Stretched ear piercings are beginning to be a popular trend these past years. It started as cultural practice in communities like the Maasai in Kenya as a form of beauty enhancement.
Today, more and more people can be spotted rocking them, especially after the practice spread to western countries and the rest of the world.
When it comes to the tunnels people wear, there are many materials to choose from. Most people, however, start with surgical steel tunnels and then move on to silicone once the piercing is completely healed.
But what happens when the silicone tunnel gets stuck in the ear? What do you do? That is what this article is going to cover. We will also offer tips on how to clean the silicone tunnels as a bonus.
Silicone Tunnels Stuck In Ear- Is It Normal?
Silicone tunnels are a popular choice for people with stretched ear piercings. But just as much as it has its benefits, silicone tunnels also have their shortcomings.
One of them is that they are likely to get stuck in the ear. This is something normal as people have reported being in the same situation before. There could be various reasons for it.
One reason could be that you put on a tunnel size that was too big. This is possible because silicone is flexible and so can fit through easily. But it is also dangerous as it could lead to overstretching and even blowout.
Another reason could be that the tunnel was dry when inserted into the piercing. This is a possibility given that silicone is a soft material. Alternatively, it could be because of the tendency of silicone to get stuck to the skin.
Whichever the case, you don’t have to panic. You can easily remove the tunnel using mineral oil or natural oil. Jojoba oil is commonly used by many people in such a situation, coconut oil is also a great alternative. The oil should be able to lubricate the tunnel enough for it to slip out easily.
Are Silicone Plugs Or Tunnels Bad For Your Ears?
The answer to this question is a little complicated, meaning there isn’t a straightforward yes or no to it. Whether or not silicone is good for your stretched ear piercing is something many people have argued about.
Some believe that it is the perfect material for tunnels, while others believe that it could be dangerous or ineffective.
On one hand, silicone is soft and flexible, not to mention lightweight. This makes them the perfect tunnels to wear when doing sporty activities or even when sleeping, given their comfort.
On the other hand, however, silicone is a porous material, hence attracting and building up dirt and germs. This makes it the best breeding ground for bacteria and could likely lead to an infection.
That is why you are advised to not use silicone tunnels until you are done stretching and the piercing has healed.
Another concern when it comes to silicone is that although it is more affordable, it may lead to a blowout if used to ear stretch.
Blowouts are a ring of scar tissue that forms at the back, making the piercing seem like it is inside out. It is normally caused by overstretching, which is something silicone tunnels are said to be notorious for.
Silicone Tunnels Stuck In Ear-How To Deal With It?
It can be scary to find that you can’t pop out your tunnels or plugs, and most people may result in panic. So, the first piece of advice we can give you in such a situation is to remain calm.
Panicking will only lead you to want to yank out the plugs or tunnels and that would result in a blowout. There are different ways to deal with stuck tunnels or plugs depending on their design and material. Luckily silicone is soft and flexible so it is easier to play around with.
In the case you get the silicone tunnel of plug stuck in your piercing the first step will be to moisturize and lubricate it. You can use any cream or oil you have and apply it to the piercing.
Try pushing the plug or tunnel forward and outward so you can apply the oil at the center of it as well. This will make sure the oil seeps into the piercing as well and ensures that it is fully lubricated.
From there the next step would be to play around with the piercing. Try tagging it or wiggling it around. This will loosen the piercing and make it easier for you to pop them out.
You might have to keep moisturizing and playing around with the plug or tunnel a couple of times a day for several days or at most a week. The more you fiddle with the piercing the faster it is likely to pop out.
How To Clean Silicone Tunnels
While the Silicone tunnels are soft, flexible, light, and affordable, they can be unsanitary.
That is why they require high maintenance in terms of cleaning if you choose to wear them.
The following are some tips when it comes to cleaning silicone tunnels:
Wash the tunnels with mild antibacterial soap and warm water
The antibacterial soap will not only clean the silicone tunnels but also disinfect them by killing any bacteria present in them.
Be aware, however, of the chemicals used in the soap.
Toxic or harsh chemicals could discolor or even destroy the silicone.
Rinse the tunnels well with clean water
Once you are done cleaning ensure you rinse off all the soap and remaining dirt or bacteria off.
You don’t want to leave any chemicals behind that may later lead to irritation or rash of some sort.
Ensure the silicone tunnels are completely dry
You can pat the tunnels dry with a clean cloth or leave them on a clean surface to air dry.
If the tunnels are not dried well before popping them back on, the moisture could provide a great breeding ground for bacteria.
Ensure your hands are clean
Ensuring that your hands are clean or at least covered with gloves when putting on the tunnels is an important step.
Hands can carry a lot of unseen germs that could end up infecting the piercing so you do not want to risk transferring the germs to the tunnels after cleaning them.
The tunnels require lubrication to slip into the piercing easily and painlessly.
You can use any natural oil or mineral oil at your disposal. Great options include olive oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.
Even after inserting the tunnel ensure, you keep the tunnels lubricated.
Silicone might be light and comfortable to wear to sleep and during sporty activities, but keep in mind that they are not ideal for stretching the ears.
Not only could they cause an infection, but they can also cause uneven stretching and even lead to a blowout.
So, only wear the silicone tunnels after the piercing is stretched and completely healed.
Keep cleaning and lubricating the silicone as often as possible, and ensure you get the right fitting to avoid it getting stuck again.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.