Snake Bite Piercings: Procedure, Risks, and Aftercare

Piercings have become an increasingly popular form of self-expression. Many report a boost in their self-confidence and sex appeal from piercings. There are many types of piercings, such as the snake bite piercing. Its popularity stems from its impressive visual impact.

Key takeaways:

Read on to learn about the snake bite piercing procedure, the aftercare, and the risks.

What is a snake bite piercing?

A snake bite piercing is a double lip piercing situated on the outer aspects of the lower lip. It got its name because it resembles snake fangs or a bite from a snake. These double piercings consist of rings or labret studs. Labret studs are bars with one flat end and the other with decoration, like a gem or ball.

snake bite piercing supp

Best jewelry for snake bite piercings

The composition of the jewelry for a snake bite piercing is critical to avoiding allergic reactions and rejection of the piercing. The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) recommends specific materials for piercing jewelry to prevent problems. These are often more expensive but worth it. These materials include surgical stainless steel, titanium, niobium, and gold — 14K or higher (not gold-plated or gold overlay).

Preparing for snake bite piercing

Preparation for a snake bite piercing is important and may prevent complications. Do your research about piercings in general, snake bite piercings, and piercing facilities. Gather enough valuable information to make an intelligent decision. You should investigate the licensing of the establishment through the state and research their online reviews and reputation. Also, you should visit the establishment before getting a piercing to check for cleanliness, staff knowledgeability, procedure sterility, and jewelry quality.

Procedure for a snake bite piercing

When you have finished your research and found the establishment where you want to get your piercing done, consult with the person doing your piercing first. Ask them all the questions you have. Discuss your jewelry choices and placement.

During the procedure, the piercer should:

  1. Wash their hands and wear disposable gloves.
  2. Disinfect your skin and have you rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouth rinse.
  3. Use reusable instruments in sealed, sterilized packs or sterile, single-use disposable instruments in sealed packages.
  4. Mark where the piercing will go and let you see and approve it.
  5. Place a clamp on the lip to facilitate the piercing.
  6. Insert a needle into the lip.
  7. Insert the jewelry into the hole and secure it.
  8. Cleanse the area.
  9. Do the second piercing on the other side.
  10. Give aftercare instructions.

Risks linked with snake bite piercings

As with any procedure that involves a break in the skin, there are inherent risks. The risks are higher with a snake bite piercing than an ear-piercing because the mouth contains more bacteria. It is also more prone to irritation or trauma due to the location.

Here are the risks of a snake bite piercing:

InfectionSkin or mouth bacteria from improper pre-op cleansing or blood-borne infection (HIV or hepatitis) from improper instrument sterilization.
Redness/swellingAs a result of piercing the skin — temporary or prolonged.
PainAs a result of piercing the skin — temporary or prolonged.
Damage to teeth or gumsConstant rubbing of the jewelry could lead to chipping or loss of enamel, gum or mouth sores, or bleeding.
ChokingIf the jewelry comes loose while sleeping.
TraumaIt can occur if clothing or towels snag the jewelry and tear or rip out the piercing.
Nerve damagePossible with any skin puncture — could be permanent.
BleedingOccurs from blood vessel puncture during the procedure.
RashAllergic or irritant, occurs from the jewelry or the products used to clean and care for the piercing.
DroolingA response to the piercing or placement.
Difficulty eating or talkingA response to the piercing or placement.
Scar/keloidCan occur from any skin injury.

Aftercare for snake bite piercing

Aftercare is crucial after a snake bite piercing to ensure it heals quickly and without complications. Follow these instructions precisely to avoid having the piercing removed — or worse. Once the piercing has healed, you can resume your normal routine.

General tips for post piercing care:

  1. Wash your hands before touching your piercing.
  2. Rinse the inside of your mouth and clean the skin on the outside daily.
  3. Use a new, soft toothbrush.
  4. Do not remove the piercing too soon before it has healed.
  5. Use ice packs and elevate your head while sleeping.
  6. Take Tylenol for pain, if needed.

Things to avoid during the healing period:

  • Touching or playing with the piercing.
  • Excessive talking.
  • Chewing gum or smoking.
  • Kissing or performing oral sex.
  • Sharing utensils, plates, food, or drink.
  • Pools, oceans, lakes, or hot tubs.
  • Physical or sporting activities.
  • Foods/drinks
  • Tough or difficult to chew foods.
  • Hot drinks.
  • Spicy or salty food or citrus.
  • When to see a doctor?

    The risk of complications is high with a snake bite piercing. Even if you do all the aftercare correctly, sometimes problems arise. You should look for worsening pain, damage to your teeth or gums, a rash or warmth around the piercing, fever, chills, vomiting, or pus at the piercing site. If any of these occur, call your doctor immediately.

    Who should avoid snake bite piercings?

    Piercings are not for everybody. Therefore, some people are not good candidates for snake bite piercings. This can be due to underlying medical conditions, such as immunosuppression, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, bleeders, eczema, keloids, or heart disease.

    Also, you may not be a good candidate if you take certain medications (immunosuppressants or blood thinners), are pregnant, or live a lifestyle with unhealthy habits — smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, for example. Furthermore, snake bit piercings may not align with specific jobs or activities, such as contact sports, a position involving much talking, or one in which you give presentations or speeches.

    Snake bite piercings may be safe for some, but they have a higher risk of complications than other piercings. If you are unsure if this piercing is right for you, talk to your doctor first. If you decide to get one, you must follow the aftercare instructions precisely to prevent complications.


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