How to Correct the Split Earlobe

By Ssaif Saifuddin

On the face, the most common areas of cosmetic concern are the forehead, the eyes, cheeks, nose, lips, jowls and neckline. Although the ears represent an important anatomic sub unit of the face, they are largely under-represented in terms of cosmetic procedures. One of the most common clinical presentations of the ear includes a traumatic phenomenon known as the split or torn ear lobe. In most societies of the world, the female earlobe is pierced at an early stage to accommodate an earring or earlobe-dilator.

With time, the weight of the earring, coupled with chronic pulling of the earring, may resulting a widening of the hole and eventual splitting of the earlobe. Since the process is usually progressive, treatment is usually delayed until the earlobe is ultimately split apart by the weight of the ear piercing. In some cases, a split earlobe may occur in an acute setting with traumatic pull or avulsion of the earring, resulting in an acute laceration of the earlobe with concomitant bleeding. In the acute or chronic case, a split earlobe becomes an important cosmetic concern because of the deformity begins to draw attention to the injured ear.

For the most women, the ear goes largely unnoticed as a point of cosmetic concern until a split earlobe causes a noticeable deformity on the face. Treatment of the split earlobe begins with an assessment of the defect and an understanding of the anatomy of the earlobe. In most cases, acute injuries to the earlobe are managed in a more urgent fashion with immediate assessment of the defect, cauterization of bleeding auricular vessels,and repair of the split earlobe.

Chronically split earlobes, on the other hand, present with in a wide spectrum of problems, depending on the degree of injury and the amount of preserved earlobe anatomy. These chronic conditions can thus be categorized by the degree of earlobe disruption;beginning with a widened earlobe piercing without disruption of the earlobe skin edge, a widened earlobe piercing with impending disruption of the earlobe skin edge, or complete disruption of the earlobe through the earlobe skin edge.

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