Bigger and bolder earrings could be a style statement. But they could also damage your ears, warn doctors. From Michelle Obama to Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale the western women seem to be falling for those striking danglers.
Recently Louis Vuitton unveiled a pair of 15cm wood and resin earrings known as 'Madmax' which are due to go on sale in the UK later this month for £580 a pair.
New York designer Zac Posen has also recently showcased a range of earrings so long that they wound round the neck.
Conservative women in Tamil Nadu villages in India should be smirking. Many of them could be seen sporting huge earrings. And those women are already paying the price for such a custom. Earlobes are stretched and torn. That is what will happen to their counterparts too doctors say.
earlobes are simply not designed to withstand the weight of such heavy furniture. Wearing heavy earrings can cause the holes from piercing to stretch, causing damage to the soft flesh which does not heal. In extreme cases the lobe can even split in two.
Plastic surgeons have reported a big increase in requests from women whose ears have split in two or sagged to the jaw line under the weight.
Some women are even asking for pre-emptive surgery to strengthen their ears so they can wear this season's statement accessory, Daily Mail reports.
The earlobe correction operation to stitch the lobe back together takes about 20 minutes under local anaesthetic and costs about £300 an ear.
The patient can have her ears repierced after about six weeks.
James McDiarmid, a consultant plastic surgeon based in Plymouth and Cheltenham, has carried out more than half a dozen earlobe repair procedures.
He said: 'Women are being damaged by fashion earrings. Usually we can refreshen the edges and put them back together and repair the ear front and back.
'It is not just splitting. The lobes swell and they have lumps the size of a marble that look like
Surgery to strengthen the ears involves doctors injecting a synthetic compound called Restylane, usually used for lip augmentation, to plump up the earlobes and make them stronger.
The earlobes, which are injected after being frozen with a numbing gel, are left toughened for up to a year.
David Gault, a London-based plastic surgeon who specialises in ear reconstruction, said: 'Pre-emptive operations could be done in the future using cartilage from within the ear and putting it on the lobe to strengthen it.'
Plastic surgeons have also seen increasing demand for surgery to repair scars from having piercings higher and higher on the ear rims.
Another popular complaint is called the 'Pixie ear,' a sagging lobe problem when an earlier facelift has put tension on the skin and pulled down the earlobes.