The upside down labret piercing is known as medusa piercing. It is a form of body piercing that is done through the middle of the upper lip, making a right angle with the tissue present there. It was named thus in the mid 90's by a Canadian hairdresser and model called Kerrick. Since it is placed in the philtrum directly under the septum of the nose, it is also called philtrum piercing. It is known by several other terms, such as cleft, upbret, and KA piercing. It is normally worn with a labret stud. The ball sits outside the mouth in the dip of the top tip. Other jewelry pieces, like rings, can also be worn. Some experts on have brought a little variation to this piercing by placing it vertically through the lip with the help of a curved barbell in such a way that both the beads are visible.
Unlike other body piercing, medusa piercing is difficult to do all by yourself. You should try your hand at it only when you are very confident and adept at carrying it out yourself. If you are not, then look for a professional who has expertise in this type of piercings. The professional will do it quite fast and neatly. He/she is also most likely to follow a standard procedure.
The procedure starts with the cleaning of the upper lip area. Usually, a surgical scrub is used for this purpose. The professional will clean the skin present there, particularly on the part where you wish to have the piercing. When the cleaning is done, he/she will make a small mark on the inside as well as outside the upper lip. Generally, surgical ink and pen are used for making the marks. Most of the professionals prefer to make marks as it helps them to locate the jewelry exactly on the spot where you want it.
Now, the piercer will hold the skin of your upper lip taut. He/she may take an assistant's help for this or use a clamp. The piercer will pull your lips a bit away from your face. This particular step is done with utmost care as slipping of the skin will disturb the alignment of the needle while piercing. He/she will perform all these steps to prepare your lips for getting pierced. The next step is the actual piercing. The professional will line up the needle in a right angle and push it through the skin. This will cause you a sudden and sharp pain. The piercer will then put the jewelry in, which is chosen in accordance with the thickness of your skin so that it can get accommodated even when your lips swell after getting pierced.
You need to take a few measures to minimize the risks of medusa piercing, like infection. The foremost is maintaining a high level of hygiene. Make sure that the piercer makes use of properly sterilized instruments and works in a clean environment. After getting the piercing done, do not eat, smoke, or drink for at least the next 3-4 hours. Do not smoke, chew tobacco, drink alcohol, or do drugs till the pain goes away and the wound heals completely. This is because all these items are known to interfere with the body's natural ability to cure an injury and restore the normal state. Do not touch the jewelry unnecessarily, at least never with unwashed hands. Clean the pierced area with a non-iodized salt solution once or twice a day. Use a good quality soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth. Always keep the brush and your mouth clean. Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash after eating. It will greatly reduce the chances of infection if you suck on antibacterial or anti-inflammatory throat lozenges. If possible, do it for minimum 15 days after getting the piercing. If the pain seems unbearable, you may take non-prescription pain killers, like Ibuprofen, to get some relief.
On an average, a medusa piercing takes 2-3 months to heal completely, but taking proper care of it and eating healthy foods can accelerate the healing process. It will also minimize the risk of developing a scar tissue at the wound.