What Does It Involve?
Split ear lobe can be complete or simply an enlarged ear-piercing. This is usually caused by heaviness of the earring or accident. Accidental injury is extremely common involving the ear ring being caught in clothes, young baby pulling accidentally and afterwards, skin will grow over and prevent closure leaving a ‘bifid’ appearance in the complete division. Heavy earring or allergy to metal such as Nickle are common causes for slowly enlarging hole and ultimately, complete division. Repair of split earlobe requires a minor operation.
The surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic and the repair is carried out after the ‘new skin’ is excised. The divided earlobe is then sutured together. In order to prevent notching of the tip of the earlobe when the scar contract, the repair involves placing a ‘Z plasty’ along the scar.
It is advisable not to re-pierce at the same spot or wait at least 6 weeks. There is no problem with piercing on either side of the scar. This is because scar will always be weaker than normal skin and will require at least 3-6 months to achieve reasonable strength. However, if the tear is due to heavy earring, it may recur if the same type of earring is use.
Earlobe can be disproportionally large in comparison to the rest of the ear and it can get elongated with age or being stretched. Earlobe reduction in UK is an operation involving excising a portion of the earlobe and placing the scar at the junction with the cheek making it more inconspicuous.
The wound would be covered after surgery and there is no major care required. Patients can wash their hair as usual. Sutures will have to be removed after 10-14 days and the patients are encouraged to moisturize and massage the area.