A little know-how about stretching


Stop stretching. Remove the taper or jewellery or whatever you’re stretching with and go back to a bit smaller size.
Clean it with warm saline soaks 1 or 2 times daily during about a week. Let your skin recover before you try again.

Tear during stretching.

It sometimes can occur that you stretched too fast and created a tear in the skin while doing that, which causes bleeding. This means you were impatient and went too fast, too soon, too big or all the above. Go back to your previous size and keep it clean. Do the saline soaks twice daily until it has fully recovered and the skin is healed, this can take from 4 weeks to 2 months. Learn from your mistakes. When you get back to stretching make sure you don’t try the same thing again. Smaller steps, other materials, more patience will help. Avoid stretching with materials like acrylics or silicone. When you want to stretch to a size bigger than 10 mm diameter you could want to try the tape method. When you stretch you stretch the space between the molecules of your skin. It takes time for your body to refill that space with new skin cells and restore the collagen. When you rush it and stretch too fast you make the spaces too large and cause weak spots and thinning skin. When you skip sizes and are in a hurry, your body will not be able to keep up and your skin will stay weaker and thinner. This is very hard to restore.

Sebum, fatty stuff, smelly goo?

Wash your jewellery regularly! That’s actually the most important and most effective when it comes to getting rid of or preventing, sebum and smelly stuff. Washing your jewellery while in the shower and also your piercings (your skin) with a mild fragrance free soap and rinsing well is often a great help.

Sebum is mostly a “problem” on stretched piercings. The surfaces are bigger thus the smell is more penetrating and it can feel sort of sweaty to the touch. By cleaning your stretched piercings daily and keeping your jewellery clean you can minimize the smell. This also goes for smaller piercings and earrings if you have the same “problem” with those. A good personal hygiene and a range of several good quality jewellery will help a lot when it comes to those nasty smells. Wearing metals like steel and titanium will cause more sebum secretions along with acrylics and stone jewellery like hematite, turquoise, tiger’s eye… Horn, wood, bone and other organic materials somehow don’t cause it as much.  Organics though, are materials that require regular care to keep them smooth, shiny and good for you. These can dry out when they came in contact with water and become porous. This can become harmful for your stretched piercing skin. Also they can become brittle and break or chip or lose their shine. Pyrex glass or borosilicate glass jewellery are very pretty and mostly unbreakable. What also might help is massaging your stretched skin with a body oil like jojoba oil, emu oil, vitamin e oil. This will strengthen the skin and reduce the amount of sebum secreted.


No matter your intentions or goals, stretching should always be done in slow, patient steps. Read more on stretching on this website by using the search engine on the top right of this page.

Between every stretch procedure you have to leave enough time to let your skin recover and heal properly. If you don’t it can result in ugly, painful and dangerous consequences. If you stretch too much or too fast you could end up with scar tissue which makes further stretching or growing back to a smaller size significantly more difficult or even impossible. Take good care of your skin and stretching will go just fine. Piercings that have been stretched to big sizes can leave big holes. Stretching a piercing, where the skin isn’t very thick to start from, too fast can lead to problems. Most occurring problems from this is the so called blowout. This means that a part of the skin had turned sort of inside out while stretching, which leaves a sort of lip on the back of the earlobe (in case of earlobe stretching that is).

This will be a constant reminder of a stretching mishap and this will mostly not go away. You could have it removed by a surgeon. Piercings that haven’t been stretched the right way can also result in thinning weakening skin that won’t regrow or shrink back. Worst case scenario: necrosis. Literally: the skin dies and falls off. If you want to know how to stretch the right way or you have some other type of question don’t hesitate to contact me.

Can I get a so called cauliflower ear by stretching?

This almost never occurs with piercings. Chances of this happening with stretching your piercings are even smaller.

I have stretched my earlobes a while ago to 14mm. they have been healed for quite some time now. But since this morning I noticed my earlobe is swollen and very sensitive to the touch. What is the best thing I could do?

Rinse your earlobes clean during showering or wash them with a mild perfume free soap such as neutral 0% which you can buy at most drugstores in the Benelux. Massage them afterwards with a big of jojoba oil, emu oil or olive oil if you have none of the above at your disposition. After this you could try and wear horn or bone jewellery or you could leave them without jewellery for a day or two. If you still want to wear jewellery, try after 20 minutes of waking or showering and make the insertion easier by using a bit of oil like the ones I stated above. Refrain from wearing wood or acrylics until they have healed or recovered properly.

If you have more questions you could always try and reach me or post a comment below.

Can I stretch my piercings with white gold?

As long are you’re not allergic for any component of this material using this for jewellery after stretching is fine. Make sure you disinfect the jewellery before insertion.

What can I do about smelly tunnels or eyelets?

With wearing certain materials in your stretched piercings, the skin can become sweaty to the touch. This is most common with wearing surgical steel, steel or titanium or other metal jewellery. Probably because your skin can be sort of suffocated on the surface and this surface is of course larger that you would have with regular earrings. On regular earrings the same thing occurs, but again, because the surface is smaller, the smell is less noticeable. Often you will find that wearing organic materials reduce the smell.If metals are still your favourite type of jewellery you can reduce the odours by taking them out daily to wash the lobes as well as the jewellery with a mild perfume-free soap and rinsing well so make sure there are no soap residue left on either.

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