LIP / LABRET PIERCING AFTERCARE

 

Lip piercing is done under aseptic conditions, with sterilized instruments and with a sterile disposable needle  We use sterile 316L Steel jewelry for lip piercings. Clients should consider purchasing a smaller or shorter piece of jewelry made of Titanium for long term wear after the initial swelling subsides.  All lip piercings should initially be done with a piece of jewelry that is slightly larger or longer than what the client will probably want for a long term situation. This is to facilitate swelling that will likely occur in the lip after it is pierced. When the swelling goes down in a few days, the jewelry can then be changed to a shorter or smaller size. 

 

Once your lip is pierced, it may bleed a little bit and will likely swell for a day or two. A mild irritating sting at the point where the needle came through, is normal during the first day or so. A normal piercing could remain tender for a few days. Swelling of the lip is usually only temporary, perhaps a few days. A piercing creates a wound. Please don’t handle the jewelry with dirty fingers. Keep your mouth clean. Use antiseptic mouthwash after you eat drink or smoke. For the first day you can use full strength mouthwash, then cut it 50% with water. You will need to rinse your mouth out with it after you eat, drink (except water), or smoke. If you use antiseptic mouthwash that is blue, the inside of your mouth may, after a few days- appear blue or green. If you use mouthwash that is yellow, the inside of your mouth may appear somewhat yellow. The tissues of your mucous membranes are only being stained by excessive mouthwash use. This condition is OK, however, you may want to rinse with mouthwash less often if the discoloration persists; which means you may need to do less snacking or smoking, which will require less rinsing. Stay well hydrated during your healing process, and drink plenty of water. Your lip piercing may itch after a few days. It is best not to scratch at it or pick at it, and try not to play with it while it is healing. 

 

You will be provided with a bottle of Benzylkonium Chloride (BZK). This solution should be used on the outer portion of your piercing only:  on a saturated Q-tip twice a day. Use the Q-tip to remove any debris on the outside of the piercing while cleaning it. Clean the inside of the mouth portion in the evening before you go to bed with a Q-tip and Hydrogen Peroxide, and every morning. First wash your hands with soap and water and then with CLEAN FINGERTIPS, while cleaning the jewelry, check that the ball is on finger tight. Move the jewelry back and forth a couple times or rotate the jewelry and use a Q-tip to push away any skin on the inside of the lip that may be trying to attach or grow over the top of the jewelry. Try to remove any nasty buildup that will occur on the jewelry. After a few days you may notice a bump or callous at the piercing site on the inside, and occasionally on the outside. This is basically a soft scab that usually takes a week or so to go away. Using the peroxide will help clear the bump away on the inside of the lip, and the BZK solution on the outside. By no means should you rinse/gargle with peroxide, as this will only kill a lot of normal healthy cells. 

Discomfort usually comes in sessions and is not constant. Ibuprofen is the drug of choice. (Advil or generic for those who can take it safely). It will relieve the discomfort and decrease swelling. Aspirin is not recommended as it tends to interfere with normal clotting. ICE WILL HELP A LOT AND SHOULD BE USED TO CHILL THE LIP AS SOON AS PRACTICAL - like, when you get home. You can put ice in your mouth or against the inside/outside of your lip as often as you want. Your local pharmacy will carry a few different oral wound care preparations. We recommend Glyoxide for those who are in excessive discomfort from the piercing. Glyoxide applied to the inside of the lip wound will quickly relieve pain. The trade off is that it will make you drool or swallow excessively for a while. It may be worth it. If your lip is sore for a few days and you don’t feel like eating regular foods, try foods that you can easily eat- like soft foods, yogurt, ice cream, jello, etc.

If your Lip was pierced with a Labret stud, it was 14 gauge internally threaded with a disc backing. The front piece of this type of jewelry is what will need to be unscrewed if you would like to remove it, or change it. It is either a small ball or a small ball with a gem in it. We often use 3/8, 7/16, or even ½ inch labret studs for an initial piercing. The jewelry may seem too long at first. Once the lip swells it should fit just right. When the swelling goes down, it may seem too long again. You may want to change to a shorter piece of jewelry. Everyone’s lip is different, and you can decide what size you’d like to live with. We recommend that you become familiar with labret or lip jewelry, and the processes or tools required to change it yourself. We recommend that you obtain a pair of forceps that you need to hold the disc backing of a labret stud in order to unscrew the front. Threaded tapers will help the insertion process. If you would like us to change your jewelry to a shorter or smaller piece-we will be happy to accommodate you for a small fee ( $20 plus the price of jewelry). 

 

If you choose a 14 Gauge Captive Bead Ring or a hinged ring for your piercing, you should know how the jewelry opens and closes and how to obtain and use the tools needed for you to put the jewelry in and take it out.  Lip piercings are typically done with 3/8 inch- 7/16 inch or larger rings, to account for any swelling that may occur. Most people prefer much smaller sized rings after swelling subsides. We will be glad to change any piercing for you for a small fee (usually $20). 

It can be said that all piercings eventually heal. The object is to get them to heal soon, with minimal amount of problems or scarring. Vitamin C, multivitamins, and Zinc supplements have been used successfully to speed healing during the first couple weeks. For the life of the piercing, the jewelry should be cleaned regularly. After a couple weeks or so, the mouthwash sessions may decrease to mornings and evenings. It may take many months or even a year before the piercing fully heals to the point where it will remain open and the jewelry can be removed and later inserted.  

If you decide that you don’t want to have a lip piercing anymore, just take it out. Continue to clean the wound for a few days. It will heal to a tiny scar probably undetectable to the naked eye, if removed during the first few months. After several years, there may be a more noticeable scar… more like a dimple in the skin. 

IFYOU THINK YOU HAVE A PROBLEM THAT IS NOT NORMAL, please feel free to call us, or stop in. We would encourage you to see a doctor if you think you are getting an infection, or if you are having some kind of problem that is causing a concern.  If you would like to know of a doctor that will see you about a problem with your piercing, please ask, and we will do our best provide the name/location of a Licensed Physician who may agree to see you ( at your own expense). 

Healthy living, a high-quality diet, and good hydration will promote healing. 

 

Remember… DON’T drink and drive, and be nice to dogs.  Feel free to email questions, comments, or concerns to:      headtattoo@aol.com