Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to do it Yourself!

I, like many other kids nowadays, pierced my ears. After a couple months, regular ole pierced ears got boring and I decided to take it up a notch: I began the gauging process. 6 months later I could stick my fingers (and many other objects) through the, now 5/8", holes. They say "All good things must come to an end," and it did.

I began looking toward high school graduation and what lay beyond, when I came to the realization: No one was going to hire me with huge holes in my ears!
So I took my gauges out and hoped my body would work its magic..Unfortunately, my body didn't feel like working; and a year later, I was still left with holes about 00 size.

After talking to multiple doctors and plastic surgeons about repairing the damage I had done, the average price per ear was....$500!
$500 (per ear!) to cut the scar tissue away and sew it up..that's it!

There was no way I was going to spend that kinda money (even if I had it) for something so simple. That's when I got the idea to just do it myself. I looked around online but all I could find were creams that took 2-3months and weren't even guaranteed to work.

Sorry about the long introduction..but now, what you've all been waiting for..the How To:

Items Needed:
1) a Dremel w/a coarse grinding attachment that will just fit in your ear. Not too loosely.

2) Disinfectant (Witch Hazel, Rubbing Alcohol, Peroxide, Etc.)

3) *Optional* Ice or other numbing agent. I used two pieces per ear; one in front, one in back.

(Someone suggested Clove Oil, because it is used to numb toothaches, but it did NOT work at all)

4) Some way of holding the wound closed for a period of time (Sutures or a skin glue will both work).
I used DermaBond (bought off eBay from Antrick Enterprises - I recommend buying from them aswell).

The Procedure:

If you're using ice, start now. It will take a couple of minutes to numb your ear.
It's best to have a mirror in front of you (I used the bathroom mirror).
Now, sterilize the grinding attachment with rubbing alcohol.
Do one ear at a time so you don't have to rush yourself.
I set the Dremel speed to about 3 (which is pretty fast, fast enough that all you feel is a slight burn once in your ear). You can go as fast as you want, as long as it takes off skin.
It's a little hard to tell how far you need to go, but your ear should be bleeding pretty freely. I stopped once the blood on my ear looked fizzy, kinda like a yummy, blood shake :D
Next, pour your disinfectant into the hole (make sure it touches everything).
Then wipe your outer ear on a towel (it needs to be dry for the glue to take) and find your needle or skin glue.

If you're using a needle and thread, there's not much I can tell you besides start sewing and then put antibiotic ointment on it. If you're using glue, hold your ear together (it helps if you have a partner, I got my mom to do it) and start spreading! DermaBond takes about two and a half minutes to come to full strength, just watch where your fingers are or they'll get glued to your ear.
I recommend putting glue on the front and back of your ear, for maximum holding.

The end product:

Now that your ear is looking more like an ear should, clean up any blood splatter and try not to get an infection.

Congratulations! You've just done what a plastic surgeon would do for $500; and it only cost a couple dollars..and maybe a little pain, but wasn't it fun?!

(Disclaimer: I am not a plastic surgeon, nor do I have any medical experience. This is merely a recount of my trials and tribulations with a dremel and dermabond. I am not suggesting anyone do this without first consulting with a medical professional. I am not liable for any choices that anyone makes, nor for the outcome of said choices.)