Always visit a professional piercer to determine if your ears are ready to stretch to a larger size. Double flare jewelry, or plugs, require you to have enough elasticity and room in your earlobe piercings to stretch to accommodate the insertion of a flare before the smaller, middle part of the jewelry rests in the piercings. Never use double flare plugs to stretch your earlobe piercings if the flare is more than one size larger than your current stretched earlobe size. Ripping, tearing, bleeding or permanent scarring can result when stretching your earlobe piercings too quickly.
Remove your existing jewelry from your earlobe piercings. Wash your hands and earlobe piercings with an antibacterial soap and warm water. Dry your hands and ears with a paper towel.
Run the water as hot as possible without the possibility of scalding your skin. Moisten a paper towel with the hot water. Fold the paper towel in half. Place the paper towel on your ear, covering the front and back of your earlobe piercing. The hot water will allow the skin surrounding your earlobe piercings to relax and expand, promoting elasticity. Remove the paper towel when the temperature decreases to cold.
Apply a lubricant to your earlobe piercing, the taper and the back flare and center of your plug. Liquid soap can be used as lubricant, as well as oil such as emu oil. The lubricant allows for a smooth insertion of the plug and the taper.
Insert the small end of the taper into your earlobe piercing. Push the taper slowly through the earlobe piercing until reaching the large end. Line up the large end of the taper with the front rim of skin of your earlobe piercing. The taper and the skin of the piercing should be flush.
Hold the double flare plug with the back flare facing the large end of the taper. Grasp the taper firmly behind your earlobe piercing with your thumb and pointer finger. Push the plug toward the earlobe while allowing the taper to slide through your fingers. You will feel a release of pressure as the plug passes through your earlobe piercing and shrinks down to fit around the center of the plug. Repeat this process on the other ear.
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- Allowing a professional piercer to perform a double flare plug insertion is the safest way to perform the procedure.
- Clean your jewelry with a mild soap before inserting into your piercing.
- Never attempt to insert double flare plugs if your earlobe piercings are not large enough to accommodate the jewelry.
- Never share your plugs with friends or family members, to prevent infections.
Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.
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