Guide to Lip Rings

The lips have a lot to say, and when they’re pierced, they say even more. With so many lip rings to choose from, it can be difficult to find the perfect one for you.

You’ll like the canvas the lips provide, whether you want a simple and sleek single lip ring or go all-out with quadruple lip piercings. To render your lip piercing journey a little easier, here is a comprehensive guide to lip rings.

Lip Ring Styles

There are many different styles of lip rings, but listing them all would take too long. Here’s a quick outline of the most common styles of lip rings.


Labret piercings are bottom lip piercings that run through your lip to the inside of your mouth. They can be off-center or centered. Labret piercings are typically worn with a simple stone or ball stud, but you can also wear hoops in a Labret piercing.

Look for thin hoops or dainty studs that are barely visible if you want to keep your look subtle. If you want to generate a stronger statement, opt for larger studs or thick colored hoops.

Monroe and Madonna

The Madonna piercing is placed above the right side of the upper lip to mimic the famous beauty mark of the Material Girl. A Monroe piercing is positioned above the upper lip on the left to mimic Marilyn’s beauty mark. Simple stone stud styles will give you a demure look, but if you want to add some personality, you can choose from various creative labret stud designs to fit your style.


A Medusa piercing is placed on top of your upper lip at your cupid’s bow and exits inside your mouth. Look for a tiny refined Labret stud with a stone for an elegant look. Those looking for something different should look for playful studs in fun shapes or boho patterns.

Vertical Labret

Like the Labret, this is a bottom lip piercing with visible ends. So, instead of being on the inside of the mouth, the earring is on the top or middle of the bottom lip.

You can find a curved barbell with a stone or ball on the lip end and a small dangling charm on the other for those looking for a little bit of fun. Alternatively, keep it ladylike and simple by selecting a simple pearl or diamond jewel.


A Jestrum piercing is like a Vertical Labret, but it is located on your upper lip. The piercing runs from just above your Cupid’s Bow to the center of your top lip, exposing both sides of the jewel.

Search for barbell studs that show off both ends of the piercing. Choose a design with different stones on each end to add interest, or keep it simple with metal fixtures at every end.

Shark Bites

Shark bites are a more daring type of lip piercing that involves four separate perforations, two on each end of the lower lip. In general, this type of piercing is badass and sexy. For the shark bite piercing, labret studs and hoops, or a mix of the two, are ideal.

Wish to try something new? Check out these lip piercing ideas!

Are Lip Piercings Risky?

a woman with a lip piercing and yellow paint smeared on her face

Lip piercings are no more dangerous than any other piercing procedure. You should conduct extensive research on your potential piercer to ensure that you are satisfied with their work and how they run their parlor.

Inquire about sanitation, pay close attention throughout your appointment, and ask questions you have about the actual lip piercing. After all, it is a scary process! You must feel comfortable enough with the piercer to ask questions and express your nerves or concerns. The last thing you’d want is to be in an awkward situation on the big day.

The risk of infection for a lip piercing is slightly different. Lip rings are at the high-risk side of the infection spectrum because your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Lip rings can become infected from both the outside of your skin and the inside of the mouth – but if you properly take care of your piercing, it should heal without any problems.

The Healing Process

First and foremost, before getting a new piercing, you should be aware of the healing time and how it will influence your daily life. For instance, if you’re planning to travel to the Bahamas in a few weeks, you should probably postpone the new piercing unless you intend to avoid the water.

Common aftercare methods include:

  • Keeping the pierced region dry
  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol
  • Keeping the area clean, which should be common sense if you’ve been pierced before

Remember that there are things to bear in mind before getting pierced, and lip piercings have some special healing concerns that you should be aware of.

Lip piercings typically heal in six to eight weeks (though some styles, such as the Madonna, might take longer). You will need to execute extra care in keeping the area clean. The human mouth is infested with bacteria that you perhaps don’t want to know about. Because of this bacteria, lip piercings are more susceptible to infection than some other piercings.

You should also be cautious when eating and keep the food away from the just pierced site. Furthermore, as you get used to your new jewelry, be careful not to bite down on the ring while chewing, resulting in broken teeth. Choose a starter ring that is big enough to accommodate some swelling but small enough that it does not interfere with eating.


 a close up of a mouth with a lip piercing a biting a tape measure

As with any piercings, there are precautions to keep the area clean and prevent infection. To flush the inside of the piercing, use an alcohol-free mouthwash at least three to five times per day. These flushes should occur whenever the person drinks or eats.

To rinse the area around the piercing, use a sterile saline wound wash twice daily; a five-second saturation should suffice, allowing the area to air-dry.

Being patient is probably the most significant thing you can do to help heal. You’ll think it’s healed as it begins to heal outwards. But you don’t realize it’s still healing on the inside, so you stop caring for it, and it regresses.

In other words, for the first three months, be diligent about taking care of the area and supporting your immune system by staying hydrated, eating well, and avoiding stress.