Thursday, January 31, 2008
Do earlobes grow with aging? Still young reader is getting worried
Dear Dr. Jim
Last night on TV I watched "Two and a Half Men" and the protagonist of the episode, Charlie Harper (played by Charlie Sheen) kept insisting that the older a woman gets the longer her ear lobes get. And, of course, that's why he doesn't want to date older women (He's around 40 and dates women in their 20s and 30s).
What I NEED to know is "Is it true?" Do women's ear lobes get longer as they age? This is a very important question to me. I don't want long, skinny, floppy ear lobes as I sail into my mature years or, rather, my maturer years. So far my ear lobes are firmish but I'm really scared. And if it's true that ear lobes sag, what does one do about it?
Is there a cream, or something to apply? Are there collagen injections for lobes? Is there some sort of surgery to tighten them? Please answer ASAP. I feel them stretching out as we speak!
Ms. Poet in Downstate
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Dear Ms. Poet
I am so glad you asked this question. Aging as it pertains to beauty may be the number one worry in the United States at the moment, just ahead of s*x, money, health, and politics.
A healthy outlook on aging will allow some worries about how we look in our older years, but an awfully lot of people get carried away. Fear of aging and its results often rises to the state of an unjustified phobia, called gerascophobia. Gerascophobic persons are prone to depression further compounding their situation.
All that is to let you know where I am coming from when I suggest you seek medical help. You must do this swiftly, procrastinating will see you soon shunning treatment that is needed.
I agree with you in that the earlobes do grow at older ages. I would suggest there are both medical and surgical treatments. You might read some of these references on-line (link). Especially appealing to me was an article on cosmetic surgery of "older patients who have a face-lift may choose to have their earlobes reduced at the same time because earlobes grow and stretch with aging, and may look out of proportion after a face-lift." (CNN.com 2002 cyber-article)
Some of these articles tell how the earlobes actually do grow in aging. When I read these, though, I felt you were not yet at this crucial age. And I did not find any plausible sounding crème to stop this growth.
By seeking professional help, even though there is no earlobe problem at your age, you will have a benchmark on the size of them while they still retain their normal beautiful length. Then by making periodic visits to your physician you can get accurate lobe growth rates and severity correlation when any growth does occur.
There is a bright side here. Have you noticed that older men tend to have very large noses and ears and other features from top to bottom, from their large balding head to their shoe sole like earlobes? Those men would trade for just having long earlobes and a little excess facial hair any day.
Problems of this sort often remind me of the old story of the fellow who lost twelve ugly pounds. How did he do it? He had his head cut off.
I hope I have helped a little in your situation. Aren't you glad you watched that TV program! Except for the hoped for growth preventative crèmes, you were on top of the problem here. Now you stay on top and go see your doctor very soon.
So, keep on keep'n on, and till then,
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