Vertical Labret: Pain, Procedure, Healing and Aftercare

A vertical labret (luh·bret) piercing is a less popular lip piercing but it gives you a unique look. Although the name sounds as though a vertical piercing is only a variation of the labret piercing, it’s actually a different piercing altogether.

Pain

Since the vertical labret piercing has two puncture points that go directly through the sensitive lip skin, this piercing is slightly more painful than other lip piercing types.

Vertical labret pain: 4 out of 10

Medusa piercing:  4 out of 10 

Daith piercings pain: 5 to 6 out of 10. 

Rook piercing pain:  6 out of 10

It may hurt more than ear, nose, or other piercings because the tissue around your mouth is sensitive and dense with nerve endings. The vertical lip piercing can also hurt more than regular lip piercings because it pierces through thin, delicate lip tissues rather than just skin and interior mouth tissue.

Additionally, the vertical labret is pierced with a single motion; the piercing needle will be inserted vertically through your bottom lip and exit through the skin below your lip. The location means that there will be more skin to puncture through than other lip piercing options. If you have thicker lips, you might feel more pain.

As with most piercings, swelling, light bleeding, and throbbing are common. However, if you experience these symptoms in excess, it could be a sign that something is wrong, and you should consult a professional.

Procedure

While the labret piercing consists of a single puncture through the skin directly below the lip, the vertical labret piercing is made of two punctures that go through the lip vertically and exit below the lip where a labret piercing would be placed.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the vertical labret piercing is that it never touches the inside of the mouth. This means that your jewelry won’t scrape against your teeth and gums like other lip piercings, and it stays cleaner during healing since you don’t have to worry about the bacteria in your saliva.

If you have oral issues such as a receding gum line or enamel wear, then this might be the lip piercing for you. The vertical labret piercing is also perfect for those who want a stunning style that stands out.

Healing

The vertical labret has a relatively quick healing time of 6 – 8 weeks.

Healing times for labret and lip piercing can vary a lot depending on the individuals and to the area pierced, but here’s the deal: your piercing will never ever be fully healed in a month time. So take it easy, be patient, your body will show you the benefits in the end. 

Please remember in these cases that:

  • It is crucial to wash your hands carefully every time you touch your piercing or your jeweler, and preferably with a ph neutral soap. 
  • Forbid yourself any consumption of alcohol or drugs during the whole of the initial phase, as they would delay the healing process and could cause you recurring and very painful problems. 
  • In the same way, refrain from oral sex at the beginning of the healing process. Yes it is very difficult that but you end up with even more bliss when the day comes.

There are two phases to body piercing healing. These two phases are essential so make sure you don’t forget half of it on the way.

Initial healing: This is the crucial time where skin reshapes inside the piercing hole. During this phase the skin “tube” is hard and red, with lymph flows. You will have to give your labret piercing the maximum care at this important stage.

For labret and lip piercings, the initial healing phase is of about 2 and a half months on average.

Vertical Labret: First 6 days of swelling

Full healing: Your labret piercing will only be completely cicatrized (healed) when the skin tube will become white supple and insensitive. It takes from 6 to 9 months. The complete process of healing therefore takes a few months. Your labret or lip piercing will never be healed in a month, even if it seems so! With a vertical labret, give it some extra care as vertical labret piercings have one of the longest healing phases.

Avoid the following to sustain good healing:

  • Changing the jewelry
  • Saunes, Pools, Sea etc 
  • Wearing unsanitary makeup
  • The consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Taking off the jewelry for at least 3 weeks
  • Touching the piercing with dirty hands. Touching it will cause bacteria to spread and pain.

If you believe you may have an infection, see a doctor or the person that did your piercing.

Aftercare

Initial healing: We advise you to give yourself mouthwashes, with Hextryl(containing alcohol), or with physiological serum, about two times a day for a maximum of ten days. You can use Paroex(chlorhexidine) as well but you will need to consult your chemist to take the doses and limit the treatment to a maximum of 5 days. All these mouthwashes will be done for a relatively short period of time (about 10 days max). Continuing washing your mouth this way for longer would start destroying its flora and would have the opposite effect to the one you are looking for.

Clean the outer aspect of your labret piercing with a ph neutral soap and lukewarm water or with physiological serum for two months, regularly. You can then continue well spaced out mouthwashes, with physilogical serum, but maximum once a week and only if the pain is too strong. Watch carefully over the aspect of your labret piercing and report anything suspicious or worrying to your body piercing studio or to your chemist.

Once a day, apply the spray: Simple Care piercing to your new piercing. Start by washing your hands before handling your piercing. Then, gently remove any crusted matter from the piercing using a cotton swab saturated in warm water. At this point, spray the Simple Care on your piercing and allow it to dry. There’s no need  to wipe away the residual spray.

Once a day, dissolve 2-3 rocks (or 1/8 teaspoon) of non-iodized sea salt in one cup of warm water. Form a seal with the edge of the glass or cup against your skin and soak the piercing for five minutes. 

If it’s hard to form a seal with your cup, simply form the solution onto a clean paper towel and compress the piercing with the paper towel, making sure the compress stays warm. After 5 minutes, rinse the piercing with water and pat dry using a clean paper towel.

Don’t get a vertical labret piercing if

  • Since the vertical labret sits on your lower lip, it draws attention to the area. If you don’t want to accentuate this area of your face, then you should probably opt for another piercing.
  • During healing, you need to keep foreign objects away from your piercing as much as possible. If you tend to subconsciously play with your lip, then healing might be more difficult for you. You’ll also need to stay away from things like chapstick, so if you’re more susceptible to chapped or dry lips, then you need to keep this in mind before undergoing the vertical labret piercing process.
  • Thinner lips won’t have enough surface area for this piercing. A quality piercer will be able to tell you whether or not they’re able to successfully pierce the vertical labret, but it’s also important to know your body type and whether or not your lips are thick enough to pull this piercing off.
  • Your lips have tons of nerve endings. A bad piercing could cause permanent nerve damage and other issues. On top of that, the vertical labret piercing requires a steady hand in order to properly align the two puncture points.
  • You go to an unprofessional piercer: Since many things can go wrong with such a piercing, be careful when you choose your piercer. It’s always important to choose quality over price, but it’s especially important with a semi-complicated piercing like the vertical labret. At the very least, make sure that your piercer uses a needle rather than a piercing gun. A needle is more accurate, more hygienic, and less traumatic to the skin than a piercing gun is.

FAQ

Does vertical labret affect kissing?

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the vertical labret piercing is that it never touches the inside of the mouth. This suggests that your jewelry won’t scrape against your teeth and gums like other lip piercings, and it stays cleaner during healing since you do not need to worry about the bacteria in your saliva.

Is vertical labret a surface piercing?

A vertical labret piercing is actually surface piercing that’s placed vertically through the centre of rock bottom lip. Thinner lips won’t have enough surface area for this piercing. A quality piercer will be able to tell you whether or not they’re able to successfully pierce the vertical labret, but it’s also important to know your body type and whether or not your lips are thick enough to pull this piercing off.

Vertical labrets are done with a 16 gauge titanium bent barbell. Gold options could also be available upon request. Vertical labret piercings take between 2 to 4 months to completely heal.

Can you hide a vertical labret piercing?

As the vertical labret sits on your lower lip, it draws attention to the area. If you don’t want to accentuate this area of your face, then you should probably opt for another piercing.

If you simply got to hide your labret piercing for a brief time, consider turning the stud around. Place the bulb end inside your mouth and therefore the flat endways the surface. Cover the metal with a facial concealer that matches your skin tone.

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