Are you thinking about getting a lip piercing but are a bit hesitant?

Or, maybe you already got one but don’t know anything about it.

Whatever the case, this article is for you.

Here, we’re going to talk about everything you should know before and after getting pierced.

We’ll look at:

  • Types of lip piercing
  • Lip piercing chart
  • What gauge is a lip piercing
  • Lip piercing material
  • How much is a lip piercing
  • Is lip piercing painful
  • How long does a lip piercing take to heal
  • Lip piercing side effects
  • How to clean lip piercing
  • How to change lip piercings

With this, we’ll guide you through your lip piercing journey.

So let’s dive right in!

Types of Lip Piercing

Before anything else, you have to decide what type of lip piercing you want.

Do you want a bottom lip piercing?

What about one that isn’t actually in the lip but near it?

You’ll be surprised at how many types there are.

So let’s quickly go over the most common types, plus the lip piercing names. We’ll also give you a visual aid to help you pick the one that you want.

First up, we have the vertical lip piercing. The name is pretty self-explanatory — it goes from one end to the other - vertically.

ashley lip piercing

This is the ashley lip piercing. Unlike the vertical lip piercing, the exit puncture is inside the mouth. This gives it a single-pierced look.

snake bite lip piercing

This is the snake bite lip piercing. As you can see, the piercings aren’t actually on the lip, but beside it. And it’s called the snake bite because, well, it looks like a snake bite.

angel bites piercing

Move the two piercings above your lip and it becomes the angel bites piercing.

monroe lip piercing

Then we have the monroe lip piercing. This is in honor of the one and only Marilyn Monroe and her iconic mole.

madonna lip piercing

If you move the piercing to the other side, then it is the madonna lip piercing.

medusa lip piercing

Move it to the center of your upper lip, then you have the medusa lip piercing.

labret lip piercing

And if you move the piercing below the lip, this is called the labret lip piercing.

lip frenulum piercing

Finally, this is the lip frenulum piercing. It’s also called the smiley lip piercing since it’s only seen if you smile. This type of piercing is connected to the inside upper lip and gum.

Lip Piercing Chart

Here’s a lip piercing chart showing you ALL lip piercing placements and names.

chart for the single piercings

Here’s a chart for the single piercings.

chart for the double piercings

Here’s a chart for the double piercings.

Here’s a chart for the quadruplet piercings.

So, now you know what type of lip piercing you want, we can move on.

What Gauge is a Lip Piercing

How can you measure your lip piercing size and gauge?

This is a very important question as a lip piercing that is too short can sink in or become painful. On the other hand, a piercing that is too long will move around, which could irritate the area.

As for the gauge, you need to know the thickness of the piercing in order to put it through.

Here is how to measure the size of different piercings:

  • Ball closure ring (BCR) - measure the width of the bar at the thickest section
  • Studs - measure the length of the bar
  • Barbell - measure the length of the bar (except the platform base and screw head if there is any)
  • Lip ring - measure the width at the thickest section
  • Horseshoe lip ring - measure the width of the bar at the thickest section

And here is the lip piercing gauges:

  • 16g - 1.2mm
  • 18g - 1.6mm
  • 12g - 2mm
  • 10g - 2.4mm

The most common thickness of a lip piercing is 16g and 18g.

Okay, we get it.

It can be confusing.

If you’re still unsure, you can always ask a professional piercer to help you determine the size and gauge you want/need.

Lip Piercing Material

So you already decided on your lip piercing type, size, and gauge…

What about the material?

To be sure, there are all kinds of materials to choose from.

You can go for the extra fancy ones with diamond bits, or the ones made from gold and platinum.

If you just want something simple, you can go for the common stainless steel ones.

If you ask us, we’d say go for stainless steel.

The reason behind this is that the body has an easier time adapting to stainless steel. So there should be no worry about infections or whatnot.

Of course, you can try out other materials, too. Just make sure that you aren’t allergic.

How Much is a Lip Piercing

It’s now time to go and get your lips pierced.


But hold up…

How much is a lip piercing?

We can’t give a specific price as that will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The lip piercing placement
  • The professional piercer
  • The lip piercing material
  • The state you live in

That said, we can give you a rough average.

For the piercing, it will cost you around $40. The lip jewelry can range anywhere between $5 to $500, depending on the material. And, don’t forget your 20% customary tip.

All in all, you’ll spend around $100 — more or less.

Is Lip Piercing Painful

So you’re sitting at the piercing chair, waiting for the professional piercer to come with the tools.

And suddenly you panic.

Will it be painful?

Well, let us tell you that, yes, it will hurt. I mean, you are making a wound in a sensitive area after all.

Don’t worry, though, the pain is bearable, especially if you have high pain tolerance.

However, if you’re not ready to take the pain, perhaps it will be better to go for the least painful lip piercing placements.

To know which lip piercings to avoid, here is a list of the most painful types:

  • Vertical lip piercing
  • Lip frenulum piercing
  • Any of the quadruplet piercings as many areas are pierced

Also, always let a professional do it. If you let a friend punch a sharp object to your lips, then it will be very painful — not to mention, a longer healing time and infections.

How Long Does a Lip Piercing Take to Heal

A prick.

A stink.

Some blood.

A swell bar.

And you’re done.

So how long until the lip fully heals?

How long until you can remove the swell bar and replace it with your own jewelry?

It’s best to ask your expert piercer. But on average, it will take 6 to 8 weeks. For more complicated piercings, it could take 4 to 6 months.

Now, if you take especially good care of the wound, then it’ll heal even faster.

And the faster it heals, the sooner you can remove the swell bar and show off your cool lip jewelry.

NOTE: A swell bar is an initial stud placed on the piercing. This is larger in size to accommodate the swelling side effect of your lip.

Lip Piercing Side Effects

Once you have your lip piercing, you’ll understand when we say…

Lip piercings need some getting used to.

In fact, for the first few weeks, you’ll go through several side effects. Here are some common ones:

  • Swelling lips
  • Speech interference
  • Eating difficulty  
  • Lip irritation

And here are some negative effects of lip piercing that need immediate care:

  • Infection
  • Excessive pain
  • Itchiness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling (if the piercing is not new)
  • Burning
  • Lip throbbing
  • Lip irritation (if the piercing is not new)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Lip scarring
  • Nerve disruption on the face

How to Clean Lip Piercing?

To avoid any negative side effects (or to make sure the wound heals faster), you need to regularly clean your piercing.

And when we say regularly, we mean 3 to 6 times A DAY.

Thankfully, cleaning it is very easy and fast.

All you need is a pre-made saline solution. You can also make a DIY sea salt solution by dissolving 1 tsp of sea salt into 8 oz of warm water.

To apply, follow these steps:

  1. Get a clean cloth or sturdy paper towel. Never use tissues, thin towels, or cotton as these can get caught in the jewelry.
  2. Place the cloth/sturdy paper towel in the saline or sea salt solution and let it soak.
  3. Carefully swipe the cloth/sturdy paper towel on each side of the jewelry, as well as inside and outside your lip/cheek. Never scrub or prod, only wipe gently.
  4. Repeat this until there is no more crust on the jewelry and hole

And that is how to clean lip piercing.

How to Change a Lip Piercing

Okay, say your piercing is fully healed.

You can now replace the swell bar with your own jewelry.

And here are the steps to doing that:

  1. Wash your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash to remove bacteria.
  2. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and dry them on a clean towel.
  3. Stand in front of a mirror with a bright light. You will need to see the hole clearly.
  4. Remove your piercing (this will depend on what type of lip piercing you have). If you can’t find any way to remove it, ask your piercer or research online.
  5. Wash your mouth again with an antiseptic mouthwash.
  6. Clean your new lip jewelry with a pre-made or DIY sea salt solution.
  7. Insert the new jewelry.
  8. Seal it in place.

And there you have it.

You now have your own cool jewelry that looks stunning.


And that was the full journey to getting a lip piercing.

What a ride it’s been!

So wherever you find yourself — whether it’s still planning a lip piercing type or already looking to change your lip jewelry — we have all the answers for you here.

If you have any questions or want to add anything, just comment down below!