You look fantastic for your age. You’ve been exercising well, but not too much. Eating vegetables, fruits, high-quality proteins, good fats. Meditating. Seeing your dermatologist regularly for anti-aging treatments that keep your face and hands looking 10 years younger than your birth certificate says they should.
But there’s one part of your body that isn’t responding to your care. It’s your ears.
Why Your Ears Go Jumbo
You noticed it when you were a kid, and wondered, “Why do grandma and grandpa have such big noses…. And ears?”
Somebody probably told you that noses and ears continue to grow throughout our lives. While it’s true that older people’s ears and noses are larger than younger people’s, it’s not because they are growing. Instead, the cartilage and the skin in the ears begin to break down with age and can no longer resist the forces of gravity. Just as your face and neck droop over time (if you’re not getting regular laser treatments, dermal fillers, and/or surgery), your ears droop, too.
If that news weren’t bad enough, our faces lose bone, muscle, and fat as we age. The loss of volume makes our faces smaller. Our ears, in comparison, look bigger.
Earrings: Your Friend Turned Enemy
You probably remember the day you got your ears pierced and how excited you were to finally wear sparkly studs that made you look grown up and beautiful. Or, if you’re a guy, how completely radical and cool you looked. But over time, the weight of those studs — and hoops and dangling earrings — can stretch out your ear lobes. The piercing itself can stretch, too, transforming from a barely noticeable hole to an elongated gash. Your earlobes are thinner than they used to be, too, almost as if someone let the air out.
Even if you haven’t noticed that your ears look bigger, you may have noticed that your earrings don’t “sit right” in their holes anymore. Maybe they sink in, their glitter obscured by folds of skin. Or, the hole is so stretched out that the earrings look too low on the lobe.
You may have even had the misfortune of tearing your lobe when your earring got snagged or pulled.
Instead of making you look sophisticated and put-together, your earrings are now drawing attention to your thin, droopy, aging ears. You may have even stopped wearing earrings altogether or switched to earrings that are less obtrusive.
It’s Time to Flaunt Your Lobes Again
Luckily, you’re not living in grandma or grandpa’s era. There are now many different options available to help you reclaim more youthful looking earlobes. Jonathan Kulbersh, MD, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon at Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, NC, who trained in Beverly Hills, has been helping men and women restore their ears and earlobes using both surgical and nonsurgical methods.
Plump Up Your Ears
Earlobe plumping using hyaluronic acid fillers (HA) has taken many major cities by storm. If you are already receiving HA fillers to combat the signs of aging in your face, adding just a touch more filler to your ear lobes is an easy way to enhance your looks without a significant time investment.
If you’ve had a rhytidectomy (facelift), mini lift, or other surgical procedure and don’t use fillers, then earlobe plumping can become part of your routine skin maintenance services, such as chemical peels, microneedling or dermaplaning.
You can choose from HA fillers such as:
The soft, natural-looking and -feeling volume will make your earlobes look fuller and more youthful. The added plumpness may even be sufficient to decrease the size of an enlarged piercing hole.
Repair Tears, Reshape Lobes
In some cases, HA fillers may not be enough to rejuvenate your earlobes. You may have actually torn through the lobe cartilage by catching a hoop earring on something. Or, decades of wearing heavy, dangling earrings have stretched your lobes so far that plumping alone will not improve their looks.
If you have a torn or stretched earlobe, a facial plastic surgeon such as Dr. Kulbersh can repair the tear or reduce the size of your lobe(s) with an in-office surgical procedure that only requires a local anesthetic. The entire earlobe repair only takes between 20 and 60 minutes per ear, depending on the degree of damage. You can return to normal activities immediately.
Born That Way
Maybe your large ears aren’t caused by aging at all. If you were born with large ears that stand away from your head, you may be a candidate for a surgical procedure called otoplasty. Otoplasty, otherwise known as ear pinning, can be performed at any age, starting at 5-years-old. Learn more about ear pinning at WebMD.com.
Ear pinning is a minimally invasive procedure during which the skin and cartilage behind the ear are reshaped so that the ears sit closer to the head. If the ears are overly large, they can be reduced and reshaped at the same time.
Beautiful Ears, for Life
Whether your ears look out of balance with the rest of your facing owing to age or birth, there is no reason to suffer or feel self-conscious. As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Kulbersh has been specially trained not just in surgical techniques but also in facial aesthetics. He will ensure that your ears look natural, youthful, and in harmony with the rest of your features. Contact Dr. Kulbersh for a consultation in Charlotte or use our convenient online form.