Torn Earlobe


The earlobe is a functioning body part that is part of the auditory system. Some might wonder if the earlobe is there just for piercings or does it have a real purpose? The earlobe, known as lobulus auriculae, is a mixture of areolar and adipose connective tissues. Some people have earlobes attached to the face and some do not. Since the earlobe is free of cartilage, it is lacks firmness. The key to help maintaining balance and blood supply is through the earlobe. Earlobes are prone to elongate with age. A torn earlobe can occur for many different reasons and depending on the culture, stretched earlobes are sacred. For some people, earlobes are erogenous zones and if someone gets a little to frisky, an earlobe can get torn.

Causes Of A Torn Earlobe

It is no surprise that men and women around the world have their earlobes pierced. In certain cultures, such as Ethiopia, it is not uncommon to see men with stretched piercings of the earlobe. However, these types of piercings can cause the earlobe to tear. Other causes of a torn earlobe are:

  • Normal piercings that stretch with agetorn earlobe
  • Stretched earlobe piercing
  • Heavy earrings
  • Infection
  • Deformed earlobes
  • Sports injury involving ears
  • Low placement of a piercing
  • Trauma
  • Children ripping out earrings
  • Drooping earlobes
  • Thin earlobes


In most cases a torn earlobe can be spotted immediately. Some of the other symptoms to look for before and after the earlobe is torn are:

  • Redness of the earlobe
  • Inflammation
  • Loss of balance
  • Tearing of earlobe
  • Excessive stretching of the earlobe
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Ear Lobe Deformities

While it is very common to see normal earlobe shapes and sizes, there is a small percentage that earlobe deformities occur at birth. Unfortunately, doctors are unsure of the causes for birth defects of the earlobes. Below is a list of deformities that can increase the risk of a torn earlobe:

  • Skin tags
  • Enlarged earlobes
  • Cleft earlobes
  • Double earlobes
  • Split earlobes
  • Irregular shar
  • Irregular creases


It should be quite easy to diagnosis a torn earlobe. Whether the tear is large or small, there will be a noticeable tear in the earlobe. If the torn earlobe is a result of a more serious incident to the ears or face, then doctors may request more tests.

torn earlobe


Treating a torn earlobe is usually considered plastic surgery, depending on the case. The cost of plastic surgery is commonly out-of-pocket and not covered from health insurance. Fortunately, some procedures can be minor and can be fixed with minor stitching. A dermatologist or Otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) can be asked to review the torn earlobe and depending on the severity, one of them will be more fit to operate or fix the problem.

Risks of Ear Piercings

It may be cool to have your ears pierced, but there is always a risk when a foreign object attaches to the body. There are usually minor risks associated with ear piercings, but some can lead to a torn earlobe. Negative effects and risks of a pierced earlobe include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • High risk Infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Keloids
  • Tearing


There are many things that one can do to avoid damage to the earlobe. It is should be a no-brainer to avoid heavy earrings because they can cause strain to the lobes. Avoiding earlobe piercings all together is a great way to decrease the risk of a torn earlobe. Choose a professional piercer to pierce your earlobe, not a friend or someone untrained. If you have had surgery to fix a torn earlobe, do not put excess pressure on the lobes after surgery and only wear small studs when recommended by the doctor.