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It’s the end of the calendar year again, and like usual all of us are taking a look in the mirror and thinking, I really wanted to do that last year, but I didn’t. So of course we’ve made a vow that this year will be different, starting right here and now with something that we wanted all year but didn’t have the time, capital, or guts to get: a new piercing.

If you’ve been mulling it over, now is definitely the time to start fresh by changing your look with that piercing that you’ve been pining over, and to drive this 2012 fashion decision home, we’re here to help with a brief overview of some popular piercings and the data that you’ll need to make an informed decision.  Here we go.

If you’ve been thinking about a septum piercing: The septum piercing is on point, it’s versatile, and it looks good on most faces because it draws attention to the lips.

Tid Bit: A septum piercing may also boost your confidence for speaking in public, because most people you talk to will naturally focus on your mouth, causing them to subconsciously pay better attention to what you’re saying.

What you should know: This piercing is pretty straightforward.  Like most other nose piercings, it will hurt for a quick second, and cause your eyes to tear up as a reflex to your sinuses being pinched.  Initial healing time is usually about six to twelve weeks, and salt water cleanings are the most commonly recommended form of aftercare.

Pros: If you prefer to heal your piercing inconspicuously, most piercers can pierce the septum with a retainer that you can flip up inside the nostrils on each side; for the most part noone will even be able to tell that it’s there.

Hold off if: You’re allergic to dust.  The Winter months are prime time for dust allergies because all of our windows are closed and we’re spending most of our time inside, so if you’re allergic to dust but experience minimal warm weather pollen symptoms, hold off until after Spring cleaning.  While it isn’t a deal breaker, having to continually blow and rub your nose will be uncomfortable with a new septum piercing and may extend healing time.

If you’ve been thinking about a vertical labret: Vertical labrets are finally coming into their own; they’re aesthetically pleasing, interesting, and don’t carry the same issues as a lip piercing that rests inside the mouth.

Tid Bit: Piercings that pass through the tissue of the actual lip are rumored to have begun as an accident, when inexperienced piercers botched the needle angle of standard lip piercings.  But what an accident!

What you should know: Because a vertical labret doesn’t have one end inside the mouth, aftercare will be slightly less involved and there won’t be any risk to the gums.  However, do the nature of constant jostling from speech and the fragility of the lip tissue, there’s higher risk of scarring or rejection with this piercing, so extra care must be taken, particularly when eating certain foods.  Healing generally takes anywhere from eight weeks to a few months, and aftercare make consist of salt rinses, and less commonly cleanses with gentle soap.

Pros: Unlike most others in the oral piercing family, speech is effected very minimally by a vertical labret, so if you have a job that requires a lot of talking and interaction, this one might be for you.

Hold off if: You have exceptionally dry lips.  During Winter, dry lips can be a problem, and though salt soaks do help, for dryer lips it’s best to wait until the warm season when our bodies are naturally better hydrated.  One thing you can’t do with a piercing of the lip tissue: wear chapstick.

Stay tuned for more informational overviews of popular piercings that you might just take the plunge for in 2012.  Bye for now!

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