Oops, my mistake
Errare humanum est
Making mistakes is human.
I was stretching my earlobes to 18mm as I wrote before in another article on this website. But that went wrong, on my right earlobe that is. The one earlobe that keeps demanding slower and smaller steps.
A month ago, my taped in plug was at 17mm (a size not available in inches or gauges as 17 and 18mm are not used sizes for stretchin in english as far as I know, even though they do exist) and my lobe was sitting nice and loose around it. So I went head and tried to insert a 18mm 316L steel tunnel in there. And that went fairly easily.
After a week or so, they both started to itch and sweat. That is something I expect when wearing metal jewellery in stretched earlobes for a longer period of time. So I never suspected anything. I probably should have. The itching went away after some time but the flesh tunnel never sat comfortably. washing them while keeping them in seemed to help. But after a couple days the same problem subsided. And I should have listened to my body when I still had the chance. I should have changed those tunnel for something hypoallergenic for example. Like glass or pyrex even or maybe titanium.
Yesterday I thought “I’m going to take them out real quick for a thorough cleaning”. Well I found a nice, big, piercing pimple like bump on the lower back edge of my earlobe. Such a piercing pimple becomes a blow out if you let it. So I took the jewellery out and left it out. I washed it with a mild fragrance free soap and massaged it with emu oil. It started feeling better. Of course I was “scared”they would shrink, but that was the last I should worry about at that time. This afternoon at half past 3 I massaged them again with emu oil and re-inserted my 17mm plugs. I was happy t have done that but the lobes weren’t that happy with me though. Now I will leave them like this as long as possible and try again. But I surely won’t try that with steel tunnels or plugs again. My skin doesn’t appreciate steel. Not long, term anyway. I ordered titanium and pyrex plug in 17 and 18mm, so I can stretch but also have a back-up option if needed.
Well… two days later… My ear wasn’t exactly happy with the 17mm plug either and I had to take that one out too. Left it out for two days and washed it regularly with neutral 0% soap, rinsed well and massaged it with emu oil. It helped a little. So I had to size down again. The 17mm plugs of glass came in but I couldn’t fit them in so I had to put 16 back in. Back to starting point. That’s ok. Back from square one and one millimetre at a time. That’s the plan.
Here’s the moral of this story:
If it hurts, listen to your body, if it itches, listen to your body, if it sweats and doesn’t feel comfortable, listen to your body. It can be as simple as changing materials. Titanium and pyrex are the best options, pyrex or soda-lime glass especially. For anyone. PReferably with internal threading or single flare, with no threading at all. In that case, go for glass. Silicone or rings to keep the plugs or tunnels in place are the best choice since some people still have some sensitivity to the nitrile rubber of the black o rings (the silicone O- rings are white or transparent).