Before reading this.. let's link out to some stuff that can and probably will happen if you stretch too fast or skip gauges:
#2 CAT BUTT EFFECT:
The skin on the inside of your ears starts to look like the wrinkles around a butthole. Nice.
#3 TEARING TISSUE (which leads to blowouts and cat butt effect):
#4 THINNING LOBES:
#5 UNEVEN TISSUE:
How to properly use tapers to stretch your piercings
For jewelry you will need to start with a taper that has a flat or concave back, and a non-flare plug (with a flat end) OR a single flare eyelet. DO NOT stretch with a double flare eyelet because that will essentially stretch you two sizes at once. ONLY use steel, titanium, or glass jewelry in your piercing after the fresh stretch while it heals. DO NOT use organics or acrylic. Do not use pinchers or claws to stretch because it's uneven and doesn't flatten out at a certain gauge like a taper does.
Everyone has a goal in how far they want to stretch their piercing. And you want to get there as quickly as possible, but stretching takes time and patience. Only stretch up one gauge at a time. NEVER skip a gauge! This could rip your piercing, cause infection, and just overall make your piercing very ugly and nasty looking! Listen to your body. Stretching does sting a bit, but there should absolutely be no blood or excess tearing. DO NOT force or shove a taper through your piercing! Estimated healing time chart between stretches
Fresh piercing to first stretch: Approx 5 to 6 months
16g to 14g - 1 month
14g to 12g - 1 month
12g to 10g - 1.5 months
10g to 8g - 2 months
8g to 6g - 3 months
6g to 4g - 3 month
4g to 2g - 3 months
2g to 0g - 4 months
0g to 00g - 4 months
Soak your piercing in warm water (or take a shower) to help relax and soften the tissue right before you stretch.
Get some lubricant (For a natural approach use jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, or emu oil. For a basic approach use Neosporin or similar products) and spin the tip of the taper 1/3 into the lubricant and remove any excess. Having too much excess lubricant can make your taper and jewelry slippery to hold onto.
Put the small end of the taper in the piercing and SLOWLY push it forward to the larger end until you meet some resistance. Look in the mirror and if the taper is more than halfway through the stretch should be fairly easy. Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly push the taper until you only have about 1/4" of the taper left to go. You should now be sitting on the level end of the taper. Your stretch is done and you're ready to put the jewelry in. Do not take the taper out. If you feel a small burning or stinging feeling then your stretch was perfect, but it should not be causing excessive pain.
Line up your plug to the end and slowly use the plug as a way to push the rest of the taper out. This way you have a clean stretch from the taper to the plug.
Your done! Treat your newly stretched piercing as a new piercing. Wash it daily with an antibacterial soap. Do not touch it with your hands throughout the day.
This is for people who have stretched and then may one day decide to let their piercings close up.
Keep in mind that everyone's body is different, so this is not a set in stone rule, just a general guide to most people.
If you are at smaller gauges (say 10g, 8g, 6g MAYBE 4g) then your chances of it closing are pretty good.
Most people agree that 2g is the "point of no return". If you go to a 2g, expect it to be permanent. If you do take it out, it might shrink down to a 6g or 8g.
Just remember, any type of stretching should be viewed as a permanent modification. Think about it very hard before you make these choices, ESPECIALLY before going to the larger gauges like 2g and up.</p>