One of the most common questions I get asked about ear lobe stretching is “will my ears shrink back down?”

Yes – to an extent. Most of the time, the size of your stretched holes will go back down to just under half of your maximum stretched size. For example, 30mm would shrink back to about 10-15mm. There are, however, a lot of things that can affect this.

Firstly, how quickly you go up in gauges directly affects how the skin in the area grows. Stretching your ear piercings too quickly will do more damage to the skin and will lead to scar tissue developing. Scar tissue does not shrink in the same manner as healthy tissue. If you stretched using tapers and had any ‘blow-outs’ as a result, this has also most likely created scar tissue.

Secondly, going up and then back down in gauges reinforces scar tissue. For example, if you went up to 30mm, got bored and let them shrink down to 20mm but then changed your mind and went back up again, it’s unlikely they would shrink back down to less than 20mm.


So if you have stretched slowly and carefully, without tapers, and have gone from 0 to 30mm (for example) without going down and back up in size, then if your jewellery is left out for around 6 months you can expect them to shrink to around 10mm. Even then, you will still have an excess of lobe tissue. As you stretch your ear lobe holes, your body accommodates for the jewellery and weight by slowly growing extra tissue around the area, mostly at the bottom (where your lobe is taking the weight of the jewellery). As much as your ears shrink down, the extra lobe tissue remains the same. It is this (and scar tissue) that prevents your ear lobe holes from reducing any further.

We have Ear Lobe Reconstruction available here which removes the excess tissue and closes the hole completely. The best end results are achieved when your jewellery has been out the longest, so as an absolute minimum the jewellery needs to have been out for 6 weeks. Ideally, you want to wait 6 months, but in some circumstances (Army applications etc) this isn’t always possible.

If you have any questions about ear lobe stretching or about having your ears repaired, please contact us.

Thanks for reading!

– Jenova