What is a Piercing Blowout and How Can You Treat it?

What is a Piercing Blowout

One thing you do not want to experience is a piercing blowout. What exactly is a blowout though? What is the cause and how can it be treated?

A piercing blowout is a reaction stretched ears may have when you stretch your ears improperly. It results in a flap of sore and unsightly skin hanging from the back of your ear lobe.

What Causes a Piercing Blowout?

A piercing blowout can occur when you are stretching your ears and you try to size up before your ear is fully ready. This causes the skin of your lobe to react in such a way that when you push the taper through, the unhealed skin gets pushed through with it.

To put it simply, the main two reasons you may experience this problem is either a) you did not wait long enough between stretches or b) you skipped too many gauge sizes, so for example you may have jumped from 12G to 6G.

If you suspect that you may have a ear stretching blowout, stick around as I will be giving you some tips to help you correct this problem. The earlier you start treating it, the better it will heal!

How to Treat a Piercing Blowout at Home

In order to help your blown out piercing as quickly and painlessly as possible, you need to follow these tips listed below. You should be able to heal your piercing nearly completely within 3 or 4 weeks.

Downsize Immediately!

Ear TunnelsAs soon as you notice that your piercing has become blown out you need to size right back down. You may even want to shrink two gauges sizes. For example, go from 6G to 8G or even 10G.

The sooner you do this, the better you will heal up. If you leave it too long, your blowout may heal and remain blown out looking permanently. There is really not much you can do if you allow this to happen.

Whether your blowout is fresh or healed, try using the tips below. These tips were all recommended by experts.

Cleanse your piercing thoroughly

A blown out piercing needs to be kept very clean. This will stop it from getting infected and speed up the healing process. You should cleanse twice a day using either of  the following methods.

Use Piercing Aftercare Products

The best way of cleansing any piercing is using a professional piercing aftercare solution. The product you use should be alcohol free and suitable for sensitive skin. You do not want to be using anything too strong a this may worsen the irritation.

If you have had any piercings done professionally, your piercer should have supplied you with a quality aftercare solution. Failing that, they should have at least given you some advice on which product you should be using.

If you do not own any piercing aftercare products, check out the selection on my website by clicking here. Alternately you could buy a complete aftercare set. Check out my #1 recommendation right here.

Use Saline Solution

Saline SolutionIf you have absolutely no way of getting hold of any piercing aftercare products, use saline solution. This is another highly effective way of keeping your piercings sterile and killing off any bacteria.

To make your own saline solution all you need to do is stir a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt into a glass of luke warm water. If you cannot get hold of rock salt or sea salt, just use half a teaspoon of table salt.

All you need to do is apply the salty water to your piercing. Make sure to thoroughly soak the piercing. You could either dip the piercing in the water directly or use a cotton pad.

Massage the Affected Area

Try massaging your ears daily using oils. The best oils to use would be coconut oil, jojoba oil or vitamin E oil.

Massaging the area will increase blood flow, which helps the body heal. This will also prevent the skin from getting too dry and cracking, which would be very sore and possibly cause even more problems.

Massaging the area may be sore if your blowout is very fresh, but you must persist if you want your piercing to heal up properly. I would suggest you do this up to 3 times a day until you feel the skin has healed up significantly.

What to AvoidWhat to Avoid

There are certain things you should avoid all together when your piercing is blown out. In fact you should still avoid the following even if your piercing seems perfectly healthy right now, if not you may end up with a blown out piercing!

Avoid the following at all costs:

  • Strong chemicals such as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Ointments and other topical solutions. Unless specifically made for piercings or recommended by a professional piercer.
  • Stretching your ear any further before it is healed up completely.
  • Waiting too long to treat the problem.
  • Touching your piercing with dirty hands.

To Conclude

Follow this guide and within about 3 or 4 weeks your piercing should be back to normal. If not, I would seriously recommend you consult with your piercer or doctor. The only guaranteed way to get rid of a blowout is to have it surgically removed.

Be patient as healing can take time. Make sure you keep the piercing and the skin around the affected area very clean and sterile to prevent any complications such as infection.

If you need any advice or have suggestions for treatment of a piercing blowout, leave a comment below and I will  get back to you as soon as I get a chance!

– Hannah

Founder of Pro Piercing Kits

20 Comments on What is a Piercing Blowout and How Can You Treat it?

  1. It was a very helpful article. I think it’s easy to follow all these steps to heal the piercing blowout and prevent it from becoming painfull. I think the hardest thing is not to touch it with dirty hands. Becuase usually you do it unconsciously. But my question is, why we shouldn’t use alcohol for cleaning?

    • Thanks very much mate. It can be pretty hard keeping dirty hands off of the piercing, although the trick is to keep your hands clean at all times. Perhaps carry handwash around on you if possible.

      The reason you should not use alcohol is because it is actually a very strong chemical which can dries out the skin and causes irritation. Alcohol will actually slow the healing process by killing off healthy new cells.

      Hope this helps. Your comment is much appreciated!

  2. Hi Hannah,

    You have a very interesting website here! Especially for those that are into modifying their bodies. I’m a bit old fashion and I’m not one into piercing myself other than my ears. And I am into only the more traditional ear piercing. However, anyone, that is into this I have to say to give your site a look-over! Lots of good information here!


  3. Piercing blowout! Sounds bad haha. This is the kind of info I would never have thought about, but obviously if you gauge up to fast something bad is gonna happen. I’ll probably never personally need this info but now I can talk to my buddies about their gauges and drop some facts like I know what I’m talking about 😀

    • Hey Ryan.

      Blowouts are pretty nasty and don’t exactly look very attractive. Make sure your buddies know what could happen if they rush their stretches. They will thank you later!

      Thanks very much for your input. I’m so glad you feel you have learnt something new.

  4. Seems painful and tedious, I would be in a full frenzy if I had this. I freak out when a hair is out of place much less a flap of flesh hanging from my ear lobe!

    I hope this article reaches those who need it, you clearly put a ot of time and effort into this post and it shows! Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks very much Tyler. Blowouts are pretty freaky. A very good reason to not rush if you ever decide to stretch your ears! If you have any friends or family who are into body mods, please do spread the word.

      Many thanks.

  5. Ahh good ol ears. I have a few friends with this type of ear piercing. It looks so painful! but I notice you have to work your way up the the reallly BIG ones. haha. I remember letting my sister pierce my ears. We sterilized a needle, got a potato and a cup of ice. I numbed my ears and she heated up the needle and BOOM pain was everywhere. lol no but i heard a popping sensation that i will never forget in my lifetime!

    • Hi Billy.

      The pain is not really so bad if you take care whilst you are stretching the piercing. It can take really quite a long time to get your ears stretched that big. I’m talking months, maybe even years! Although it is worth the wait, at least the piercing won’t end up getting all blown out!

      Using ice to numb actually makes the skin harder, which would be the reason for the POP sound you heard when the needle went through.

      Thanks for your input. I hope you enjoyed your time on my site.

  6. Hi Hanna Bubble, I was interested in your article because I always wanted to know more about Ear Piercing ( the huge ones}.The article was informative and easy to read. Your guide will definitely help people with the care of Piercing Blowout.
    Where did that style of piercing come from?

    • Hi Theresa.

      Thanks very much! This style of piercing has actually been around of thousands of years. It is thought to have come from a tribal background. Many African, Eurasian and American tribes would practice ear and lip stretching rituals, some still do to this day!

      I hope this answers your question.

  7. This happened to a friend of mine years ago (I’m old so not many friends have this done any more haha). He did in fact treat it as you suggested with success. Looked painful!

    Question though- if the downsizing method did not work, what would a doctor or the piercer be able to do? What would the next suggested course of treatment be?

    • Hey Heather.

      Glad to hear your friend had success with this treatment method. It usually does work.

      If this method did not work a doctor or piercer should be able to help you out with some kind of cream to use. To be totally honest, I’m not really sure there is all that much they can do for a blowout.


  8. I have only done normal piercing previously & it already freaked me out. I have seen people with piercings like those in your images. I wonder how painful that must have been to get that flesh expanded several times. Do you have a special method to keep it sanitized to prevent infections? I have seen people hanging their earpiece onto the hole caused by piercing. To me, it doesn’t really look that appealing though.

    • Hey Zhi.

      The pain of ear stretching is not as bad as you would think, well if it is done correctly. If care is not taken, yes it can be very painful!

      The best way to prevent infection is to cleanse it daily whilst you are stretching. Either use a piercing aftercare solution or saline solution (warm salty water).

      Thanks for your input.

  9. Hi Hannah, every time I read your articles I’m amazed by the useful information and help you give..and in such a easy way. You said you have to immediately scale it down but what happens if you just take it out completely for the healing time? Will the lobe shrink?

    • Hey Kat.

      When you wish to shrink your lobes it is better to scale down the jewelry as it helps the lobes to retain their shape whilst they shrink and heal. If you remove the jewelry altogether and leave it out, the lobes will heal up misshapen and end up permanently deformed.


  10. Hannah, when a blowout occurs, can the piercer actually do the surgery if things become really bad or is that illegal? I think in areas like Asia it is definitely not allowed due to the various complications that can arise.

    • Hey Shaz.

      The surgery would have to be done by a qualified plastic surgeon. Piercers cannot legally do it, no. This applies to most, if not all, countries around the world.

      Thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated mate.

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