Firstly, lets talk about the anaesthetic cream…
Does it work? Of course it does! If it didn’t, you’d have heard about it in all of my reviews by now, I’ve been doing it 8 years with the same cream!
The cream contains lidocaine which is exactly the same chemical in injectable anaesthetics. If you’ve ever had a dental injection etc it’s lidocaine, it does the exact same thing whether it’s an injection or in a cream. Your ear will be completely numb as long as you can follow instructions.
There’s a link to buy the cream on the website which is a 30 gram tube, however if you are buying it from a local pharmacy it will be a 5 gram tube – you need 10 grams per ear, that’s 2 small tubes per ear.
The application instructions in full are on the website but it’s easy:
- Firstly, tie all your hair up out of the way; use as many grips, clips and slides as you need to. Try and get a really high pony tail or top bun because you’ll be lying on your back for the procedure.
- Then wash your ears with some anti-bacterial soap.
- Then squeeze the cream all over your ear lobe front and back.
- Then cover it with cling. Simple.
- When the cream has been absorbed, re-apply it.
The more cream you use, the more numb the area will be!
Top it up twice before you arrive, you don’t need to replace the cling
You’ll need to leave your jewellery out for a minimum of six weeks before the procedure (only if the hole is bigger than 6mm).
If your holes are 30mm+ you need to leave your jewellery out for a minimum of ten weeks. And these are just minimum recommendations; the longer you can leave your tunnels out the better you results will be. I’m not going to go into it here as I wrote a huge blog post about exactly that already.
No alcohol, garlic or any blood-thinning medication for seven days before your appointment.
Please make sure you contact your GP before stopping any prescribed medication like warfarin etc.
You’ll definitely need to eat before your appointment as this will help prevent any dizziness or light-headedness etc so either eat before your journey or if you fancy arriving a couple of hours early there’s lots of places to eat around here.
There’s free parking just about everywhere; on the street or in the car park opposite the clinic. We´ve got the Stamford arms just to the left (no drinking!), great food in there, then the co-op over the road and the chippy next to that so plenty of food options within a minutes walk. If you’ve travelled far, I do recommend picking some snacks up for the way home too.
We’ve got 2 cash points here, one in the post office next door and one inside the co-op over the road.
It’s a good idea to wear old clothes, it’s just a precaution as actually this procedure doesn’t bleed, if you’ve followed the instructions, but better to be safe.
If you’ve got really damaged, scarred lobes, usually from big stretchers, maybe blowout damage, I highly recommend using bio-oil once a day, everyday leading up to your appointment. Just at the top of your lobes.
If you are using public transport please allow at least an extra hour travel time either side of your appointment. The train station is literally the opposite side of the city to us and it will take about 15 minutes in a taxi or half an hour on the bus after walking to the city centre.
Instead, I honestly recommend finding a lovely helpful friend or family member to drive you. We are 2 minutes off the M1 at junction 21a, so it doesn’t matter where you are travelling from the motorway is definitely the easier option.
It’s also really great just having someone with you for moral support; they are allowed in with you, they won’t be bored we’ve got a tv and once we get started it’s actually only 10 minutes per ear anyway, it’ll fly by.
So, let’s go through the aftercare….
This bit is super important because this is how you’re going to minimise your risk of infection.
Infection is always a possibility in any area of broken skin, it doesn’t matter if it’s a cat scratch or if it’s spinal surgery, any area of broken skin is open to bacteria getting inside.
So we’re going to go through the best methods of reducing your infection risk.
Firstly, you’re going to clean your ear lobes twice a day with salt water. Half a mug of boiled water with a big pinch of salt (max), stir it up then use kitchen roll (strictly no cotton wool) to pat it around the area, very gently, a few seconds at most.
Change your pillow cases every night for three nights.
Same applies to any clothing that may come into contact with the area like scarves, hats and hoodies, they must be clean daily
Also if you wear headphones, wipe over the earbud or ear cup areas with salt-water solution before your next use (or ask us for alcotip wipes).
Showering as normal is fine, however, try to minimise water on your ears. For the first few days prioritise drying your ears with kitchen roll as soon as you get out of the shower.
Avoid swimming or submerging your ears for ten days, but having a bath is fine.
Take a couple of days off your gym routine, specifically avoid any cardio exercise or any excessive physical activity in general for 24 hours – you can trigger bleeding when you increase your heart rate.
You don’t need to cover the area with any dressings or bandages unless you are in a dusty or dirty environment, for example if you work in a warehouse or factory or if you’re a builder or gardener then just loosely tape some kitchen roll around your ear with micropore tape – very loosely, and don’t get the tape anywhere near your stitches.
You do need to keep all of your hair out of the way especially at night.
Sunbeds and sunbathing – a no no for a month please. If you really must then you’re going to put sunblock on your ears, full factor 50, otherwise you risk making your scarring significantly worse.
Ok, let’s talk about the stitches…..
We’re going to be using non-dissolvable stitches for this so they’ll need to be taken out around day ten. You can do this yourself but if you are not confident, please visit a walk-in centre or book in with a nurse at your local GP. You can go 2 days either side for removal too.
Use salt-water for a further two days afterwards.
You may lose a couple of stitches during the healing process; that’s fine For cosmetic procedures we use an excessive amount of stitches. If you went to A+E with a similar size wound they would put 3 stitches in you and send you out. We’re going to be using a few more than that because we’re trying to get a really nice neat, minimal scar and very specific shape. You could lose half your stitches and be totally fine.
Even after having the stitches out at day 10, the swelling won’t have fully gone down until around three weeks, it’s the longest part of the healing process so try not to be judgement of the shape until it’s all gone down.
It’s quite common for one side to swell up more than the other and they can both go up and down a bit until fully healed so please please have some patience with that!
In terms of expected scarring levels, most of that is down to your genetics. If your look at any other scars you have they are usually a good indication of any future scars you’ll have. For example mine always come up white-ish. If you look through the photos on the website portfolio you’ll see a huge variety of scar colours and that’s literally down to genetics.
So once your stitches are out you can start using Bio-oil just once a day is fine, best at night. If you can do that for a month, that will get you pretty good results. There’s no definitive time frame for using bio-oil, I’m sure if you asked the manufacturer they would just tell you to use it forever, but realistically a month is good, use it for longer if you want to, totally up to you.
It’s not uncommon to get some bruising show up around the area, you can sometimes get some come up around your neck and jaw too, it’s all normal; it’ll be gone in ten days.
The most pain relief you’ll need is just paracetamol for the journey home that’s it. Purely as precaution.
Please avoid ibuprofen as we actually want the area to stay swollen.
Also please avoid aspirin for the first 24 hours as it is a blood-thinner.
If you can send us some photos about 3 weeks later that would be great! People always look through the portfolio to try and find the ears that look most like theirs (you did this too!) so the more examples we have for people to look through the better. If you can leave me a review on either facebook or google that would be a huge help too.