If you’re looking for a lip piercing that looks beautiful and can make a lasting impression, try the snake bite piercing. It’s been around for a while and continues to grow in popularity because of its visual impact and sex appeal. Before you decide to go for it,  read this article first.

snake-bite-piercing
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A snake piercing will need more care and attention compared to rook piercings or the standard lobe and helix.

Discover whether this more complex type of piercing is for you, and if it is, know how the procedure works and how you can avoid complications.

What is the Snake Bite Piercing?

snake bite piercing picture
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Snake bites are piercings done through the lower lip, across the mouth. They are traditionally four piercings with two on either side of the mouth making it resemble something like a snake bite. 

Depending on size, snake bites can be done anywhere from one to five millimeters away from the teeth. There is no particular method for positioning these piercings other but they usually run horizontally above the upper lip or vertically near it or under it.

How Much Does a Snake Bite Piercing Cost?

The average cost of getting a snake bite piercing is around $40 to $100, although you can find that there are establishments that charge for as low as $30 per piercing to as high as a thousand bucks.

Ask for a price estimate with your piercer the first time you inquire.

What Does a Snake Bite Piercing Symbolize?

meaning of snake bite piercing
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Snakes have always been symbolic of many things, including healing, wisdom and protection

The name “snake bite piercing” comes from an analogy between what a snake bit looks like and its representation in this type of piercing.

There’s a long history behind lip piercings when it comes to tribal use and symbolism. For example, lip labrets made from gold and jade signify beauty and were believed to enhance fertility or sexuality. Lip piercings could symbolize many things from pure adornment to commitment to a relationship. Tribal meanings vary from a rite of betrothal to signifying that an individual belongs in a higher class.

What Jewelry is Used for Snake Bites?

Contemporary labret studs or rings made of titanium or stainless steel are commonly used for this type of piercing as they’re easy to keep sterile. 

A labret stud has a flat-back plate on one end and then on the other end, you can see a threaded accessory like a ball. 

There are many different styles of earrings that you can use for snakebite piercings, but make sure to pay extra attention to the materials. You can use sterling silver, gold, and platinum as these are some metals that rarely cause infections. 

How Bad Does a Snake Bite Piercing Hurt?

They will hurt but not as bad as piercings done in your cartilage. The pain will depend on how thick the muscles on your face are, particularly around the mouth. The more muscles you have, the more it will hurt.

The initial pain should last for a couple of seconds. A professional piercer should know how to make the piercing as pain-free as possible. Expect some swelling, which can last for 3 days to a week.

Snake Bite Piercing Procedure

As with any body modification, you should always do plenty of research before deciding whether to get a snake bite piercing. 

Although there is not that much pain involved, the risks are much higher since the mouth is home to about 700 species of bacteria, fungus and other germs.

Find a professional piercer who can perfectly do the procedure and properly give you advice on aftercare.

Before the actual procedure, you should first consult with a professional. Set an appointment and seek professional advice. Have them explain the procedure to you and the possible risks that come along with it. This is also the time where you can discuss where the piercing will be placed. 

An appointment could take about 30 minutes, be prepared to fill out a waiver form and other paperwork.

  1. The professional piercer will clean the area around your lips and disinfect it well. They should also ask you to rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Note: Let your professional piercer know if you have any dental problems. This could cause issues since mouth piercings could make them worse.
  2. After your mouth is sanitized and disinfected, they will mark the area that’s to be pierced with a non-toxic pen or marker. Check if it’s the place that you have in mind.
  3. The professional will use a clamp or hemostat and place this instrument perpendicular to where you want the piercing to be.
  4. The next step will be where the needed will be pushed through your lip.
  5. After your needle is through, they will slide on the jewelry and secure it in place before doing the other area.
  6. The area around the piercing will be cleaned again.
  7. When the piercing is done, the professional piercer will go through the aftercare guidelines for you.

The procedure will take about 10 minutes. However, you could be sitting there for at least 30 minutes after you’ve gotten the piercing because they might want to observe you after the piercing.

Bring something to read. You can’t eat or drink anything while this is happening, so make sure to eat and drink before you go to your appointment.

How Long Does it Take to Heal?

Healing time for snake bite piercing normally takes about 4 to 6 weeks. During that time you can experience swelling that can last for 5 days. Switch up your jewelry if you would like to, but be sure it is the same gauge as well.

There are a few factors that may affect healing times and these should be taken into account when attempting to predict your individual recovery time.

Here are some factors that could affect healing time:

Hormonal cycles. For women, the activity of the immune system tends to vary during the course of a menstrual cycle and this can slow or speed up wound healing.

Smoking. Tobacco has been shown to hinder tissue repair, this means that smokers can experience slower healing time compared to non-smokers.

Medications. Some medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, contraceptive pills, and steroids may alter body processes such as blood clotting and may reduce the body’s ability to fight infection and inhibit collagen production. If you are taking medication, be aware of any possible side effects and discuss them with your piercer if necessary. 

Body modification history. Those who have more surface piercings or have experienced implants tend to heal faster than those who do not. If you’re getting a snake bite piercing after having other piercings done, then you should find the process less painful and your body might be 

Nutrition. Nutrition also affects wound healing. Poor nutrition can decrease the body’s ability to heal faster and fight bacteria.

Every person’s body is different and therefore will heal at different rates despite similar circumstances. 

Snake Bite Piercing Aftercare

Your priority is to avoid infection during the piercing process. Infections are not easy to avoid in some cases especially when the wound is exposed to saliva.

The professional piercer will give you advice on how to properly clean your piercing. But make sure that you have the basic necessities in your medicine cabinet that will help you with basic wound cleansing.

Standard care will start with clean hands.

Carefully clean the piercing with saline solution for 3 to 10 minutes, then pat dry with a clean paper towel. Clean your piercing three times a day for a month.

Start using an antiseptic mouthwash and avoid spicy foods while the wound hasn’t healed yet. You should choose to consume soft foods during the early healing stages so that you don’t aggravate the wound.

Make sure to be gentle with the cleaning process as too much rubbing can irritate the wound and cause infection. Also, don’t play around with your new piercing during sleep. 

Snake Bite Piercing Risks

You may experience some swelling or feel a little discomfort after the actual process. Your mouth will probably have a metallic taste for a while, which can be uncomfortable at times. 

It’s also possible to experience bleeding if you pick the area with your tongue and eat hard food. So make sure that if there’s even a slight possibility of bleeding, it stops immediately. Minor bruising around the lip can also occur, but they go away within two or three days.

Getting a snake bite piercing can also cause tooth damage and tooth decay for people who are already experiencing other dental issues. Make sure that you can care for the piercing properly before deciding on getting one.

Though there are risks, it’s important not to stress about this because in most cases snake bite piercings appear safe. Very few people experience infections and if you clean your new piercing well, you won’t encounter any problems at all. 

Enjoy Your New Piercing

Just remember to do plenty of research on this procedure before actually going through with it. Also, choose a trusted shop and prepare for the piercing because they will need certain information from you beforehand. Most importantly, enjoy your new piercing.