The professional name for it is “clear lens face piercing.” Put simply, it’s a hole in your face: a hole in your face that’s then sealed with a clear plug so people can see inside your mouth without you ever having to open it.

The process for punching a hole in your face is the same as stretching the earlobe, also known as gauging. Basically, you choose a spot on your face, pierce it, put an expander inside the incision, then when the hole stretches to your desired width, plug it up with a clear plastic expander. Do-it-yourself kits as well as an abundance of decorative clear plastic plugs (eg, plugs in the shape of a heart) are readily available on the Internet.

The Process of Piercing

People who put holes in their cheeks usually decide beforehand the size of the hole and the point at which they would like to stop the facial stretching. To be effective and safe, clear lens piercing should be a slow process performed over a period of time. The first step is to have a body modification clinician pierce a small hole in the place on your face where you want the clear plug to appear. Typically, the initial incision is 0.8 mm and an expander of similar size is inserted into the hole. Once the hole has fully healed, it’s recommended to proceed slowly and steadily so as not to tear the facial muscles. In order to make progressively larger holes, the initial piercing is enlarged in steps. The usual stretching method is to utilize different-sized expanders, which are manufactured specifically for this purpose.

So you stretch and wait. Micro-tears that occur during the stretching process need time to heal fully before stretching up to a bigger size. Usually, it takes about 1 month of waiting time before replacing the expander with the next-largest size. Depending on the size of the final hole, the time between stretches ranges from 1 to 4 months.

About 25 mm (1 inch) is the largest-sized expander used to complete the clear lens facial pierce; it’s then sealed with a 25-mm clear plastic plug. Once the lobe is stretched to an inch, it will remain permanent and the only option to reverse the look is to have reconstructive plastic surgery.

If the skin is stretched too quickly by jumping expander progressions, it may become swollen and it will not stretch uniformly. In such a case, the expander is removed until the swelling ceases, and then the process is begun again by piercing at a lower gauge.

Expanders should be worn only for stretching purposes. Expanders should be removed after the hole in the face is stretched to the size of the expander to allow the healing process to begin. Lubrication should be applied during the stretching process. Oils such as jojoba, emu, or bio-oil work well to help keep the hole moisturized and also to reduce scar tissue.

Even though it’s advised to stretch slowly, there are those who don’t like to wait, and these individuals use the dermal punching method, which is a process that works similar to a hole punch to create a large, instant gap in the flesh.

What Can Go Wrong?

After being inserted into the face, a plug can cause a fistula. A “blowout” can occur when an expander that is too large gets inserted into a hole that is too little; the pressure can squeeze flesh from the inside of the face to the outside, which means that flesh extrudes outside the plug. Bleeding, pain, swelling, and leaking can occur if foreign substances come in contact with the fistula. But these drawbacks haven’t discouraged some people from modifying their faces with mini-portholes. Guess you can say it’s transparency taken to the ultimate!

But there are those who believe that if you have a hole in your chin, you definitely have a hole in your head!

Reference

  1. Currie R. The clear lens facial piercing is a giant expander. Trend Hunter website. January 29, 2010. http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/clear-lens-facial-piercing.
  2. Ear piercing and stretching guide. Kings Body Jewelry website. http://www.kingsbodyjewelry. com/earlobe-stretching-guide.aspx.
  3. Ear stretching. Cat Inferno Body Modification website. http://catinfernobodymod.blogspot. com/2011/02/earlobe-stretching.html.
  4. Hodoyan-Gastelum A. 6 over the top extreme body modifications and tattoos. Obscure Ink Magazine website. http://obscureinkmagazine.com/6-top-extreme-body-modifications-tattoos/.
  5. Hole-in-chin piercing. Snopes website. http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=57239.
  6. How to stretch an ear lobe piercing. Wiki How website. http://www.wikihow.com/Stretch-an-Earlobe-Lobe-Piercing.
  7. McClatchey C. Ear stretching: why is lobe ‘gauging’ growing in popularity? BBC website. November 21, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15771237.
  8. Stretching FAQ. Modify Body Piercing website. http://www.modifybodypiercing.com/stretching-faq.html.