Monroe Piercing: Pain, Healing, Aftercare, And Jewelry

Experience the Monroe magic and spice up your smile with this iconic lip jewel.

Written by , MA (Comparative Literature) Vaishali Sinha MA (Comparative Literature) Experience: 5 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Shreya Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

The Monroe piercing, named after the legendary actress Marilyn Monroe, sits above your upper lip, adding a touch of playful sophistication to your look. Think of it as the punctuation mark to your smile, a tiny twinkle with vintage vibes. With this lip piercing, you embrace the delicate allure of a single stud that subtly commands attention without overwhelming your look. So, if you are looking to add a touch of Hollywood magic to your face and celebrate your inner icon, the Monroe piercing might be your perfect match. Keep reading to explore the nitty-gritty of this piercing, from pain level and jewelry options to aftercare tips.

protip_icon Piercing Guide: Monroe Piercing
  • Placement: Positioned off-center on the upper lip
  • Best Jewelry: Studs
  • Cost: Around $30 to $80
  • Pain Level: Medium
  • Healing Time: 6 to 12 weeks

What Is A Monroe Piercing?


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The Monroe piercing is a single stud placed just above the left side of your upper lip, right where the legendary actress Marilyn Monroe had her iconic beauty mark.

protip_icon Did you know?
The beauty mark became Monroe’s signature feature, instantly recognizable and adding to her mystique. It even earned a nickname: “The Little Mouse.”

It is a subtle yet eye-catching addition to your face, adding a touch of Hollywood glam and playful personality. Learn more about the piercing below.

The Origin And Popularity Of Monroe Piercing

Art of Marilyn Monroe
Image: Shutterstock

The Monroe piercing’s story goes back to the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Her signature beauty mark, located just above her left lip, inspired this piercing’s placement. While Monroe herself never had the piercing, it became associated with her timeless beauty and charm.

protip_icon Did you know?
Some believe the beauty mark of Marilyn Monroe was a natural occurrence, while others think it was a cleverly placed makeup trick. Photos from the actress’ early modeling days seem to show a faint mark, suggesting it might have been real.

Over the years, the Monroe piercing has gained popularity among celebrities and fashionistas alike. Singer Amy Winehouse was known to have rocked this iconic look.

One well-known celebrity who has been spotted with a Monroe piercing is Scarlett Johansson. She has been photographed with it on various occasions. The acclaimed actress effortlessly combines sophistication with a hint of edginess, making the piercing a distinctive accessory in her repertoire.

Madonna, the iconic pop star, is no stranger to pushing boundaries, and her choice to sport a Monroe piercing back in the day perfectly exemplifies her bold and trendsetting style. But here is a fun fact you might not know: Madonna too has a piercing named after her!

Monroe Vs. Madonna Piercing

While the Monroe piercing sits above the left side of the upper lip, the “Madonna piercing” sits on the opposite side, on the right. It pays homage to the singer’s iconic beauty spot.

There are other types of similar facial piercings as well.

  • Medusa piercings find their place at the center of the upper lip, positioned elegantly above the cupid’s bow.
  • Ashley piercings gracefully penetrate the center of the bottom lip, with the jewelry discreetly nestled within the mouth.
  • Labret piercings, the standard for the lower lip, are centrally situated and marked by labret studs.
  • Side labret piercings add a touch of asymmetry to the lower lip, choosing either the left or right side.
protip_icon Did you know?
Ataye Eligidagne of Ethiopia set the record for the largest lip disk, measuring 19.5cm, in Ethiopia in October 2014.

The major difference between the Monroe and Madonna piercings is that Monroe emits a vintage charm, while Madonna radiates a bold and rebellious spirit. Popularity leans towards Monroe, but Madonna offers a unique edge for those who dare to be different.

Torn between the sultry allure of Marilyn Monroe or the edgy rebellion of Madonna?

We recommend you consider your face shape. Monroe often plays nice with most features, while Madonna might accentuate specific aspects.

But, no matter which side you choose, both the Monroe and Madonna piercings can add a touch of personality and glamor to your face. Cost-wise, both sides of the lip game are pretty evenly matched, falling somewhere between a movie ticket and a fancy latte. Learn more about that in the next section.

How Much Does A Monroe Piercing Cost?

The cost of your Monroe piercing can vary depending on your location, the piercer’s experience, and the piece of jewelry you choose.

On average, you may have to spend around $30 to $80, including the jewelry. High-quality jewelry may increase the cost.

Remember, quality matters! Invest in a reputable professional piercer who uses sterile equipment and follows safe practices. Cheap body piercings can lead to problems later, so prioritize cleanliness and professionalism when choosing a piercing studio.

But remember, just like the price tag, the pain is relative. Keep scrolling through to learn more about the pain level of this lip piercing.

Is Getting A Monroe Piercing Painful?

Woman getting her lip pierced
Image: Shutterstock

Pain tolerance differs from person to person, but generally, the Monroe piercing process causes brief discomfort. The initial sensation is quick, like a pinch, and the discomfort subsides soon after.

However, since everyone’s pain threshold varies, what might be uncomfortable for one person could be quite manageable for another. Deep breaths and trust in your piercer will help you conquer those butterflies!

The initial pinch of the Monroe may be a quick flutter, but the wait lies in the healing process. Learn more on the standard healing time of the Monroe piercing below.

Healing Time And Stages Of Monroe Piercing

The proper healing time for a Monroe piercing is typically around 6 to 12 weeks, so do not get discouraged if it takes some time.

Initially, you may experience redness, swelling, and a bit of tenderness, but that is all part of the normal healing process. As the healing progresses, these symptoms should diminish (1).

It is essential to be patient and resist changing the jewelry too soon, as this can disrupt the healing process. Just stick to your cleaning routine and listen to your body. If you notice anything unusual, like excessive pain, pus, or prolonged swelling, consult your piercer or doctor right away.

Also, avoid using alcohol or harsh chemicals, as they can irritate the fresh piercing. This includes using an alcohol-free mouthwash to reduce the risk of damage to the fresh wound (1), (2). Keep scrolling to discover more aftercare tips and tricks.

Aftercare Tips For Monroe Piercing

Image: Shutterstock

Here are some aftercare instructions that your piercing shop may ask you to follow (1), (2), (3):

  • Avoid touching the piercing with unwashed hands, and refrain from playing with the jewelry.
  • Be cautious with makeup and facial products, ensuring they do not come into direct contact with the piercing.
  • Avoid spicy foods or super hot drinks, as they can irritate your piercing.
  • Sip directly from your cup instead of using a straw while having any beverage to avoid putting extra pressure on the piercing.

Follow these aftercare procedures diligently until your piercing heals properly. This process also involves cleaning your piercing jewelry at regular intervals. Learn how to do it in the next section.

How To Clean A Monroe Piercing

Keeping your new piercing clean is crucial for a smooth healing journey.

  • Twice a day, get some sterile saline solution (available at most drugstores) and soak a clean gauze pad in it.
  • Gently hold the pad around the piercing for a few minutes to loosen any crusties.
  • Gently rotate the jewelry to ensure the cleaning solution reaches all parts of the piercing.
  • Do not pick or pull at them, just let the saline solution do its magic.
  • Then, pat the area dry with a clean, lint-free towel.

Remember, avoid harsh soaps and swimming in the early days. The chlorinated pool water of swimming pools can irritate your piercing, increasing the risk of infection.

Also, prioritize using sterile equipment and avoiding harsh metals to prevent irritation. Keep scrolling to discover which jewelry style and material would be the most suitable.

Types Of Jewelry For A Monroe Piercing

Image: Shutterstock

Typically, a small stud or a ball closure ring works best for Monroe piercings. You can go for titanium discs for effortless cool or dazzling gemstones for a touch of Hollywood glam. High-quality materials like solid gold, titanium, or implant-grade surgical steel are your best bet, as they minimize the risk of reactions (3).

Once you are sure your Monroe piercing has healed, you can now change your bling to your desired one.

How To Change A Monroe Piercing Jewelry

There are high chances that your initial jewelry will be neither the popular choice nor your desired one. Nevertheless, give your piercing at least 3-6 months to heal completely before considering a jewelry change.

  • Let your piercer help you choose the perfect new piece and guide you through the safe switch-up process.
  • When changing the jewelry, ensure your hands and the new jewelry are clean.
  • Gently remove the old jewelry and insert the new one, taking care not to force anything.

By following these guidelines, you can lower the chances of piercing infection. However, it is also important to know what will happen if you do not abide by the rules. Learn about the potential complications or adverse reactions below.

Side Effects Of Monroe Piercing

Initially, you might experience some swelling, redness, or tenderness around the pierced area. This is normal as your body adjusts to the piercing (4).

Also, as with any piercing procedure, there is a possibility of scarring. Taking proper care during the healing process can minimize the chances of scarring. If you have a history of keloids (those raised scars), talk to your body piercer beforehand. They can advise you on placement and aftercare to minimize the risk of scarring.

However, despite the best care, infections can occur (4).

Rachael Wasser, a blogger, shared her piercing woes in her blog. She had had bad luck with piercings in the past, and she described the discomfort after removing her 1.5-year-old Monroe piercing, “The space where it was has formed a little bump, and it’s quite red (i).” Despite diligent cleaning, she expressed concern, saying, “I just hope it doesn’t get infected.”

However, if you notice increased redness, swelling, pus, or persistent pain, consult with a professional. Early intervention is key to getting things back on track and preventing serious complications.

The Monroe piercing is more than just a gleaming stud nestled above your lip; it is a gateway to embracing your inner icon. But, with any piercing comes responsibility. The journey can involve a pinch of pain, a dash of patience, and a sprinkle of tender loving care. But with these tips and a reputable piercer by your side, the healing process can be smooth sailing. So, take a deep breath, channel your inner Marilyn, and take the plunge. Remember, it is not just about the jewelry; it is about the magic it evokes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Monroe piercings affect your teeth?

Monroe piercings can potentially cause issues with teeth, as the jewelry may come into contact with them. Constant friction between the piercing and teeth could lead to enamel wear or, in rare cases, chipping. Regular check-ups with a dentist can help monitor any potential dental concerns.

Do Monroe piercings cause gum recession?

While there is a risk of gum recession with any oral piercing, proper placement, aftercare, and good oral hygiene can minimize this risk. It is recommended to choose an experienced piercer who understands the anatomy of the mouth.

Can you kiss with a Monroe piercing?

Yes, you can kiss with a Monroe piercing but remember to be gentle and communicate with your partner to avoid any accidental injuries or discomfort. Taking things slow initially and being mindful of the piercing during intimate moments can help make the experience enjoyable for both parties.

What size is a Monroe piercing?

The size of a Monroe piercing is commonly around 16 to 18 gauge. However, the exact size may vary based on personal preference, anatomy, and the piercer’s recommendation.

Can I get a Monroe piercing with braces?

Yes, getting a Monroe piercing with braces is possible, but careful consideration is needed. Communicate with both an orthodontist and a competent piercer, as the jewelry placement should avoid interfering with the braces.

Will I have to remove my Monroe piercing scar?

Removing a Monroe piercing scar depends on individual preferences. Some people choose to keep the scar as a part of their journey, while others may opt for scar reduction treatments like laser therapy.

Key Takeaways

  • The Monroe piercing, inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark, graces the left side of the upper lip, adding a touch of vintage Hollywood charm.
  • This subtle yet eye-catching piercing allows for personalization with various jewelry options like studs and discs.
  • Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Amy Winehouse have rocked this trendsetting accessory.
  • Achieving the perfect Monroe magic involves a mindful aftercare routine, steering clear of irritants, practicing proper hygiene, and consulting with professionals for optimal results.

Is the iconic Monroe piercing right for you? Watch the following video to dive deep into this sultry upper lip piercing and learn everything with a piercing expert, from the healing process to potential problems.

Personal Experience: Source


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  4. Body Piercing Infections
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