Labret piercings are one of the most popular facial piercings, with the ability to look stunning on everyone! However, getting a face or lip piercing is a big decision that shouldn’t be rushed into, especially if you’re relatively new to the piercing world.
To help you make the perfect choice for your next piercing, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding labret piercings. We cover everything from the pain factor to proper aftercare routines and even jewelry options so you’ll be armed with everything you need to know about this popular lip piercing before booking an appointment.
What is a labret piercing?
A standard labret piercing is placed on the central point below your lower lip, right in that little dip between lips and chin. Though the labret piercing is thought of by many as a lip piercing, it is actually formally defined as a facial piercing and doesn’t usually touch the actual lip at all.
Standard labret piercings are normally done with a special type of jewelry known as a labret stud, which is a barbell with a bead on one end and a flat disk on the other. Swapping the stud to a hoop may only be done after the piercing is fully healed.
There are also a few labret piercing variations that do actually pierce the lip such as:
The vertical labret piercing: A vertical labret piercing is usually done with a curved barbell and is situated vertically through the center of the lower lip, with one bead resting at the bottom of the lip and the other at the top. This tends to accentuate the curve of your lip.
Horizontal labret piercing: a horizontal labret piercing is classified as a non-viable piercing and is dangerous to perform, our studio does not do these piercings and we do not recommend anyone that does. It is also possible to get double labret piercings either side by side or stacked on top of each other, or side labret piercings farther towards the corners of your mouth. The snake bite piercing is a popular form of a side labret piercing.
Do labret piercings hurt?
Standard labret piercings are considered fairly mild on the pain scale, while vertical and horizontal labret piercings tend to be a bit more painful due to the lips being a bit more sensitive.
In order to assure your piercing is as painless as possible, always select an experienced piercing artist from a reputable shop that pierces with new, sterilized, hollow-point surgical needles.
How do I select a good piercing parlour to get my labret pierced?
As mentioned above, a good piercing artist can help assure your piercing goes as quickly and painlessly as possible. It’s also very important to select a shop with high safety standards and the best equipment. Avoid studios that use guns, as they spread blood borne pathogens and damaged tissue, plus the metals are not implant grade and may cause reactions that leave permanent scarring and imbedding. The professional team at Pierced in the Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket have extensive experience and only practice under the most sterile conditions using surgical grade hollow point needles.
How should I clean and care for my new labret piercing?
Properly cleaning and caring for a new piercing will ward off infection, lower your risk of complications, and assure your piercing heals quickly and correctly. So be sure to not skimp on your aftercare routine.
First, make sure your hands are clean before touching your new piercing. This is your first line of defence against harmful bacteria.
Next, you’ll want to apply a saline soak to the outside of your labret piercing at least twice a day. You can buy a premade aftercare solution for this. In addition to soaking the outside of your piercing, you will want to rinse out your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash anytime you eat anything. Using regular mouthwash is not recommended as the alcohol and strong flavourings in them can be incredibly painful and irritate a new piercing.
Finally, avoid playing with your new piercing and keep any skin care or makeup products away from the area until fully healed.
What food and drinks will I need to avoid while my labret piercing heals?
In addition to cleaning your piercing properly, you may need to avoid certain food and drinks while your piercing heals. Alcohol and spicy foods are the big two you may want to avoid. Alcohol can sting and dry out the area making it harder for your piercing to heal. Spicy foods can cause a painful burning sensation if they come in contact with a fresh piercing, so it’s best to proceed with caution or avoid these things entirely.
In addition, it’s best to avoid smoking with a fresh labret piercing. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause irritation and complications.
How long does a labret piercing take to heal?
Most labret piercings will appear fully healed in as little as 4-6 months. However, it's important to be careful with them and continue to take care of them for up to 9 months as sometimes the inner wall may not be done repairing itself by the time the outer area appears fully healed.
Because of this, the longer you keep up with your cleaning and care routine, the better the results will be.
Could my piercing be infected?
A bit of swelling, redness, pain, and discharge are normal while your piercing heals. However, if any of these symptoms seem severe or appear to be getting worse, it’s best to check with your piercer or doctor just to err on the side of caution.
In addition to the above symptoms, other signs of a possible infection include severe rashes, excessive pus, extreme itchiness, the skin around the piercing feeling hot to the touch, or fever. Any of these symptoms should be looked at immediately. Although serious infection is rare, you’re more likely to be able to successfully ward off an infection if you catch it early. So it’s best to get a professional opinion if you fear something may be wrong.
What are the potential risks and complications associated with labret piercings?
The most common risks associated with labret piercings are tooth wear, tooth drift, and gum damage. All three of these are caused by the jewelry or disk rubbing against the teeth and gums, although your piercer will measure you and place your piercing correctly as to avoid the tooth/gum line. If you start to notice soreness in your teeth and gums or feel your jewelry wearing on those areas, you may want to talk to your piercer about changing to a different style or size of the jewelry.
What type of jewelry can I wear in my labret piercing?
Standard labret piercings are best suited for labret studs, though rings can sometimes be worn as well. For vertical labret piercings or side labrets, curved barbells and rings can also be worn.
Regardless of what style you pick, always make sure your piercing is fully healed before swapping out your jewelry!
Ready to Take the Next Step?
At Pierced.co we’re ready to help you get the perfect labret piercing and jewelry combination. Our team is comprised of highly experienced and talented piercing professionals that are caring and compassionate. Stop by one of our two convenient locations in either Newmarket or Mississauga.
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Working with an experienced piercer can make all the difference when it comes to your piercing experience. If you’re in the Mississauga, Ontario area and have any questions about ear piercing, body piercing or jewelry, give us a call or stop by our piercings studio today. We’d love to help walk you through what to expect and help you choose the right option.