Earring holes can be closed up with a simple plastic surgery procedure. The procedure is performed in-office and works to safely pare the tissue back together. Earring holes can also be closed naturally by removing pierced ear studs within the first four weeks of the piercing procedure.
While the common belief is that earring holes will naturally close up if earrings are removed for months or years, the reality is that once the holes have healed after an initial piercing, they are permanent. It is possible for a thin layer of cartilage to grow into the earring hole due to the cartilage shrinking up, but it can easily be punctured and re-opened with a needle or earring.
For individuals with gauged earlobes, chances of the holes shrinking down until they go unnoticed are slim to none. This is due to the fact that the holes are much larger and stretched out due to the plugs and rings that are worn in the holes. Gauged earlobes can be repaired with reconstructive surgery. This procedure is more detailed than a simple hole-paring and requires general anesthesia. The reconstructive process works by removing the stretched skin of the earlobe and re-shaping the earring hole.