Q: Dear Dr. Eppley, I was looking at your web page description of ear lobe surgery and it made me feel hopeful. I recieved an infection/cut in my ear several years ago. Despite minor irritation, I continued to wear light earrings but the ear plug kept lowering and lowering until today. Today my earlobe has split entirely. I would like to have further information on whether and how this can be fixed. What should I do with in the interim to heap it heal?
A: Once the tissue begins to thin in the outer earlobhe skin from a piercing or a larger insert, eventually the skin will break down and a complete earlobe tear will occur. This is not uncommon and it is an easy problem to fix. It is a simple earlobe reconstruction done in the office under local anesthesia. The earlobe can be completely restored to normal size and shape, albeit with a fine line scar. The cost for this procedure is about $425. Once can re-pierce their ear 6 weeks after the procedure. (but gauging can never be done again)
In the interim you may apply antibiotic ointment until the skin edges heal in a few weeks. You may tape it together for appearance reasons during the daytime although this is not essential. Taping it together will help it heal a little faster.
Dr. Barry Eppley