WHAT IS A SPLIT EARLOBE?
A Split earlobe 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 earring being caught in clothes. Also, it can occur if a young baby pulls accidentally and afterwards, skin will grow over and prevent closure leaving a ‘bifid’ appearance in the complete division. A heavy earring or an allergy to metal such as nickle is also a common cause for slowly enlarging the hole and ultimately, complete division.
SPLIT EARLOBE SURGERY
The repair of a split earlobe requires a minor operation. The surgery is 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. However, there is no problem with piercing on either side of the scar. This is because the scar will always be weaker than the normal skin and will require at least 3-6 months to achieve reasonable strength. However, if the tear is due to a heavy earring, it may recur if the same type of earring is used.
EARLOBE REDUCTION SURGERY
A earlobe can also be disproportionally large in comparison to the rest of the ear and it can get elongated with age or from 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.
AFTERCARE AND RECOVERY
The wound is 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 patient is encouraged to moisturize and massage the area.