A labret piercing is, perhaps, the most popular lip piercing of all time. It is also one of the most commonly acquired facial piercings, and has been since it rose to popularity in the early 2000s.
In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about labret piercings, from the risks involved to the healing times.
So, let’s get into it.
What Are Labret Piercings?
A labret piercing is a horizontal piercing beneath the lower lip, placed in the center. It pierces the region beneath the lip rather than the lip itself, with the piercing’s back resting against the inside of the lip.
The typical anthropological pronunciation is lay-bret: it comes from the Latin word ‘labrum’, which means ‘lip’.
For some reason, however, many of those in the body-piercing field wrongly pronounce the piercing as lah-bray, despite the fact that the French word was actually derived from the English.
Other Types Of Lip Piercings
While the labret is probably the most popular lip piercing of all time, there are several other lip piercings that a person can get.
Here are some examples of alternative lip piercings:
- Snake Bites – two holes pierced into the lower lip; one on the left side and one on the right
- Monroe – a single hole pierced into the side of a person’s upper lip
- Medusa – a single hole pierced into the center of a person’s upper lip, in the cupid’s bow (similar to the Labret, but on the upper lip instead of the lower lip)
- Spider Bites – two holes pierced into the side of the lower lip, positioned next to each other
- Angel Bites – two holes pierced into the top lip, one on the left side and one on the right (similar to Snake Bites, but on the top lip instead of the bottom)
- Dahlia – two holes pierced into the corners of a person’s mouth, on the edge of the lips
- Jestrum – a single hole pierced downwards into the upper lip, through the cupid’s bow (similar to the Labret, but on the upper lip instead of the lower lip)
What To Consider Before Getting A Labret Piercing
Before you run out and schedule your labret piercing, there are a few things you should know about the hazards associated with this procedure.
Your labret piercing will scrape against your lower front teeth from every now and then, even if you aren’t aware of it.
This might wear down your teeth’s enamel over time, as well as induce erosion within the teeth, which can potentially contribute to the development of tooth decay.
Make an immediate appointment with a dentist for a consultation if you’re concerned that your teeth will degenerate as a result of your piercing.
Your labret piercing may really cause your gums to regress due to the metal rubbing against them. This could eventually cause your teeth to loosen, which can lead to dental decay or tooth loss.
You may experience sensitivity in your teeth if this continues for a longer length of time, so pay attention to your teeth and gums after obtaining any type of lip piercing.
Embedded Lip Jewelry
If the jewelry hasn’t been touched in a long time or has been there for a couple of years without movement, your labret piercing can eventually become buried inside your lip.
If you want to avoid this problem, be sure to take your jewelry out every now and then to give your lips a break for a little while.
Furthermore, you must only consider removing your jewelry once the piercing has completely healed, and you should not leave your piercing without jewelry for more than a few days to prevent the hole totally closing up.
Risk Of Infection And/Or Disease
It is extremely simple to catch an infection or maybe even a disease from needles that have not been sterilized, or has already been used previously.
This is why you should be 100% certain that your labret piercing is performed with a brand new needle. If you don’t, you could face severe effects, including permanent scarring around your lips and mouth.
Booking With An Experienced Piercing Professional
Finally, regardless of where the piercing is done on your body, you should always carry out checks on the person conducting the piercing, as well as on their site of business.
You can do so by looking at the reviews on their website, or following them on social media. You would be much better off going somewhere else if they have a lot of negative ratings.
Does A Labret Piercing Hurt?
There will be a short moment of discomfort when the needle is inserted into the lip, but this is to be expected for any type of piercing. The pain only lasts a split second, and then it is all over!
Lip piercings are typically more painful than other piercing on the face or body, due to the lips and skin around the lips containing several nerve endings.
Although, because of its position, the labret is actually less painful than several other lip piercings, such as the vertical labret, which punctures the lip. The labret piercing punctures the skin above the lip.
On a pain scale from 1 to 10, it is generally believed that the labret piercing is rated a 4.
Preparation For Getting A Labret Piercing
Here are a few things to consider in the days leading up to your piercing session.
Avoid Painkillers, Drugs, And Alcohol
You should avoid alcohol and/or drugs in the days preceding up to your piercing, as well as the first few days afterward.
Since these agents are known to thin blood, they might cause significant bleeding and bruising both during the piercing procedure and afterwards.
Furthermore, while receiving a piercing, you’ll want your immune system to be at its best, and these substances will accomplish the opposite.
Be sure to make your piercer aware if you are taking any medication at home, as this may also cause issues during the piercing.
Rest Well Beforehand
You’ll need enough energy to stay energized during the piercing process. Failure to do so may make you feel lightheaded, disoriented, or even cause you to pass out during the process.
You should reschedule your piercing if you are sick on the day of the procedure. To promote the best possible healing, you want your immune system to be as strong as possible. Your health will also affect the time it will take for your piercing to heal.
Eat Well Beforehand
You should eat a nutritious meal the night before, and possibly a sugary treat right before the piercing.
Sugar helps to raise your blood sugar levels, which is crucial for these procedures. If you don’t, you risk passing out in the piercing room. Be prepared, and pick up a quick, sugary snack before you get to the piercing studio.
The Procedure For Getting A Lebret Piercing
Arriving At The Piercing Studio
You will be given a handful of documents to fill out when you first arrive at the piercing studio. This is to ensure that the person doing the procedure is informed of any allergies, or other conditions, that may influence your piercing.
You will also be giving written consent, confirming that you want this piercing.
The room where you’ll get your piercing should be completely sanitized and cleaned by this stage.
Don’t be scared to inquire if you are unsure that cleaning and sanitization has taken place, as this is a very important part of the process. You have every right to know that your piercer is taking every safety precaution!
Confirming The Position Of The Piercing
The person who pierces your lip may use a washable marker, or a similar tool, to make marks on your lip. This will serve as a stencil for them to utilize when inserting the needle.
This also allows you to take one last look in the mirror before getting the piercings done, to verify that you are comfortable with the placement of the piercings.
The Big Moment
Next, you will be instructed to sit or lie down, and try to relax as much as possible. You might be requested to take a deep breath before the needle is inserted into the lip marking, as the initial insertion may sting a little.
The person doing the process will then fit your selected piece of jewelry into the hole, which may also feel a little uncomfortable as they push the stud into the new incision.
And, that’s it! You will be allowed to leave the room and return home right away following the piercing procedure, providing that you are feeling well and clear-headed.
Aftercare Guide: How To Care For A Healing Labret Piercing
Clean With Salt Water Solution
One of the best ways to keep a lip piercing clean and sanitized is by using a salt water solution to wash it.
You can make your own at home by mixing some sea salt into a small bowl of boiling hot water. Stir the ingredients together, and wait for the water to cool down. Then, using a cotton ball or swap, gently dab the solution around the area that has been pierced.
Keep Your Mouth As Clean As Possible
Due to the location of the labret, or any other lip piercing, you will need to take extra care of oral hygiene. While most facial piercings are exterior, part of your labret will be kept inside your mouth.
Therefore, you will need to keep your mouth clean.
Brush your teeth every morning and night, plus between meals, to ensure that no food particles have been left inside your mouth. Antibacterial mouthwash should also be used to keep your mouth clear and sanitized.
The person performing your piercing procedure will, most likely, recommend that you avoid eating solid food for the first day or so afterwards. This is because you could accidentally bite the piercing while eating, and this can cause tears and irritation.
When you do return to eating solids, be sure to chew slowly and carefully, so you don’t disturb the brand new piercing.
If you are a smoker, we’ve got some bad news for you. Smoking will be prohibited for, at least, the first week following your piercing.
If you smoke a cigarette, and the smoke enters your mouth, it will also enter the fresh piercing. This can cause irritation, and could even result in a painful infection.
Avoid Wearing Make Up (Around Your Mouth)
If you wear make up, you may want to stay away from lipsticks and lip gloss for a little while.
Avoid placing anything, such as make up or perfumed, scented products (e.g., creams) around your mouth.
Avoid Eating Sour/Salty/Spicy Foods
Eating anything too intense, such as particularly sour, salty, or spicy foods, can also irritate the fresh piercing. Stick to blander, safer foods until the piercing has almost completely healed for safest results.
Don’t Touch The Piercings!
You may be tempted to feel for your piercing every so often, but we cannot stress this enough: don’t touch your piercing!
The bacteria on your fingers and hands will spread into the fresh piercing hole, and this can cause a number of infections, or even diseases. If you twist the piercing around, you will be at risk of scarring and permanent lumps in and around your lips.
Trust us – don’t do it.
The Healing Time For A Labret Piercing
The labret piercing actually has a relatively quick healing time, compared to others. Typically, the piercing will have completely healed within 6 to 9 weeks.
You should wait, at least, 2 weeks after your initial piercing before you consider changing the jewelry. Your best bet would be to wait the full 6 to 9 weeks, but it can be done after 2 weeks if you are very careful.
The Cost Of A Labret Piercing
Any reputable piercing business will charge you somewhere between $40 and $65 for a labret piercing.
This pricing, however, will vary depending on the piercer’s skill, the location of their business, and the jewelry used for the piercing.
So, there we have it: that is everything you need to know about labret piercings.
With a relatively short healing time, and a low amount of pain during the procedure, you can go out and show off your new lip piercing in no time at all. We hope you found this article helpful.