As with any oral piercing, labret piercing aftercare is important to make sure your new piercing heals correctly. Any oral piercing presents its own challenges in healing, and the labret is no different.
Types of Labret Piercings
A labret piercing can be found in the lip or cheek region of the face and can take on a few different forms. While the word "labret" can also mean a barbell style piercing, there are many variations on a facial labret piercing.
A vertical labret piercing begins in the lip, near the top, threads through the lip and emerges lower down. This dual-headed barbell requires diligent labret piercing aftercare, as it has two potential sources for infection.
A snake bite piercing consists of two labret piercings, one on either side of the face beneath the mouth. Spacing may vary, but most snake bite piercings are typically located at the corners of the mouth.
Like the snake bite, a spider bite labret piercing consists of two piercings. A spider bite labret piercing is much closer together, however, with the barbells nearly touching one another in some cases.
A lowbret piercing is a labret as close to the chin as possible while still piercing the lower lip.
The Monroe piercing can also be considered a labret piercing. This barbell is positioned on the side of the face in approximation of Marilyn Monroe's famous mole.
Labret Piercing Aftercare
No matter what type of labret piercing you have or where on your face it's placed, proper aftercare is key to its healing. Oral piercings are particularly prone to infection as particles of food can become trapped in the jewelry. To make sure your labret piercing heals quickly and cleaning, take the following steps.
- Rinse your mouth out with an alcohol free mouth wash four to five times daily for 60 seconds at a time. Rinse after each meal, after waking and before bed for best results.
- Clean the exterior portion of the piercing with a mild soap twice a day.
- Soak the exterior portion of the piercing in sea salt water twice a day.
- After the first week, rinse your mouth out with salt water twice a day.
- Do not touch the jewelry except for washing.
- Wash your hands well before handling the jewelry or touching the piercing.
- Dry the piercing on paper towels after each cleaning. Towel fibers can become snagged on the jewelry and unwashed towels can harbor germs or bacteria between uses.
- Take care when pulling clothing on over the face to ensure it does not tug on the jewelry.
- Take ibuprofen for swelling and pain management.
- Suck on ice chips to help reduce swelling.
- Avoid alcohol or tobacco products during the healing stage.
- Avoid hot or spicy foods for the first two to three days.
- Avoid any invasive kissing or oral sexual contact until after the piercing has healed.
- Replace the longer, original barbell with a shorter piece of jewelry once the site has healed completely.
Signs of Infection
During the healing process, frequently inspect the piercing site for signs of infection while caring for your new labret piercing. These signs may include:
- Thick, yellow puss around the edge of the jewelry
- Excessive redness extending outward from the jewelry site
- A white, raised ring on the inside of the cheek or lip, surrounding the barbell
- Excessive swelling or pain
At the first sign of infection, seek medical aid immediately.
Your new labret piercing will heal completely within six to eight weeks, although results can vary. Practice proper labret piercing aftercare through the entire healing period to ensure a clean piercing that looks as good as you intended.