The way, Stretching.
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
A guide to stretching your piercing the right way!
The most common type of stretching is on soft tissue such as your lobes, alot of people asume you have to force stretch with a taper, let me tell you this is not the way to go about it, stretching correctly takes time and patience!
It took me 3 years to get to 00 gauge/ 10mm on my lobes, my lobes are 100% healthy with no scarring and i've never had an issue with them.
The first thing you should realise that there is no set time scale for stretching and it can take a long time.
It should go without saying, you need a fully healed piercing before you can begin stretching, you can be piercied with larger gauge jewellery to give you a little head start. Your piericng should be healed, mature and pliable before you start Stretching.
After an extend period of time your piercing should be relaxed and able to accept the next size of jewellery, if possible you should use half gauges, Never stretch more than one gauge/size bigger than your current jewellery. If your piercing is ready to be stretched the jewellery should be able to be inserted with little or no force, its best to use a single use sterile stretching lube to make the jewellery insertion easier & more comfortable, insertion tapers can be used for assiting with the fitting of jewellery but should be classed as a tool and not a stretching implement or a piece of jewellery.
If you experience alot of discomfort or have to apply alot of force, you should stop immediately, you piercing is not ready to be stretched and you could cause damage. You will need to let you pierciing heal for longer before trying again.
It personally took about 8 months for my lobes to be ready to stretch from a 0 to a 00 gauge.
Stretching too fast can result in tears, bleeding, scarring, blowouts (which is a section of skin from interior of the inner channel that pushes out). In any of these cases you need to install smaller jewellery to remove pressure and allow the piercing to heal which could take weeks or even months, it will take time for your body to rejuvenate blood flow/produce new healthy tissue.
Living with a stretched piercing
A little tender is normal for the first day or two.
Dont remove the jewellery for the first few days as it may be difficult to re-install as you tissue has not relaxed/recovered enough yet.
Rinse daily under warm water whilst showering/bathing.
Once your tissue feels more pliable again and you feel confident that you can get it back in, take out your jewellery occasionaly to clean the jewellery and tissue. (because of the large surface area, you can get a build up of normal piercing related discharge - which can have an odour)
Rest/remove them from time to time, this allows better bloodflow and keeps your tissue healthy (only do this when they can be taken in and out easily)
Gauge/size chart - evertyhing above 00g is measured in inches or millimeters
If you have any difficulties stretching its best to seek professional advice from a piercer.