Here's a medical revelation that will shock exactly no one: weighty chandelier earrings aren't the best things to dangle from your delicate ears. As earrings are getting longer, louder, and more outlandish, doctors are seeing an upswing of patients with stretched piercings or, worse, split lobes.
Of course, the popularity of shoulder-grazing sparklers on the red carpet isn't helping matters—even First Lady Michelle Obama is in on the trend, choosing to pair her Jason Wu gown with dangly drops. The key to wearing this statement-making style is to pick balanced shapes and lightweight materials over bottom-heavy styles dripping with heavy stones.
Since dangly earrings are all about getting noticed, why not take the opportunity to try some new, lightweight alternatives to heavy rocks? Dean Harris pairs paper-thin slivers of wood with hammered metal in his drop design for Target ($20), and no one could accuse Arden B.'s feather-and-bead danglers ($28) of being anything other than feather-light.
Weight distribution is another factor to consider; the more weight that falls at the bottom of the earring, the worse the strain on your piercing. Forever 21's glass bead and chain Delilah earrings ($6) have all the glitter without all the weight, and Anthropologie's gold filigree earrings ($28) find the perfect balance between delicate design and negative space.
Simply can't give up your chandeliers? Plastic surgeons are taking advantage of this damaging trend, offering lobe-strengthening injections of Restalyne, a procedure that takes less than an hour and costs about $500. But keep in mind, $500 could buy a whole jewelry box full of lighter, more lobe-friendly earrings, too.
Check out our Jewelry Staples Guide for safer, more conservative earring options.