14 Types of Lip Piercings: A Complete Guide

Lip piercings have deep roots in ancient traditions, symbolizing world creation in tribal cultures and marking marriage rituals. Now, in the West, they stand as strong symbols of rebellion, attitude, and self-expression. Though they began with spiritual and mythological importance, these piercings have become modern fashion statements.

Considering getting one? We’ve compiled a list of the top 14 lip piercing types, detailing their healing times and offering a general pain ranking. Let’s take a look!

1. Monroe Piercing

Labret monroe stud
Labret stud for Monroe piercing. See it here.

The Monroe piercing, inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s famous beauty mark, sits just above the upper lip on the side. Its popularity has surged recently, both for its chic look and as a tribute to Monroe’s timeless beauty. This piercing seamlessly combines old-school charm with a modern twist, appealing to many.

Professionals can ensure a smooth piercing process, and with the right aftercare, maintaining a Monroe piercing isn’t too demanding. But like all piercings, you should understand any potential risks and the healing journey before getting one.

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:

monroe piercing
Not painful 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.

Healing Time:

The Monroe piercing can take from 6 weeks to 3 months to fully heal, during which which you’ll need to take good care of it.

2. Labret Lip Piercing

jewelry for labret piercings

The labret piercing sits just below the lower lip, not on the lip itself, and usually in the center. This common lip piercing often features a labret stud as its jewelry, hence its name. Its popularity in the body piercing world comes from the many styles and variations it offers.

You can choose a single or double perforation, either in the center or on the side of the lip. Plus, the labret looks great on everyone, no matter their gender.

Labret Piercing Pain Meter:

labret piercing
Not painful 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.

Healing Time

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

Girl with madonna piercing

This piercing, popularly known as a nod to the singer Madonna, sits just above the upper lip on the right side, imitating her famous beauty mark. It draws attention to your smile and enhances your overall look. While many people have this piercing, picking unique jewelry can set yours apart. Though most wear a labret stud, you can also opt for horseshoe barbells or captive bead rings.

Madonna Piercing Pain Meter:

madonna piercing
Not painful 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.

Healing Time:

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

Girl with medusa lip piercing
Labret stud for Medusa piercing. See it here.

The Medusa piercing, often called the Philtrum piercing, sits right in the center of the groove above the upper lip and below the nasal septum. Many people love this piercing because it’s cool and can really emphasize a great lip shape, turning heads wherever you go.

However, it’s crucial to get the placement just right. A misplaced Medusa could throw off your facial balance.

Medusa Piercing Pain Meter:

Medusa piercing
Not painful 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’s no need to panic if it swells since this is a normal body reaction to perforation of skin tissue.

Healing Time:

The complete healing time for this piercing can reach up to 12 weeks but this depends on the aftercare given and your health.

5. Jestrum Lip Piercing

curved barbell for jestrum lip piercing
Curved barbell for Jestrum piercing. See it here.

The Jestrum piercing offers a fresh twist on the usual lip piercings. It involves two exit points on the upper lip: one above the lip and the other directly below. This double exit lets you play around with various jewelry options like labrets and barbells.

However, not everyone’s lip shape suits this piercing. If you have smaller lips, there might not be enough room for the jewelry. Plus, it’s important to get the piercing dead center on the upper lip because even a tiny off-center placement can throw off your face’s symmetry.

Jestrum Piercing Pain Meter:

jestrum piercing
Painful, 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.

Healing Time:

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

angel bites lip piercing

The Angel Bites piercing features two symmetrical perforations above the upper lip, one on each side. While many people choose simple gemstones or beads for this piercing, hoops like seamless rings and captive bead rings are also popular.

With Angel Bites, you have the flexibility to mix and match different jewelry types. Pairing it with a nasal septum piercing can create a harmonious look. Before committing, consult with a professional piercer to decide on the best placement and jewelry style for your face.

Angel Bites Piercing Pain Meter:

angel bites lip piercing
Painful, pain meter

Since the upper lip area has many nerve endings, you would feel some discomfort during the procedure. The puncture is done quickly, but you may find your lip sore and swollen in the next few days. There’s no need to worry if this happens but if severe pain persists, make sure to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

Healing Time:

The angel bites piercing can take anywhere from 4 week to 3 months to heal completely with proper after care.

7. Dahlia Piercing

a woman with dahlia lip piercing

The Dahlia piercing has two holes, one at each corner of the mouth. While it’s not as common even among piercing enthusiasts, it’s often called the ‘joker piercing’ because it looks like the iconic scars of the comic book character. However, instead of being intimidating, it really stands out, highlighting the mouth’s shape and emphasizing smiles.

This piercing, with the right jewelry, can truly be a distinctive and appealing facial feature. If you’re considering this, make sure to choose an experienced piercer. The Dahlia not only adds a touch of edginess but also celebrates individuality. Before diving in, research thoroughly and ensure it aligns with your personal style and comfort.

Dahlia Piercing Pain Meter:

dahlia lip Piercing
Painful, pain meter

This type of piercing can cause some pain since you will be getting two punctures.

Healing Time:

Dahlia piercing healing time can take from 12 to 20 weeks in total. The healing time can be reduced, depending on how well you take care of it.

8. Cyber Bites

cyber bites lip piercing

The Cyber Bites piercing combines two distinct lip piercings: the Medusa and the standard labret. It features one perforation right above the upper lip in the groove and another directly below the lower lip. For those seeking a piercing style that’s a bit more unique than traditional lip options, the Cyber Bites stand out.

This combination allows for versatile jewelry choices and creates a balanced look on the face. Proper placement and aftercare are vital for minimizing potential risks and ensuring the best aesthetic outcome. When done right, Cyber Bites offer a striking yet harmonious look.

Cyber Bites Pain Meter:

Cyber bites lip Piercing
Not painful 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.

Healing Time:

The cyber bite piercing can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to heal. Pay special attention to the piercing during this time as it would help to speed up the healing process.

9. Snake Bite Piercing

snake bite lip piercing

The Snake Bite Piercing looks a lot like a snake’s fangs, which is how it got its name. It has two holes, one at each corner of the lower lip. This piercing is becoming a big hit in fashion circles because it adds an edgy look, highlights the lips, and brings out facial balance. It doesn’t just add mystery; it also celebrates the wearer’s natural beauty.

If you’re thinking about getting the Snake Bite Piercing, you’ve got some fun choices ahead! You can pick from a range of jewelry like rings and studs. Before getting one, it’s essential to consult with an experienced piercer to ensure the best results.

Snake Bite Piercing Pain Meter:

Snake bites lip piercing
Painful pain meter

Since this piercing involves a double puncture, it can hurt quite a bit. You might want to take a break between the piercings since this will make it easier to deal with the pain.

Healing Time:

The healing time for this piercing is 6 to 8 weeks and you’ll most likely notice experience swelling and tenderness.

10. Dolphin Bites Piercing

dolphin bites lip piercing

The Dolphin Bites piercing is a fresh and minimalistic way to accentuate your lower lip. It features two holes, closely set beneath the bottom lip, where you can sport either labrets or hoops. This piercing gives the bottom lip a slightly elongated appearance, making it a flattering choice for those with round faces.

If you’re in the mood to switch things up without going overboard, this could be the perfect style for you. As with any piercing, consulting with an experienced professional is key. They can guide you on placement, jewelry choices, and aftercare to make sure your Dolphin Bites look fantastic and heal well.

Dolphin Bites Pain Meter:

dolphin bites lip piercing
Painful, pain meter

Like the Snake Bites piercing, this piercing involves a double puncture so although the pain level isn’t very high, it would hurt twice as much as a single piercing would.

Healing Time:

The Dolphin Bites piercing usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to heal. 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

spider bites lip piercing

Taking its name because it resembles an actual spider bite, the Spider Bite piercing is both trendy and subtle. This style involves two closely set holes on either the right or left side of the lower lip. It adds a touch of edge, but its placement keeps it understated.

One of the best things about the Spider Bite piercing is its versatility. Whether you prefer the simplicity of labret studs, the classic look of hoops, or the unique appeal of captive bead rings, this piercing accommodates them all.

For those aiming to make a bolder statement, curved or circular barbells, ranging from simple beaded designs to more intricate ones, are excellent options.

Spider Bites Pain Meter:

Spider bites lip piercing
Painful, 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.

Healing Time:

Spider bite piercings heal relatively quickly, typically taking between 4 to 12 weeks. 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 like it is, so check with your piercer to make sure.

12. Vertical Labret

a woman with vertical labret piercing
Curved barbell for vertical labret piercing. See it here.

The vertical labret piercing stands out as a distinctive lip piercing, even though it’s not as common. Unlike the standard labret piercing, the vertical labret consists of two holes that pass through the lip but don’t enter the mouth. This design advantage means less risk to your teeth and gums since there’s no jewelry scratching or scraping inside your mouth.

Most people tend to choose curved or straight barbells for this piercing. Since it doesn’t touch the inside of your mouth, it also reduces the chance of oral infections. Its unique position allows both ends of the jewelry to be visible, creating a symmetrical and eye-catching effect on the lip.

Vertical Labret Piercing Pain Meter:

vertical labret piercing
Painful 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.

Healing Time:

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 bite your lips a lot.

13. Shark Bites Piercing

Girl with shark bite lip piercing

This piercing style features two sets of holes, one on each side of the lower lip, creating a total of four symmetrical openings. It’s a newer trend that beautifully emphasizes the smile and adds a fashionable edge. Moreover, it pairs well with other piercings, like the nasal septum.

Once healed, this piercing offers a variety of jewelry options. Whether you choose circular barbells, captive bead rings, spikes, labret rings, or loop rings, you can mix and match for a unique look. Its flexibility in design allows wearers to frequently change their aesthetic, keeping their look fresh and captivating.

Shark Bites Piercing Pain Meter:

shark bites lip piercing
Painful 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.

Healing Time:

This piercing usually takes about 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 lip piercing

Canine bites piercings combine the snake and angel bites, with four piercings in total—two on each side of both the lower and upper lips. The positioning of each piercing is crucial because even a tiny misalignment stands out. Therefore, having an experienced piercer do the job is vital.

While these piercings already make a bold statement, you might want to think twice before adding more facial piercings. Too many can create a cluttered look, unless that’s precisely the style you’re aiming for.

Canine Bites Pain Meter:

Canine bites lip piercing
Painful 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.

Healing Time:

With proper care, this piercing can take around 8 to 12 weeks to heal.

Getting a Lip Piercing – Some Useful Tips

Girl getting a lip piercing

Getting a lip piercing means you’ll need to practice strict aftercare to ensure proper healing and minimize pain or infection risks. Eat, chew, and drink slowly to avoid disturbing the fresh piercing.

Good oral hygiene is crucial. As there are over 500 different types of bacteria in the human mouth, rinsing with an antibacterial solution regularly can help ward off infections. When brushing your teeth, be gentle around the piercing and clean both inside and outside the pierced lip. Try not to touch or play with the jewelry, as this can slow down healing. It’s also best to avoid alcohol and spicy foods, which can irritate the piercing.

Skip swimming in public pools or open waters and avoid applying cosmetics near the pierced area to reduce infection risks. While piercings come with inherent risks, proper aftercare can keep you safe. Give your piercing time to heal, and then show off your new look!

Wrapping Up

In the vibrant world of piercings and body art, lip piercings stand out with their unique styles, letting people show off their individuality. Whether you’re drawn to the quiet charm of the Monroe or the bold look of the Canine Bites, there’s a lip piercing for every taste and personality.

If you’re thinking about getting your first lip piercing or just adding to your collection, always put your health first and go to a trusted professional. Dive into the experience, and pick a piercing that mirrors who you truly are!

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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