There are many reasons that people around the world get lip piercings – in some tribal cultures, lip piercing is done to represent the creation of the world, in other cultures, it is practiced as a marriage ritual. In the West, lip piercings can be seen as a fashion statement of rebellion, attitude and personal expression.
Although the art of lip piercing began as an ancient practice with spiritual and mythological history surrounding it, it is now a fashion trend that’s on the increase.
If you’re planning to get one, we’ve got you covered with the top 14 types of lip piercings. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to decide which one is the best for you including the different types of piercings, the healing time of each and the average ranking of the pain factor.
*Please keep in mind that everyone’s pain threshold is different and the pain meter we have included is subjective.
Let’s get started!
1. Monroe Piercing
The Monroe piercing is named after the beauty mark on the left cheek of the late Marilyn Monroe. The difference between the Monroe and the Madonna piercings is that the Monroe is placed off-center above the upper lip on the left-hand side whereas the Madonna piercing is on the right-hand side. This piercing is one of the most popular and cute types, considered charming, magnetic and sexy.
The best jewelry for the Monroe piercing is the labret stud, but you can also wear captive bead rings and horseshoe barbells which are also common jewelry alternatives.
Monroe Piercing Pain Meter:
This type of piercing can be slightly painful since there are a lot of nerve endings in the inner lip area. However, the puncture is done quickly so the pain lasts only for a few seconds.
The Monroe piercing can take from 6 weeks to 3 months to fully heal, during which it is crucial to take good care of your piercing.
2. Labret Lip Piercing
The labret piercing is one of the most common types of lip piercings that highlights the beauty of the lower lip and gives a rock star look. It is a single perforation just below the lower lip (not on the lip itself) and is located in the center. The most commonly used jewelry for this piercing is the labret stud, which gives it its name.
This piercing ranks among the most popular body piercings due to the diversity of its variations and styles. This means that you are not limited to one placement but instead there’s room to experiment with double or single perforations in the middle of the lip or on the side. The labret tends to look amazing on anyone, regardless of gender.
Labret Piercing Pain Meter
If the original type of labret perforation is made (i.e. below the lip), the pain is much lower than most other types of lip piercings. However, in certain variations where the piercing is done directly on the lip, the pain is much higher since the lip is more sensitive than the surrounding skin tissue.
With intense aftercare, the labret piercing can take up from 3 to 5 weeks to heal. However, for some people, the total healing time for the inner wound can take up to a few months.
3. Madonna Piercing
This type of piercing is currently one of the most popular piercings and a beauty mark imitation of the well-known singer – Madonna. It involves a single perforation on the right side just above the upper lip. The shiny jewelry highlights your smile and adds an attractive look to your image. Although it is a common piercing, you can make it unique by choosing unusual jewelry to go with it.
A labret stud is usually worn in this piercing, but you can use horseshoe barbells and captive bead rings with it as well.
Madonna Piercing Pain Meter:
With this type of piercing, only one puncture is required, so the pain is quick and you will most likely feel only a substantial pinch.
The Madonna piercing usually takes about 6 to 10 weeks to heal. However, depending on the quality of the aftercare, it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 9 months to heal completely.
4. Medusa Piercing
An incredibly popular piercing nowadays, the Medusa piercing, also known as the Philtrum piercing, is a single puncture centered on the groove just under the nasal septum and just above the upper lip. It is a universal piercing type that is overwhelmingly popular for its ‘cool’ look. Another reason for its popularity is that it can highlight the beautiful lip contour perfectly and gives an attractive look that would definitely grab everyone’s attention.
It is important to keep in mind that special attention should be paid to the location of the piercing. If executed unsuccessfully, it could affect one’s entire facial symmetry.
Medusa Piercing Pain Meter:
This is one of the less painful piercings in comparison to most others. The pierced area may become swollen for the first few days and it can hurt more after the procedure is over than it would during the procedure. There is no need to panic if it swells since this is a normal body reaction to perforation of skin tissue.
The complete healing time for this piercing can reach up to 12 weeks but this depends on the aftercare given and the health of the individual.
5. Jestrum Lip Piercing
The Jestrum piercing is a great alternative to the traditional lip piercings. It’s a double perforation of the upper lip and has two exit spots, one placed above the lip and the other placed directly under. The two visible exit spots make it possible to use different kinds of jewelry such as labrets and barbells as well.
This piercing is not well suited to every lip shape. For example, for a person with smaller lips, there might not be sufficient space for the jewelry to go through the tissue. Additionally, the piercing should be well centered on the upper lip as the slightest misalignment would affect the symmetry of the entire face.
Jestrum Piercing Pain Meter:
This type of piercing is slightly more painful than some others. Given that you will be getting a double perforation, you would experience more discomfort than you would with other traditional piercings.
The healing time for a Jestrum piercing is usually from 6 to 12 weeks for the outer area and around 6 months for the inner part.
6. Angel Bites Lip Piercing
This type of piercing is a double perforation above the upper lip. The piercing is symmetrical and located on both sides of the lip. The most common jewelry choice for this is a simple gemstone or bead, although most opt for hoop styles such as seamless rings and captive bead rings.
With the angel bites piercing, you are free to try out different combinations and jewelry. For example, a nasal septum would match perfectly with this piercing.
Angel Bites Piercing Pain Meter:
Since the upper lip area has many nerve endings, you would feel some discomfort during the procedure. The puncture is performed quickly, but you may find your lip sore and swollen in the next few days. There is no need to worry if this happens but if severe pain persists, do not hesitate to consult with a doctor.
The angel bites piercing can take anywhere from 4 week to 3 months to heal completely with proper after care.
7. Dahlia Piercing
Dahlia piercing is a double perforation located on either corner of the mouth. It is one of the scariest and the rarest of piercings even among the piercing community and is known as a ‘joker piercing’ because of its resemblance to the scars of the comic book super villain. However, it’s quite a pretty piercing and attracts attention to the shape of the mouth and highlights your smile.
Dahlia Piercing Pain Meter:
This type of piercing can cause some pain due to the fact that you will need to experience a double puncture which increases the pain level.
Dahlia piercing healing time can take from 12 to 20 weeks in total. The healing time can be reduced, depending on the quality of the aftercare given.
8. Cyber Bites
The Cyber Bites piercing is a double lip perforation which is a combination of the medusa and standard labret piercing. It consists of one puncture in the groove just above the upper lip and the second puncture directly below the lower lip. This is perfect for those who are looking for a unique piercing style that stands out a little more than the traditional lip piercings.
Cyber Bites Pain Meter:
This type of piercing can cause discomfort to some people since it involves getting two piercings at once. If your pain tolerance is low, consider putting a day or two in between your piercings in order to allow the body time to rest.
The cyber bite piercing can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to heal, depending on the care provided. Pay special attention to the piercing during this time as it would help to speed up the healing process.
9. Snake Bite Piercing
This type of piercing is a double puncture, making two separate openings located on either corner of the lower lip. It’s becoming increasingly famous and popular in the fashion world and has been given the name ‘Snake Bite Piercing’ due to its resemblance to a snake bite or a fang. It gives a mysterious look and highlights the facial symmetry and natural beauty of the lips. If you’re going for this type of piercing, you can choose from a combination of rings and studs.
Snake Bite Piercing Pain Meter:
Since this piercing involves a double puncture, it can hurt quite a bit. It is recommended to take a break between both piercings since this will make it easier to deal with the pain before getting the second hole pierced.
The primary healing time for this piercing is 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, you may experience some swelling and tenderness. After this period, you will be able to change the jewelry as you wish.
10. Dolphin Bites Piercing
If you’re looking for a fresh but minimalistic lip piercing idea, this is just the one for you! The Dolphin Bites piercing is one of the nicest options to decorate the lower lip. This kind of piercing involves a double perforation of the bottom lip and two labrets or hoops located under the lip and close to each other. It gives an elongated look to the bottom lip and is especially flattering for people with round faces.
Dolphin Bites Pain Meter:
Like the Snake Bites piercing, this piercing involves a double puncture which means that although the pain level is not very high, it would hurt twice as much as a single piercing would.
The Dolphin Bites piercing usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to heal, provided the important aftercare rules are followed precisely. In some cases it can take up to 6 months for the inner part to heal completely. Remember not to remove the initial jewelry during this healing time to avoid risks such as infection.
11. Spider Bites
So, called because it mimics the look of an actual spider bite, this type of piercing is trendy and cool. It features two perforations placed close together on the lower lip on either the right or left side. While it gives an edgy look, it also is rather subtle in its location and style.
The spider bite piercing is quite versatile and can hold a variety of jewelry styles. Consider simple labret studs, hoops or captive bead rings. If you want your spider bite piercing to stand out, consider curved or circular barbells, with either simple beaded edges or more elaborate ones.
Spider Bites Pain Meter:
While a single piercing doesn’t hurt as much, multiple piercings like the spider bite can add up the pain. You might want to do each piercing a few days apart or if you want to get the worst over as soon as possible, then bite the bullet and have both done at the same time.
Spider bite piercings heal relatively quickly, typically taking between 4 to 12 weeks to completely heal. Continue the after-care procedures until it’s completely healed. Lip piercings can appear to be healed even when they’re not so don’t assume it’s all healed up simply because it looks so. Check with your piercer to make sure if in doubt.
12. Vertical Labret
The vertical labret piercing is a unique lip piercing that’s not highly popular. It’s different to the labret piercing in that it’s made of two perforations that go through the lip, without going through the mouth. This makes this type of piercing less damaging to your teeth and gums as it won’t scratch or scrape against the inside of your mouth. Curved or straight barbells are the best type of jewelry for this piercing.
Vertical Labret Piercing Pain Meter:
The vertical labret is quite a painful piercing because, not only does it have two perforations, but it’s done with a single motion. The same needle enters through one perforation and exits out the other, below your lip. This is a larger area to pierce through and can hurt for most people.
The vertical labret piercing heals quite quickly, usually within 8 weeks. Because the piercing doesn’t go through the mouth, it’s easier to keep it clean, free from infection and from getting snagged on teeth or gums. However, take care you don’t chomp on it by accident, especially if you tend to bit your lips.
13. Shark Bites Piercing
This is a pair of double piercings, which are located on either side of the bottom lip. In total, there are four holes in two symmetrical sets. This is quite a new style of piercing which highlights the smile and gives a trendy and stylish look to the wearer. It can also be combined with other types of piercings such as a nasal septum piercing.
This type of piercing gives you plenty of choices regarding the selection of the jewelry after the piercing has healed. You can wear circular barbells, captive bead rings, spikes, labret rings and loop rings which can be combined to make your lips look different and attractive.
Shark Bites Piercing Pain Meter:
Shark Bites piercing can be very painful for most people as it requires four separate perforations instead of one. The pain can be reduced if you do one set of piercings first and then take a few days before you get the second set of piercings done.
The expected healing period for this piercing is usually from 8 to 12 weeks. Your shark bite studs can rub against your teeth and gums, which can cause discomfort and even pain, depending on your pain tolerance. Try to avoid too much movement and allow the perforations to completely heal.
14. Canine Bites Piercing
Canine bites piercings involve four separate perforations, on both sides of the lower and upper lips. This type of piercing is a mix of both the snake and the angel bites. It is important to pay attention to the exact location of the jewelry since the slightest misalignment of any one of the holes would be easily noticeable. This is why it’s best to get this type of piercing done by a skilled piercer.
We strongly recommend not combining the canine bites with any other facial piercings in order to avoid the face looking overly pierced (unless that’s the look you’re going for).
Canine Bites Pain Meter:
This type of piercing cause a lot of pain since it involves getting four separate punctures around the lips. Choosing to go for perforation on separate days can help reduce the pain.
With adequate care, this piercing can take around 8 to 12 weeks to heal due to the number of perforations.
Getting a Lip Piercing – Some Useful Tips
Getting a lip piercing requires careful and disciplined after care in order to promote healing and reduce pain or the risk of infections. Remember to eat, chew and drink carefully and slowly since it’s not recommended to disturb the piercing until it has healed completely.
Maintaining oral hygiene is a must. The human mouth is home to 500 to 1000 different types of bacteria so in order to prevent any infections, rinse your mouth regularly with an antibacterial liquid.
When brushing your teeth, carefully brush so as not to disturb or irritate the piercing and do the cleaning procedure on the inside and outside areas of the pierced lip. Avoid touching or playing with the jewelry since it can delay the healing process. It is also recommended to avoid drinking alcohol and eating spicy food which can burn the opening and irritate the piercing.
Do not swim in public pools and open waters to avoid the risk of getting an infection and steer clear of using cosmetics or beauty products around the pierced area.
There are always risks when getting your skin pierced. However, if the rules of aftercare are followed accurately, then you will be safe. Allow your piercing enough time to heal and enjoy your new look!