Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility What Happens When “Gauging” Isn’t Worth it Anymore?
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, then you’ve seen your share of people with gauge earrings. Chances are, these people were young and chances are, if you see them now a few years later, they might not have their gauges anymore. Justin Moyer of the Washington Post takes a look at this in a recent article titled “More proof youth is fleeting: Some with ear gauges seek fix for stretched earlobes.”

Moyer writes, “Stretched earlobes, a.k.a. ‘gauging’ — piercing the ear, then enlarging the hole to accommodate jewelry — came into fashion in the United States sometime near the end of the 20th century. Now, a few decades later, cosmetic surgery to repair the indiscreet body modifications of youth is in season. ‘There’s a lot of negativity around about ear-stretching,’ cosmetic surgeon Adrian Richards told the Guardian, which called the gauging look ‘flesh tunnels.’ ‘We recently treated a golf professional who was joining the [Professional Golfers Association]. They wouldn’t let him join with stretched ears. I’ve treated a man who was in a punk band but then became a teacher and needed his ears repaired. We even had a soldier on Wednesday who had 2cm tunnels in each ear.’”

Nicole Mowbray of the Guardian jumps into the discussion with a recent article titled “Big increase in surgery to mend ‘flesh tunnel’ earlobes.” Mowbray writes, “Clark had begun stretching his lobes at university several years earlier, and the problem was that when he took the plugs out his stretched earlobes looked terrible. Now one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the UK is repairing stretched earlobes. The piercings are created either by gradually placing a cone-shaped taper into the ear and pushing it through a little more each day, or by having larger-sized tunnels placed into a pierced ear every few weeks to slowly widen the hole. Once the holes stretch past 1.5cm in diameter, the earlobe will never spring back to its original shape. The record holder for the largest flesh tunnels, at more than 10cm in diameter (big enough to put a fist through), is a Hawaiian man, Kala Kaiwi.”

If you’re looking into ear lobe repair surgery, your best bet is Rex E. Moulton-Barrett, M.D. Dr. Moulton-Barrett specializes in ear lobe repair, as well as a number of other cosmetic surgery procedures.

Reconstruction may take on different forms. Dr. Moulton-Barrett works with you to determine the best medical option that is also most aesthetically pleasing to correct your tear. The procedure begins by numbing the ear lobe with an injection of a local anesthetic. This anesthesia will wear off after several hours, and most patients do not require any pain medication, other than Tylenol or Advil.

If you’re tired of looking at “flesh tunnels” or simply want to increase your chances of landing your dream job, contact Dr. Moulton-Barrett for a consultation!