Stretcher piercings, or gauging or stretching piercings, are a type of body modification that involves gradually increasing the size of a piercing hole to accommodate larger jewelry. This is achieved using specialized jewelry, such as tapers or plugs, progressively inserted into the Piercing over time.
The process of stretching a piercing requires patience and careful attention to hygiene to prevent infection or damage to the skin. It is essential to wait until a piercing has fully healed before attempting to stretch it and to use high-quality jewelry made from materials safe for the body, such as titanium, surgical steel, or glass.
Stretcher piercings are often associated with alternative subcultures, such as punk, goth, and body modification communities. Still, they are becoming increasingly mainstream as more people experiment with different forms of self-expression. They can be performed on various body parts, including earlobes, eyebrows, nostrils, lips, and even genitalia.
What size should I start with?
If you want to start a stretcher piercing on your earlobe, choosing the right size to avoid damaging the tissue or causing excessive pain is essential. Generally, the recommended starting size for earlobe stretchers is between 18 and 20 gauge, about 1mm in diameter.
It’s important to note that everyone’s earlobes are different, and some people may need to start with a smaller or larger gauge size depending on the thickness and elasticity of their skin. It’s always better to start smaller and gradually works to larger sizes over time.
When stretching a piercing, it’s essential to wait until the previous size has fully healed and try slowly and gradually, adding no more than 1mm at a time. Stretching too quickly or using incorrect techniques can cause damage to the tissue, tearing, or other complications.
It’s recommended to consult with a professional piercer before starting a stretcher piercing to ensure that you are choosing the right size and following proper techniques and aftercare.
More important details about this Piercing:
- The stretching process: Stretching a piercing involves inserting progressively larger jewelry into the Piercing over time. It is essential to wait until the Piercing has fully healed before attempting to stretch it and to do so slowly and gradually to avoid tearing or other complications. Testing should be done with sterile equipment and high-quality jewelry made from metals that are safe for the body.
- Healing time: It is essential to allow a piercing to heal fully before attempting to stretch it. The recovery time varies depending on the piercing location, but generally, earlobe piercings take 4-6 weeks to heal, while other areas of the body can take up to several months. Following proper aftercare instructions during healing is essential to avoid infections or other complications.
- Jewelry options: Stretcher piercings require exceptional jewelry, such as tapers or plugs, designed for gradually stretching the Piercing over time. The jewelry should be made of elements that are fit for the body, such as titanium, surgical steel, or glass. Choosing the right size and style of jewelry is essential to avoid damaging the Piercing.
- Risks and complications: Stretcher piercings come with risks and complications, such as infection, tearing, scarring, and keloids. Following proper stretching techniques, using high-quality jewelry, and consulting with a professional piercer if you experience any problems are essential.
- Care and maintenance: Proper care and maintenance are essential for keeping a stretcher piercing healthy and looking good. This includes cleaning the Piercing regularly with saline solution, avoiding contact with irritants such as makeup or hair products, and taking care not to bump or twist the jewelry.
- Removal and reversal: If you decide to remove your stretcher piercing, it is crucial to do so slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the Piercing or causing scarring. Sometimes, a stretched piercing may shrink to its original size over time, but this is only sometimes guaranteed.
While stretcher piercings can be a form of artistic expression and a source of personal pride for many people, it is essential to note that they do come with risks. Stretching a piercing too quickly or using low-quality jewelry can cause tearing, scarring, or other complications. It is essential to educate yourself about the proper techniques and precautions before attempting to stretch a piercing and consult a professional piercer if you have any doubts or concerns.