Sunday Tittle Tattle: The Mega Hole

ruth crilly a model recommends

I’ve had lots of questions (and complaints) about where the Sunday Tittle Tattle has disappeared to. It hasn’t disappeared, it’s just that the Sunday part of it seemed to be a bit irrelevant, seeing as though I can talk about nonsensical random stuff on any day of the week. I suppose that I couldn’t see why I needed to put Sunday Tittle Tattle at the beginning of a title for it to be a post that was a ridiculous waste of people’s time (rambles about sink design, fly-killing and so on) and I also couldn’t see why I needed to post my ridiculous nonsense only on a Sunday.

But it seems that many of you like to read utter drivel on a Sunday especially, so here we are: back to the Sunday Tittle Tattle. It didn’t start off as being the place to post inane monologues, you know; when the STT was first conceived it was a space for snippets of beauty news, bits of life happenings that didn’t warrant a full page. It was, actually, a lazy way of collating information from during the week that I couldn’t be arsed to take a photo of. I used to post on here every single day (when I had the luxury – or non-luxury – of working seventy hour weeks) and by the time I reached the weekend I had no spirit left in me to do still life pictures or snaps of my own face. (Here’s one of the very first editions.)

But now the Sunday Tittle Tattle seems to be the place I come to to discuss matters that have absolutely no real importance in life, but at the same time take up most of my headspace. It’s like written therapy. And this week’s matter-at-hand, this week’s random drivel I’m about to nauseate you with, is the problem I’m having with my ear lobe holes. Piercing problems, to be more specific. I have developed, on my right ear lobe, what can only be described as The Mega Hole.

I should never have had my ears re-pierced – I knew that as I sat on the piercers bench. Piercing doesn’t go well for me, the holes always take an age to heal, and I’m too forgetful to be an effective earring wearer. I forget to put the earrings back in if I ever need to take them out and then the holes close up and then, a year down the line, I want to wear them again and I’m forced to self-pierce with a needle from a free hotel sewing kit and an ice cube.

So this time was potentially a mistake. I should have just been happy with my closed holes, which you couldn’t even see, and resigned myself to an earringless life. Because not only did I have to have entirely new holes (the other ones were wonky and too low), which would need time to heal and weep and so on, I overlooked the fact that I have two toddlers who like to clamber all over me and pull on parts of my flesh.

Which is how the Mega Hole came into formation, I reckon. Ted climbed on my prone head (I was lying on the rug pretending to be a dead mouse, but in fact catching a quick nap) and I felt a tearing sensation in my right ear lobe. Now the thing about my right lobe, in particular, is that the piercer man put the new hole in really close to the old one. I did wonder, at the time, whether his felt tip mark was a bit optimistic – it was almost at the entrance to the closed-off tunnel of my previous piercing – but I didn’t say anything, because he seemed to know his stuff.

Well. New hole and old hole, I’m pretty certain, ripped together to create Mega Hole and now I have the start of a small flesh tunnel in my ear lobe. It won’t heal, it regularly weeps if I catch the stud on my pillow and move my head, and now and then it smells like decayed prawns. Don’t worry, I’ve checked for infection and it’s fine, just deeply unappetising. Nobody will ever want to nibble my lobes again, that’s for sue.


SURE. God knows who Sue is!

Anyway, I’ve just bathed the Mega Hole in some antiseptic, as I try to do every few days, and I’m wondering when the new – enlarged – tunnel will heal. Will it ever heal? Or am I lumbered with this terminally weeping eyesore? I mean, I’m always going to have to wear an earring in it now, otherwise I’ll look as though I have woodworm.

Oh, also (the gripe’s not over!): the entrance to the tunnel is now a singular hole, but the exits? Yes, plural, because there are two of them. Only the front of the tunnel caved in, by the looks of it, but the holes at the back of the ear are still separate. So when I take out the stud to clean it, and my ear, I have to put it back in again and if I meander away from the main route, I stab into raw flesh and it’s like I’m being run through by a miniature knight’s sword.

The worst thing of all is this: I had an X-Ray done on my teeth last week (wisdom tooth nightmare continues, which is another saga for another day) and I had to take my earrings out. When I put them back in again, I had no mirror so just had to guess. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I had put the earrings in the old holes**! The studs had slipped on through like knife through butter – no pain, not even any mild discomfort. (**holes/Mega Hole tunnel exits.)

What is this buffoonery? I tried for years to get earrings through those old holes and nothing would yield! And now, when I’ve gone to all the trouble of doing new ones, they open up like someone’s said a magic password! I’m almost tempted to go back to the old ones and let the newer ones heal up, but then I have weird dots all over the place, including one red mark that I’m sure was caused years ago when I accidentally stabbed my ear lobe in the wrong place with the self-piercing set-up and two very small moles. I look speckled, like a Mini Egg.

So how long, I ask you? How long before this all clears up? Piercers, pierc-eds, Pierce Brosnan: give me your sage advice. What’s going on with the Mega Hole? Is it possible that two holes became one?

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  1. Tracy Tucker
    August 24, 2018 / 2:09 am

    I let a lobe piercing grow over after about a year (my own neglect) and then decided to gradually re-work it. Decide which of your piercings are going to heal better, be consistent. I left in the kind of studs they still use for gun-piercing (the backs lock on). Or maybe tiny sleeper hoops would also work… something fairly inert. You have to be prepared to put up with them being in for at least 3 or 4 weeks nonstop. STOP taking them out and putting back in to clean, that makes the piercing irritated. If you really need to, use a q-tip with warm water and a little soap to clean away around any buildup. Be careful when showering and wrapping your head with a towel. Try really hard not to pick at them or twirl the studs and they will heal. The more you pick and twist and clean them the longer it will take for them to stop oozing. I wish someone had told me until I just figured it out for myself! Good luck. I still get irritated piercings when changing earrings, just how it is I guess!

  2. Amy
    August 23, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    One of the funniest posts you’ve ever written, so enjoyable. Decayed prawns! And a miniature knight’s sword! Brilliant.

    • SJ
      August 24, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      I had my ears pierced over 10 times and the school nurse removed the piercings each time so I could only wear at night and that meant the holes kept closing up. I now only have one ear pierced as the other ended up forming a mole and I cannot be bothered to get the mole removed and if I do not get the removed, any new piercing would be off centre and that would really bother me. I am also super paranoid as I have a toddler and I know she would rip out the earrings. I thought I was alone in my ear piercing woes as ppl always seem to find it strange. Thank you for all your posts. You are such a talent. Love you

  3. Eddie
    August 23, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    All I could think for a second there was, SUE, yes, SUE! For lobal damage?! This is how I feel whenever I have a dismaying haircut before realising everyone really did their best :p Thanks for the great posts!

  4. Cristina
    August 21, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    Hi Ruth! I can relate. Although I had my ears pierced when I was a baby (seems to be common practice where I’m from – Spain), I went for a second hole in my left earlobe when I was a teen. Safe to say it was a pain in the a**. It healed well but I had it done with a piercing gun and the hole was crooked so all earrings kind of stuck out in a weird way. I left it alone, it closed, I have the scar to prove it, but it led me to decide NO MORE HOLES in my body than it naturally has – ha ha.
    Also I am mildly allergic to all metals except gold – my mum always chuckles at this, says “you were born to be rich but it went wrong” while I glare at her from a distance.

    • August 21, 2018 / 1:58 pm

      Hahahaha. Your Mum sounds excellent.

  5. Claire N
    August 21, 2018 / 6:45 am

    Haha the saga of the ear piercings that won’t heal! Yes I’ve been there as well, the first time I had them pierced was when i was 13 and the guy (never trust a guy with a gun!) pierced them way too low, so near the bottom of the ear lobes they looked silly and I could feel the shafts of the earrings through the bottom of the lobes. I wasn’t happy straight off and I didn’t want to wear my earrings until Mum said I could have them redone some months later. Second time lucky was with a girl and this time she did them perfectly in the middle of the lobes. Finally! But I constantly had problems with bleeding, weeping, pus, crusts and I eventually worked out I was allergic to nickel and that wearing earrings was more trouble than it was worth for me! I still have the holes but very occasionally wear earrings, it’s ok to wear them occasionally and then I can take them out and the problems go away lol.

  6. Katy
    August 20, 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Hi Ruth. Try earrings from serenity jewellery (I don’t have any affiliation with them!).. they have hypoallergenic ones. They’re the only ones which don’t make my ears bright red, itchy and smelly. Titanium ones esp good. X

  7. Martha
    August 20, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    It sounds to me like you may be allergic to the metal of the studs. I had two extra holes done in one ear that would just never heal properly, until I wore a pair of white gold studs in them continously for a few months. Now I can wear anything without problem.

  8. Alexandra
    August 20, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    OMG, Ruth, I feel your pain. My ears take ages to heal, but still I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted more piercings. It was all fine and dandy for a couple of weeks and then one of them started to act up. I went back to the piercing place several times and they assured me it was normal, “don’t take it out, don’t touch it, don’t rotate it, don’t sleep on it” (I never quite figured out how you’re not suppose to sleep on it as I fall alseep on one side and wake up on the other?!?). After almost a year one hole had healed and the other was getting better. Then my lovely hairdresser ripped the healed earring out with a comb. Ouch! It was like starting from scratch and after 4 weeks I took it out and let it close. I now have a small dot there which I figure I could color in with a colorful sharpie for a night out of I wanted too hahahaha. The other piercing is fine but it took a good year and a half to heal. My piercer gave me Emu Oil and it did seem to help the healing process in the end, but unfortunately it did diddly squat when my earring got ripped out. I now have panic attacks every time I get my hair done. I’d take my earrings out, but can’t for the life of me figure out how the Maria Tash threaded piece unscrews. It will have to go to the grave with me!

  9. August 20, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    As someone with frequently repierced ears (just like you I just forget about ear rings for months!) I have no other advice than: Be Patient, it will heal eventually.
    Or purchase one of these disks that stretch the hole even further, so you can make it a Fashion Statement.
    No, I wouldn´t do that either, but it IS an option.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    • August 20, 2018 / 6:01 pm

      Anne, NO! Hahahaha. I’m not making the hole bloody bigger, I refuse! : )

  10. Andrea
    August 20, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    I know exactly how you feel!

    Sounds like your body is maybe rejecting pretty ear trinkets. It is also possible for two separate holes to become one.

    Been through it, but in my upper right cartilage. Two holes pierced about 4 months apart. It takes almost a year for a helix piercing to heal. I was 17 and wasn’t given any info on helix piercings except to keep it clean so I made sure to thoroughly rinse out the shampoo after hair washing. And, why yes, internet search engines were up and hopping but I didn’t do any research. I was 17… that is my explanation, er, excuse.

    Not sure what kind of antiseptic you are using (did the piercer man give it to you?), but you should be using sea salt and tepid water 3 – 6 times a day. Not kosher, not iodized – pure sea salt. It’s a natural antiseptic that helps with redness, swelling, dried discharge and any secretions.

    After almost a year of secretions and stabbings of raw flesh, I noticed a red bump starting to form between the exit holes. This is when I decided to visit Dr. Google about the red bump.

    Now, Ruth. I have no idea what your red bump looks like. It could be a hypertrophic scar or a keloid or neither. Mine was very red, the size of a large green pea, and it had several visible veins. I am warning you to be prepared if you decide to search for it online. It’s quite graphic.

    I finally went to my GP who referred me to a plastic surgeon. She told me to bathe it with the sea salt solution until my very minor operation which was 6 weeks later. She numbed the area, cut out the keloid, stitched it up and injected corticosteroid to prevent regrowth. I went back, she removed the stitches and now I have a perfectly shaped right ear with an invisible scar. I am very much wishing that you do not have this problem.

    I would suggest getting a professional consultation. Can’t hurt. Your holes might need to be stitched up or they may heal eventually.

    Apologizes if I’ve traumatized you. Happy Monday! :-)

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Hahaha!!! Mildly traumatised… : )

  11. Jane
    August 20, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Hi Ruth, that sounds so sore! When I had my ears pierced 34 years ago I was told to bathe the holes with salt water every day front and back using a cotton bud with the cotton bit slightly fluffed up to soften it. I don’t heal well or quickly, but my piercings were fully healed in 6 weeks and I have never had any problems with them. Salt water is both antiseptic and “drying” so if there are any secretions from a wound it will help to dry it up and this promotes healing. I would recommend just leaving the studs in and doing this. Hope it helps.

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Yeah this is months and still sore sometimes… I will persevere! x

  12. Katerina
    August 20, 2018 / 11:44 am

    H Ruth! Although I am far from a piercing expert, I would take the stud out to let the wound heal faster. Intuitively, I would assume that the body probably recognises the earring as a foreign object and refuses to heal if it’s around.

    Having said that, thanks for posting this! You saved me from going to have my ears repierced; I had my them pierced at 18 (almost 20 yrs ago… cringe!)and even though the holes are fine, I’ve always felt they are not were they should be and considered going back. Now I think I’ll let them be…

    Love from Athens, Greece!

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      Just stick a needle through the old ones! Ha. That’s what I wish I’d done… x

  13. Mel
    August 20, 2018 / 11:44 am

    Can’t help with the mega hole but it doesn’t sound outside the realm of possibility that two close together could tear into one. When I had some new piercings about 18 months ago, the advice was to bathe/soak ears with quite warm salty water (which leads to entertaining antics in the bathroom trying to dunk earlobes in bowls of said warm salty water but seemed to work) rather than use any sort of antiseptic. Iodine free salt from memory. I had a new piercing get bumped and get aggravated in uni and antiseptic just seemed to aggravate it. Did you have gun or needle? Needle should heal faster. The other piece of advice is to sleep on one of those airplane stuffed neck pillow things (head is supported and sore ear should fit neatly in the hole/gap caused by the shape) for at least a few weeks that way you are not putting pressure on it asleep. Also don’t change the earrings for ages. Just leave whatever studs or sleepers in for a few months. You don’t have to remove them for cleaning. Soaking in the water will dissolve the gunk. Boring but lets them heal properly.

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:22 pm

      I wanted needle but the guy talked me into gun – again! I should have insisted.. x

  14. August 20, 2018 / 11:04 am

    This is actually one of my favourite posts in ages. I bloody love a post which is basically a rant at the stupid things in life….and earing holes are definitely stupid. They aren’t logical! Can add nose stud holes to that list too. I love my nose stud….I absolutely hate that it’s never looked quite healed, gets infected every now and again and if I take the stud out for more than 0.0000004 seconds, it will heal up.

    ….and don’t get me started on earing holes. During my recent pregnancy, my earring holes healed up. I’ve never been a constant earring wearer, but have had holes (that sounds wrong) for around 25 years (I’m an older first mumma). Obviously my body decided that it wanted to look after itself very well during that time, which is lovely and all that…but those holes didn’t need healing, goddamit.

    I was going to get them re-pierced. I’m now rethinking that move :-D

  15. Bev
    August 20, 2018 / 11:02 am

    This tip comes too late to be useful… but if you massage a bit of vaseline or lip balm onto your holes *snigger*, even if they appear to have completely healed over, your earrings will slip through easily. 99.9% guarantee.

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      Literally sniggered before you wrote snigger.

  16. Ruth
    August 20, 2018 / 11:01 am

    Oh dear :(
    From personal experience of tunnels (only 9mm, so not huge), it will close and heal eventually. I would recommend you invest in some smooth hinged sleeper rings so you can just keep them in the whole time until it’s healed. You just keep them moving and keep it all nice and clean. A twice daily swab with salt water will also help. x x x

  17. August 20, 2018 / 10:29 am

    I have no answers for you I’m afraid, but can I just say – my god I loved this post. You are such a witty writer – I know it’s your life – but you tell it so well. Wishing you luck on sorting the mega hole!!


  18. Cath Mooney
    August 20, 2018 / 9:49 am

    All deeply unpleasant and irritating for you though I’m sure the saga of the Mega Hole/double exit, decayed prawns/miniature knights sword debacle is, it gave me a proper laugh to ease myself into the working week on this muggy but drizzly Monday morning.

    Thank you, and…sorry. Hehehe.

  19. Jo.C.
    August 20, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Maybe use the old holes as they are more established and let the new ones heal over. I would still continue to wash the new holes with cooled down salty water until they heal…. OR, use those piercings that look like cotton reels lol.

  20. Anna Wright
    August 20, 2018 / 9:05 am

    Oh Lordy. I don’t heal from piercings either. I’ve just had to say goodbye to my mid life crisis ear cartilage piercing. 1 year I bathed the sod in TCP etc and it just would not heal. I didn’t enjoy smelling my own ear. It’s not nice. My advice; you’ll know when you’ve had enough of it. And if it heals before then, happy days X

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:24 pm

      I was going to get my other two (left lobe) done so that I had a row of them, but not now!!

      • Anna Wright
        August 20, 2018 / 7:35 pm

        I like that look. But there’s only so much smelly earage one can cope with at once X

  21. Elena Yeates
    August 20, 2018 / 9:05 am

    Oh dear, I got a bit light headed reading this :) I can tell you it will heal, eventually. I had my ears pierced when I was 12, went with my best friend, had to beg my mother (neither my mum or grandmother had their ears pierced). I didn’t know that I was intolerant to all the metals but gold, my earnings were gold plated. I had the most horrific infection in both ears, we didn’t realize straight away that it was because of the earnings, maybe after a month someone told me that it could be because they were not solid gold. By that time I had the tunnels in both ears…. After we got the solid gold earnings, it took maybe another month to full heal, as a result I have one hole a lot lower then the other. I have not worn earnings for lat 15 years, i can still see the holes and a scar from the rip.

    Keep cleaning them, maybe even more then twice a day, i would put the cleaning supplies near every mirror in the house :) I don’t know how you are with metals, but think if you have solid gold it might help. Also, I know they put studs in now, but it might be easier to clean if you change them to hoops (easier to get to and move away for cleaning)?

    Good luck, it will get better.

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:25 pm

      Oooh maybe I need solid gold!! Now THAT is a good excuse.. : )

      • Erna
        August 21, 2018 / 8:21 am

        In Belgium they only use real gold to pierce ears… XXX

  22. Victoria Perolls
    August 20, 2018 / 8:37 am

    Ruth, dear, please take the earrings out and forget such things exist. You’re beautiful enough without sparkly ears. Do your poor long-suffering lobes a favour. I regret having mine pierced – twice – and they have never healed over despite not having worn earrings for 15 years, so I’m stuck with pock-marked lobes for life x

  23. Di T
    August 20, 2018 / 8:33 am

    AH HAH! The very same problems exists on both of my tender earlobes. Only, instead of sensibly getting them repeirced by a professional of some kind, I just held my poor earlobes and repierced not two, but FOUR holes. How stupid of me. Sensible old mommy and now granny, walks around with bleeding, swollen and totally festy earlobes. I seem to have solved the problem just this week, fingers crossed, touch wood. I again repierced the four holes, but this time, dipped the four Tiffany earrings into antibiotic cream first. Lots of bleeding, moaning and pain ensued of course. But this time, I was on the case. I galloped into the local chemist and bought that antiseptic spray that they give you when you first get your ears pierced. I am now five days in, and so far no mega holes, pain and bleeding. My husband looks on in utter amazement at my continued quest to have pierced ears. Then, like you Ruth, I will at some time, take the earrings out and the whole (haha) saga begins again. Good luck!

      • Diane T
        August 21, 2018 / 8:22 am

        Love you too!

  24. Wendy
    August 20, 2018 / 8:33 am

    I don’t have mega hole, but I do have a thick right lobe that like you I stab with an earring in the vain hope of looking lovely on a night out, but just end up feeling sore and with weepy stuff coming out… I have a wedding coming up soon, so more ear stabbing will ensue, unfortunately I don’t have a solution. But I fear I may have to give up on earrings all together.

    • August 20, 2018 / 3:26 pm

      Can’t believe how many of us do stupid painful things just to wear earrings! This is delightful and comforting!

  25. Natasha
    August 20, 2018 / 8:12 am

    I have absolutely no advice. But I do empathise. I had a belly ring many years ago. After two pregnancies and a few years, it has formed a strange bump in both sides of the hole. It looks like tiny labia from above. A sad sight indeed.

  26. Jennie
    August 20, 2018 / 2:45 am

    Ruth – I will take your Tittle and Tattle any day you have time to share…

    As far as the Mega Hole – I think you should visit a dermatologist and get it stitched up!

  27. Eliza
    August 20, 2018 / 2:12 am


    what a dilemma. truly. *side eye* it’s all of your own doing of course you earring wearer poser wanna be. if you’d properly fulfilled your earring wearing duties First Hole Around – no problemos today!

    I JK so much, Ruth! (Let’s still be friends?) Well, seeing as the Old Hole is now back in play, maybe you *should let the new run go free (ie close back up). I think maybe the Old Hole (OG) opened back up due to the antiseptic clearing out old debris (if you ask me. I’m an expert.) haha. (My right hole is also too close to the earlobe edge, approaching ripped status, so I do feel your pain. I mitigate possible further damage by basically only wearing the tiniest studs only. And, also, no kids – so that helps.) Good luck, I believe in You Ruth! :)

  28. Alex
    August 19, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    Oh my goodness – this is both hilarious and horrifying. When I was eight-years-old I pestered my mum to let me get my ears pierced. The piercing shop was directly outside my ballet classstudio, so after much complaining she eventually caved in! I remember how the beautician drew the felt-tip dots on my ears, I chose some silver studs, and she used a scary looking stapler gun to clamp my left ear. Being a complete needle-phobe I freaked out after that painful ordeal, screaming the salon down, and wouldn’t allow her to pierce my other ear. For months and months after I wouldn’t let anyone go near my one pierced ear, nor would I twist the stud myself, or even bathe it. I was too squeamish. To cut a long (and rather traumatic) story short, the earring eventually dropped out of my festering ear because the hole had somehow enlarged through my neglect (I was only 8!) After several years, I eventually plucked up the courage to get my other ear pierced (the original hole never healed, but did shrink) and can gladly report that I’m now able to wear matching earrings. My left piercing is still slightly larger than the left, though fortunately it’s neither smelly nor scabby! Keep bathing your tunnel and eventually it’ll sort itself out. Tell Mr AMR larger diamonds should help cover up the wound! Xx

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