When someone says "Monroe" the first thing popping in mind is the movie icon Marilyn Monroe. That of course is no coincidence as the piercing was named because it resembled the beauty mark of the star. It is placed off center, above the upper lip on the left hand side. It is one of the more popular piercings that women are getting, but it's also seeing an increase in popularity on the male side on the turn of the new millennium. It is often confused with the "Madonna" piercing (of course named after the pop icon) which is the same thing only it's on the right hand side.
There is also a variation of those two combined and in the piercing community goes by the name of "Angel bites". The Monroe piercings popularity may also be due to it is rather simple and relatively pain-free process of getting it. That comes from the fact that the tissue around the lips area is tender and soft and containing fewer nerves than anywhere else.
Males sometimes have problems when getting them as there tissue area around the lips is tougher cause of the shaving. Greater pain can be felt also by those who play brass or woodwind instruments since they have more developed muscles around the mouth area.
The form of jewelry commonly used is a labret stud with a metal ball or a gem stone in the outer-end. Its length is usually going from fourteen to eighteen gauges; initially it is wider to accommodate the initial swelling, the shortened as it heals. Your best option is also to get a labret stud that is made out of bioplastic or PTFE (Teflon), as having otherwise a metal labret stud’s back-disk can rub against the gums and teeth and cause long term gum recession and teeth damage. The healing take can take six to twelve weeks, but in some cases even sooner depending on the person. Initial swelling will happen, so no need to panic if it does. Oral and facial hygiene both need to be maintain during the aftercare. Cleaning is done same as most piercings: Saline solution two times a day, keep hands clean with antibacterial soap and also add mouthwash to your usual daily routine of brushing and flossing your teeth to keep your mouth sanitized at all times.
Continuing the aim of the article I will talk about the Medusa piercing. The Medusa piercing is in most ways very similar to the Monroe piercing, the only difference is in the positioning and of course in its naming. The Medusa piercing is also a form of lip piercing that is done above the upper lips, but unlike the Monroe and the Madonna piercing it is placed right in the center. Specifically in a medial cleft that runs between or noses and upper lip that is common to most mammals and is named the philtrum, due to that some might use the alternative medical name for the piercing such as Philtrum piercing.
The name Medusa piercing was coined in the mid 90s, but most are certain that that the form of lip piercing was around longer than that. It’s just that it didn’t have a proper name associated with it. The form of jewelry that is commonly used is the labret stud. There is also a variation where a curved barbell is used vertically, piercing the philtrum and going behind the upper lip and outside the mouth often called the Jestrum piercing.
The starter length of the labret stud is usually set to be fourteen or sixteen gauges. Expect it to be wider to accommodate initial swelling. The material of the labret stud should be plastic, glass or Teflon as to avoid damage to your teeth and gum recession. The professional piercer’s job is to determine the right placement that it can achieve the esthetic symmetry with your face. Like most oral piercings it heals fast, taking about 6-12 weeks. Same as the Monroe piercing it is a dual care type of piercing where it is necessary for you to have proper oral and facial hygiene.
The aftercare of both of these piercings I talked about in this article is pretty similar. Here are some items and tips that are essential for your care:
-Anti-bacterial soap: This is a no-brainer, clean hands are a must if you consider touching your fresh piercing or before cleaning. Also clean the pierced area initially with it before applying the Saline solution. Do find one without alcohol in it please.
-Saline solution: Homemade or from pharmacies, it doesn't matter. What matters is you apply it two times a day on the piercing area.
-Q-tips and paper/gauze tissue: Q-tip mainly for detailed cleaning, disposable paper/gauze tissues for dry cleaning, towels are not allowed since they may harbor infectious bacteria.
-Listerine mouthwash: I don't have to stress the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth, the mouthwash is the extra effort. Use it to keep your mouth sanitized, best after meals and drinking. A must if you are a smoker. But here also I must stress to get the ones that doesn't contain alcohol.
-Small soft toothbrush: This one is just for the inside cleaning of the piercing of incrustations, excess pus. A brand new toothbrush, since of course old toothbrushes can contain leftover food and bacteria.
The rest is up to you and your discipline. Avoid tobacco, alcohol or oral drug use at least on the first weeks of the piercing. Also do not indulge in any form of oral sex during the healing period. Don’t submerge your piercing in public pools or rivers as who knows how many bacteria they contain. Although they seem easy to get, don’t be fooled. There is a risk of piercing the superior labial artery, so it is advised of you to seek professional piercers in your area who have done it many times before. If something goes wrong you can also visit your dentist as he can help you in all matters related to oral hygiene and care.
If you keep to that simple mantra I preach all the time of keeping it safe, keeping it clean you are left with two very simple yet beautiful lip piercings you can enjoy and that can really enhance your face if done right.