Healthy to Hell Overnight

The picture below on the left is of Chris’s ear after he spent a cold Christmas day outside with his 28mm lobe… Not so happy… He took the tunnel out and left the raw flesh exposed to air but clean and moist for twenty-four hours and then downsized slightly to give the tissue some space to recover (right photo). Thankfully it recovered without complication.

“I thought the photos illustrated quite well the importance of downsizing stretched lobes when the temperature gets very cold. The transformation from healthy lobe to angry swollen lobe was just one day! It didn’t take long to heal up though… and once it starts getting warm again, I’ll be back up to 28mm and then on to 30mm.”

Personally, I haven’t worn jewelry in my ears since I decided that snowmobiling took priority over tunnels! Another thing you should do if you’re going to be in the cold is consider switching to a non-metallic jewelry.


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

27 thoughts on “Healthy to Hell Overnight

  1. Well, I guess you learn something every day! I never thought that the cold might do something like this.

  2. Oh my god!!! I didn’t know this could happen… I guess because I always am wearing wooden plugs anyways. Darn, I was actually hoping to start stretching this week. Is this generally only for freshly stretched lobes or healed ones as well?

  3. what is it about the cold that makes them swell up? ive never had this happen to me at all and i live in a pretty cold city (winnipeg).

  4. oooh ouch! This has always been a thought in my head when I see big metal anything in someone… what happens when it gets really cold? icky!

    and I second gillian, hat with flaps! I have several too, they are awesome.

  5. i’ve had this problem before when i was a 0ga, i wore screwback plugs and because it swelled with the cold it caught on the screwed back and tore around the outer area. downsizing was a good idea for me and seems to have done the trick here.

  6. Love this entry, so much!
    I recently faced the same problem, and decided to downsize until it warmed up a bit. I’m glad to hear that was the smart move! Thanks for this entry, Shannon!! :-)

  7. Wow, this is insane. I’ve never heard anything like this. This makes me worry because I live outside Chicago, work outside sometimes and I wear metal tunnels.

  8. OH MY GOD! this is the EXACT same thing that happened to me. Mine looked almost as bad as that. I am still trying to heal them. It’s been over a week without jewelery

  9. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I made ModBlog again! Thanks Shannon.

    Yeah, my lobe is fine now. It’s down to 26mm at the moment whilst it’s cold, but will go back up soon. I think the combination of the metal conducting the cold and the skin of my lobe contracting with the temperature, caused way too much tension on the flesh. A few splits then occured and the bastard thing swelled up to what you can see in the picture (plus some nasty discarge as well). Only took a few days to sort itself out luckily.

    I spent almost the whole day outdoors on one of the coldest days of the year when this happened. I didn’t notice it happening until it was too late. If you’re planning of being out in very cold weather I now STRONGLY recommend wood plugs and possibly down-sizing as well for the day. You don’t want what happened to my lobe!

  10. And who told you you should downsize in the cold like, a week before that happened chris? ;)

    ever since my ears got to over an inch i’ve always either downsized or taken out my tunnels/plugs when the winter weather kicks in

    glad yours is all groovy again now chris :P

  11. Mine did exactly the same, boo. They’re looking nice and healthy now though but I didn’t realise it was like a common thing. Good to know!

  12. i’ve never had this happened,but i usually try not to wear metal anyway unless it’s a fresh stretched and even then i usually buy glass.

  13. This same thing happened to me not even two weeks ago. Metal plugs freeze in cold weather and give your ears frostbite. I downsized and put in silicon plugs. Now they look better than ever.

  14. I had the same thing happen to me in 2000 I went snowboarding and had all my metal in. My ears blew up like this.. and as soon as it happened I told myself that I knew better.. I switch to wood or other natural materials in the winter now and I have not had a problem since.

  15. i try and wear wood in my ears in the winter or flip my lobes over the tops of my ears to let body heat keep them warm.

    i’m scared of frostbite or my lobes breaking.

  16. My boyfriend got my 1/2″ eyelets for Christmas b/c he knew that was my goal size, and I’m currently at 7/16″. I live in Edmonton Alberta where it gets very very cold and trying to stretch my lobes up slowly has proven to be very difficult. I wear ugly pink earmuffs or a hat everytime I go outside now and its helped a lot, but I never knew it could get this bad. I’ll be extra careful from now on!

  17. Owie. :( Your poor ear.

    Makes sense that this would happen, I guess. I live in the far north and even though my lobes aren’t nearly this big, I’ve got enough metal in my ears that the cold still hurts like hell and I worry about frostbite…

    Glad it’s better now.

  18. Just a little info for people – I think this happened to me, to my lip piercings – they got very cold (as I work outside at night for part of my shift at the nightclub I work at doing promotion) and I suddenly shifted into a warm environment but my piercings got a little dried out then started to get a little bit crusty and even started to ooze a little gunk similar to the above.

    i guess this can happen to anything really, as long as it has metal in it.

  19. #18 – Mike Rage
    Silicon plugs are a bad idea, I wore silicon plugs one year and they shattered as I tried to remove them. I’d stick to wood!

  20. this actually just happened to me a couple days ago. i read this and decided to take out my plugs. thanks for posting this. also, what exactly did you do to fix them so fast?

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