Mark Ho-Asjoe

MB.Bch, FRCS FRCS(Plast)

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon at the London Plastic Surgery Clinic

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Split ear lobe

Split ear lobe can be complete or simply an enlarged ear-piercing. This is usually caused by heaviness of the earring or accident. Superficial skin will grow over and prevent closure. Repair of split ear lobe requires a minor operation. The surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic and the repair is carried out after the skin is excised. The repair involved placing a ‘Z plasty’ along the repair to prevent scar contracture and notching.

It is advisable not to re-pierce at the same spot or wait at least 6 weeks. There is no problem with piercing on either side of the scar. This is because scar will always be weaker than normal skin and will require at least 6 weeks to achieve reasonable strength. However, if the tear is due to heavy earring, it may recur if the same type of earring is used.