The most popular place to get a stretching is the earlobe. But generally, you can stretch any other piercing. For example: the tongue, the nipple, Prince-Albert, the nose, the Septum and the Helix.
The stretching is a procedure in which we gradually thicken the piercing. That is, we start off with a thin piercing, and after the body gets used to it – we put in a slightly thicker one, and so on. The time between each phase is 1-3 weeks. The waiting period between each phase is so the body will have enough time to adjust to the last thickness level, and rebuild the inner canal in which the piercing goes though, without causing trauma or rupturing the canal. If the procedure is performed professionally – it is not supposed to hurt.
Between phases, the stretching is to be treated as any other piercing, because when the skin is stretched, smaller ruptures that are caused could get infected.
What keeps the hole the width you’ve reached at the end of the process – is the piercing. And so, if you take it out – the hole will start shrinking back. In small measures it will totally seal in a short while. If you had the stretching professionally done, the hole should seal up nicely, without a trace of its former state.
A Helix or Conch stretching might hurt a lot, since the cartridge there is extremely compressed. So, another method was developed for creating an expanded hole in these locations. In this method, a special blade is used, shaped in a circle with deferent diameters, cutting out a part of the ear. True, this also hurts, but only once and for only one second. This method could be extremely dangerous and must be performed only by an experienced piercer. Its disadvantage is in that it is irreversible. Meaning, that even if you take the piercing out – the hole will barely seal.
A stretching requires constant care. As time goes by, dirt accumulates inside it, and shower-water that penetrated might cause fungi. Beside the medical issue, it also produces an unpleasant odor. And as your stretching grows wider – so will the treatment of it become more and more important. Therefore, I recommend, at least once or twice a week, take the piercing out, if you have a “tunnel” or a “plug”, clean it and the stretched hole, and put it back in. If you have a ring, you’ll have a bit of a problem cleaning it inside. So simply turn it in the shower a few times, under the current.
Very important: This last bit has nothing to do with the new stretching! Under any circumstances do not take out or move the piercing the few first weeks! You might lose the stretching, since it will start shrinking the moment you take out the piercing.