Lip Piercings: Your Guide to Pain, Aftercare, and Cost in 2021

    23
    0

    Lip Piercings: Your Guide to Pain, Aftercare, and Cost in 2021

    So you’re thinking about getting a lip piercing—congrats! You’re officially one-million times cooler than I am. Some unsolicited background info: I haven’t had anything pierced since 2002 when I got my ears pierced for the first time at Claire’s (where else?). It’s not that I’d never get a piercing again, but I’m just a one-and-done kinda gal with wildly low pain tolerance. These days, I prefer to play the role of a cool mom who’s making sure you’re prepped and ready for the critical aftercare process.

    Now *Joe Goldberg voice* on to you, because I’m guessing if you’re here right now, you’re strongly considering making a lip piercing appointment—or, at the very least, strongly considering…strongly considering. Whatever the case may be, I’ve got you and your anxieties covered with the help of two professional piercers and a board-certified dermatologist. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know before getting your lip pierced, from the many different styles options, to how much a lip piercing costs, how much a lip piercing hurts, and more.

    What is a lip piercing?

    This one is mostly self-explanatory: A lip piercing is a type of body piercing that penetrates your lips and/or the immediate surrounding area, like your philtrum (that tiny groove that runs from your Cupid’s bow to the base of your nose). As with ear piercings, there are tons of piercing styles to choose from, depending on the ~aesthetic~ you’re going for.

    What happens during a lip piercing?

    The procedure is similar for all piercing styles. After marking your lip piercing placement with a skin-safe marker, a professional piercer (this is not a DIY activity, people) will hold a surgical clamp on the piercing site, then create piercing hole with a hollow needle. The piercer will then add your jewelry of choice as the last step, whether it’s a gauge, stud, hoop, or ring.

    What are the different types of lip piercings?

    Not to overwhelm you, but there are at least 14 different types of lip piercings. Making matters even more complicated, they go by different names in a professional setting versus IRL. So to help break down some of the options, I tapped Johnny Pearce (yup, that’s his *literal* last name) of Nine Moons Piercing in New York City. Ahead, get a mini-lesson on five of the most popular lip piercing types.

    different piercing types guide

    Katie Buckleitner

    Philtrum piercing (aka “Medusa”)

      “A philtrum piercing is placed on the center of the upper lip, just above the crest of your Cupid’s bow,” says Pearce. “It’s pierced with a flat-back stud and your choice of a cute gem or decorative top.” FYI, you may have heard of this type referred to as a medusa piercing.

      Labret piercing

        Pronounced “lah-bret, not lah-bray” (per Pearce), this piercing lives “dead-center on the vertical midline of the lower lip, placed just below the vermilion border” (aka the line you trace when applying lip liner). Your piercer will add a flat-back stud for a labret piercing, but Pearce notes that some people swap to a lip ring after it’s completely healed.

        Vertical labret piercing

          Your piercer will use “a curved barbell to penetrate the protruding crest of the lower lip in a vertical motion,” says Pearce. “Most often, these types of piercings are placed in the center of the lip, along the vertical midline of the face.” But if you want to change things up, he says this type of piercing can also live on either or both (!) sides of your lips.

          Vertical philtrum piercing (aka “jestrum”)

            The vertical philtrum—aka the “vertical medusa” or “jestrum”— blends the visual aspects of a vertical labret and a philtrum piercing. “With a vertical philtrum, we pierce straight through the crest of the upper lip, so the top of the curved barbell earring rests on the center of your philtrum, while the other end exits through the bottom of the upper lip,” says Pearce.

            Inverse vertical labret piercing (aka “Ashley”)

              This style (nicknamed the Ashley piercing) is located in the center of the lower lip. “It’s pierced straight through the mucosa tissue—the plushy, pink part of your lip—and exits with the flat-back sitting on the inside of your lip,” says Pearce. “My piercing method utilizes a flat-back stud, however, some methods use a curved barbell.”

              How bad do lip piercings hurt?

              This will probably hurt a bit, bb, but the exact pain level varies from person to person. “‘How much is this going to hurt?’ is probably the most recurring question clients ask me,” says Pearce, adding that it’s nearly impossible to gauge how a lip piercing is going to feel for you because of all the factors at play: “biology, anatomical variables, location, method, speed, quality of materials, etc.” he says. “It’s much more complex than just your personal pain tolerance.”

              If it’s any consolation, though, Atlanta-based professional piercer Cozmo Faris says, “lip piercings tend to be really easy in general.” He notes that those with fuller lips may experience more inflammation during the healing process, which can be uncomfortable, but otherwise, he deems lip piercings a “fairly low-intensity situation.” Of course, pain is super personal, though, so you won’t know until you try.

              What is the healing time for lip piercings?

              Sit tight: Faris says the healing time for piercings is generally two to four months, but can occasionally take up to six months. Lots of factors play into how long healing may take, especially when you consider each person’s “aftercare, personal health, and diet,” he says.

              Meanwhile, board-certified dermatologist Jenny Liu, MD, says the first few weeks after getting pierced are crucial to the healing process, 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). So aftercare is incredibly important, which brings us to…

              How do you clean a lip piercing?

                To clean your lip piercing while it’s healing, all you need is a sterile saline solution. “Saline washes are a simple mix of sea salt and distilled water that’s great for rinsing new piercings and removing crusties or debris,” says Faris. (And no, you shouldn’t try to DIY this one—sterility is key!). Just spray it directly onto your piercing for five seconds, then let it air-dry, or gently pat it dry with a clean paper towel only. “You want to avoid products like cotton pads or cloth towels as they can snag and leave behind little fibers,” he says.

                How do you take care of lip piercings?

                Please repeat after me: Aftercare is crucial when caring for your fresh piercing, starting with keeping the wound clean, calm, and happy. Here’s an abbreviated list of how to take care of your lip piercing:

                • RINSE IT
                  For the inside of your mouth, Faris recommends using an alcohol-free mouth rinse every time you eat or drink anything other than water, which will ensure that you don’t “irritate the healing tissue.”
                    • DON’T TOUCH IT
                      Your new piercing is an actual open wound, so don’t touch it—especially with dirty fingers. Poking and prodding it will expose the wound to potentially harmful bacteria, and an infection is the last thing you want.
                      • AVOID IRRITANTS
                        After your piercing appointment, Faris says to avoid alcohol and spicy foods for two weeks, since they can “burn the fresh wound.” Fun! Other things to avoid for a few weeks? Cigarettes, sticky snacks, and crunchy food.
                        • SKIP MAKEUP
                          Seriously, keep the makeup away from your piercing while it heals, says Faris. That same rule goes for skincare products, including (but not limited to!) oil, moisturizer, and face wash. “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
                            Sorry, but this isn’t the time for 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.” Sounds like a lot, but an infection—or a ripped-out piercing—is way, way worse than being safe.

                            When can you change lip piercings?

                            After braving your piercing and cleaning it religiously, the last thing you want to do is take it out too early and run the risk of the hole closing up. “I typically ask clients to return two weeks after the initial piercing day to shorten the jewelry,” says Faris (note: The initial jewelry is usually oversized to allow for 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.”

                            But if you don’t want to switch up your piercing at the two-week mark? “I ask clients to wait until they are fully healed before attempting a jewelry change,” says Faris, and when you do make the swap, leave it to the pros. “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?

                            The cost of your lip piercing depends on your location, the piercing professional’s experience, and the jewelry material you choose. Prices vary significantly from state to state, but average around $40, not including jewelry. Of course, the quality of your jewelry will play a major role in the total price of your lip piercing. Surgical-grade stainless steel and implant-grade titanium should cost less than precious metals, like 14-karat gold or platinum.

                            Oh, and don’t forget to factor a tip into the equation. A 20 percent tip is customary, but there’s no rule that says you can’t go higher if you’re pleased with their work. After all, you low-key put your life in their hands—and now you look damn good.

                            This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

                            Published at Wed, 10 Nov 2021 18:36:00 +0000

                            https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a38190542/lip-piercing-guide/

                            Previous articleMiners Have a Pesky Contamination Issue: Their Clients
                            Next article‘*Flagged for disinformation*’: Jen Psaki reminds Congress what they should do to help ‘combat inflation’