Valerie Monroe
Photo: Patrik Andersson
Q: The piercings in my earlobes have become elongated, and now my hanging earrings look terrible. Help!

A: I'm afraid it's studs for you from now on, my friend; Haideh Hirmand, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery at Cornell-Weill Medical College/New York–Presbyterian Hospital, says she sees elongated piercings only in people who've worn dangling earrings over time. The good news, she says, is that you can have your lobes repaired in a simple surgical procedure. (I don't know about you, but to me, "simple surgical procedure" is an oxymoron.) Anyway, it involves cutting the elongated hole completely out and suturing the skin back together, which closes the hole. It's done under local anesthesia, there's no downtime, the sutures come out in a week, and healing is usually very quick. If you want to repierce, you should wait four to six months, and do it in a different spot on the lobe. Wearing long, heavy earrings should be avoided, warns Hirmand.

Keep in mind: You can have your piercings surgically repaired, but sometimes an injection with a filler like hyaluronic acid can temporarily plump up the lobes so that earrings fit better in them.

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