big stud
March 4, 2005 8:06 PM   Subscribe

My wife's problem with a stud that's too big.

So my wife likes to buy jewelry on ebay, and some of the pierced earrings she's bought have posts that are too big for the holes in her ears, and she can't even wear some of the earrings she's bought. She wants to know if she's having the problem because her ears were pierced 20 years ago, or if it's because she sometimes wears clip-ons. Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, were you able to find a solution, or is my wife destined to just look at some of the jewelry she's bought instead of being able to wear it?
posted by crunchland to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
I have rarely had that problem, more often with the nose ring hole than the earring holes. It's very easy to stretch out ear holes just by wearing heavier or wider earrings, or even taking normal hoops and sticking something with some weight on them like fishing sinkers or washers or something. Many people do this in the body modification community to get big ear holes. It really wouldnt take much to just get the holes a wee bit larger to accomodate larger posts.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 PM on March 4, 2005

crunchland, there's no need to brag.

Anyway, I've found my ear piercings have actually gotten larger over time, but I wear earrings all the time. She has a few routes:

1). Sort her collection by size, and wear earrings every day, graduating up until she's ready for the big boys;

2). Go to a pierce shop with the earrings she wants to wear and ask for her original holes to be enlarged a bit to fit them. If she's got small lobes this might be tricky, but they should be able to go above the original holes a bit. Many ear piercings are too low on the ear, so over time earrings sit too low on the lobe, so going above the original site will help make sure that doesn't happen.

Good luck to Mrs. crunchland. (On preview: what jessamyn said is on the money, too.)
posted by melissa may at 8:33 PM on March 4, 2005

If her ears were pierced with a gun, there's going to be a scar tunnel. When you're upgauging a scar tunnel, it'll hurt and bleed a bit -- the body mod community doesn't deal with this often, as they use needles to pierce.

Just so you know.
posted by Jairus at 8:39 PM on March 4, 2005

I had my ears pierced, umm, well over 20 years ago, and I don't have a problem wearing any earrings. I wear starter studs most of the time, because my piercings tend to close up if I don't wear something, and the starter earrings have backs that don't come off easily.

Try jessamyn's idea first. I'd also suggest stopping by a shop that does piercings, and just buy a pair of starter earrings to put in the piercings to keep them from closing up, once they get to the size she would like. (I actually buy mine at a beauty supply store, because it's more convenient than the pierce shop.)
posted by jlkr at 8:46 PM on March 4, 2005

If she wears clip-ons relatively frequently [and doesn't have some sort of thing through the hole to keep it open], it is quite possible that the holes are closing up a little. Piercing holes can close up surprisingly quickly without a post through the hole. For other, less socially accepted piercings, there are "keepers" or "retainers [generally clear plastic devices] that can be used to keep the holes from closing up - she may be able to find similar retainers for ear piercings, although I'm not sure that clip-on earrings would work over them. Alternately, she might want to visit a jeweler's and see if her favorite clip-ons can be converted to post-'n-stud earrings so that she can continue to wear them without worrying about her piercings closing.

Either way, she ought to visit a local reputable body piercing shop to find out what to do to stretch her ear holes out. As Jairus says, there may be complications if she got her ears pierced with a gun rather than a needle, and I certainly wouldn't trust beauty parlours or mall shops to know how to do anything but press the trigger on the gun. The process of stretching shouldn't take that long, since she's only trying to regain her original ear hole size, but she will have to wear pierced earrings - perhaps even starter-type earrings of a certain gauge - for the entire time.
posted by ubersturm at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2005

My ears were pierced with a gun, and I had no trouble at all stretching them a bit. My ex was a body piercer who also made his own jewelry, so for me it was easy to get jewelry in slightly larger sizes until I was up to where I wanted my ear piercings to be. A piercing shop should be able to help you with this. They can also assist with the insertion of the larger sizes using a special tool which is very slightly cone-shaped, and brings the larger ring through the piercing much easier than trying to cram it through manually.

I agree with ubersturm that her holes are probably closing somewhat when she wears a clip-on, and therefore does not have a post through her ear for many hours. Perhaps she should limit wearing clip-ons more than a day at a time, and be sure that she wears posts to bed.
posted by veronitron at 10:32 AM on March 5, 2005

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