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Large Upper Ear Piercing Done Using A Dermal Punch

Ear Piercing Done Using A Dermal Punch

Large Upper Ear Piercing Done Using A Dermal Punch

Stretching lobes is currently very popular, and is a very easy thing to do. However, stretching the cartilage in the upper ear for large holes is nearly impossible and would leave a very deformed ear, often due to keloiding. To get nice large gauge piercings through upper ear cartilage a good way is to use a dermal punch, which is essentially a circular razor blade (like a really good hole-punch) which can easily remove a circle of tissue.

It should be noted that when possible, using a dermal punch in all piercings of any size 2mm or greater, rather than a hollow needle is "better," in that (as a generalization) it is less painful and heals more cleanly, especially for larger holes. Dermal punches are usually available from 2mm (and smaller from some suppliers), in 1mm increments.

When we did my cartilage, which was done using an 8mm (or approximately 1 ga) dermal punch, first we found a nice flat part of the ear shell. Not all people have area which is suitable for this kind of piercing, and the shape of the ear is instrumental in determining the maximum size of hole possible. For most people this will be no more than 8mm. However, I have heard of people doing very large (3/4" off-round) cartilage removals using scalpels, but these methods are very experimental and will quite possibly destroy the ear.

As with all cartilage piercings, we used a small flashlight to shine through the ear in this selected area to highlight any major blood vessels, and traced them with a marker. In the aesthetically correct area, we tried to find a location for the piercing which would do the least amount of damage. Obviously, for a piercing of this size this is impossible to avoid, but you can greatly cut down on the healing time if less damage is done.

After cleaning the ear, and knowing exactly where we were putting the hole, we began the piercing. Using a cork backing, we "drilled" or slowly twisted the dermal punch through the ear. This is not easy and may take some time, but is not too painful - actually less painful than a needle (in my opinion), even in this large gauge. Also, there are two major types of dermal punches available. The kind we used on my ear is the 'clave-able reusable type. However, the single use kind is far better.

For my healing we insert a stainless steel flesh tunnel into the hole, approximately 1mm less in diameter than the dermal punch so that the skin would have room to heal in. We also used a stiptic pencil to stop the bleeding, which was fairly significant.

For my healing period, I cleaned the piercing with Bactine, and was careful not to disturb the healing. Mine only hurt very briefly - much less than most cartilage piercings, but bled slight, forming a scab in the area, even over a month after the piercing. The healing time for me was probably between 3 and 4 months.

What finally made the piercing totally heal was taking the jewelry out. It shrunk down to about a 6 ga and healed almost instantly. Then I easily stretched it back up to a comfortable two gauge. In seeing the healing in other people, the best results I have seen are in those that heal without any jewelry for the entire healing time. However, this doesn't work for everybody. For some people even an 8mm can close (!), so I think that the thing to do is to wear light jewelry for the first few weeks to allow skin to form, and then to take the jewelry out, allowing it to quickly heal. When I do my other ear, this is the method I will use.


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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1997
in Ear Piercing

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