DEAR ABBY: I would like to know what the fascination is with putting plugs in one's earlobes. I have seen some as large as half dollar coins. What does the person do if he regrets having done this to his ears? Can the holes be surgically closed? -- UNPIERCED IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
DEAR UNPIERCED: I spoke to James Wisniewski of the Body Electric Tattoo piercing studio in Los Angeles. He told me that, as with any type of body modification, the ear plugs are a matter of personal taste.
The process is referred to as "stretching," and James has had his earlobes this way for the past 14 years. He says he is asked about the procedure on a daily basis. He is attracted to it for the aesthetics. The modification is a gradual process, with larger jewelry being inserted as the hole becomes larger.
James recommends consulting a plastic surgeon if someone decides to have the hole closed because new tissue is grown as a result of the earlobe stretching. The extra skin may have to be removed in the same way as after a major weight loss.