When stretching is done properly, the channel could shrink down to leave a minimal mark when jewelry is removed, says Angel. Stretches over one-half inch, however, will probably not return to a normal appearance. In order to be rid of the void, plastic surgery may be necessary.
Facial plastic surgeon D.J. Verret, MD, repairs earlobe stretchings on a regular basis. "The biggest age group coming for repair," says Verret, "are high school and college graduates entering the job market."
According to Dr. Verret, the success of the repair process is dependent on how much earlobe skin is left. Verret compares cases with less skin to repairs for people born without earlobes or those who have lost their earlobes due to trauma.
Angel is a strong advocate for expression through piercing, but there are some piercings that even she refuses to perform. Steer your teen away from these risky piercings:
Angel, who has performed over 40,000 piercings in her professional career, believes piercing is safe when both the piercer and pierce are educated about the process. Check out safepiercing.org for more information.
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