About the Medusa Piercing
The philtrum piercing has become more and more popular and it is also known as the medusa piercing. This is a piercing that is placed centrally below the septum of the nose and above the upper lip. The basic starting jewelry for this piercing is a 16 Gauge 3/8" labret stud. A labret stud is a piece of a jewelry with a flat back and a straight post. The post attaches to a ball or a small piece that sits on the outside of the piercing. This end peace can be customized to the person, the end can contain a gemstone, or it can be a plain ball. Since the jewelry needs to be longer for healing some people chose a simpler design in the beginning.
The philtrum takes an average of two to three months to heal and the starter jewelry should stay in for the first two months of being pierced. If there are no problems in the healing process a piercer might change this out to a smaller labret stud, something that has a tighter fit. When you do downsize the most common size for philtrum jewelry is a 16 Gauge 5/16" labret stud. Just because you or your piercer is changing the jewelry to adjust for swelling and healing does not mean it is completely healed. It is going to take two to three months to completely heal, sometimes even longer depending on the person.
The Piercing Process
It is important to find a professional who have completed many of these piercings. It is imperative that it is pierced straight and in the center. If the piercing is done at a curve or it is moved to the right or the left it is going to look out of place and it can be more difficult to heal. Keep in mind that if this is placed incorrectly it can increase the possibility of gum recession and dental erosion. When you are at your appointment your piercer will help you pick out the proper jewelry for this piercing.
They will begin the process by putting on a clean pair of gloves and clean the outer piece of skin. Most piercers will clean the area with an antibacterial substance such as alcohol, and then they will give you an antiseptic solution to rinse the inside of your mouth out with before beginning the actual piercing process. The piercer will then mark the exact location of the piercing with a type of pen and once you agree upon the placement the piercing will begin. The piercer will hold the upper limp with clamps and use a hollow need to penetrate the tissue of the lip, from the inside out. Once the hollow needle has been inserted the jewelry will be passed through and set into place.
The Healing Process
The healing time can take 2 to 3 months, but this can vary from person to person and your overall health. In order to heal this piercing, it is important to follow your piercers aftercare instructions and keep the initial jewelry in for the first two months. Make sure that you do not touch the jewelry, spin it, or rotate it. It is important to keep the jewelry is kept as stationary as possible. Since this piercing is located in the mouth it is going to have a lot of natural movement when you talk, eat and drink. Try to stay conscious about this movement and avoid playing with the labret stud. The initial long bar can get caught on your teeth, try not to bite the bar or pull on it, as it will irritate the piercing.
Think about the healing process like healing a scab. The more that the piercing is moved and bumped the more that it is going to delay the healing process. Just like a scab it is going to re-open and irritate that healing tissue on the inside of the lip. It can also create a buildup of scar tissue, and since this piercing is on the face you don’t want too much scar tissue showing around the piercing. Always be cautious about foreign bodies of water such as; pools, Jacuzzis, oceans, and ponds. These can introduce a foreign bacterium into the piercing and cause infections and delayed healing. Tubs and showers are fine, when you are in the shower it is okay to take a little bit of antibacterial or antimicrobial soap and lather it around the skin of the piercing. This is to help clean all the debris, germs, and dirt, off your skin. Be very cautious not to get any of this soap inside the hole of the piercing. The goal is to keep the piercing clean for the optimal piercing experience.
Philtrum Piercing Aftercare Information
While the piercing is healing you want to avoid bottle cleaners such as; hydrogen peroxide, Bactine, Neosporin, and Hydrogen Peroxide. Cleaning should happen twice a day, morning and night with a sea salt soak. You can find a gallon of Distilled water and Non-iodized Sea Salt at almost any grocery store of pharmacy. Make sure that you are buying Distilled water and it is not being substituted for any other type of water. The Non-iodized Sea Salt is pure sea salt and the only ingredient on the label should be Sea Salt. Once you have the distilled water you are going to add four teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt to the gallon and shake it well.
When you are ready to clean the piercing pour the solution into a shot glass or a coffee cup. Make sure you are not using cups made of plastic or paper as it will contaminate the solution. Take the glass and put it in the microwave for a few seconds. The goal is to make the solution room temperature or body temperature, anything hotter than this will burn you and the piercing. Everyone has a different type of microwave, so it might take a few tries to find the correct temperature. When you have the correct temperature, you want to hold the cup up to your upper lip, as if you are going to take a drink with your upper lip. Hold it over the piercing for around 7 to 15 minutes. This is the recommended cleaning time, anything less than this is not going to be effective in cleaning the piercing. After you are finished soaking the piercing you can take a drink of water or rinse the outside of the piercing to get rid of any excess salt.
Disclaimer: If you have any questions or concerns about your piercings make sure to ask a professional piercer or medical Doctor.