What is Lip piercing?
Body art is growing more and more popular among the youth. A simple reason is that everyone wants to be different and to stand out in the crowd, they are getting creative. Considering getting a lip piercing? Well, you need to do a lot more than just thinking. Any alteration to your body is a huge step and it shouldn’t be taken lightly and certainly not because everyone else is doing it. It is not a competition, it is your life. So, if you really want it because you want it, then go for it.
One thing is for certain – you can get piercing anywhere you like on your body. And don’t be under any misconception. People do get it in a lot of unconventional places. But the piercing is not always visible in those cases. You know the best place to get a piercing is by making it highly unlikely to miss – your face. There is no possible way anyone could overlook a piercing when it is directly staring at them. Besides, it looks amazing and makes you stand out in the crowd. It is for these reasons that lip piercing has gained so much attention in past few years. True, you can get it on your nose or eyebrows too but lip piercing has its own charms.
Snakebite piercing as a lip piercing
Snakebite piercing is one form of lip piercing which sounds a bit scary. No, a snake won’t bite you to make a perforation. It refers to the appearance of the piercings – two piercings on each side of the lower lip’s bottom to give it a look of a snake bite. Well, people also argue that it looks more like snake fangs than snakebite but that is debatable. Important thing is that snakebite piercing is one of the popular piercings because it heals quickly and looks pretty amazing too.
What to look for?
If you know anyone who got snakebite piercing, ask them about the details like the studio, the professional and their charges. Or you can look for a piercing studio in your neighbourhood and enquire about lip piercing there. The cost depends primarily on where you live and where you get it. People stress on going to a professional studio for piercings because it is safer than doing it on your own. Lest you puncture an artery or get your lip infected, it would take more than just a few dollars to heal it. For the same reason, you should look for a studio that takes the right measures such as using sterilize needles. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; visit the studio personally once and see if you like what you’re looking at.
It involves making a needle enter from one side of the lip and exit from the other. It could be anywhere on the mouth, over the lips or area surrounding it. Its history could be traced back to the pre-Columbian era when South Americans got their lip piercings. Nowadays, African tribes practice it the most while youngsters everywhere today are largely following this body art modification. More often than not, people endure the pain of lip piercing in order to look cool and vibrant – people go through the agony hoping they’d find green grass on the other side. Some do while others make some bad calls. So to help you decide, we have a few basics you should know before you land yourself into trouble.
One side is pierced first and then it is left to heal before piercing the other side. Two fresh piercings might swell up the lips more, make it harder for the body to heal and stress it too much. In order to avoid pain, it is done one by one.
- Your piercer will wear gloves before beginning the procedure.
- Next, he will clean the area around your mouth and even ask you to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.
- He will ask you about the placement and type of lip piercing you’d like and mark the in and out spots accordingly, he may ask you to look at the mirror and see if you’re happy with the placement.
- It is up to you to decide so don’t leave it on him. If this isn’t something you want, tell him that or you will just have to learn to live with it.
- It is important that you stay still when he is making the penetration.
- He will stabilize your lips using a clamp, it is used to keep the skin stable and it also reduces pain to a little extent but make sure you don’t move your head or it could seriously go wrong.
- Make sure he uses a sterilized needle to make the perforation.
- Once the clamp has been set, he will make the perforation by inserting a small 2-inch long needle which is half as wide as the toothpick needle.
- Insert in the piercing jewelry. It is recommended that initially, you use studs and later change to rings or hoops.
Pain & Precautions
Okay, it might hurt. If you are the kind that can’t endure a lot of pain, think twice before you go for it. Obviously, when you make holes in your skin, it would be agonizing. People love the end results though; they go through all the pain and ache because it is worth it in the end. First and foremost, don’t try this at home. Regardless of how good you think you or your friends are at it, make sure you go to a professional and get the piercing done. It is just easier that way – chances of the piercing getting infected or rejected are less if a professional does it for a simple fact that he is experienced and he knows about the things that can go awry. So he takes necessary precautions.
Moreover, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the expert – he should use a sterilized needle, clean the area before piercing it and offer you some advice on how to maintain it.
The first question that people ask before deciding on lip piercing is that it if hurts. It does depend on your threshold for pain but lip piercings generally don’t hurt very much. It is bearable. If the pain is too much, Ibuprofen can help tone it down. If you are experiencing any problems, your dentists might be able to offer some assistance.
Risks & Infections
Although it is true that lip piercings heal quickly and don’t hurt too much, it is also true that every piercing is prone to many risks. But again, if you take all the precautionary steps, you might get lucky. Otherwise, you will end up with a bad piercing and injuries to remind you how it went wrong.
Once you are sitting there at the studio, think of all these possibilities. The very first and very common is the infection which can occur due to bad piercing practices or irresponsible aftercare. You can get infected with something as serious as HIV if the piercing is not done with care. Other than that, when you come home, it is all up to you to take care of it. Failing this, you can’t blame anyone else.
Swelling should be expected. Experiencing pain and swelling after a few days of the piercing is normal and everyone goes through it. It is when the area gets sore that you need to worry. A short and tight jewelry can cause this soreness and even infect or migrate the piercing. Besides, it can prolong the whole healing process and make it more painful.
Your snakebite piercing can tear your gums, teeth or even the jawbone. This happens when the metal of the jewelry rubs against the gums and teeth. Once it starts corroding, the teeth can crack, decay or you may even lose them.
Aftercare: Do’s & Don’ts
This is the part where you need to pay extra attention. Remember, it can so easily affect your health, cause unnecessary pain and get in the way of your life. But if you take care of your piercing the way it demands, you’ll be good to go. Hygiene is the answer.
You might know that lip piercings heal faster as compared to the rest of the piercings and they are also safer due to the absence of large vessels in the mouth. The risks reduce by these two factors but will not completely exterminate. It can easily catch infections, face rejection or migration if not provided with proper care. Aftercare starts the moment you get it.
- Your piercer would tell you that you should not eat anything, smoke or drink for a few hours after getting your lips piercing. Wash your mouth frequently, after and before eating or smoking.
- Rinse it with a mouthwash even after it has healed in case there is any irritation. There are mouthwashes especially made for oral piercings which are more suitable.
- You should also brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush to remove the food bits from the mouth so as to avoid infection and avoid sharing plates or utensils with anyone.
- The salt solution, is likely to clean all the piercings, should be used to clean your snakebite piercings at least twice a day. You can apply it with cotton but for drying the area, go for disposable tissues, towels can cause injury by catching on the piercing and even harbor germs.
- While you are cleaning the piercing, hold it carefully and turn it around smoothly without pulling it. It is important that you keep your mouth clean and fresh because it won’t let bacteria settle in your mouth and infect the piercing. The piercing is done inside out, thus oral hygiene is an equal necessity.
- Mind your hands! Wash your hands before touching it. Everyone is always saying that never touch your piercings with dirty, filthy hands because the freshly pierced area catches infection like flies catch honey.
- You can treat yourself with ice creams, popsicles and frozen yogurt as the cold food reduce the swelling and increase the healing rate.
- People may not know this but Vitamin B can help in speeding the healing process. Start taking them before you get snakebite piercing.
- Keep a check on the jewelry. If it is biting down your teeth or gums, you should get it removed from your piercer or dentist to avoid further damage.
- If you have to clean your piercing, make sure you wash your hands before touching it and clean it only with saline solution.
- Cotton buds or tissues will help you clean off the crust around the pierced area. Oral hygiene is especially important if you get lip piercings. Any trace of germs inside or outside the mouth could infect the piercing.
- Don’t play with the jewelry as it is an open invitation to pain and infection and migration, none of which you want to stay anywhere near your piercing. Not just you, even your friends aren’t allowed to touch it or play with it or let anyone else touch it.
- Changing it every day is not advisable because you need to let it heal first and then pick up jewelry and stay with it. But don’t let it stay in if it’s chipping your teeth or jaw away.
- You should also not kiss when your piercing is still healing.
- Eaters alert! No eating or smoking or drinking the next few hours of getting the piercing. Tea, coffee, alcohol and beverages swell it up and make the piercing hurt.
- Avoid smoking and drinking till your piercing heals because it inevitably interrupts the natural healing process of the body. And also, it is unhygienic which could lead to complications.
- No kissing or using lipstick, and no chewing your lip when you want any of the lip piercings. Remember, it is a wound until healed, so treat it like one.
- No sharing! You are not to share anything with others. No plates or cups or utensils should be used with someone else.
- And definitely, you can’t go swimming in the pools or lakes as it attracts all the germs and bacteria in the water & and cause trouble in your piercing.
- Whatever you do, don’t try to remove the jewelry on your own while it is still healing. The hole will close up on you, it is perky that way. If it closes on you, it will be rather painful to insert the jewelry back in. In case you have redness or swelling around the area, don’t try removing it yourself, your piercer or dentist would do a better job.
Types of lip piercing
Depending on the position of the piercing around the lips, each one is named differently. You should probably take a look at all these if you’re considering getting a lip piercing. This will give you a fairly good idea on where your future piercing would be and also provide you with a chance to see what will suit you the best.
Marilyn Monroe Piercing
For those who haven’t yet figured, the piercing derived its name after Marilyn Monroe, specifically, to the beauty mark on her face’s right side just above the upper lip. The piercing takes place above the top lip in order to match the beauty spot of the star. Although painful, the piercing heals faster if done right, often in 8-12 weeks. It is also known as Madonna Piercing or Crawford Piercing.
Angel Bites Piercing
It is two times the Monroe Piercing with piercings on both right and left side. Popular as snake bite piercings anti-version, it is also k/s Anti-Bites.
This type has many names – Lower-lip piercing or tongue pillar are the two common variations. Labret piercing is performed on labrum, i.e., below the lower lip and just above the chin. Mostly, it is below the lower lip’s center. A few varieties of Labret Piercings are as below. For Vertical Labret piercing, two perforations take place on both sides of the lower lips vertically so as to make both the beads visible. It doesn’t pass through the inside of mouth but exits from the lower lip. While Labret uses a labret stud, vertical labret gets a display with the barbell.
In Snakebite Piercings, two piercings are on each side of the lower lip while in Spiderbites Piercings, the piercings remain together on either right or left side.
Viper bite piercing
In another variation, Viper bites is very similar to Spiderbites just that the distance between the two piercings is slightly more than that in Spiderbites piercing. Combination of Snakebites and Angelbites is Canine bites which means that in total four perforations will take place– two on each side above the upper lip and two below the lower lip on the left and right side.
Medusa piercing is on upper lip between the vertical groove below nose’s septum. It is the direct opposite of Labret Piercing as it’s above the center of the upper lip like Labret is below the lower lip. A stud is a jewelry which endorses a ball outside on the septum.
Cyberbites is a combination of two piercings – labret and Medusa. In this type, two perforations take place – one on the septum above the upper lip and second on the center below the lower lip. Two labret studs are used as jewelry.
Fresh piercing closes quickly if jewelry isn’t immediately set in. In a few hours, you’ll find yourself piercing-less so better not take it out before it has healed. It takes about 4-12 weeks depending on the care you provide it with. If you want your piercing to heal quickly, don’t get your lips piercing more than one at a time. Two piercings simultaneously stress out your body and prolong the healing process. Once one piercing heals up, get the other one, so as to reduce the risks of infection and rejection.
The piercing jewelry that you pick is going to be the face of your piercing. Whatever you choose, you endorse, it will represent you. As they say, body art says a lot about your personality. So different pieces of jewelry give different looks to your piercings. Snake bites look good with straight or curved barbells whereas smiley looks good with captive bead rings. Madonna and Monroe adorn well with small studs.
However, the metal should be religiously selected as the more corrosive and reacting element may cause itching and irritation that can also lead to infections. Try choosing noble metals such as gold, platinum, titanium or silver.
The price of lip piercing can be anywhere from $20 to $100. The choice of parlor and jewelry, also the reputation of the piercer may cost you some extra bucks, but it is advisable not to compromise with the quality for cost-cutting as it may cause complications in the future.