Medusa piercings, also known as the philtrum piercings, are gaining significant popularity in recent years. This eye-catching adornment is positioned in the center of the face, just beneath the septum of the nose and above the upper lip.
It’s a distinct and modern take on lip piercings, often featuring a variety of stunning gems and charms. But before you brace yourself for the piercers needle, it’s crucial to understand what you’re signing up for.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the medusa piercing process, the associated pain, healing process, aftercare practices, potential risks, jewelry selection and much more.
The Medusa Piercing
A medusa piercing finds its home right above the cupid’s bow in the dimple of your upper lip, also known as the philtrum. This is why it’s alternatively referred to as a philtrum piercing.
While the medusa is technically considered a lip piercing, it’s unique in that it’s situated above the lip instead of on it. This strategic placement brings a delicate balance to your facial features, accentuating your lips and drawing attention to the lower half of your face.
Getting A Medusa Piercing
The process of getting a medusa piercing is an adventure in itself. It typically starts with a consultation with your chosen piercer. During the initial consultation with your piercer you should feel free to ask questions and discuss jewelry options.
The piercer will then mark the exact location of the piercing using a non-permanent marker. Once you’ve approved the placement, the actual piercing procedure begins.
The piercer holds the upper lip with forceps and uses a hollow needle to pierce through the philtrum. The needle is inserted from the inside of the mouth and comes out through the marked spot on the outside of the skin.
The piercing is then fitted with a labret stud, which is a piece of jewelry with a flat back and a straight post. This initial jewelry piece will be longer than usual to accommodate any swelling that occurs after the procedure.
Pro Tip: Be careful when eating with this initial piece of jewelry, particularly after the swelling subsides. Because the initial labret is longer to accommodate swelling, you’ll find that you can catch your teeth on it if you aren’t careful, making for a rather painful situation.
How Much Does A Medusa Piercing Hurt?
Given that the lips and surrounding areas are rich in nerve endings, getting a medusa piercing does cause some level of discomfort. However, the pain is usually brief and depends on your individual pain threshold.
The needle used in the procedure is sharp and designed to minimize discomfort. Some describe the sensation as a quick pinch followed by a throbbing sensation. If you’re worried about the pain, use a numbing cream.
It’s also worth noting that the area around the piercing tends to swell after the procedure, which can be more uncomfortable than the piercing itself. And it definitely helps to have some ice on hand to try and keep the swelling at a minimum.
How Long Does It Take For A Medusa Piercing To Heal?
The healing period for a medusa piercing typically ranges from two to three months, although it can take longer depending on your body’s healing abilities and how diligently you follow aftercare instructions.
During the healing phase, it’s crucial to maintain a high level of oral hygiene, limit the movement of the jewelry and avoid any activities that could lead to infection or injury to the piercing. Be particularly careful when eating with the longer initial labret stud.
Medusa Piercing Aftercare: Keeping It Clean And Healthy
Proper aftercare is key to ensuring a smooth healing process for your medusa piercing. This involves cleaning the piercing regularly with a piercing aftercare saline solution and avoiding any activities that could introduce bacteria to the piercing site. It’s also advisable to avoid smoking and vaping, alcohol consumption, swimming and oral sex during the initial healing phase.
One of the most critical aspects of aftercare is keeping the piercing dry. This means avoiding baths and trying to keep the piercing out of the water as much as possible when showering. After cleaning, gently dab the area with a paper towel or use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the piercing site.
What To Avoid While Your Medusa Heals
While your medusa piercing is going through its initial healing period and as the swelling subsides, it’s important to avoid any food, drink or habits that can introduce bacteria or aggravate the new piercing.
Some of the things you should avoid while your medusa piercing heals are:
- Hot drinks (including coffee)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Hot foods
- Spicy foods (peppers, chili powder and other spices)
- Salty or acidic foods
- Smoking or vaping
Now, if you want to speed up the time it takes for your medusa piercing to heal, it’s advisable that you avoid all of the above and avoid dairy, pork and fish.
When my own girlfriend got her medusa piercing in Bogota Colombia, she wasn’t able to eat a lot of anything other than ice. And the initial swelling lasted for about 3-5 days.
Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Medusa Piercings
Like all body piercings, the medusa piercing comes with potential risks and side effects. These include infection, swelling and scarring. It’s also possible to damage the gums or teeth with the longer labret stud that’s initially used.
If you’re allergic to certain metals, you could also experience an allergic reaction to the jewelry material. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose high-quality, hypoallergenic jewelry and follow all aftercare instructions to minimize these risks.
You will also want to invest in some good quality chap-stick or lip balm. As you’ll find that your lips constantly dry out, crack and itch while your medusa piercing is healing.
Selecting The Perfect Jewelry for Your Medusa Piercing
When it comes to medusa piercing jewelry, the options are endless. From labret studs to rings and chains, you can find a piece that perfectly matches your personal style. The most common jewelry for a medusa piercing is a labret stud, which consists of a flat disc at the back, a barbell and a bead or charm at the front.
The size of the jewelry is also crucial, with most medusa piercings taking either a 14G or 16G lip stud. And it’s advisable to have the store fit the jewelry for you on purchase to ensure they’ve sold you the correct size.
Changing Your Medusa Piercing Jewelry
Changing your medusa piercing jewelry is relatively straightforward due to the perpendicular placement of the piercing. It involves gently removing the existing jewelry, unscrewing the back of the new jewelry, inserting the prong of the new stud into the piercing hole and screwing the back onto the prong.
It’s important to handle the jewelry only with clean hands to prevent the introduction of bacteria. And you should disinfect all new jewelry with hospital grade disinfectant before use.
Medusa Piercing Cost
The cost of a medusa piercing can vary widely, depending on factors such as the experience of the piercer and the location of the studio. On average, the cost of a medusa piercing in the USA ranges from $40 to $80, excluding the cost of the jewelry.
Yet, in Colombia, I paid 60,000COP ($15USD) including the jewelry. And the fee also included a checkup with the piercer a few weeks later.
Medusa Piercing: Is It Right For You?
Ultimately, the decision to get a medusa piercing should be based on your personal style, comfort level and willingness to commit to the aftercare process. It’s a striking and unique piercing that can enhance your facial features and allow you to express your individuality. However, it’s also a prominent piercing that requires diligent care during and after the healing process.
Before making the decision to get a medusa piercing, consider all the factors, from the initial pain and healing process to the aftercare and potential risks. And remember, when done right and cared for properly, a medusa piercing can be a beautiful addition to your look!
The Bottom Line
A medusa piercing is an exciting and unique form of self-expression. It’s a bold, modern take on lip piercings that offers endless possibilities for personalization with various jewelry options.
However, like all body modifications, it requires careful consideration and commitment to proper aftercare for successful healing. Understanding what to expect before, during and after the procedure can help you make an informed decision about whether a medusa piercing is right for you.
With the right care and attention, a medusa piercing can be a stunning addition to your style!