"Stretching" is a procedure by which the ear lobe is gradually enlarged so that a person may put in larger and larger ear plug jewelry. The lobe is stretched by means of a taper – a metal or acrylic device that is wider on one end. After lubricating the taper, the narrow end is inserted in the ear lobe. The entire taper is pushed through the ear lobe and then a larger ear plug is inserted. The ear lobe should be allowed to heal before the process is repeated.