Plastic surgery to repair a torn earlobe is a frequent occurrence. Piercing an earlobe puts it at risk to tear. The size, style, and weight of an earring can contribute to the stretching of the earlobe opening. Large earrings that dangle can be caught in clothing and may result in a partially or completely torn earlobe.
Repair of a torn earlobe involves a procedure that consists of “freshening” the edges of the split and placement of sutures to complete the repair of the earlobe. In most pierced ears, the pierced hole gradually enlarges over time. If it tears, the final tear is usually just through a tiny piece of tissue at the bottom of the lobe.
Depending on the deformity, reconstruction can take different forms and your physician will determine the best method for repair.
Piercing an earlobe also puts it at risk for development of a keloid. A keloid is a scar that grows beyond the edges of the pierced opening in the earlobe and is a thick, nodular cluster of scar tissue that is often red or darker in color than the surrounding skin. The keloid of the earlobe is treated by injecting a steroid medication directly into the scar tissue to reduce redness, itching, and burning. If the medication does not decrease the size and firmness, surgical excision is undertaken with the understanding that the keloid can recur in the earlobe, sometimes even larger than before. To discourage keloid recurrence in the earlobe, steroid injections may be used as an adjunct with surgery. Pressure earrings decrease recurrence of the keloid if worn after surgery.