To repair a torn or stretched earlobe, the area is first cleansed with an antiseptic; local anesthetic is then injected into the earlobe. To repair a tear or overstretched hole, part of the skin around the tear or hole is cut away; the now-clean margins of the tear or hole are then stitched together with both dissolving sutures (in the inner tissue) and regular sutures (on the surface skin). Earlobe repair generally does not require prescription pain medication; over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient. Postsurgery, the ear should be washed about 3 times a day for a week, and no piercings or jewelry may be used for 2 to 6 months. Skin sutures, if used, are removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Most patients return to normal activities in less than a week.