Are you considering getting your lip pierced? Scroll down to learn everything you need to know before getting your lips pierced, including how it is done, different kinds of piercings, aftercare, and much more.
What is a lip piercing?
This one pretty much speaks for itself: Lip piercings are a specific kind of body piercing that goes through your lips and/or the region right around them, such as your philtrum (the small groove that stretches from your Cupid’s bow to the base of your nose). Depending on the “aesthetic” you’re going for, there are a ton of piercing styles to pick from, just like ear piercings.
What happens when the lip is pierced?
All piercing types follow the same process. After marking the placement of your lip piercing with a skin-safe marker, a professional piercer (this is not a DIY project, people) will hold a surgical clamp on the piercing site and then create the piercing hole with a hollow needle. The final step is for the piercer to add your chosen jewelry, such as a gauge, stud, hoop, or ring.
How painful are lip piercings?
This will probably hurt a little, but everyone’s tolerance for pain is different. The most frequent question clients ask is “‘How much is this going to hurt?’ – there are many variables at play, including biology, anatomical variables, location, method, speed, quality of materials, etc. that make it difficult to predict how a lip piercing will feel for you. It’s much more complex than just your pain tolerance.
However, professional piercer Cozmo Faris from Atlanta notes that “lip piercings tend to be really easy in general.” Lip piercings are, in his opinion, a “fairly low-intensity situation.” though those with fuller lips may experience more inflammation during the healing process, which can be uncomfortable. But since pain is so uniquely personal, you won’t know unless you try.
How long does it take for lip piercings to heal?
The recovery period for piercings typically lasts between two and four months but occasionally reaches six months. Many variables affect how long healing may take, particularly when taking into account each person’s aftercare, personal health, and diet.
The first few weeks following getting pierced are crucial to the healing process, according to board-certified dermatologist Jenny Liu, MD, because the piercing needs to re-epithelialize (i.e., create scar tissue to seal the literal hole in your lip and protect it from bacteria). Therefore, aftercare is crucial, which brings us to…
How should a lip piercing be cleaned?
All you need is sterile saline solution to clean your lip piercing while it is healing. Sea salt and distilled water are a straightforward combination that Faris says is excellent for washing new piercings and removing crust or debris. Simply spray it directly onto your piercing for five seconds, let it air dry, or gently pat it with a clean paper towel. As they can snag and leave behind tiny fibers, items like cotton pads and cloth towels should be avoided.
How do you take care of lip piercings?
Let me say it again. Maintaining the wound’s cleanliness is the first step in effective aftercare for your newly pierced body part. Here is a quick guide to maintaining your lip piercing:
Faris advises using an alcohol-free mouth rinse for the inside of your mouth each time you eat or drink something other than water to avoid “irritate the healing tissue.”
Try Not To Touch It
Don’t touch your new piercing because it is an open wound, especially not with dirty fingers. The last thing you want is an infection, and poking and prodding it will expose the wound to potentially harmful bacteria.
Faris advises staying away from alcohol and spicy foods for two weeks following your piercing appointment because they can “burn the fresh wound.” Fun! What else should you refrain from for a few weeks? Sticky snacks, cigarettes, and crunchy food.
Seriously, avoid applying makeup to your piercing while it heals. The same principle applies to skincare items like face wash, moisturizer, and oil. Faris advises that the only product that comes in direct contact with your piercing should be a saline wash.
The last thing you want to do is take out your piercing too soon and run the risk of the hole closing up after you’ve cleaned it religiously and braved your piercing. “I typically ask clients to return two weeks after the initial piercing day to shorten the jewelry,” says Faris, “since most of the inflammation tends to be gone by then,” Note: The initial jewelry is typically oversized to account for swelling. If you decide you don’t love your jewelry choice as much as you thought you would, now is a great time to switch up your look because the jewelry has to be removed entirely for this process.
But what if, after two weeks, you decide not to change your piercing? According to Faris, “I ask clients to wait until they are fully healed before attempting a jewelry change,” and when you do, trust the experts. According to him, most studios will install jewelry for no charge or a minimal fee if you purchase it from them. Installing it in a studio will ensure that it is safe and the proper length and thickness for your piercing.