Alternative Beauty: Labret Piercing

by Alexander Baran
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Of all the possible facial piercings, one of the more common and aesthetically acceptable piercings is the labret. This piercing is located underneath the bottom lip. Any of the skin under the bottom lip can be pierced but there are specific names for each placement of the piercing. Centered under the bottom lip, usually halfway between the lip line and the top of the chin is called the labret. The labret is pierced with a needle going through the outside of the lip and directly out the inside at the same spot. This is pierced with two different types of jewelry. The thickness of a person's bottom lip and the skin under their lip will help determine the size and type of the jewelry which is best to use. The first would be a stud; a flat back disk which sits against the inside of the lower lip, with the shaft of the jewelry going through the lip to the outside, where a ball, spike, or gem is threaded to the end. This leaves only the jewel showing on the face. Another type of jewelry to be used for the labret is a ring. The ring would go through the skin and the ends  would meet outside. Rings that meet with a ball that fits between the two ends and closes off the opening are called Ball Closure Rings (BCR's). These are very popular and the balls come in many colors. An alternative to using beads as a closure to a labret ring, is a segment ring. This works the same way, the ring passing through the skin, and where the two ends meet, there is a continued piece of the ring which fits in between the ring ends and closes up the opening. Once a labret piercing heals there is another type of jewelry which can be worn, usually called a hook. This jewelry has a ball, spike or gem that sits on the outside of the lip and then as the shaft passes through the inside of the lip, it bends up and runs along your mouth and out over the top of your bottom lip. The end of this appears in a hook shape over your bottom lip and is threaded with a jewel on the end of the shaft as well.

The healing time for a labret piercing is usually 6 to 8 weeks. The care consists of (most importantly) avoiding touching the area, and if necessary making sure to wash hands before doing so. Using sea salt to rinse the mouth and area three times a day is also very effective to aid the healing process. Most piercers will recommend not smoking, applying makeup to the area and other specific directions, so be sure to follow their instructions in order to speed along your healing.

As with all piercings, there can be possible problems if the correct care is not taken. Make sure when getting this piercing you choose the best fitting jewelry for yourself. You will want the jewelry with the most comfortable backing that sits inside your mouth. Some jewelry can irritate the gums and teeth by rubbing against them, causing dental problems. Jewelry rubbing against your teeth can wear away your enamel, and against your gums can actually wear down your gum line, so be sure to check out the different jewelry options and choose the type that fits your mouth best.

by Alexander Baran

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