Lip Piercings: The Basics

lip piercingLip piercing is one of the most popular piercings in the world, and also one of the most common facial piercings. It’s relatively easy to perform, but you need to find an experienced professional and a reliable piercing studio.

This is typically one of the first piercings a person will get. It’s more adventurous than a simple earlobe piercing but not as intimidating as nipple or genital piercings.

However, nothing prevents you from having a lip piercing as your first and only piercing, if this is what you want. Remember: there are no rules and “good” vs “bad” when it comes to personal preferences! The only thing to remember is how to stay safe.

Placement and Procedure

Lip piercings are often known as “labret piercings”, even though labret is just one of the many possible placements for a lip piercing. Lip piercings are very varied since there are many different ways and spots to pierce one’s lip. This is why there are numerous different lips piercings known under many names. The basics, however, remain the same.

With a lip piercing, what is actually pierced is not the lip itself (save for a few specific cases). Rather, what is pierced is a skin near upper or lower lip. The piercing hole itself doesn’t extend to the lip itself in most of the cases. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but these general guidelines are true for most of the cases. One of the main reason is to allow for normal talking and eating without jewelry getting in the way. As usual, there are types of lip piercings that may violate this rule so it all depends on the particular placement. Most of the time, however, the piercers try to keep the jewelry away from the mouth itself, even though the inside part of the piercing (and jewelry) will usually be inside the mouth. This is why lip piercings are considered both facial and oral piercings, which dictates the aftercare and safety instructions.

It’s possible to pierce a lip almost anywhere, so this is one of the main reasons there are so many different lip piercings. Both upper and lower lips can be pierced. The piercing can be made centrally or to the side, depending on the wishes and individual anatomy. Typically, each of these placements has a different name (Labret, Monroe, Jestrum, etc.)

The procedure doesn’t last long. Your piercer will make marks on the desired area and make sure you’re happy with the placement. Most piercers will use forceps to stretch out the lips and keep them in place during the procedure. The piercing itself is done with a piercing needle and it’s pretty straightforward. After the piercing is done, your piercer will put the jewelry and instruct you on proper aftercare.

Lip piercing is not particularly painful. In fact, a standard lip piercing is one of the least painful piercings, so it’s one of the reasons why it’s often chosen as one of the first piercings a person will get. However, it all depends on the type of the lip piercings. Some more extreme lip piercings tend to be more painful.


Typical jewelry for all lip piercing is a labret stud. It is also commonly used as initial jewelry for all lip piercings. Labret studs are small and easy to use so they don’t cause much trouble. However, it’s vital not to twist or turn your labret stud during the healing time.

While labret studs are very popular, some people prefer to use a Captive Bead Ring for their lip piercing. It is particularly common for piercings done near the mouth, because the loop of the ring can go in and outside of the mouth in a very effective manner.

Keep in mind that your initial jewelry will usually be a few sizes larger, to account for initial swelling. After the swelling is gone you should go to your piercer to get the proper jewelry that will ensure a good fit.

Additional Info and Tips

  • Lip piercing has a long history among many cultures. It’s popularized on the West in the late 20th century and it remains very popular to this day.
  • Different lip piercings have unique names so they are often identified as special names. One of the most popular lip piercing is Monroe, which is done on the upper lip, at the place where Marilyn Monroe had her beauty mark. A similar piercing done on the other side is called Madonna. These are just two examples of many lip piercing varieties.
  • While most lip piercings are done through the lip (the hole going from the outside to the inside of the mouth), horizontal placements are also possible. Horizontal placements are rare and they include piercing of the lip itself and include the bar going through the lip’s surface. It is considered a more extreme type of a lip piercing. The most extreme lip piercings have a hole starting out at the lip and going thought the mouth to exit on the lower edge of the jawline. These piercings also tend to be the longest of all lip piercings.
  • Keep in mind that a lip piercing is both a facial and oral piercing. It requires two types of aftercare: general aftercare for the outside part and oral aftercare for the part of the piercing inside your mouth. It’s vital to use saline solutions and other products that are specially made for oral piercing aftercare. Never use harsh chemicals inside your mouth!
  • Lip piercings are typically done at 14 gauge, but other sizes are also possible.
  • It’s very important to ensure a proper placement. A bar that is too short can sink into the lip, causing numerous problems. Also, it’s important that the jewelry doesn’t rub on the gums or else it can cause it to recede. In order to achieve the best placement you need to find a knowledgeable piercer who’s experienced with lip piercings. Never allow to be pierced by a friend or another non-professional!
  • The healing time for most lip piercings is between 1 and 3 months. However, more complex lip piercings or multiple lip piercings will take a longer time to heal.
About Melina Jackson:
Melina is a staff writer, author and researcher for TheChainGang. She covers numerous subjects, from body jewelry to kinky adult toys. In addition to this, Melina also provides occasional adult toy reviews written in an interesting and sexy manner. She says: “I’m happy and proud to be a part of TheChainGang team. I enjoy every research because I know how much importance TheChainGang places on customer satisfaction and providing accurate and up to date information. I particularly like sex toy reviews: they are fun to write and experience”. In addition to writing and researching, Melina provides online research results and handy information for buyers interested in accurate and easily understandable tips and advice on choosing the best adult toys and body jewelry.

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