up? Or will i just not be able to go below something like an 8? I'm just curious as i would never go below a 4, but do not want to ruin my ears either.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      When they're healed.

    • meghan 7 years ago

      im at a 6 now, i just put the pinchers in sunday. when can i put the plugs in?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, there is still going to be potential for bacteria to affect the healing stretch. It's best to use steel until the piercing is healed.

    • lexi 7 years ago

      I use acrylics for my ears, and I was wondering that if I keep them clean (like I do daily to prevent bacteria) then will it effect my healing process at all?

      I'm only going to a 6 or 4 and I was wondering what you thought.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      It is odd that the piercing is a 20 gauge, as it's supposed to be pierced with a 14 gauge needle; I'm assuming you had it done with a piercing gun. The only thing to do is let it heal and then push an 18 gauge through, let that heal, then 16 gauge, let that heal and if you want to go to 14 push a 14 through. You may be able to find pinchers that small, I'm not sure, otherwise you'll just have to use water-based lube or antibiotic ointment to push the jewelry through. Just make sure that your wipe off any extra left over. You don't want anything left around the piercing that could hold bacteria near the wound.

    • sally 7 years ago

      im 12 and i have a cartilage piercing& i want to get it guage.i have it at 20g right now but i want it to be at 18 or 16 so i can fit hoseshoes in.cuz i cant find any hoseshoes that are 20g.any advice before i get it done??or do u know a place that might have 20g horseshoes?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'm not an idiot, please do not speak to me as though I do not know what a pot head is. I'm a good bit older than you, so do not condescend me. And it's not good to assume why someone is the way he/she is; assuming he has been abused or whatever just because he bullied you, is ignorant.

      Just remember do not wear jewelry if you're not willing to go to that size and it be permanent.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      I did not say anything to him.I literally meant he was a pot head.You know someone who loves pot.I used a taper only to stop the bleeding,and took it out after my nurse said I could.I am sure that he was a victim of cannibus and possibly child abuse.He apologised after he noticed my ears turned bluish.Thanks for answering because you are the only hubber that answers to questions.Love your hubs.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I've never heard healing without jewelry. Punches are harder to heal, and will more than likely not shrink back. You can still attempt to shrink, but it will take more than a few weeks or months to go back smaller. Just be careful that you didn't stretch too far at once, as going from 0 to 000 like that can have bad effects. I don't know the rules and regulations about appearnace of herpetolgists, so it'll vary. You're still very young.

      You shouldn't have been wearing tapers that can go to 000 if you didn't want to stretch them; in a way it's your fault for egging on a bully like that. If you took out the tapers and let the ears relax on the gauge you want you shouldn't have any problems since it's a new stretch, and probably a very irritated one.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      Hey Whitney.I just got into the seventh grade,and some stupid jerk,who was a senior jerked my tapers and ripped them from a size 0g down to a 000g.Can I still be a herpetologist? Unfortunately,I was not successful in shrinking them too much and I could not identify the guy running away somewhere in the huge,fourty-acre school.It is a good school and and have far lesser pot-heads,so I am hopeful it won't happen again.Also I got my helix punched,and the back is swollen,but not the front.Do you know what this could possibly be.I do clean it daily.I have read some stories about healing the punch without jewelry.Is this true.Thanks.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Carlos, just be patient and do not rush. If you rush, you will see complications.

      Charlie, Because you skipped a gauge, yes you can expect complication such as swelling, redness, etc. Generally, if you do not skip guages and you strectch with caution, you're not going to see any major soreness or redness unless you rush pushing the taper through. If you take your time, you'll see fewer problems. You're very young, you need to watch how far you stretch, as you should be prepared to live with the next gauge in case it doesn't shrink back if you opt to shrink them.

    • charlie 7 years ago

      hey uhm im 15 and ive got 10mm stretches in both of my ears, ive had my right ear stretched to 10mm for about a year but i only recently stretched my left ear to a 10mm (last night) but i went from an 8mm up to a 10mm so i skipped the 9mm its a bit swollen and every now and then a bit of crust comes up and i cant remember if this happened to my right ear. will it be ok or hould i take it out and try again later

      (i used a taper and the next morning i put a steel plug in)

    • Carlos 7 years ago

      thank you and this was very helpful i got my ears pierced today and well i guess you can say ill start soon :D

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I have the difference between the two decribed above. Thanks :-)

    • Tyler 7 years ago

      kudos to whitney on your commitment. quick question though. whats the difference between a tear and a blowout?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      ali, it's your body and you have to live with the consequences.

      Carlos, you have to heal the piercings first. You can go to a tattoo shop and have them pierced at a larger gauge to start you off. It's best to wait at least a month after healing each new stretch and the initial piercing before stretching. That means wait for the new piercing to heal, another month for hte lobes to get used to the piercing, and then stretch. The larger you go, the longer you have to wait in-between stretches in order to be safe.

    • Carlos 7 years ago

      well i wanna get my ears gauged. for the very first time and ive never had them pierced before. i understand i have to do that first but how much do i have to wait before i start the stretching?

    • ali 7 years ago

      thanks im still gonna try after its all healed and everything i just dont know if it will work =/. thanks for the info

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      You can pierce it, but stretching scar tissue is much harder, and not always successful. But, it sounds like you had more of a tear and not a blowout. Either way, from my understanding stretching after either of these incidents is not as simple or successful as otherwise.

    • ali 7 years ago

      what do you mean i wont get far even if im succesful. sorry i just dont understand that sentence. and can you peirce over scar tissue?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      If you have them punched, you'll probably never be able to shrink them back, but even regular stretching, you'll want to make each stretch as though it'll never get smaller. My normal gauges were crooked when I had them done as a young child, but when stretching they aren't as noticeable. It probably depends on how badly crooked they are and how big you plan on stretching.

      There are more potential problems with punching, and it's very hard to find someone qualified to do it.

    • Erica 7 years ago

      my mom pierced my ears when I was a baby and the holes are not even. I want to stretch my ears but don't know if I am better off having them punched so they will def. be even.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Once you have a blowout, it's not recommended to try stretching again. 6g is pretty small, so you probably won't get too far even if you're successful. If you do decide to stretch again, start as small as you can. Work slow. Do not rush.

    • ali 7 years ago

      i just blew out my ears and i have no idea why. i had had a 6g in previously and just took them out to clean and my left ear just popped and blood splattered and now theres skin hanging out of the back of my ear. im going to the docter and when he fixes it i guess i want to strtch again but they shrank completlet back. what gauge should i start on?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      The taper goes all the way through, stopping at the largest point, to let the piercing get adjusted to that point. Depending on how large you go, the larger tapers may take more than one day to push through. If you rush it, you can cause tears. Having had the smaller gauge for 5 years, you may be able to skip to a 12 gauge, which is one size up from the 14.

      Pinchers are just like tapers, but they're more decorative. I prefer them because they're not going to leave a piece of jewelry behind your ear. They curve down. They're inserted the same, with the middle being the gauge you want to stretch to.

    • lauren 7 years ago

      I'm interested in stretching my earlobes. as you told Keith above, it would be a good idea to start at 14g? I have standard ear piercings (from a gun, not a needle); I've had them for 5+ years. Also, with tapers, do you push them through all at once and put the plugs in right away? or do you push the tapers through day by day/week by week? and would you recommend pinchers over tapers? if so, how do you insert the pinchers?

      sorry if I sound stupid, I just want to do it right in case I ever change my mind. thanks so much!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      You should give your piercings time to adjust to the stretch. Even though it may not hurt, you still need to give the piercings time to adjust. If you stretch too fast, you will potentially run into a number of problems. See above

    • Alex 7 years ago

      I have always had my ears pierced with standard size, and I had taken them out for about 3 years. I just had 8 gauge plugs put in, it hurt for a day,but now 4 days later they are good. Im thinking of going larger in a week or so, should I wait even if my ears feel fine?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      It depends. Typically, no it's not ok. But, if you've had the piercing for years, you'll find that it will have stretched some naturally.

      Shrinkage will vary. Make each stretch as though it won't shrink. If you're not prepared or wanting to live with the next size up forever, then don't stretch. You never know what your body's limit is until you try to shrink and you find that you may not be able to go as far down as you want.

    • lily 7 years ago

      Is it ok to go from a 14g to 10g? And if i do get to a 10g what will it end up shrinking back to if i take it out?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      How large you can stretch will depend on the shape and size of your earlobe. At this size, with what earlobe is left stretched out, if that tissue is thin, then you probably don't want to continue stretching. Use your best judgement with further stretching.

    • kelsey may 7 years ago

      Im stretching the top of my ear, and i was wondering how big can you go? im worried that because i stretched it my self it might split at a cirtain size. its already at 6mm.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      The instructions are above as to what you'll need to stretch and how to stretch. One gauge up each time, use steel jewelry. Piercing guns are 18g, but after a few years, you could probably say it's stretched and relaxced a god bit, so I'd just start with a 14 gauge, then 12g, 10, 8, 6.

    • Keith Camarda 7 years ago

      Ok, i've read through everything and the information u have provided, but i still am kind of confused and have some concerns. Well i've been interested in stretching my left ear for awhile now.. i had it pierced a couple years ago at a shop with a piercing gun, so right now its just a standard small pierced hole any person whould have. I want to make it larger and have a bigger peircing in my ear, but i really am clueless on how to do it. like step by step, what to buy, what to do, etc. The hole in my ear currently is a very small standard hole, and i dont know where to go from there in order to stretch it. I'm looking to have an 8 gauge or 6 gauge hole in my ear.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Ah. I misunderstood. It sounded like you were talking the other way around. Stretching takes time, and you have to be patient when upping the gauge.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      Never mind.In case you were wondering I tried putting a size 2 after my size four stretch.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      irichards, that's good that you were able to shrink them, not everyone can shrink especially at that large of a gauge size. Just remember not many jobs will allow it, but you've already ran into that problem.

      Nicole, they may shrink a little but may not close all the way, especially if you're just going to put the jewelry back in again. Many people actually feel that by taking out the jewelry at night and putting it back in the next morning, your strengthening the hole, so to speak.

    • Nicole 7 years ago

      i have my ears streached to a 7/16, i took them out once for about a half an hour and it closed a little,

      it I take them out do you think they will close?(i've had it done for about a year)

    • lrichards189 7 years ago

      I started stretching my lobes when I was 15. By the time I turned 17, I was at 1/2 inch. When I turned 18 and got a "real job" that wouldn't allow jewelry, I took them out. They healed back up, no problem. I actually had to get them repierced at a studio a few months ago because I couldn't even fit 14g rings in them! I'm at a 10 now, working my way back up to where I was.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I don't understand. Are you trying to shrink them by going from 2 to 4? If that's the case, then the 4 won't fit because the 2 is larger.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      I have a size 4 stretcher and tried to insert a size 2 stretcher.I could not insert the size 4 stretcher back so I have the size two partly in my ear.Any help you can advise?

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      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I don't really understand what you mean. It's hard to piece what you're asking together without punctuation. If you can push the screw all the way, you may be able to go ahead and go up a guage, if that's what you're asking. Just don't force it.

    • Jon 7 years ago

      Im at a 00 how do i streth my ear up i have the other gauge and i can push my flesh tunnels through my ear without unscrewing them but i can push the next plug into my ear

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I said it's best to wait as long as possible especially with larger gauges. 14gauge is pretty small and there's no need to wait weeks and weeks and months before stretching further. The higher you go, the loner you need to wait.

    • dylan sullivan 7 years ago

      ok you said u should waint a few months for a stretch but i waited 4 weeks took it out and put a 14g in its fine

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      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      I wouldn't. I'd stick with surgical lube, if you're going to use lube.

    • Jess 7 years ago

      Can you use KY lubricant to help strtch your ears? I have a 00 and am trying to go the next size up

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      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      It is possible that the stretched second hole can move the first hole depending on how large you stretch.

    • Sarah 7 years ago

      I'm thinking about stretching my second ear piercing (just a little bit) but keeping the first one normal so I can wear my usual earrings. Is that possible? Or will the first hole go out of shape when I start stretching the second one? I've got a 1.2mm taper so I'm not stretching it far (just incase I decide I don't like it!)

      Thanks, Sarah

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      At this point, the only thing you can do is put the 12gs back in to be safe. Otherwise, just continue doing what you're doing. Just remember there is a safe way to do things, and it's your choice what and how to do them. It's just your body at risk to potential health complications, and it's up to you to decide if you want to risk the complications.

      If you leave the tapers in, just remember it may be a while before you can use the flared tunnels, as generally the flare is at least one gauge larger than the middle.

    • Angela 7 years ago

      Ok well a couple hours ago i stretched my ears from 12g (which i only did a couple days ago) to an 8g. I had only bought the acrylic taper (cause thats all I could find) and surgical steel plugs. I got my ears stretched using the tapers and went to put the plugs in but they won't go in because they're flared and I hadnt noticed that when I bought them. What should I do? Right now I still have the acrylic tapers in but I dont want my ears to get infected.

    • big k 7 years ago

      ive been stretchin my ears for 10 months now and im currently at 1-3/4's.

      definetly follow the instructions given on this page. i used tapers up to 5/8's and got a blow out going to 5/8's. taping steel tunnels works the best and i highly recommend using that method.

      i had my dumb time of skipping sizes the many times ive stretched my ears. the worst and most painful experience was going from a 14g to a 2g in one sitting. second most painful time was rushing into 1-1/2. ripped the inside of my lobe a bit and i will never do anything like that again.

    • jakeyb 7 years ago

      i've only ever used plastic and i've been fine. thi is the 3rd time i've expanded the same ear to a 0 gauge, always goes back to normal piercing size.

      all i would say is dont rush it. i'm up at 2 in the morning now cant sleep cos i've jumped from 8 gauge to 0 gauge within 5 days. it just hurts like f***.

      The easiest way to do it is use vaseline or something similar. reduces blowouts e.t.c. by loads. my ear would have about 5 days ago if i hadn't lol.

      hope i could be of some help :)

    • vicko 7 years ago

      ahhhh. to everyone who keeps asking this, PLASTIC JEWELRY AND TAPERS FROM HOT TOPIC ARE NOT OK FOR FRESH STRETCHES. plastic or acrylic is porous, and therefore holds bacteria, leaving your ears more prone to infection. if you want to use the acrylic tapers, you can sanitize them and use the tapers ONLY ONCE. but its not sanitary to leave any other material than titanium or steel in freshly stretched ears. and i think the author of this post forgot to mention that taping is an easy, slow, and safe way to stretch, and teflon or bondage tape is safe to use for fresh stretches.

    • nickl882 7 years ago

      the biggest thing to remember with any body modification is this, do what your comfortable with and deal with the consequences, if any. alot of these websites are somewhat "overprotective" but its your decision

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