Body piercing is an age-old practice that has been around since times immemorial. Ancient tribesmen believed that it kept evil spirits away. In certain tribes, these were indicators of one's status. For the Makolo tribe of Malawi, this was a symbol of beauty.
This form of body modification involves puncturing any part of the body for the purpose of donning a piece of jewelry. Barbells, rings, and studs are the types of jewelry for pierced nose, ear, lips, tongue, and navel.
Types of Lip Piercings
The term 'bites' is used with reference to piercings done in pairs, above or on the right and left side of the upper or lower lip. Labret, Lowbret, Monroe, Medusa, Dahlia, Snakebites, Spider bites, Canine bites, Shark bites, and Dolphin bites, etc., are some of the different styles.
Upper Lip Piercings
Out of these, Monroe, Madonna, Medusa, Jestrum, and Angel bites are piercings that are above the upper lip. Usually, small barbells, studs, or captive bead rings are used as piercing jewelry for piercings that are located above the upper lip.
This style is mainly referred to as the upper-lip piercing. It is placed in the center or the philtrum, which is the vertical groove in the upper lip, just under the nasal septum. It is also called 'upbret' or 'cleft' piercing.
It's named after Marilyn Monroe, the beautiful actress who had a beauty spot on the left side. It is placed off-center, to the left side of the upper lip. Those who don't have such a beauty spot, could flaunt Monroe piercing and emulate the beauty spot.
Just as Marilyn Monroe had a beauty spot or mole, the famous singer, Madonna is also known for her beauty spot on the right side above the upper lip. For this style, the piercing is placed off-center, on the right side of the upper lip. A labret stud of 14, 16 or 18 gauge can be used.
Also known as vertical Medusa, this is a vertical labret piercing through the upper lip. In this type, bent barbell or a captive bead ring is often used as jewelry. Both the ends of the piercing are visible. While one end is visible at the center of the upper lip, the other end comes is visible at the underside or the bottom of the upper lip.
It can be called a combination of the Medusa and the Monroe. In this type, both sides of the upper lip are pierced.
The healing period could range from six to ten weeks. It is extremely important to maintain proper hygiene during the healing period. Problems could arise,if the jewelry is rubbing against your gums. Don't smoke, eat, or drink for a few hours after getting your upper lip pierced.
Avoid the use of alcohol, strong soaps, and peroxide during the healing process. These might give rise to irritation and swelling. Keep the area clean in order to protect yourself from infections. Don't touch the barbell or the stud.
Use an antibacterial soap to clean the area around your upper lip. If you experience a burning sensation, itchiness, redness, pain or swelling, consult a doctor.
If you are keen on getting your upper lip pierced, make sure that you get it done from a professional. It is advisable to use jewelry made out of titanium, niobium, surgical steel, or 18 carat gold. Follow the aftercare measures to avoid an infection.