What to Do about Sagging and Damaged Earlobes

Damaged Earlobes Gravity will get you every time. There’s plenty that gets affected as we age, but one of the most preventable things that sags are earlobes. They’re a small part of our bodies that we don’t necessarily think about, but like the backs of your hands, they’re one way to tell how old someone is. Everything is bound to droop a little naturally, it’s what happens in the wear and tear of daily living. But for some, the volume loss can make them seem less young than they’d like to. And, worse still, those doorknocker earrings that some women sport can do an especially terrible number on your lobes. If your earlobes are intact, there are preventative measures you can take. But if your ears are missing some of the volume or have been damaged by earrings, you might want to look into some corrective options.

Why Big, Heavy Earrings Damage Your Ear

Heavy earrings can stretch earlobes

Heavy earring can pull at your ear, actually stretching it out over time.

Big, heavy earring might look great when your earlobes are tight and thick, but that earring is behind held up by a pretty small piece of skin. Over time, earrings pull down the lobe, causing a piercing to take on the appearance of a slit and resulting in elongated earlobes (Huffington Post). Add to that the potential for tearing that happens when earrings snag on something or get pulled, and you’ve got problems.

How to Prevent Damage

Lobe WonderOne way to ensure that your ears stay younger looking is to make sure you’re slathering your sunscreen everywhere, including on your ears, where you’d more likely to get sun damage than you think. This won’t totally stop signs of aging, but it will definitely slow them. And what should you do about heavy earrings? The obvious answer to this question is: Avoid long, heavy earrings. And if you want to make sure that you don’t end up elongating the holes in your ears, sticking to small hoops and studs could be your best bet (Oprah). You might even try clip-on earrings if you’re adverse to ear piercing, which can cause a variety of ills, including infection and keloids (American Academy of Dermatology Position Statement). But that’s not exactly the most practical answer, as many, many women wear earrings and will continue to do so. That’s why there are products like the Lobe Wonder ($6.20, amazon.com), which claims to support the earlobe and hold the weight of the earring. While there aren’t scientific studies to determine if this is true, there is anecdotal evidence to support the use of this product.

What to Do if the Damage is Done

Ear Damage

If your ears have already undergone damage, there are a few options for fixing it.

Your first option if your earlobe is sagging, but the hole where you’re pierced isn’t stretched out, is injectable fillers. The same ingredients, such as Restylane and Hyaluronic fillers, that can help smooth out wrinkles elsewhere can help to revive earlobes that have lost some of their fullness (Dermatology World, Skinmed). The benefit of this is that it has little downtime; you can head in over lunch and be back at work with rejuvenated earlobes. Your second option, if the damage is quite bad or if you’re looking to correct something more drastic, like the holes left from gauges, you’re more likely to require surgery. Some surgeries are more serious than others. If you have an elongated hole from heavy earrings, your doctor might just make a small incision and stitch your earlobe back together with minimal healing time (Cosmetic Surgery Center of Sacramento). But if you’ve had gauges or your earlobes have undergone serious damage, you could require reconstructive surgery to rebuild your earlobe (LA Times).

Bottom Line

Earlobes are one of those small things that can make a big difference in how old you look. Make sure you remember to put sunscreen on them and keep them from getting damaged by earrings. Heavy earrings can really stretch out the holes in your ears for piercing and elongate your earlobes permanently, making you appear older. If there’s minimal damage, avoiding heavy earrings and taking protective measures could keep your lobes intact. But if the damage has been done, you have options, such as fillers and surgery that can help get your lobes in tiptop shape.

by Natalie Bell

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