The consequences of ear gauges - AmericaNowNews.com

Health

The consequences of ear gauges

In southern Ethiopia, the Mursi tribespeople start stretching their earlobes before puberty. Even in some of the major African cities where people are more westernized, ear gauges and large, disfigured earlobes are common.

In the not-so-distant past, Michelle Mejia had sizeable ear gauges. She started stretching her lobes in high school. It was cool then. But in the grown-up world, things changed. She was about to be married, and her fiance was not a big fan of ear gauges. Also, she was getting a lot of stares from customers and comments from employers.

"I was told to try to cover them for work or not have ones with the big holes in them," said Michelle.

This is by no means a new fad. Mummies have been found in the pyramids of Egypt with disfigured ear lobes from ear gauges, some with holes 3 inches wide.

Ashley Honeycutt had some of the most stretched-out earlobes that surgeon Dr. Joe Niamtu had seen. She sought out a surgeon for many of the same reasons that Michelle did. In her professional life, it just didn't make sense.

"You get a lot of attention, and it can be negative attention sometimes. People always ask questions about it, and it's not always a mean question, but you get those people that do look down on it," said Ashley.

Dr. Niamtu was able to repair Ashley's earlobes through two procedures, one involving a laser.

"The first procedure, we cut off the excess tissue and put it back together, and then the second procedure we did what we call a little plastic repair to reshape the earlobe," said Dr. Niamtu.

Michelle is also happy with the outcome. Her new husband likes them, and now there are no stares from people at work.

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