The number one rule to remember when stretching/sizing up your piercings is to listen to your body! Your body knows when something is wrong, or not going the way you planned.
Stretching your piercings takes time and patience. When stretching/sizing up always go slow, always wait for it to heal before you stretch to the next size up. By doing this your allowing the new skin some time to thicken and toughen up before it gets traumatized again by the enlarging process. The larger your hole, the more time you should allow it to heal before stretching again. Do not force the jewelry in as you can cause tears, bleeding, and even blowing out your ear. If you have problems inserting the new jewelry, even with a lubricant, give the piercing a rest and try again later or the following day. Use stainless steel jewelry for initial stretching because steel is not porous, so it will not absorb bacteria. Also, steel is heavy, and the weight will help the stretching process, every so slightly. You do not want to use acrylic or organic wood jewelry to stretch you ears because they are porous; save them for when your piercing has healed.
- Do not stretch a lobe or other soft tissue piercing faster than one gauge size every 6 weeks.
- Do not stretch any cartilage piercing faster than one gauge size every 2-3 months.
- Do not skip sizes or force jewelry into a piercing.
- Do not use acrylic tapers to stretch your piercing, the graduation is too steep and can easily cause tearing.
- Do not stretch with external thread jewelry, double flared plugs, or silicone.
- If the jewelry does not slide in easily your piercing is not ready to be stretched.
- A properly done stretch should not break the skin, if there is blood present that is a sign of tearing.
Take your time, keep them clean so they wont get infected, and always follow the proper aftercare instructions. Good luck!