Feb 06, 2013
The act of stretching is called stretching. The "gauge" is the size and measurement of the jewellery and fistula (the hole you're stretching).
I've stretched my lobes and because I'm probe to infections with my super sensitive ears I HAD to do it by the book. Even if you're not prone to problems, you're silly to do it any other way.
My rules, tips and advice:
1) Oil your lobes. I used emu oil, but if you're vegan use jojoba oil. Massage your lobes at least once a day with a small amount and this keeps them supple and makes them less likely to dry out and split.
2) use tapers and plugs to stretch. You can buy stretching kits for next to nothing at http://www.bodyartforms.com, I never went anywhere else for my supplies and jewellery.
3) only stretch one size at a time. If it hurts or you feel some resistance, don't force it. Up the oil massages and try a few days later after a hot bath or shower when the skin is soft.
4) only use stainless steel or titanium to stretch. They are non-porous which means they can't absorb bacteria and they will slide through more easily.
5) TAPERS ARE NOT JEWELLERY. Yes, some people seem to think they are, but they are for stretching. Stay away from any taper made of wood, plastic, shell, horn or any other non-metallic material.
6) keep plastic or organic jewellery well out of a freshly stretched piercing. They are porous so you run the risk of causing inflammation and infection. ONLY wear glass, stainless steel or titanium in a fresh stretch.
7) regardless of what anyone else says, never use alcohol based products to clean the piercing site, with or without jewellery. It will dry it out no end. Use sea salt soaks, you can find the water to salt ratio on a google search.
8) if at any time your stretched piercings feel irritated or start becoming inflamed, don't be afraid to go down a size. Change to clean stainless steel jewellery and baby your lobes with sea salt soaks and oil massages. You can always stretch up again later.
Hope this helps! Trust me, http://www.bodyartforms.comis amazing. Lots of jewellery and products and heaps of information!
Without taking away from what Megan said, don't tape to stretch. Taping involves using PTFD or Teflon tape, which you can use to gradually increase the size of your jewellery. Only tape if your HEALED stretched lobes are supple enough. The tape is just as porous as plastic and organic materials so it can irritate the piercing and cause infection.
I'm at 0's and I believe it was the best decision of my life I love them:) there not to big not to small and I could also go back if I really want to. :)
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