Ok, so I need help if anyone knows... I got my cartilage pierced by a piercing gun (and I now know a needle is better, but whatever) and it is doing well. I have 3 more weeks before the 8 week minimum of leaving the stud in is over. I want to stretch the hole from the 18 gauge (I think) hole it got pierced with to a 14 gauge hole. I know it isn't THAT drastic, and I will not go bigger than that, I just want to know how to do it. Like for instance, I have heard that you can just put in a 16 gauge earring after warn water and neosporin (or something) lubes it up and wear it until it is comfy, and then go bigger... I have also heard that the best way to do it is with a taper (the thing that looks like a spike that you gradually work into the ear and it expands it over a period of time. I don't want a spike hanging out of my cartilage, so I don't know about the latter... the former sounds like a good idea, as long as you take it slow, make sure it really is ready, and avoid infection. Any suggestions? Also, since it is cartilage, and supposedly takes longer to heal, should I wait longer than the 8 week minimum? She said 8-12 weeks before changing it (obviously we did not discuss stretching it), but I can't see why I should wait to start if it is healed up. I mean, at 5 weeks, the hole (from what I can see under the earring) is healed, and there is still a bit of pain every once in a while.... but I have 3 more weeks before I even can change it, so I am not concerned. Anyways, any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!!