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Unread 06-18-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Help with 16G earrings

I recently bought some earrings that were labeled 16G for an upcoming cosplay. I've had my ears pierced for over ten years now, though I don't wear earrings every day, I still thought they would fit. Well, I'm having a lot of trouble with them, which leads me to believe I'm somewhere around a 20G. I really need to get these earrings to fit, though! Does anyone have any suggestions? Will I be able to fit them if I just keep trying?
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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Hmm, this is an odd question..But here's what I know from friends that I have seen do this.

First, I have to make sure, are they plugs? Or spikes? If they are the spikes, you can slowly use them, but the plugs won't fit without extreme pain. You need to get spikes, They are meant for helping your holes get bigger. Or go up by only ONE number (which if you were at 20G then you will need 18G first. You can still do it since at these numbers they aren't greatly different, like they are when you get bigger, you should still be able to do it at least.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #3
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Standard earing posts should be 18g, however I remember when I went to 16g in two of my holes, and it does take some pressure to get them in. You're having to stretch skin that has formed a scar to seal it from healing, so it may hurt some.

You shouldnt need a spike or taper until much lower guages, and you wont find plugs at 16g. (only the fake ones with a stud)

If you're really worried about possibly being a 20g (very rare for earrings to be so) then pick up some for-sure 18g earrings and try.

Last edited by DlGlT : 06-18-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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16 G is about the same normally used in an eyebrow or lip ring, these are substantially bigger than what salons use and regular studs. I would suggest using a touch of a&d ointment (neosporin +pain is what i use when sizingup) wear really heavy dangle earings of some sort, SOFTLY & GENTLY massage your lobes while wearing heavy earring and tug GENTLY. I all caps that because of the importance of being easy on them. The smaller the gauge the more likely it is to have what we in the business call "the cheese cutter effect" you do not want to split your ear so DO NOT PULL HARD. This and time is the best way. If you try this for a while and are still having trouble you can use a taper. it will look like a long spike, but only use as a last resort and stop if you feel like your skin is tearing, that can lead to scar tissue on the inside of your piercing which is unpleasant.
Good luck!

How do I know? I was a licensed piercer. I have stretched to 00 five times, and let them shrink back to normal 4 times for some fancy events (sister's and friend's weddings i was in). Not tearing is the trick to retain your ability to let them shrink up again one day.
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Last edited by Misseeriechan : 06-19-2013 at 12:11 AM. Reason: adding info
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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Normal, every day earrings are 20g. So that's what your ear is going to be, unless you got it done at a tattoo parlor/piercing place that used a large gauge. Like others have said before, gauging your ears is a serious process of slowly stretching your lobes. If you do it too fast you can have have your lobes tear, get infected, blowouts. Do not just "keep trying" to shove them into your ears.

I would get a pair of "spikes" (tapers) because those are what are used to stretch ears the proper way. Like I said, you have to do it slowly with time. Generally you shouldn't be stretching above 1 size per month. Jumping from a 20 to a 16 isn't really a big deal, you should be fine if you follow everyones advice.
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Unread 06-19-2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's a pretty decent jump if they're a 20g or even a tight 18g.

You'd have to stretch your piercings. I would NOT recommend skipping a size. No reason to mess up your ears for cosplay. You can get a blow-out (a gross lip of skin protruding out the back of your fistula) at any size and it would be really crappy to get stuck with that over cosplay.

You could get a pair of 18g studs and see if they fit (since you're not sure if you are at 18g or 20g). If they fit, you'd want to wear them 24/7 for a month and then try a lubricated 16g taper, followed by 16g plugs. And if the earrings you currently have are not a body-safe material you'd want to wear a pair that IS body-safe for a few weeks before switching to them.

If you're at 20g, you'd want to try a lubricated 18g taper followed by a body-safe 18g plug. Wear for a month and then try the 16g.

The problem with smaller jewellery is that it is often too lightweight for the piercing to "self stretch". "Dangly" earrings can do this, but they can also get caught in things at night and tear - like Misseeriechan said, the "cheese cutter" effect of just tearing through your skin.

Neosporin is destructive, pore-clogging and not something you'd want to put on even a wound (there have been studies done about its medical effectiveness and the results are against it - and it's been "praised" as a really great unnecessary allergen for a lot of people. No, like, really - it won an AWARD for that). Sorry, Misseeriechan. I know people used to recommend it because we didn't have the information we do now (for instance, tattoo artists used it as well but we've come to learn from studies and experience that it actually irritates the site and causes excessive ink loss).

A water-based lubricant is going to be safe - you can even use vegetable oil. If you're stretching properly you shouldn't have an open wound so it's not a huge deal what lubricant you use so long as it's not something that would normally be harmful or irritating.

You could always change the back or convert them to clip-on. If you need to wear them sooner than three months and never wanted to stretch your lobes before this, that would be a WAY better idea.

I really doubt stretching is going to be worth it to you since it's a long process and you might encounter problems along the way and it could take even longer than "normal".

It will also cost you at least $10. So that's something else to consider - can you just replace these cheaper than stretching ? If you can't tolerate the Nickel in cheap "economy" jewellery you're looking at a higher cost, too (and exposure can increase sensitivity - so you could develop a new issue). Acrylic is cheap but it's not body-safe for a new stretch, you want to only wear it a few weeks after you've stretched and still not for extended periods of time.

I'm saying all this because I want you to know what you're getting in to - and that it's probably going to be easier and less expensive to just buy a new pair of modify the ones you have.

At this point, if I was you, I'd worry about changing the jewellery piece, not your body.

You could even just hack off the stud back (if that's what they are) and glue on a new one. Unless they're really heavy they should hold and glue won't come into contact with your skin.
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Unread 06-20-2013, 01:01 AM   #7
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Well sorry Kelley, but we aren't talking about a tattoo or an open wound. A water based lubricant is going to dry really fast and there aren't many pores inside the long ago healed piercing hole inside someone's earlobe. I just mentioned what I use, with absolutely none of the problems you mentioned. Of course, use whatever works for you, but something that will keep the area workable for several hours for massaging. Heck something with vitamin E and D would be even better to promote elasticity.
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