Lip Piercing Healing Times

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 21, 2019
    Last Updated: January 12, 2021

What follows a piercing is an intricate healing process, which is where you play your part. Our bodies can be delicate and require much care and attention, especially when it comes to lip piercings.

The moment your foot steps out that door, it’s on you. Providing the area with the necessary care and attention will promote healthy and fast healing.

Most lip piercings should take 6-8 weeks to completely heal although a few types can take up to 3 months. Monroe and medusa piercings are two types that generally take longer to heal. By looking after the wound and keeping it bacteria-free, your lip piercing should quickly and efficiently.

Healing should be relatively straight forward provided that you:

  • Avoid constant contact with the area
  • Cleanse the area regularly
  • Keep your mouth clean
  • Use the right aftercare product

The Lip-Piercing Healing Process

If you’re dealing with a fresh lip piercing, pay careful attention to the way you treat the area. It’s a delicate area of skin and can be prone to infection. 

A lip piercing will take approximately one-and-a-half to two months to heal. While it may feel fine and dandy pretty quick, the skin tissue will still be healing in the weeks to come. This tissue will take even longer to heal with more complex lip piercings such as the vertical Medusa. 

To help out this delicate area, you should implement an effective aftercare routine to nurture the area and keep it looking its best.

Avoid Constant Contact With the Area

Our fingers and skin carry many bacteria and harmful microorganisms. Constant touching and bothering of the fresh lip piercing will invite such bacteria into the wound. This will trigger much discomfort, irritation and swelling

This will worsen if the jewelry has been removed. Bacteria can enter the wound and, with no jewelry, the piercing will close up. Thus, bacteria and dirt will be caught and confined in the space underneath.

Cleanse the Pierced Area Regularly 

The area of the new lip piercing should be thoroughly and regularly cleaned. Ideally, this should happen several times a day. This will rid the area of any infection-inducing bacteria. A clean wound will minimize any discomfort, pain, or irritation.

DIY Sea Salt Solution

Purchase a pre-made saline solution over the counter from your local pharmacy or create a DIY sea-salt solution. The sodium chloride — salt — will cleanse and purify the area. 

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.

It’s also easy and cheap to create a homemade DIY saline solution. Ensure you’re using pure sea salt, not Epsom salt or table salt. This will reduce the chance of the skin coming into contact with dangerous, unnatural chemicals and additives

  1. Boil 2 cups of water and allow to cool to room temperature
  2. Place in a bottle or jar
  3. Add 1 tsp. of salt
  4. Stir until the salt has dissolved
  5. Soak a paper towel or cotton pad in the solution and then hold for several minutes

Remember, use this DIY or store-bought saline solution after eating to clear up germs quick. Try to also use a cotton pad or swab to minimize skin-to-skin contact, which can lead to the bacteria spreading.

Keep the Mouth Clean

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Keeping the mouth area clean and free of dirt build-up will help to keep the lip piercing clean. Things like flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash will help to facilitate this. 

Opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash. This is safer for you and your body.

Apply Gentle Aftercare Products

Chamomile Compress

Chamomile is an ancient medicinal and cosmetic aid. It’s an anti-inflammatory product so can help with the healing of any infection or inflammation.

Simply purchase some closed chamomile tea bags — like this Mighty Leaf one — and let one brew in hot water. Apply this compress directly to the new piercing. 

Ice Compress

A super effective way to ease swelling of your fresh lip piercing is to apply an ice compress. These can be made right from the comfort of your own home: 

  1. Put several ice cubes in a plastic bag
  2. Soak a tea towel or paper towel in cold water. Adjust coldness depending on comfort
  3. Wrap this around the plastic ice bag 
  4. Hold the compress on the pierced area for 10 to 20 minutes

Alternatively, simply soak a tea towel in cold water and apply directly to the area. This may work better for you if you don’t have access to ice.

Tea Tree Oil

Regular application of diluted tea tree oil to the area can work as an excellent disinfectant. Be sure to use a carrier oil instead of neat tea tree oil, and avoid contact with any membranes.

Infected Lip Piercing

A new lip piercing is a delicate area in its early stages of healing. While general irritation is perfectly normal, prolonged pain or inflammation may be a sign of a more serious issue. The area of the new lip piercing is vulnerable to infection. 

Signs of an Infection

This may show through these signs

  • Inflammation 
  • Strange coloring of the area like severe redness
  • Hot to the touch

How to Prevent an Infected Lip Piercing

Unwanted bacteria entering the affected area can lead to infection. Minimize this by:

  • Nails: Consider cutting those long nails. They may get in the way of tending to your piercing. Long nails also provide an area for bacteria to grow
  • Diligent cleansing: Wash hands after traveling on public transport or touching dirty surfaces. This prevents germs from accidentally transferring to the lip piercing
  • Supplements: Try out supplements that promote healing, such as vitamin B
  • Don’t touch: Avoid constant touching of the area to minimize any transmission of bacteria from your hands to the fresh wound
  • Lipstick: Don’t use cosmetic products on the lips such as lipstick
  • No replacement: Avoid replacing or removing jewelry during the one-and-a-half to two-month healing process
  • Eat soft foods: Oatmeal, ice cream, soup or potato-based products. This will minimize abrasive textures brushing against or getting caught on the healing tattoo
  • Spices: Avoid spicy foods or garnishes as these will irritate the pierced area

Patience is Key

You should allow a good one-and-a-half to two months for your lip piercing to heal. In the meantime, implement an effective, consistent aftercare routine. Clean the area with a saline solution several times a day. You should also be sure to also keep the mouth clean with mouthwash and regular brushing. 

Chamomile and ice compresses can help to soothe the area, while tea tree oil is an effective disinfectant. A nurturing, attentive routine will help that piercing along its healing journey.