Stretching is also commonly known as gauging. What stretching does is slowly enlarge a piercing that is already there. This is most commonly thought of as being done on earlobes. Our co-owner Jesse has his earlobes stretched to 1 ¼ inches. But stretching is also very commonly done to enlarge almost all piercings. Sometimes it is done to achieve a larger than usual piercing; sometimes it’s done to correct a piercing that was done with jewelry that was too small. Since many piercers are not adequately trained using the wrong size jewelry is seen fairly often. This is extremely common in home piercings. Jewelry that is too small will be very problematic for a piercing. When the size of the hole is a problem, doing a stretching to allow the correct size jewelry is usually a good option if the piercing is placed correctly with the right amount of tissue. This saves you from having to get it re-pierced. However, if the placement is not at its best re-piercing would be a much better solution.
Stretching should always be a gentle process that is done slowly with a well lubricated sterile stretching taper. Forcing a stretch will cause tearing which may form scar tissue which will then make future stretches more difficult. Doing a stretching properly will also make it less likely that the stretched piercing will shrink when removed.
Stretching should be done on well healed piercings only, unless there is a safety reason why not stretching will cause damage to the current piercing. An example would be a piercing that should have been done using 14G was done using an 18G and the jewelry is cutting its way through the skin. In this case the safety issue would over ride the standard guidelines.
Those types of reasons are avoided by having your piercings done by a career piercer rather than a hack so-called professional, friend or yourself.
Stretching needs the same aftercare as the piercing did when new but usually for less time. Some people notice some stinging during the stretch. For the first few days after some people notice normal light itching, redness and slight warmth; these are normal side effects of the stretch. Stronger side affects are reason for a check-up with one of our piercers. Please refer to our check-up information page for more details.
Serious problems can result from stretchings done with the wrong instruments or that are done too often or too fast. This is an art of patience. If you are trying to enlarge a piercing for aesthetic reasons you should wait a minimum of 6 weeks and often longer in between stretches. You should discuss the recommendations with your piercer.
Our fee for stretching is $8.00 for one, $12.00 for two and $1.00 for each additional stretch done in the same visit.