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.

Eyebrow Piercing

Eyebrow PiercingEyebrow piercings are among the most popular facial piercings in the world and one of the most popular piercings in general. It is not uncommon for people to have this one as their only piercing. While it’s very popular with young people eyebrow piercings are common among all the demographics.

Piercing and Procedure

Eyebrow piercing is typically done vertically through the ridge of the eyebrow. Depending on the person’s anatomy and wishes, the placement and orientation of the piercing can be different. Many eyebrow piercings are done at a slight angle but are still considered to be vertical piercings. Other placements and orientations are also possible, though they are generally considered to be variations of the general eyebrow piercing.

What is important to know about eyebrow piercing is that it’s a surface piercing, albeit the most famous of them all. However, as a surface piercing it is prone to some of the common problems other surface piercings face, such as migration and rejection.

Eyebrow piercings are not particularly difficult to perform, though it’s vital to go to a reliable piercing studio and hire and experienced piercer. The procedure is typically performed using a cannula needle. Some piercers use clamps for easier guidance. The needle is inserted through the bottom of the eyebrow and it exits through the top of the eyebrow. The exact placement is decided based on the client’s wishes and piercer’s recommendation.

Typically, eyebrow piercings are pierced with needles ranging from 18 gauge to 12 gauge. However, 16 gauge seems to be particularly common, though 14 gauge and 12 gauge are also popular.


Since eyebrow piercings are done in gauges ranging from 18 gauge to 12 gauge this is the range of the jewelry sizes used for this piercing. As with any other piercing, it’s crucial t know the gauge you’re pierced with so you can wear appropriate jewelry.

Typical jewelry for eyebrow piercings are curved barbells. While general curved barbells can be used there are also curved barbells made specially for eyebrow piercings.

Other jewelry choices are also common. For example, some people prefer to wear Captive Bead Rings while others opt for different type of barbells (usually curved barbells though some even choose to wear straight barbells).

The jewelry puts pressure on the piercing, which can increase the risk of migration, rejection and other problems. This is why it’s so crucial to use jewelry that is comfortable and has a perfect fit for the piercing. It’s important to minimize the pressure in order to protect the piercing and minimize the risk of migration and rejection.

Additional Info and Tips

  • The eyebrow can be pierced anywhere above the eye, so there are many different placements possible. The furthest away one can go is to the edge of the eyebrow by the temple.
  • It is also possible to pierce an eyebrow further away above the eye, but this is a more risky procedure because of the presence of supra-orbital nerves.
  • Eyebrow piercings can be done in pairs and groups, depending on the wishes.
  • If done horizontally, this piercing is known as a horizontal eyebrow piercing.
  • A variant of this piercing is done underneath the eye. This one is known an anti-eyebrow piercing.
  • The healing time for this piercing is about 6 to 8 weeks for the initial healing. Full healing can take anywhere from 6 months to a year.
  • Eyebrow piercings are known to produce crusts and discharge during healing. However, if you notice an abnormal amount of discharge or other problems, make sure to consult a medical professional. Same goes for any pain or prolonged swelling you may encounter.
  • The larger gauge is less likely to migrate and reject, so it’s better to be pierced at a larger gauge (for example, 14 gauge or 12 gauge) to minimize the risk of migration and rejection.

LITHA Aftercare Approach

Aftercare ApproachMany piercing enthusiasts know about the LITHA strategy for aftercare. What is LITHA and how to perform it?

Good news: it’s actually very easy to follow this aftercare approach. Not to mention this is the best way to ensure that your new piercing heals properly and without problems.

What is LITHA?

LITHA stands for: “Leave It The Hell Alone”. A simple concept, isn’t it? This approach basically says that the best way for your piercing to heal is to manipulate is as little as possible. It means that you should not touch it, twist the jewelry or rub it in any way. However, it also means you should not use a lot of cleaning products on it.

Of course, you SHOULD clean it twice per day (or more, depending on the piercing type and your piercer’s instructions), but that should basically be it. When cleaning, use only non-invasive cleaning mixture that is approved for new piercings. Absolutely the best is to use plain saline solution.

Avoid strong chemicals and invasive cleaners on your new piercing. They can do more harm than good. You may use anti-microbial soap or a specialized cleaner made for new piercings, such as H2Ocean cleaner, but make sure that whatever you use is suitable for new piercings.

Other than that, follow LITHA. Leave your piercing. Do not touch it, do not manipulate it in any way. Do not even clean it more times than necessary, or a using a stronger saline solution than recommended. All these things can compromise the healing process and increase the risk of infections and other problems.

The idea behind the LITHA approach is that, as long as you keep your new piercing clean, your body will heal it perfectly on its own. No additional cleaning agents and products are needed. Nor is needed for you to touch or manipulate your new piercing in any way, except when you clean it (and even then the contact must be minimal).

What Not to Do

Here are some things you should avoid during the aftercare:

  • Twisting and turning your jewelry. This is not necessary and can compromise the healing process.
  • Strong products and chemicals. A new piercing is best cleaned with a saline solution. Never use invasive products on your new piercing. Also, make sure that the saline solution you use is not too strong for your piercing.
  • Overcleaning. You should not clean your piercing more than several times per day. It will only irritate it.
  • Rub it on clothes. This is tricky, because you need to be careful at all times. Do not let the jewelry on your new piercing get caught on clothes. Also, make sure not to rub it during sleep. In case of an ear or facial piercing, remove the hair away from it.
  • Change jewelry too soon. You should wait before you change your initial jewelry, unless a new jewelry piece is needed after the first swelling is gone. In this case, go to your piercer to change the jewelry for you. Never attempt to do it by yourself.

All in all, keep in mind that”less is more” is a good strategy during the healing time. In case you notice something wrong (such as prolonged pain, redness, swelling and other signs of infection) you should consult your doctor. In case everything looks and feels fine it’s best to manipulate your piercing as little as possible.

“Earl” – Bridge Piercing

Bridge Piercing“Earl” is a popular name for nose bridge piercing. This unique piercing type is intriguing and many people decide to get it. While it’s still not among the most common facial piercings, Earl is sure popular among certain piercing enthusiasts.

About the Piercing

The nose bridge piercing is known under several names. You might know it as “Earl” piercing or “Erl” piercing. These names come from the first person ever to receive this piercing: Erl van Aken. However, most people decide to call this piercing simply “bridge”.

Earl piercing is a surface facial piercing performed through the skin on the bridge of the nose. The most common placement is between the eyes of the wearer, though some variations of the placement are possible.


There is no specialized jewelry made for Earl piercing alone. This means that you will have to wear multifunctional jewelry types suitable for this piercing.

Typically, the best jewelry for bridge piercings are straight and curved barbells. They are simple, practical and very comfortable. It’s particularly important to wear them as the initial jewelry, right after you get your nose bridge piercing.

After your piercing is healed, you may also try some other piercing types, such as rings. Captive Bead Rings and Seamless Rings seem to be great for this type of piercing. The most comfortable variant is a D-ring because it rests comfortably against the skin.

Rings are great jewelry pieces for a bridge piercing because they can reduce the risk of migration and rejection.

Additional Info

  • In order to get a bridge piercing, you have to have enough flesh on the bridge of your nose. If there is no enough skin to be pierced, you can’t get an Earl piercing. Luckily, most people have enough skin and can enjoy their bridge piercing to the fullest.
  • You need to perform adequate aftercare on your piercing. Clean it at least twice per day with a saline solution or a suitable commercial cleaner.
  • Healing time for this piercing is 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Bridge piercings are usually done at 14 or 12 gauge, though other gauges are also possible.
  • This piercing has a relatively high risk of rejection. Keep in mind that any nose bridge piercing is a surface piercing, and these always risk migration and rejection.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that bridge piercing can lead to scarring after jewelry is removed. This is something to think about if you ever decide to retire your bridge piercing.
  • Basic bridge piercing is done horizontally. However, it’s also possible to get a vertical Earl piercing on the bridge of your nose.

Body Jewelry Face Off – Facial Piercings & New Trends

Facial piercings are cool and really happening (if there are no cuts, bruises or infections). Traditional facial piercings included conventional areas that did not raise many eyebrows. However the new trends in facial piercings are not just about raising eyebrows but shocking you! If you thought labret piercing, nose, nose septum, eyebrows piercing, ear lobes were rebellious enough then you probably didn’t see this coming.

The new trends in facial piercings shining these days are:

Philtrum or Medusa PiercingBody jewelry in this one is attractively perched at the small cleft between the upper lip and the nose. Now snakes has nothing to do with it. It’s also a mere speculation that Medusa had her philtrum pierced.

Monroe or Madonna Piercing – This was perhaps invented by those for who thought moles were sexy and stunning. Imagine having a shiny body jewelry piece lighting up your face instead of  a dark mole. Many body piercing fanatics have found quite a like for such facial piercing. Small body jewelry pieces are pierced in areas around the face where moles are commonly found.

The Anti-Eyebrow Piercing – In this a two-surface body piercing jewelry piece is involved. And as the name typically suggests, this piercing is not about piercing eyebrows but lies diametrically opposing them – below the eye. Usually the first corner is near the corner of the eye and the second is farther back down – like tear drops falling. Sounds like a tear-jerker? Well it isn’t really and has found a place in the book of cool body piercings.

Alright so now you know what’s new in the facial piercing circuit and may be already twitching to try these asap. But keep in mind that facial piercings are (obviously) in your face-obvious, so if you are a professional with a piercing impulse then you may just want to take a moment to think. Others – who have already taken the body piercing plunge and want to go deeper to come out shinier than ever – will find it interesting (if already not tried).

Until then keep up the shine and safety while getting pierced.