A lip piercing is a type of body piercing that penetrates the lips or the area surrounding the lips, which can be pierced in a variety of ways as you can see below.
Lip piercings are a common practice in many parts of the world. In some parts of Africa, it is common for lip piercings to be done on young men who become of age after getting initiated. Lip piercings have always had a kind of religious significance across various cultures since as long as history has been recorded. The Nuba tribe of Ethiopia, as well as the Dogon tribe of Mali, have specific piercings that represent the rung of the religious hierarchy the wearer occupies in the tribe.
Lip piercing has also become a common practice in today’s youth and society everywhere in the world. It reflects a sense of individual style. It is one of the least painful of all types of piercings. This might be the reason why most people prefer lip piercings to piercings on other parts of the body. Lip piercings can be referred to as either facial or oral type of piercing. There are various types of lip piercings that are thoroughly discussed below.
14 Types of Lip Piercings Explained
Below you will find the 14 most common lip piercings explained with a short summary:
A labret piercing is often thought of as a lip piercing however, labret piercings are not actually attached to the lip. The labret is done under the lip just above the chin. However, there are other choices of the position depending on your preferences.
This lip piercing is named after Marilyn Monroe since it is done with an effort to resemble the late star’s birthmark. The piercing is on the left-hand side on top of the upper lip to the side. Usually, a labret stud is worn in this piercing. This piercing is typically fitted with a 14, 16, or 18 gauge labret, the bars of which are usually shortened after healing. A variation on this piercing is Angel bites – a double version of this piercing with both the Madonna and Monroe style Piercings worn on either side of the upper lip.
Madonna Piercing is a labret placed in the upper lip, off-center on the right, in the same place that a number of starlets have beauty marks (moles). Jewelry is often around 14 gauge labret studs or even jeweled labret studs. The difference between a Monroe and Madonna piercing is the side of the face where the labret is placed; a Monroe piercing is placed on the left side, a Madonna piercing is placed on the right side of the face.
This is a piercing done on the philtrum region just below the nose, therefore officially called a philtrum piercing. It is placed directly under the septum of the nose and it is crucial to get this piercing right since if placed in the wrong way, it can alter the face symmetry. A Medusa Piercing is typically pierced using a labret stud as jewelry, with the ball sitting outside of the mouth in the dip of the top lip. A variation of the philtrum piercing is a jestrum, where the piercing is placed vertically through the lip using curved barbell so both beads are visible.
A Jestrum Piercing is very similar to the vertical labret piercing but done on the top lip like the Medusa Piercing; therefore also known as a vertical medusa. It is placed in the philtrum of the upper lip, directly under the nasal septum. Unlike the similar medusa piercing, a jestrum piercing uses a curvedbar-bell, and both ends of the piercing are visible externally with the lower part of the bar-bell curving around the underside of the upper lip. Sometimes it is combined with a lower labret piercing to form a symmetrical look.
Vertical Labret Piercing
This kind of lip piercing is similar to the labret piercing. The vertical labret piercing is a piercing where the lower bead would be the same place where a normal labret piercing would be, which is just below the lip. The difference is that instead of passing through to the interior of the mouth, it goes in the upper direction coming out at the top or even slightly forward on the lower lip. With this type of piercing, you will be able to see both sides of the piercing. Most people use a curved barbell as jewelry in such piercings.
Snake Bites Piercing
A Snake Bite Piercing consists of two piercings evenly separated on the lower lips. Whereas a labret piercing is placed in the center, under the lip, the snake bite is a lip piercing set of two and are placed on the left and right side of the lip. There are two kinds of snake bite piercings: The ring piercing and the labret stud under both sides of the lip. It is possible to get both piercings at the same time.
Spider Bites Piercing
The Spider Bites Piercing or Viper Bites Piercing is a pair of piercings that are close together and on the bottom lip. These are similar to snake bites but are closer together compared to the snake bites. It is more painful and should therefore be done one at a time. This means that you should wait until one piercing heals in order to get another.
Angel Bites Piercing
The Angel Bites Piercing is like the snakebite, but on the upper lip instead of the lower lip. These piercings are similar to the Monroe lip piercings, the only difference is that they are on both sides on top of the upper lip instead of one side. It is basically a combination of a Monroe and Madonna Piercing.
Cyber Bites Piercing
The Cyber Bites Piercing is a combination of the Medusa and Labret piercings – one piercing done in the center just above the top and just below the bottom lip. These lip piercings are opposite of each other. One is in the middle of the upper lip and the other is on the lower lip.
Dolphin Bites Piercing
The Dolphin Bites Piercing are two piercings centered on the lower lip, similar to the snake bite piercing, but closer together. These are two lip piercings that are placed at the center of the lower lip or just below the lip. Some people place them a little bit lower or even in the lowest part of the lip.
Dahlia Bites Piercing
The Dahlia Piercing is done at the corners of the mouth. It’s more common to see this piercing done in pairs though it doesn’t have to be. It is another variation of the labret piercing and each corner has one piercing. Most popular is to put two steels balls but, sometimes rings will be used too.
Canine Bites Piercing
The Canine Bites Piercing are single piercings done on both sides of both the upper and lower lips. Basically, a combination of the Angel bite piercing and the snake bite piercings, totalling four piercings. The surface of the lip itself is normally not pierced, except for canine bites and horizontal lip piercings.
Shark Bites Piercing
The Shark Bites Piercing is a pair of spider/viper bites piercings – two close together piercings done on both sides of the lower lip, totalling 4 piercings total just like the canine bites. This one is very similar to the snake bite piercing, but the steels are closer together.