Lip piercings are performed for many different reasons worldwide. In some cultures, it is practiced for symbolic reasons, while in others, it is a marriage ritual. Piercings of the lip are considered a fashion statement of rebellion, attitude, and individuality in the West. In spite of the ancient practice of lip piercing with its mythological and spiritual significance, it has become increasingly popular among young people.
Whether you already have one or are considering getting one, we’ve got you covered with the top 12 kinds of lip piercings. There are many types of piercings to choose from, and they vary in terms of healing time, pain elements, etc. Here, you’ll find everything you need to choose the right one for you, including the different types, healing times, and pain factor scores.
In this article, we would learn all that there is to know about lip piercing including the kinds of lip piercing, the history, and some aftercare routines that you must follow to ensure proper healing. So stay tuned.
History Of Lip Piercing
Tembetá was historically used as a method for lip piercing by pre-Columbian cultures of South America. The practice of lip piercing continues to be popular among many people, with several African tribes being the best-known for wearing large decorative lip plates and discs, usually on the lower lip.
Modern society is characterized by an increasing number of lip piercings. A study in Israel of young adults found that 4.3% had present or past body piercings (excluding earlobe, lip, and intra-oral piercings), and 5.7%, 6.2%, and 15.7% had present or past lip piercings, body tattoos, and intra-oral piercings, respectively.
18 Types of Lip Piercings
Marilyn Monroe had a beauty mark on the left cheek that inspired the name Monroe piercing. In contrast to the Madonna piercing, the Monroe piercing is placed above the upper lip on the left-hand side, while the Madonna piercing is on the right-hand side. Generally considered charming, dynamic, and sexy, this is one of the most popular types of piercings.
Labret studs are the best jewelry to wear for the Monroe piercing, but you can also wear captive bead rings or horseshoe barbells, which are also commonly used jewelry alternatives.
Because there are so many nerve endings in the area of the inner lip, this type of piercing can sometimes be uncomfortable. Although quickly performed, the puncture is only painful for a few seconds at most.
In order for the Monroe piercing to heal completely, it would take 6 weeks to 3 months, during which time you would need to take good care of the piercing.
Labret Lip Piercing
This piercing offers a rock star look and brings attention to the beauty of the bottom lip. It is one of the most popular types of lip piercing. A single perforation is found just below the lower lip (not on the lip itself) and occurs in the center of the area. A labret stud, which gives the piercing its name, is the most frequently used jewelry for this piercing.
Due to the variety of variations and styles available, this piercing is considered to be among the most popular. The result is that you do not need to stick to one placement style, but instead have some room to experiment with double or single perforations in the middle of the lip or on the side. The Labret usually looks amazing on any person, regardless of gender.
The pain associated with a labret piercing is much less than for most other types of lip piercings if the procedure is done as intended (i.e. below the lip). The side of the lip is however more sensitive to pain than the surrounding skin, so in certain variations of piercing the lip directly, the pain is much higher.
Depending on how well the wound is taken care of, the labret piercing may heal within 3 to 5 weeks. Some people, however, experience complete healing of the inner wound taking up to a few months.
In the present era, this type of piercing is among the most popular and serves as an imitation of the popular singer Madonna’s beauty mark. This procedure involves one perforation at the top of the upper lip on the right side. Adding shiny jewelry to your image draws attention to your smile and makes you appear attractive. Choosing jewelry to go with the piercing can make it unique, even though it is a common piercing.
This piercing is usually completed with a labret stud, but horseshoe barbells and captive bead rings can also be used.
Only one puncture is required for this type of piercing, so the pain is quick and the pinch is probably quite substantial.
An average Madonna piercing usually takes between 6 and 10 weeks to heal. Aftercare can influence the length of time it takes for a wound to heal, so it can take anywhere from six weeks to nine months.
In recent years, the Medusa piercing, otherwise known as the Philtrum piercing, has thrived in popularity. An entire puncture is made in the groove below the nasal septum, above the upper lip. Generally speaking, this type of piercing is viewed as cool because of its universal appeal. Its popularity is also attributed to the idea that it can accentuate the pretty lip contour perfectly, giving a very attractive appearance that will surely grab everyone’s attention.
It is crucial to remember that piercing placement should be given special attention. In the event that the procedure does not succeed, one’s entire facial symmetry will be affected.
In comparison with other piercings, this one is one of the least painful. There may be swelling for a few days after the piercing, and the pierced area may hurt more after the procedure is completed than it did during the procedure. When skin tissue is perforated, it normally swells. There is no need to worry if this happens to you.
It is possible for this piercing to take up to 12 weeks to completely heal depending upon the aftercare that is given and how healthy the individual is.
Jestrum Lip Piercing
There are a number of great options for lip piercings, but the Jestrum piercing is a great alternative. Double perforations of the upper lip exist, with two exit points, one positioned above the lip and the other directly beneath it. In addition, there are two visible exit points that make it possible to wear a variety of jewelry such as labrets and barbells.
There are some lip shapes where this piercing may not be appropriate. It may not be possible for a person with smaller lips to get the jewelry through the tissue due to lack of space. Furthermore, the upper lip piercing should be centered and aligned exactly with the lower lip as any misalignment would cause the whole face to become less symmetrical.
Compared to other types of piercing, this one is slightly more painful. Due to the double perforation that this piercing will require, you will experience greater discomfort than you would with other traditional piercings.
The healing time for the outer part of a Jestrum piercing is usually within 6 to 12 weeks, and it takes around 6 months for the inner part of the piercing.
Angel Bites Lip Piercing
A double perforation is made above the upper lip in this style. Located on both sides of the lip, this piercing is symmetrical. Generally, people choose easy jewelry that is simple in design, such as gemstones or beads, although they also choose hoop styles like seamless rings or captive bead rings.
A piercing on the angel bites can be used to experiment with different combinations and jewelry. Among other things, this piercing would look great with a nasal septum.
You will experience some discomfort during the procedure because the upper lip area is covered with numerous nerve endings. Although the puncture is performed quickly, you might find that your lips are sore and swollen for a couple of days following the procedure. When this happens, there is no reason to worry. However, if pain persists, it would be wise to seek medical advice.
When properly cared for, an angel bites piercing can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months to heal completely.
Rather than piercing beneath your bottom lip, the Ashley lip piercing makes a hole directly through the middle of your bottom lip, giving you the appearance of a middle lip piercing. Standard 14 gauge piercing needles are used during this procedure. Healing typically takes between two and four months. Flatback labret lip rings should be worn during the procedure.
Dahlia piercings are double perforations located in the corners of the mouth. This piercing is known as a ‘joker piercing’ due to the scarring that resembles that of a comic book villain. It is one of the scariest and rarest piercings even among those who have piercings. However, it is quite a lovely piercing because it highlights your smile and the shape of your mouth.
Having a double puncture with this type of piercing can cause some pain due to the fact it requires two punctures, which increases the level of pain.
The healing process for dahlia piercing can take between 12 and 20 weeks. It depends on how well the aftercare is provided whether it can reduce the healing time.
Cyber bite is a combination of a medusa piercing and a standard labret piercing, which can be done in a single session. Essentially, two punctures are made in the upper lip groove, just above the upper lip, and directly below the lower lip groove. Those who are looking for a piercing style that stands out a bit more than the traditional lip piercings may find this ideal.
Some people may feel discomfort from this type of piercing since it involves getting two piercings at the same time. In order to allow your body to rest between piercings, consider putting several days in between them if you have a low pain tolerance.
After the cyber bite piercing is healed, its healing time can range from 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the care that is provided. You should pay close attention to the healing of the piercing during this period as it will aid the healing process.
Snake Bite Piercing
In this case, the lower lip is pierced twice, resulting in two separate holes, one on either side of the lower lip. The technique has become increasingly popular in the fashion world and is known as a snake bite piercing or fang piercing due to its likeness to a snake or fang bite. The treatment creates a mysterious look and highlights the natural beauty of the lips and the facial symmetry. The combination of rings and studs is the most popular choice for this type of piercing.
Because it involves a double puncture, this piercing can be quite painful.
It is advisable to take a break between the two piercings because this allows you to deal with the pain more effectively before getting the second hole pierced.
In general, this piercing takes between 6 and 8 weeks to heal. If the piercing causes swelling or tenderness, you may experience this during this time. Once this period has passed, the jewelry can be changed as you wish.
Dolphin Bites Piercing
It is the perfect lip piercing if you’re looking for an idea that is fresh but minimalistic! There are many options when it comes to decorating the lower lip, but the Dolphin Bites is one of the best ones. Double perforations of the lip are used in this kind of piercing, and there is a pair of labrets or hoops under the lip very close together. An elongated Lip is particularly good for people with round faces since it gives an impression of length.
Since this piercing involves a double puncture, it will feel twice as painful as a single piercing, although there won’t be as much pain as the Snake Bites piercing.
It normally takes between 6 and 8 weeks for the Dolphin Bites piercing to completely heal, provided that the vital aftercare instructions are followed. Sometimes, it can take up to six months for the inner part of the wound to heal completely. To avoid health risks such as infection, do not remove the initial jewelry during the healing period.
Often referred to as spider bite piercings due to the way they mimic spider bites, this piercing style is popular and cool. Both the left and right sides of the lower lip are pierced with two small perforations close together. The design gives off an edgy appearance, but it is also rather subtle in its location and style.
There is quite a variety of jewelry styles that can be paired with the spider bite piercing. Simple labret studs, hoop earrings, or captive bead rings are all appropriate choices. You might want to choose curved or circular barbells with either simple edges or more elaborate ones with beading if you are looking to make your spider bite piercing stand out.
One piercing is not as painful as the other, but multiple piercings, such as a spider bite, can cause considerable pain. Depending on which piercings you get, you may want to wait a few days between the two or if you want to get everything done as soon as possible, you can get them done simultaneously.
Spider bite piercings generally heal within a few weeks, usually taking between 4 and 12 weeks. Once healed, continue with the after-care procedures until they are completely gone. Despite their appearance, lip piercings can appear healed despite being unhealed, so don’t assume it’s all healed just because it looks like it. Ask your piercer to ensure it is healed completely if in doubt.
Vertical labret piercings are unique lip piercings that are not extremely popular. It’s a type of piercing with two perforations, one on each side of the lip without going through the mouth like the labret piercing. Because of the lack of friction, this piercing is less damaging to your teeth and gums as it doesn’t scratch or scrape against the inner surfaces of your mouth. The best jewelry to wear with this piercing would be curved or straight barbells.
In addition to having two perforations, the vertical labret is a quite painful piercing thanks to the one-motion process. A needle enters your mouth through one perforation and exits through the other, under your lip. Most people experience pain when piercing through this area because it is larger than usual.
An 8-week period is typically sufficient for the vertical labret piercing to heal. In addition to being clean, the piercing does not go through the mouth, making infection prevention easier, as well as preventing snagging on teeth or gums. You should however take care not to chomp on it accidentally, especially if you are prone to biting your lips.
Shark Bites Piercing
There are two double piercings on the bottom lip that are located on either side of the lip. A total of four holes are on the bottom lip, two of them symmetrical. There are quite a few new styles of piercings that are designed to draw attention to the smile and give the wearer a trendy, stylish appearance. The piercing can also be combined with another type of piercing, such as an inner nasal septum piercing.
After a piercing has healed, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing jewelry to wear in the piercing. Various types of rings can be added to your lips in order to make them appear attractive and varied. Examples include circular barbells, captive bead rings, spikes, labret rings, and loop rings.
It needs four separate perforations instead of one in order to pierce someone’s shark bites, so it can be a very painful procedure for most people. It may be easier to reduce the pain if you do one set of piercings first and then wait a few days before getting your second set done.
An 8 to 12 week healing time is usually expected for this piercing. It may be uncomfortable and even painful, depending on your pain tolerance, for your shark bite studs to rub against your teeth and gums. Make sure you avoid excessive movement during the healing process and allow the perforations to heal completely.
Canine Bites Piercing
Four separate holes are punctured on each side of the lower and upper lips during a canine bite piercing. Snake bites and angel bites are both represented by this type of piercing. Since the slightest misalignment of a hole will be readily evident, it is important to make sure you pay attention to the specific placement of the jewelry. Because of this, it is best to have this kind of piercing done by an experienced piercer.
If you have dog bites, we strongly recommend keeping the other facial piercings out of your face to avoid making it look overly pierced (unless you are trying to achieve that look).
There is a lot of pain associated with this type of piercing, as it involves having four separate punctures around the lips. In some cases, you can reduce pain by going for the perforation on separate days.
Since it has many perforations, this piercing can take up to 12 weeks to heal with adequate care.
Horizontal Lip Piercing
Typically, horizontal lip piercings exist directly on the bottom lip surface, creating a horizontal outline. Recovery time is approximately eight weeks. Labret lip rings/curved barbells: Flatback and curved jewelry. A standard needle of 14 or 16 gauge is typically used for this piercing. After the piercing, about eight weeks of healing time are required. Generally, Flatback labret lip rings and curved barbells are recommended for use.
Internal Lip Piercing
Lip Frenulum Piercing (Frowny Piercing)
It is a piercing that is performed through a thin layer of skin that separates your lip from your mouth. A hollow needle of 16 or 18 gauge is typically used to complete this piercing. There is typically a healing time between 4 and 8 weeks. It is recommended that you wear curved barbells.
Lip Frenulum Piercing (Smiley Piercing)
It involves piercing your upper lip through the layer of skin that connects it to your mouth. Hollow 16 or 18 gauge piercing needles are typically used to perform this piercing. The healing process takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks. The recommended jewelry for this piercing is a captive curved barbell.
What Type of Jewelry is Used for a Lip Piercing
- Gauges: For the fastest and smoothest healing process, according to Thompson, you should pierce your arm with a 16 or 18 gauge and use a titanium or gold metal.
- Studs: “People do anchors in their lip, surface barbells, studs on the top, bottom, center, side—there are a lot [of options],” Thompson speaks. “Most piercings heal better with a stud.”
- Hoops and rings: Thompson recommends going with a larger ring or hoop if you decide to go this route. “The lip is red because it’s very vascular, so it tends to swell. Your body’s not going to reject a lip piercing, but it’s too much tissue the hoop is going through.”
What Jewelry Material is Used for Lip Piercing?
Our recommendation is to use gold jewelry for your lip piercing. The 14k or higher mark indicates that the gold is a more pure metal because 14k gold does not contain any impurities. As well as titanium, implants made from ASTM-F136 implant-grade titanium and surgical stainless steelwork effectively.
It is best to avoid metals such as nickel and copper because they may cause allergic reactions. Our jewelry collection features brands such as Junipurr Jewelry, Buddha Jewelry Organics, and Maria Tash that are trusted in the industry. Rather than push-pins, our collection of threadless jewelry features knots. With the former, you are guaranteed to have the perfect fit, and it is more manageable than push-pin jewelry.
- Stainless Steel: When it comes to lip piercings, stainless steel is typically the best metal to use since it does not tend to get infected easily and your body can adapt to it quite easily.
- 14 karat Gold or Platinum: According to Sobel, high-quality precious metals such as 14 karat gold or platinum can be a safe bet in these areas. People with metal allergies have difficulty wearing certain metals. Make sure to take your allergies into consideration and choose metals accordingly. Nickel should be avoided.
Lip Piercing Healing
In most cases of lip piercing, the healing time should be between 1 and 3 months, but if the piercing is not properly cared for, there is a risk of infection. Once the healing process is complete, you may use another piece of jewelry. Scar tissue may still be present after this point, but the fistula will typically be fully developed and most of the bleeding will have stopped. As part of the aftercare, you need to soak in hot saline water twice or three times per day. If blood or lymph discharge is attached to jewelry, three to five minutes of soaking with a weak saline solution can soften it. By taking a hot shower followed by taking clean hands and a small amount of mild soap such as castile soap, debris can be removed from the site. It is not recommended to turn or move jewelry on a fresh piercing, since it can irritate and prolong healing and swelling. Additionally, you can use diluted saltwater solution or mouthwash after meals to remove debris from the piercing and flush it. Both of these methods are recommended by practitioners.
Initiate jewelry is created using implant-grade titanium or a similar lightweight and inert metal such as a labret stud or captive bead ring. No matter which type of jewelry is used, its length and diameter will be intentionally oversized to allow for swelling in the beginning. As swelling subsides, the jewelry can be replaced with something that fits more snugly. Make a saline solution at home by mixing non-iodized sea salt with hot distilled or filtered water. It is an effective way to curtail infections around pierced lips. After eating (or the mouth can be rinsed with non-alcoholic, non-antimicrobial mouthwash), one can use this solution to rinse their mouths. They can also soak the outside of their piercings in it. If you’re using alcohol, peroxide, or iodine, or any strong soap, avoid these products because they can aggravate the fresh piercing, causing swelling and unnecessary trauma as the healing process progresses. It is recommended that you do not use peroxide, iodine, tea tree oil, or conventional antimicrobial soap or dishwashing liquid, as they can damage or kill the skin around the piercing, delaying healing. When Hydrogen Peroxide is used, the piercing site will be damaged more, resulting in irritated piercings. In order to prevent the accumulation of bacteria on the ornament, it should be periodically cleaned.
How do you take care of lip piercings?
When you have a piercing, you must follow important steps to prevent infection and ensure sterility. According to piercer Cozmo Faris, “Use an alcohol-free mouthwash three to five times a day to flush the inside of the piercing. These flushes should happen anytime after the person eats or drinks. For the outside of the piercing, a sterile saline wound wash such as H2Ocean or Neilmed should be used twice daily to irrigate the area; a five-second saturation should do the trick followed by letting the area air-dry.”
Isn’t encouraging the healing process the most important thing a person can do? It requires patience. “As it starts healing outwards, you’ll think it’s healed. But what you don’t realize is it’s still healing internally, so you stop taking care of it, then it regresses,” says Dr. Howard Sobel who is the founder of Sobel Skin and the attending dermatologist and dermatological surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Therefore, take good care of the area for the first three months, and also make sure you stay hydrated, eat right, and avoid stress during this time.
It’s critical to take care of your fresh piercing after the healing process, which begins by keeping the wound clean, calm, and happy. An abbreviated list of how to take care of your lip piercing is provided below:
- RINSE IT
Faris recommends rinsing your mouth thoroughly after eating or drinking anything besides water, in order to prevent irritants from damaging the healing process.
- DON’T TOUCH IT
Please do not touch your fresh piercing with dirty fingers-especially if it’s an open wound. In addition, prodding and poking it could expose the wound to potentially dangerous bacteria, and infection is something you don’t want.
- AVOID IRRITANTS
During the two weeks following your piercing appointment, Faris recommends avoiding alcoholic beverages and spicy foods that may irritate the wound. Are there other things to avoid during the healing process? Things like cigarettes, sticky snacks, and crunchy foods.
- SKIP MAKEUP
Your piercing needs plenty of time to heal. Faris recommends that you avoid applying makeup to it. Additionally, the same rule applies to skincare products including (but not limited to!) oils, moisturizers, and face washes. “As a good rule of thumb, you want a saline wash to be the only product that touches your piercing directly,” he says.
- RE-THINK SEX, Unfortunately, this isn’t the time to indulge in some passionate, mouth-heavy foreplay or sex. “Any sexual contact that may introduce another person’s bodily fluids to the piercing should wait about eight weeks, ideally.” Even though it may seem like a lot, an infection-or a ripped-out piercing-is much worse than being protected.
Side Effects of Lip Piercing
- Infection: Because you’re working with your mouth, which is full of bacteria, it’s possible you’ll contract an infection. Moreover, because lip piercings are usually pierced on the outside of the skin as well as inside your mouth, you’ll want to keep both ends clean. Using alcohol-free mouthwash after every meal and brushing your teeth after every meal is recommended.
- Swelling and inflammation: “While some swelling is normal, proper aftercare of the piercing will keep it under control and help it heal,” states Sobel. Don’t smoke, and you’ll reduce your risk of infection. “Alcohol and smoking will cause more inflammation,” Thompson conveys. “If you can’t abstain for a few weeks after getting it pierced, I’d say wait for a time when you can.”
When can you change lip piercings?
Once you’ve scrubbed and cleaned your piercing religiously, the last thing you want is to take it out prematurely, as this could result in the hole closing. “I typically ask clients to return two weeks after the initial piercing day to shorten the jewelry,” says Faris (please note that the initial jewelry is usually oversized to accommodate swelling), “since most of the inflammation tends to be gone by then,” says Faris. “The jewelry has to come entirely out for this process, so this is a great time for you to switch up your look if you decide you don’t love your jewelry choice as much as you thought you would.”
If you don’t want to renew your piercing in two weeks, is there anything you can do? “I ask clients to wait until they are fully healed before attempting a jewelry change,” Faris advises, and if the swap needs to be performed by a professional, do so with care. “Most studios will install jewelry for free or a very small fee if you buy it from them,” he says. “Having a studio install it will guarantee it’s secure and also the right length and thickness for your piercing.”
How much do lip piercings cost?
You can estimate how much it will cost you to pierce your lip by looking at your location, the piercing professional’s experience, and the type of jewelry you choose. Unless jewelry is included, the average cost varies greatly from state to state but is approximately $40. You should be aware that the quality of your jewelry will play an important role in determining the total cost of your lip piercing. It should be cheaper to use surgical-grade stainless steel and implant-grade titanium than precious metals, such as 14-karat gold or platinum.
Don’t forget to include a tip in the equation as well. Tipping is customary at 20 percent, but there are no rules that say you can’t tip more if you are happy with the job they have done for you. Ultimately, you put your life in their hands and they made it look pretty good.