Floppy Earlobes?

You may have looked at your grandmother’s or mother’s ears (or heck, even your own) and noticed that they appear larger, especially around the earlobe.  Did you ever wonder what causes this?

  • Noses and ears actually do continue growing during our lifetime, albeit very slowly.  The underlying cartilage framework increases in size, and the overlying skin is subject to the effects of gravity just like the rest of the body.  This can result in larger ears, and even floppy earlobes.
  • Wearing heavy earrings can cause earlobes to stretch out as well.  Not only will the skin stretch, but the piercing hole will become elongated, so that your earrings always appear to be on the verge of falling out.

The good news is that large earlobes are easily treated.  Trimming the earlobes down is a simple procedure that involves numbing the area with local anesthetic, removing excess skin, and reshaping the earlobe with sutures.   If the piercing hole is stretched, this can be repaired at the same time.

original photo from shutterstock.com

original photo from shutterstock.com

If you look at the photo above, the area marked in blue is the skin that is removed. The resulting incision is in the shape of a T.  Reducing large earlobes does leave scars, but the earlobe usually heals very well, and the scars are generally not be noticeable after several months to a year.  Be aware, however, that earlobe reduction can remove an ear piercing, or change its position significantly, so you may need to have your ears re-pierced after they have fully healed.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Questions? I'll do my best to answer any questions left in the comments!