Written by Dr. Ellen Gendler
Have you ever noticed the look of an earlobe being pulled and stretched by a heavy, dangling earring? If you spent much time with your grandmother, this was probably a pretty common sight. Well, at least it was with mine.
As the deeper layers of our skin containing elastin and collagen fibers and fat lobules begin to shrink, the support structures lessen and any defects in the skin surface can become more prominent. This is the case with old acne scars which tend to look worse with age rather than better. The same goes for pierced ears, which once looked glamorous with earrings that hung or studs that stayed in place, centered on the earlobe. As we age, and especially if we habitually wear heavy earrings that put a stress on the actual piercing hole, the lobes start to stretch and elongate—in some cases, the holes actually rip through the bottom of the earlobe.
In the last few years, restoring volume to the earlobe with fillers has become increasingly popular, because it is safe, easy, and incredibly effective. Simple injections of a filler made of hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane or Juvederm, can return the structure to the lobe and allow earrings to sit properly and comfortably as they did in the past.
The injections take only a few minutes, are virtually painless, and the results are immediate. An added bonus—–because the earlobes themselves are immobile (unless you are that performer who can actually wiggle yours!), the filler lasts way longer than it does anywhere else on the face. Most patients do not need to repeat the injections before a year or even longer. This has become one of the most gratifying procedures we do because patients can hop off the exam table, put their earrings back in, and notice the remarkable change right away. Some women have even been known to make a quick trip to Tiffany’s when they leave……..
Our skin is composed of layers that hold specialized fibers called elastin and collagen. These proteins work to keep our skin healthy and vibrant by allowing for stretching and the retention of moisture. When collagen and elastin naturally begin to dissipate over time, the effect is that our skin starts to dry out, sag, thin and wrinkle. Without sufficient collagen and elastin the skin is unable to maintain proper elasticity and, in effect, our skin looks older and less healthy. This occurs on our earlobes in the form of elongation, wrinkling, drooping, drying and thinning — and the problem is amplified for women who wear earrings (particularly heavy ones). Unfortunately, toddlers have been known to grab onto earrings and tear piercings quite drastically, splitting earlobes from the hole to the bottom.
Earlobe rejuvenation (sometimes referred to as an earlobe lift) is a non-surgical procedure designed to help with this very problem. The process involves a cosmetic treatment that takes the necessary steps to repair the damaged skin of the earlobe, fix elongation and improve texture.
Just as we work to repair the signs of aging on our face and the rest of our body, our earlobes can also be improved in order to help us look younger and more vibrant. Earlobe rejuvenation treatment also helps to make an earring hole smaller if it has become stretched with time, and repairs excessively large piercings.
Typically, injectable fillers are used. Products like Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero, or other hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers can be injected into the earlobe in order to smooth the area’s skin, plump tissue and lift the lobes for a more youthful appearance. Some medical grade chemical peels are also available for earlobe rejuvenation but they aren’t as popular as fillers. You can discuss the right treatment for your earlobes when you do a consultation for the procedure.
The injection is quick and can be administered in a fifteen-minute visit. You will require a touch-up once or twice a year. And in the most extreme cases, it might not be enough: Severely damaged holes may need to be stitched and re-pierced or trimmed.
This treatment is clinically safe and completely non-invasive.
There are no known side effects.
Results are immediate.
Most patients come in once every 9 to 12 months. For those who are new to the procedure, they should return every six months for the first two years and then about once a year for injections.
Dermatologists perform this procedure in their office.