My mother wants me to do research on ear stretching, because i wanted to start and she isn't convinced its safe. I would like a professionals perspective on what is safe, and if my ears will be able to shrink back to a normal sized piercing.
Once you stretch or gauge your ears, it will be permanent. It will not shrink back. You will either have to keep the stretched ear for life and hope that it will be fashionable when you are an adult, or pay to have a plastic surgeon fix the deformity.
I don't know if you are male or female, but an 18 patient of mine who gauged his ears a few years ago, decided to join the Marines. The Marines would not take him until he had his ears cosmetically repaired. He paid to have it done and now he serves our country.
It is technically "safe" do this as long as you do not get an infection until it heals, but something that looks cool when you are young, doesn't look as cool when you are a working professional.
Rod is wrong. It is not always safe, you have to wait at a minimum of two weeks before gauging up or you can blow out your ears (break the hole). He is also wrong about the fact that they will heal up, depending on the size you have gauged to. A size 0 or bigger guarantees permanence, smaller sizes do heal with time especially if you are young. Also, be sure to clean new products as sometimes you will bleed, but if done right and slow you won't have that problem. I have 1/2 inch holes and many times I wear flower gauges that cover it and no one even notices. I think it's beautiful but to each his own.
Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, blogs, or WebMD Answers are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.