A labret piercing is one of the types of lip piercing, which is done below the bottom lip above the chin. In the vertical labret piercing, the inner hole is placed on top of the lip and not behind it. The type of the labret piercing which begins through the center of the lower lip and exits on the inside of the mouth is known as inverted vertical labret piercing, and it is difficult to perform. Only a person who is very confident and experienced with piercing can perform it well. It is generally not recommended to do this piercing on your own, particularly when you are not adept at it. The ideal option is to look for a reputed piercing studio and a professional artist.
The piercer will begin the procedure by cleaning the area between the bottom lip and chin with a surgical scrub. He/she would take a surgical pen or a marker to mark the spot so as to pierce exactly where you wish to wear the piece of jewelry. Now, the piercer will hold the skin around the marked region taut with the help of a clamp. He/she will pull your bottom lip a bit away from your face. This step is performed carefully so that the skin does not slip away and disturb the alignment of the needle during the actual piercing process.
With all these steps, the piercer has prepared the area between the lower lip and chin. It is now time for the actual piercing. He/she would take a 14-gauge needle and sterilize it by dipping it in 70% ethanol solution and then touching it briefly on a Bunsen burner flame. He/she would put the needle on one of the marks and push it through the skin. This insertion will cause you a sudden pain. The piercer will then put the jewelry selected by youin the hole thus created. You would most probably be asked to choose a jewelry in accordance with the thickness of your lips. A suitable piece gets accommodated well even when the skin swells after piercing. This procedure generally costs less than USD 25. However, the same depends upon the location of the piercing studio and experience of the piercer.
You need to take a few measures for the aftercare of the piercing to minimize risks of infection. The foremost is to maintain high level of hygiene. Make sure that the piercer makes use of well-sterilized instruments and works on you in a clean environment. After getting the piercing done, do not eat, smoke, or drink at least for the next 3 - 4 hours. Do not smoke, chew tobacco, or have alcohol and drugs till the pain goes away and the wound heals completely. All these items are believed to interfere with the body's natural ability to cure an injury and bring the normal state back.
Do not touch the piercing unnecessarily, at least never with unwashed hands. You need to clean the wound with a salt solution once or twice a day. You can prepare it by mixing a cup of distilled water with a teaspoon of non-iodized salt. Use a new, good quality soft-bristled toothbrush for cleaning your teeth. Always keep the brush and your mouth clean. Try to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash after eating. It will also be helpful if you suck on an 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 over-the-counter pain killers to get some relief.
Merits and Demerits
Vertical labret piercing has some merits over the standard procedure. In standard labret piercing, the back of the jewelry is present inside your mouth and is located such that it rests near your gum line. Therefore, it erodes the gums and scrapes the teeth enamel. The erosion can be to a extent where loss of tooth occurs. This is particularly the case when you don't wear a jewelry of correct size and do not take proper care of the piercing.
Contrary to all these, vertical labret piercing has got no part of the jewelry on the inside of the mouth. There is only a barbell which goes through the lip, enters at the top, and exits from the bottom. However, there is one demerit of this over the standard form of labret piercing, that it does not allow you to eat certain foods, such as sandwiches, during the healing period. You need to be careful that food does not press on or irritate the piercing as it enters your mouth.
Now, you have enough knowledge to decide whether you should go for vertical labret piercing or not. A point worth mentioning here is that this type of body piercing is not very common yet. If you fail to find an expert in this procedure, do not approach any piercer and become his/her guinea pig. Search for a piercer who is experienced, knowledgeable, and is willing to answer all your queries.