As we age, our earlobes often seem to grow bigger. In fact, what is really happening is that the fibro-fatty tissue of the earlobe is losing its tone and volume (much like the breast), and the effects of gravity compound the large and floppy look. This is easily improved with a very elegant resection of the pendulous lobe to make it smaller and more attractive. It is done under local anaesthetic, sutures are removed in a few days, and earrings can be worn again in three weeks.
With the loss of the fatty volume noted above, the lobes can develop a deep furrow (certain types of furrows are, in fact, associated with cardiovascular disease) and a deflated look. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as JUVÉDERM® treatments and Restylane® can provide a plumper, more youthful appearance, and… your stud earrings are less likely to fall out. The filler usually lasts more than one year and, of course, can be repeated.
Another very common earlobe problem is the long slit in the ear which can form over time following ear piercing. This is associated sometimes with “pulling” trauma on earrings or very heavy earrings that have hoops that gradually slice down through the lobe. A full tear that creates a bifid lobe is called a “slot ear.” Once again, this can be easily corrected with a surgical repair under local anaesthetic. Clip-on earrings should not be worn for about six weeks. New ear piercings can be made at the same time if desired. One or both earlobes may require correction to obtain symmetry.
Less frequent reasons for earlobe repair include the creation of a more rounded, attractive lobule in certain patients who are born with a lobe that is pulled down and appears to attach too low on the cheek. Correction leaves a very fine, almost invisible, scar. A variant of this problem is that earlobe is pulled down following a facelift due to scar contraction.
And, finally, some people feel their earlobe protrudes laterally from the side of their head too much. This can be improved by a filleting technique to draw the earlobe in.
In short, the earlobe can be a very attractive part of the female face, and is often noticed because of its adornment with earrings. Studies have shown that after the eyes, mouth and nose the earlobes are most observed when another person is glancing at a face. Some very simple techniques, when indicated, can create a youthful appearance and enhance the beauty of the earlobe.