Fashion & Beauty

Vertical Labret Piercing: What It Is, How It’s Done, and Aftercare Techniques

If you are a lover of piercings, have you considered getting a vertical labret? In the piercing world, labret piercings have become the most popular due to their stunning look. This piece is an excellent choice if you like colorful, personalized jewelry that is noticeable.

A variation of the labret piercing, the vertical labret gets done on your lower lip and therefore needs proper care. If you are considering this option, you need to have information about the piercing procedure, expected pain, healing period, aftercare tips, jewelry options, and side effects before you book your appointment.

We’ve compiled some of these tips to help you prepare.

What is a Vertical Labret?

A vertical labret piercing is located on the bottom lip. The piercer inserts jewelry through the middle of your lower lip. Unlike your typical labret piercing, this option has two punctures that go through the lip. As a result, both ends of the jewelry are visible, and the piercing is entirely outside the mouth.

Because the piercing doesn’t touch the inside of your mouth, the jewelry will not come into contact with teeth and gums. This is advantageous compared to other lip piercings because there is less bacterial infection from your saliva, which helps the piercing stay cleaner during the healing process.

The vertical labret piercing is well-suited for individuals with oral issues such as enamel wear or a receding gum line.

What is the Procedure for a Vertical Labret Piercing?

Similar to all other types of piercings, this body modification should also get carried out by a professional piercer. Ensure you check that the shop has positive reviews and gets constantly inspected by the local health department.

Each piercer will have different techniques, but here are the general steps.

•    Disinfect the Lip

The piercer will clean or dab your lower lip with a disinfectant solution.

•    Rinse Your Mouth

Due to the sensitivity and location of the piercing, you’ll need to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. This process eliminates any bacteria present that could come into contact with the pierced area.

•    Mark the Piercing Point

The piercer will then use a marker to label the exact point the piercing will go through.

•    Piercing the Lip

Using a clamp or sterile forceps, the piercer will hold the lower lip in place so that they can see the exact spot. Then a needle gets pushed through the marked area from the bottom as fast as possible to reduce the pain.

•    Insert the Jewelry

The piercer will then remove the needle gently and insert the jewelry chosen into the pierced point. To hold the piercing into place, they will add beads to the ends of the barbell.

The Type of Jewelry

Before getting the vertical labret piercing, you need to consider the type and quality of the jewelry you’ll need to use. A certified piercer will advise you on the best choices to select depending on whether it’s a perfect fit for your lips and material compatibility.

For vertical labrets, the curved barbell is the most commonly used option. The best diameter estimate should be between 14G and 16G.

This diameter gets measured by measuring the distance between the removable ends, which can be balls or spikes. The curved barbell is a popular choice because it curves outward slightly, allowing it to fit better.

Depending on the look you are going for, some people chose smaller removable balls for comfort, while others might go for bigger and bolder ones. You can also get creative and decide to combine balls on one end and gems on the other end. They can come from different materials if you are looking to have a piercing that stands out.

As you choose your jewelry, opt for one that will cause less trauma to your skin. Therefore, it’s best first to seek guidance from your piercer.

Here are the most common materials for a vertical labret piercing.

•    Gold

You can choose between yellow, rose, or white gold when getting this piercing. Also, make sure it’s of good quality, about 14 karats, and solid enough not to have any bacteria.

Examples of gold vertical labret jewelry you can use include:

1. Forbidden Body Jewelry Heart Top Barbell

2. Bling Piercing Vertical Labret Curved Barbell Ball Cartilage Stud Gold Daith

3. Jenxnjsjo Rose Gold Rook Piercing Jewelry

•    Stainless Steel

This option is commonly used for these piercings because it’s easily customizable and of high quality. A good example of a stainless steel vertical labret jewelry is:

Vertical Labret Curved Lip Ring Stainless Steel Cartilage Barbells

How Much Pain Should You Expect?

The pain tolerance of each individual differs. Therefore, pain when getting a piercing is relative and will also depend on the piercer’s technique. However, as the needle makes the piercing hole, you can expect to feel a sharp pain that will subside with time.

Compare to other lip piercings, it might be more painful because it has two puncture points. It will also hurt more because the piercing needle punctures through the thin and delicate lip tissue only. Due to the many nerve endings and sensitive tissue around the month, it may also hurt more than the ear, nose, or other piercings.

You will experience throbbing, swelling, and slight bleeding, just like other piercings. However, this will go down with time. In case the pain or swelling worsens, you should see a professional doctor.

Healing and After Care Techniques

The vertical labret piercings take 6-8 weeks to heal if well taken care of. The healing period also depends on your body. Since the piercing does not come into contact with your teeth or gum, it’s less prone to bacterial infections and could heal faster.

Here are some aftercare tips you should implement to ease your healing process.

•    Avoid Touching Your Piercing

As much as possible, avoid touching your piercing unless cleaning it. This limits disturbances and potential infections that could come from your hands. During the first few weeks, it’s advisable to take extra care and refrain from licking or playing with your lips.

•    Wash Your Hands Often

Since you have to clean the area regularly, make sure you wash your hands with unscented soap and water or disinfectant.

•    Use Mouthwash

Sometimes your lips may come into contact with saliva from your mouth, especially during eating. Therefore, to avoid any bacterial infections, you can add a non-alcoholic mouthwash to your daily routine in the morning and before bedtime to keep your mouth bacteria-free.

•    Avoid Contaminated Water

If you love swimming or taking long baths, this period will not be the best time to carry out these activities. Immersing your piercing in water with any irritating chemicals will infect it and slow down the healing process.

•    Choose Food Wisely

While eating food especially, hot and spicy options, your lip could get irritated and result in discomfort. Also, ensure that food doesn’t get lodged around the piercing; this will spark an infection.

•    Avoid Makeup

Lipstick will not work well with a fresh new piercing. If you also have other skincare routines that interact with your lip, it’s advisable to lay off them for a while until the lip fully heals.

•    Stay away from Kissing

Kissing your partner introduces saliva that might contain bacteria to your wound. It also irritates the skin and interferes with the healing process. Therefore, it’s best to refrain from oral play during this period until your lip is back to normal.

•    Use Saline Solutions

During the 6-8 weeks period, dab the area with sea salt and water solution. Cleaning the wound with alcohols or hydrogen peroxide may damage cells and cause you more pain in the long run. For faster healing, use sterile saline solutions or a non-iodized sea salt mixture for aftercare.

•    Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Just like some foods, taking alcohol might slow down the healing process. In addition, the alcohol makes it harder for the wound to heal, so it would be best if you refrained for a few weeks to make a complete recovery.

•    Avoid taking it Off

All types of piercings need some time to develop and heal completely. It might be tempting to change your piercing before the healing period expires. This is not a good idea, and it might cause trauma and make the piercing worse. Therefore, unless you are having a change done by your certified piercer due to an issue, avoid doing it at home alone.

Side Effects of Getting a Vertical Labret Piercing

Despite getting the piercing from a professional, you might develop some side effects after the procedure. Most of them are typical piercing side effects, but some may arise from poor aftercare techniques. Before and after you get the piercing, make sure your piercer explains to you all the expected side effects.

Here are some of them.

•    Swelling

Minor swelling is normal in the initial days. However, if you notice the swelling and redness increase over a week, it’s advisable to consult your piercer or doctor. The two are in an excellent position to advise on where the problem might be.

•    Rejection

Not all materials blend well with the body. For example, your body might identify the piercing as a foreign object and hence reject it. This might lead to broken skin that could easily develop into an infection.

•    Migration

After the piercing gets done, it might start moving away from its original spot. This movement could lead to the body rejecting the piercing. Once you notice this, have your piercer remove it and insert it well to prevent infection.

•    Infection

This problem is the most common side effect, especially if you don’t take care of the piercing well at home. Extended swelling, redness, tenderness, and itchiness could be a sign that your lip has an infection. Also, due to the location, the lip is more prone to infections from eating or drinking.

•    Nerve Disruption

There are a lot of nerve endings on your lips. Therefore, getting a vertical labret piercing and other facial piercings can cause disruptions on your face. This problem can be dangerous and spark issues with your eyes.

•    Tooth or Gum Damage

If the piercing comes into contact with your teeth or gum, it could cause damage. If unresolved, it could lead to tooth decay and gingivitis. Immediately you notice these issues, contact your piercer.

Who Shouldn’t Get a Vertical Labret Piercing?

These piercings are popular but are not necessarily a perfect fit for everyone. So before you book that appointment, here are a few things to consider.

•    Location on Your Face

A vertical labret piercing brings attention to your face, especially the lower lip. If you don’t want to spotlight this part of your body, it’s better to go for other piercing options.

•    If You Have Thinner Lips

Individuals with thinner lips will have less surface area for the piercing. If you are not sure how the process will work, it’s best to consult your piercer on whether it’s a good fit for you.

•    If You Don’t Have a Professional Piercer

Getting a piercing from an amateur could cost you your lip, especially if you get serious infections. Due to the sensitivity of this piercing, it’s better if you have a reputable professional carry out the procedure. Do your due diligence before booking an appointment to avoid disappointments.

What is the Average Cost for a Vertical Labret Piercing?

The pricing will vary from piercer to piercer. But, on average, the cost could be anything between $30 and $100.

To avoid getting complications, it’s better to choose quality over price. Also, make sure your piercer uses a needle rather than a gun because it’s less traumatic to the skin.


A vertical labret piercing is a fun addition to your body. It gives you more options when selecting a perfect piece for your face.

Before getting one, make sure you go to a certified piercer for better services. Also, follow all the aftercare instructions to make the healing process easier.

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