You are here:

Ear & Body Piercing/Problems with piercings


I have 5 piercings. Regular lobes done with a gun at the mall in elementary school, a similarly done second lobe on my left ear, and another mall cartilage on my left ear as well. On my right ear I have a professionally done conch.
My issues are with all my earrings besides for the conch. I am wondering if I'll ever be able to wear earrings at all. For years I haven't been able to put anything in my lobes without it getting infected-nickel-free, sterling silver, gold- it all irritates my lobes. For awhile I had a gold starter piece in my second lobe and it was fine.. until once I took out the starter piece and then it began rejecting everything, just like the lobes.
After trying to wear some nickel-free piece in my cartilage, that began rejecting things as well and I wasn't able to comfortable return to steel jewelry.

Right now the only piercing that I wear and that "works" is my conch. I'm afraid of ever changing the earring or anything that might mess it up too.

I'm wondering, is there anything I can do to be able to use the other holes? I've considered stretching them from the standard gun-size holes to something a little larger, like a 16g hole, so that I can wear surgical steel body-piercing type pieces in them. Do you think this would be possible? Or stretching to the point where I could put a small plug in a non-irritating material like stone?
Is it possible to get the holes re-pierced with a larger needle or a punch that will take out the scarred tissue so I can "start anew" or something? I just want to be able to put SOMETHING in the holes.

Thank you! I hope my explanation was clear!

You can get safe, smooth jewelry in 18g which is the size of common ear gun studs. explains how to find safe jewelry, and they even have examples you could buy.

I suggest avoiding any steel altogether, and using nickel free implant certified Titanium jewelry. This will virtually eliminate the likelihood of allergic reaction.

Where are you located? I can refer you to my closest qualified colleague in your area for a free consultation.

Ear & Body Piercing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Brian Skellie


I can answer questions in regards to and not limited to: jewelry safety, specifically material, shape, proportion, and related issues; aseptic technique and sterilization as it applies to piercing safety; ethical issues of technique and bedside manner; the aftercare and recovery process for piercings. *Available for consultation.


Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products

Currently serving on the APP Board of Directors as President, formerly as Global Media Director 2013-2014, International Liaison 2010-13, Treasurer 1997-99. Over fifteen years with ASTM and APP.

The Point Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing

I regularly participate and teach in many APP and related body art educational programs. I keep current certifications for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and CPR.

Awards and Honors
APP President's Award, Best Freehand Piercer, Best of Atlanta

Past/Present Clients
Tens of thousands of one on one client experiences as the founder of Piercing Experience in Atlanta, GA, USA *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04( former Member AAMI ( Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade( teaching advanced studio setup, sterilization and equipment management, freehand piercing, aseptic/sterile technique and much more. Distributor and Body Art expert for SciCan StatIM sterilization and infection control products. and

©2016 All rights reserved.