Medusa Piercing

Professionally referred to as the philtrum piercing, the medusa piercing sits between your lips and your nose — directly above your cupid’s bow. According to tattoo and body piercing aftercare brand H2Ocean, this particular piercing should always be done by an expert, as it’s considered both a body and oral piercing in one. In other words, if anything goes wrong, there may be serious consequences that can affect your face, teeth, mouth, and gums. When looking for a studio, be extra cautious and be sure to do your research, check out their social media accounts, and read reviews before you commit to one.

The medusa piercing is always a stud made of up three parts: the bead (the stud), the disk (the back) and the barbell (the bar that connects the bead and the disk). H2Ocean explains that when you show up for your piercing appointment, the area on the outside will be washed with an antibacterial solution, while the area on the inside of your mouth will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The piercing will then be made using a thin, hollow needle before the piercer places the jewelry.

Why is Medusa Piercings So Popular?

Anytime a certain piercing style is trending, you may wonder exactly what it is that makes it so popular. For the medusa piercings, its widespread popularity is likely due to how versatile it can be.

Whether you’re heavily pierced or are just considering your first piece of body jewelry, a medusa piercing can accentuate your natural features and add a subtle touch. Or, if you prefer to make a more dramatic statement, swapping out a simple stud for something more eye-catching can completely transform the look.

The medusa piercing is a single perforation done just above the upper lip and centrally below the nasal septum. This area is known as the philtrum which gives the piercing its other name ‘philtrum piercing’. There are several variations of this piercing in case you want to try something other than the traditional Medusa. These variations include the following:

  • Double Medusa Piercing

While the traditional Medusa piercing involves just one perforation of the philtrum, the double Medusa involves piercing the area twice. This option allows the wearer to combine different jewelry styles.

  • Vertical Medusa Piercing/Jestrum Piercing

This piercing involves piercing of the philtrum area vertically so that both ends of the barbell protrude out of the skin, making it look like two studs sitting one above the other. Unlike the double Medusa which involves two separate perforations, this one is only a single piercing.

Medusa Piercing Procedure

Before you choose a piercing studio to get this piercing done, make sure to do some research first. You need to go for a professional piercer with a lot of experience especially with Medusa piercings.

The placement of the Medusa piercing is a tricky one and if it’s not placed right, it could heighten the risk of issues such as dental erosion and gum recession.

In addition to this, it needs to be placed perfectly in the center of the philtrum area as the slightest deviation can really spoil the symmetry of your face.

The piercing procedure itself isn’t that complicated but it’s always good to know what to expect before you go in.

  • First off, your piercer will put on a pair of clean gloves and clean the piercing area with an antibacterial substance (usually alcohol). You will be given an antiseptic oral solution to rinse out the inside of your mouth before beginning the procedure.
  • Once the cleaning is done, the piercer will use a clamp to hold your upper lip and will pierce the philtrum from inside-out with a very sharp and thin hollow needle.
  • Then, the piercer will use a special instrument to help the jewelry to pass through the new hole and will set it in place. Afterwards, the piercer will give it a quick wipe with an antiseptic solution and that’s it for the procedure!

How much does the Medusa piercing hurt?

Since the lips and the area around the lips have more nerve endings than other body parts, you can expect a bit of pain during the piercing process, but it will be quick. Since the Medusa consists of only one puncture that your piercer will complete in one fluid motion, the pinch will last only a moment, followed by some throbbing associated with any piercing.

For a few days after you receive your piercing, it’s likely that you’ll experience some continuing pain and swelling. Don’t be alarmed; this is quite normal. If, however, your piercing continues to hurt after a week, it starts smelling or excreting green or white puss, or if you experience excessive bleeding, you’ll want to consult a doctor.

The Medusa piercing is not considered to be a painful procedure, ranking 4 out of 10 on the pain scale. Most piercees state that it’s much less painful than some ear piercings.

However, the amount of pain you feel depends on your level of pain tolerance which is different for everyone. Finding an experienced and skilled piercer is a plus for you as they will know how to perform the procedure in the least painful way possible, making the experience much easier.

Just like any piercing… Yes. Pushing a needle through your lip is probably going to sting a little. Depending on the person, the pain of a medusa may be a bit sharper because your lips are full of nerve endings. When you get your medusa, you can probably expect a certain amount of swelling.

Since a medusa is such a striking look, this piercing most likely won’t be your first mod… So if you’re headed to the piercing shop, you already probably know that you can handle it. When it comes down to it, after a quick, sharp pain, the piercing will be over before you know it!

Don’t forget that this piercing can hurt far more after the procedure is over and will most likely swell for the first few days but there’s no reason to panic as this is a normal reaction of the body to the perforation of the skin tissue.

Everyone’s piercing experience is different. Everyone will experience pain/swelling in a different way. If you can handle a sharp pinch, some consistent aftercare, and plenty of patience throughout the healing process, your medusa piercing will be fully healed before you know it.

What makes this piercing different is its tendency to swell. Your lips are very vascular. If you’ve ever been hit in the mouth with a ball (or a fist), you know that a “fat lip” is a pretty common reaction to getting hit in the mouth. Due to the trauma of a piercing, when you get your medusa done, you might potentially experience a similar amount of swelling.

Most importantly: make sure you head to a professional piercer if you want to get this mod. They will make sure you are pierced with a barbell that is long enough to accommodate for swelling. They will also make sure the piercing is perfectly symmetrical. Once you’re ready to swap down to something smaller, they can help you with that process too!

One more important note: NEVER get pierced with a piercing gun. Piercings should always be performed with a clean needle by a professional, licensed piercer.

Do you get a scar from the Medusa Piercing?

If you no longer want your Medusa Piercing, you just have to take off the jewelry so that the hole will completely close. Unfortunately, it does leave a small scar.

The Medusa Piercing is certainly aesthetically beautiful! It accentuates your lips even better especially if you have chosen the best jewelry on it. There’s no limit at all! You can use a big or small barbell, whichever you think will look better on you.

If you want to add more piercing on your lip area, you can also check out Monroe Piercing, a type of perforation located on the sides of your upper lip, mimicking Marilyn Monroe’s mole. You can also check out different types of Nose Piercings.

How Long Do Medusa Piercings Take to Heal?

There are some obvious factors in healing a medusa piercing: your immune system, the physical size of your lips, your aftercare routine, and whether or not you bump it will all play into your healing time.

A medusa ring is located in a fleshy area (the lip) with an ample blood supply. Most medusa piercings can be swapped (by a piercer, preferably) in as soon as six (6) to eight (8) weeks. To be safe, you should give medusa piercings at least six (6) to eight (8) months to heal fully. Some individuals might find that their piercing takes a full year to completely heal up.

Disclaimer: If you experience any discomfort, pain, or any other complications with your new body mod, contact a medical professional and consult with your professional piercer as soon as possible.

Medusa Piercing Healing Process

Depending on the size of your lips, your body’s immune system, and how well you take care of your piercing during healing, the Medusa will take 6 -12 weeks to fully heal. It’s important to note that while the outside of the piercing may heal quickly, it will take longer for the piercing to heal internally, so we recommend following healing practices for at least 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, consult your piercer to confirm whether it’s time to stop aftercare practices.

The Medusa piercing can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to heal but it depends on your health, your immune system and the type of jewelry you’ve chosen. It’s important to take good care of your piercing during the healing period as this can speed up the process and help reduce the risk of infections, migration and rejection. Taking care of your piercing will influence the speed of the healing process so make sure to follow these special aftercare rules and you should be fine.

  • Don’t pull or play around with the jewelry as this will irritate the piercing and interfere with the healing process.
  • When you do need to touch the piercing, only do so after you’ve thoroughly washed your hands. Touching it with dirty hands is a sure way of getting yourself an infection.
  • Don’t use any makeup or other facial products as these contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the piercing and even cause allergies.
  • Take extra care not to trigger the jewelry when you’re brushing your teeth. Also remember, your toothbrush must always be clean.
  • Clean the piercing regularly using saline solution or sea salt soaks at least 2-3 times a day. When cleaning, make sure you do it from both inside and outside. It’s important to keep your mouth very clean during this period as it will help reduce the risk of getting an infection brought on by mouth-borne bacteria.
  • Avoid using mouthwash since it contains alcohol which can irritate the piercing.
  • Avoid moving your lips too much as possible. You run the risk of your jewelry getting snagged or tugged which could leading to migration which is the last thing you want, considering that it can ruin the entire symmetry of your face.
  • Watch out for signs of infection. Redness, pain (after the first few days), pus oozing from the site, fever and tenderness are all signs that your piercing is infected so if you experience any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. Do not ignore any of these symptoms as it will only make things worse.

Best Metal for Medusa Jewelry

When choosing your Medusa piercing jewelry, make sure to pay attention to the type of metal as well. Some metals we recommend avoiding are sterling silver, copper, nickel, zinc, tin and brass as these are low-grade metals which can cause allergies, infections or increase the risk of jewelry rejection.

The ideal metal for body jewelry is surgical stainless steel, especially for people with allergies since they are body friendly.

However, for people with hypersensitivity to metal, titanium is a much better option. Titanium is perfect for initial piercings as it’s comfortable, lightweight and barely contains nickel, making it highly biocompatible. It’s also a very strong metal which is hypoallergenic and highly resistant to sea water corrosion.

Another hypoallergenic metal is niobium, a low toxicity material which is also malleable and very soft. Niobium, though similar to titanium is much heavier and softer and doesn’t react to chemicals, oxygen or bodily fluids.

Another popular biocompatible metal for body jewelry is gold as it doesn’t react with the body or discolour in any way. Choose high purity gold like 14k or 18k for best results.

Medusa Piercing Jewelry Styles

Now that we’ve covered the scary parts about this super cute piercing, it’s time to get to the fun part: the jewelry.

By far, the most popular jewelry seen in a Medusa is a lip stud. A lip stud consists of a flat disc back, a barbell, and a bead or charm screwed to the front. You’ll want to opt for internally threaded jewelry to avoid snags or tears, and especially during healing, higher quality jewelry made from 14k gold or platinum will ensure that you avoid any skin irritation.

Most Medusa piercings take either a 14G or 16G lip stud. When you choose the length of the lip stud’s barbell, make sure that the stud doesn’t extend too far or pinch too tightly. Jewelry that’s too small can embed in the skin, and larger jewelry might scrape against your gums and contribute to a receding gum line.

Although the jewelry options for the Medusa piercing are rather limited, they come in tons of shapes, sizes, colours and materials so don’t be discouraged as you will actually find yourself spoilt for choice! Let’s have a look at the different types of jewelry you can wear with your piercing.

Labret Stud

The jewelry of choice for the traditional Medusa piercing is the standard labret stud. This works well with the traditional as well as the double Medusa piercing and comes in many different styles and patterns.  If you’re going for a minimalist look, a simple stud would be perfect but if you prefer something flashier, you can opt for a more elaborate design.

Curved Barbell

If you’re going for a vertical Medusa or Jestrum piercing, the curved barbell would be the best choice for you. The curved barbell feels more natural to the body’s shape and hardly exerts any tension on the tissue so that the risk of rejection is less. There are tons of styles for you to choose from, be it plain studs, spikes or even skulls!

Medusa Piercing Variations

We love body jewelry for its ability to help us show our individual personalities, so we love when we can take advantage of unique takes on standard piercings!

The double Medusa piercing consists of two vertical punctures beneath the septum. This style looks adorable with two dainty lip studs stacked on top of each other. Since two piercings are required for this style, often piercers recommend that you receive them one at a time for less pain and easier healing.

The Medusa piercing also pairs well with a septum piercing or nostril piercing due to its proximity.

Medusa Piercing Cost

The prices of this piercing vary, but the traditional Medusa will mostly likely cost you somewhere between $40 and $80. This also depends on the price of the jewelry you choose.

However, don’t let the price affect your choice of piercer. Even if it costs you a little bit more, we recommend finding a piercer who is well experienced in this type of piercing.

Placement is of crucial important when it comes to this piercing so don’t run the risk of getting a bad job done by skimping on the quality of your piercer.

How to Insert Your Medusa Jewelry

Don’t be intimidated! Changing your jewelry for the first time might seem frightening, but once you’re familiar, labret jewelry is simple to insert and very comfortable to wear.

1.) Sanitize –  Thoroughly wash your hands. Take a second to gently clean off your labret stud. You can use a sterile saline solution if necessary.

2.) Remove your current labret jewelry –  Be patient! It’s important to ensure you are completely healed before you swap out your jewelry. With your freshly washed hands, unscrew or pull out the end of the stud that is currently in your medusa piercing.

3.) Prepare your new stud for insertion – Depending on the type of jewelry, pull out or unscrew the end of the stud in question. If you’d like, use some of the sterile saline from early to gently dampen the jewelry and your piercing site for a bit of extra lubrication.

4.) Insert the new jewelry – Position the end of the stud at the entrance to your medusa (inside your upper lip). Once you find the piercing hole, slide it through your lip.

5.) Reattach the end – For jewelry with simple ball ends, simply screw them back on. If you’re wearing a push-in stud, insert the end into the receiving tube.

Celebrities With Medusa Piercing


Why shouldn’t I get a Medusa?

The location of the Medusa piercing helps accentuate the shape of your lips and draws attention to the lower half of your face. Because it typically hosts smaller jewelry, people with many different face shapes can rock this piercing to its fullest.

However, its location also makes it a prominent piercing, so you want to make sure that you are 100% positive that this is a piercing that you want before taking the plunge.

If you’re susceptible to receding gumlines or other oral issues, you might want to think twice about this piercing. Healing time will depend on your oral hygiene, and the jewelry can rub against your gums, causing issues.

If there’s only a small space between your lips and your septum, you might want to consider other lip piercings like the labretMonroe, or Madonna.

Pros and Cons of a Medusa Piercing

If you’re still on the fence about getting this piercing, taking a look at the pros and cons might make it easier for you to decide:

Medusa Piercing Pros

  • It’s a universal piercing type that grabs attention because of its position
  • It highlights the beautiful lip contour perfectly
  • Suits both men and women
  • Very sexy yet cute

Medusa Piercing Cons

  • It requires a lot of attention during the healing process
  • Unsuccessful execution of this piercing could affect your facial symmetry
  • It may not suit everyone’s face shape
  • Teeth and gum erosion is a possibility with this piercing when the jewelry is frequently in contact with your teeth.

This piercing is a lot of work, but if you really want it and if you’re prepared to be committed, it’s totally worth it! Once it’s fully healed, you can have a lot of fun dressing it up and showing off your gorgeous new look.

Medusa Piercing Aftercare rules

For the most part, Medusa piercing aftercare doesn’t differ too much from standard aftercare practices. However, due to its location on the mouth, there are several additional things to keep in mind while your Lip piercings heals.

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that the initial jewelry that you choose is large enough to allow for swelling during the healing process. Jewelry that’s too small can press against the piercing, increasing your risk of infection, limiting blood flow, and potentially becoming embedded in the skin. Additionally, your first jewelry should be of higher quality, especially if you have sensitive skin. Lower quality metals can irritate your skin and slow down the healing process.

Here are some quick tips on how to ensure a smooth healing process:

Don’t touch your jewelry more than you have to. Tugging or twisting the jewelry can irritate the surrounding skin.

Clean the piercing and jewelry regularly. Special aftercare products can be used to disinfect without irritating the skin, or you can make your own salt bath at home. When you clean the area, make sure that your hands are clean and you use a clean paper towel.

Keep the piercing dry. Don’t take baths, and when you shower, try to keep the piercing out of the water as much as possible. To dry, dab the piercing with a paper towel to avoid snagging.

Keep foreign objects away from the piercing, such as scarves, petroleum jelly, chapstick, and anything else that you might wear near the pierced area. Cover your pillow with a clean t-shirt each night to keep your piercing safe from the bacteria that gathers in your pillowcase.

Take care when you eat. Getting used to the new piercing will present a bit of a learning curve, and you don’t want to chomp on your jewelry and break your teeth.

Brush your teeth regularly (and take care when brushing around your piercing). Hopefully, oral hygiene is already a priority, but take special care while your lip is healing to keep harmful bacteria at bay.

Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes. Alcohol can lower your immune system’s functionality, and cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that can have an adverse effect on your healing piercing.

Medusa Piercing FAQs

So, you have decided to get a medusa piercing. You probably have some lingering questions. To help you, we have included some frequently asked questions below.

Will a medusa piercing ruin my teeth?

As is the case with all lip piercings, a risk of tooth and gum erosion is present. It wholly depends on the person – some people never experience a problem and some people do.

Will a medusa piercing leave a scar?

The area that was pierced will generally leave a small scar. It shouldn’t be very noticeable, though, as long as you are pierced with a small gauge.

Do medusa piercings swell?

It is normal for a medusa piercing to swell while it is healing. This shouldn’t last long, though; most swelling should recede within one to two weeks when properly cared for.

How often do I need to clean a medusa piercing?

A medusa piercing should be cleaned at least twice a day inside and out. You should use an antibacterial mouthwash each time you finish eating, as well.

What kind of jewelry should you wear with a medusa piercing?

A fourteen or sixteen gauge labret stud is the best jewelry to wear with a medusa. Once it heals, you can switch to a hoop if you wish.

How long must I wait to switch my medusa jewelry out?

You should be fully healed within six to twelve weeks of getting a medusa piercing. Waiting the recommended time to switch your jewelry ensures that it heals correctly and doesn’t close up prematurely.

Medusa Piercing Final Thoughts

There are a plethora of different jewelry options to choose from when you get a philtrum piercing. Once you have selected the right one for you, piercing aftercare is the most important thing to focus on. When you choose the right products, this process and easy and fast. You now have all the information that you need to rock a medusa piercing – now it’s time to go get one!

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