Snake Bite Lip Piercing: Pain, Healing, Aftercare, & Risk

Let twin gems adorn your lips on each side and help you flaunt your daring side!

Written by , BA (English Hons) Pahul Nanra BA (English Hons) Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

Calling all the goths out there looking to upgrade their piercings – it’s time you got a snake bite piercing! This popular body piercing involves getting two symmetrical piercings on either side of the lower lip, resembling the fang marks of a snake bite. Sounds fierce, right? Not only do these piercings look daring, but they also allow wearers to express their unique aesthetic with different types of jewelry like studs, bead rings, and bendable hoops. Have we piqued your interest yet? If yes, then learn everything you need to know about this piercing, from its procedure and cost to aftercare tips and healing process. Keep reading!

protip_icon Piercing Guide: Snake Bite Piercing
  • Placement: Either side of the center of the lower lip
  • Best Jewelry: Bead rings, studs, and hoops
  • Cost: $50 to $100
  • Pain Level: Medium
  • Healing Time: 1 to 2 months

What Is A Snake Bite Piercing?

A woman with a snake bite lip piercing sporting curved barbell jewelry
Image: IStock

A snake bite piercing refers to dual, symmetrical piercings on either side of the lower lip which resemble the mark of a snake bite. The process begins with making horizontal lip piercing openings with the help of sterilized needles. Different jewelry pieces like stunning bead rings, studs, or bendable hoops are then inserted, allowing for a variety of jewelry styles to suit individual preferences.

So now you know what it is. But is it age-appropriate enough for you? Let us find out in the next section.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Snake Bite Piercing?

The appropriate age for getting a snake bite piercing may vary from state to state. With some keeping the age restriction as 16 with parental consent, others may insist on the individual being at least 18. You may also check the piercing studio for their regulations before booking an appointment to be aware of their specific age requirements.

protip_icon Trivia
In 2023, Sophia Abraham, the daughter of celebrity Farrah Abraham, marked her 14th birthday by getting snake bite lip piercings.

In case you are of age to get one, you may be spoilt for choice as there is more than one type of snake bite piercing that you can get. Learn what they are in the next section.

Types Of Snake Bite Piercing

A woman with a snake bite lip piercing
Image: Shutterstock

There are three main types of snake bite piercings one can flaunt. Let us take a look at them below.

  • Snake Bite: It is the most common type of snake bite lip piercing. It refers to paired piercings on either side of the lower lip.
  • Double Snake Bite: These are similar to snake bite lip piercings but offer twice the drama as they are doubled up on either side of the lower lip.
  • Viper Bite: A subtle variation of a snake bite lip piercing in which the lower lip piercings are spaced slightly more apart than usual.

As we know, all kinds of piercings involve pain. But how bad can a snake bite piercing hurt? Let us find out in the following section.

Does A Snake Bite Piercing Hurt?

While snake bite piercing may seem intimidating at first, the pain level can be mild to moderate. The amount of pain you experience may vary depending on your personal pain threshold. Akin to other types of lip piercings, slight discomfort and a sharp sensation is felt at the time of the piercing.

Marvolo, a Youtuber, shared her personal experience about getting a snake bite lip piercing. She recounts in her vlog and states, “I was really nervous about the pain but when the needle went through my lip, I just remember it being one of the coolest sensations I have ever had. It was a little bit painful, just like a really strong pinch (i).”

Understanding the healing procedure is important to prevent possible infections as well as know what you are commiting to. Continue reading to learn more.

Snake Bite Piercing Healing Process

Image: IStock

You can expect a snake bite lip piercing to heal in 4-6 weeks if you follow a proper aftercare routine. In the initial 3 to 6 days, you may come across inflammation and redness, which is a natural part of the healing process. During that time, you may have trouble eating as moving the lips too much may cause pain. In the following weeks, the discomfort should subside to the point when you go about your everyday tasks without having to pay attention to it.

Keeping in mind proper aftercare tips and carrying them out is crucial to a safe healing process. The next section takes you through them.

Snake Bite Piercing Aftercare Tips

Adhering to certain aftercare tips can help ensure optimal recovery of a snake bite piercing. Some key tips are mentioned below.

1. Use Saline Solution

It is recommended to use a saline solution for your fresh piercing during the healing process. Mix 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt with one cup of lukewarm water to make a mild solution (1). Gently cleanse the piercing twice a day to promote optimal healing and prevent possible skin infections.

2. Maintain Oral Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is also crucial for a fresh snake bite piercing and aids in reducing the risk of bacterial infections. Gently rinse your mouth with a saline solution or non-alcoholic mouthwash.

3. Avoid Certain Foods

It is ideal to refrain from indulging in certain types of foods for some time, while the fresh lip piercing is still in the healing process. These include anything spicy or crunchy that are hard to chew and may disturb the newly-wounded skin. Sticky items should be avoided as well as they have the potential to get stuck on jewelry pieces.

4. Refrain From Using Makeup

It is best to avoid lip cosmetics like lip gloss, shimmer, balm, and lipsticks as the makeup products may carry certain chemical ingredients or fragrances that can irritate the new piercing and even lead to skin infection. The Association of Professional Piercers also recommends avoiding the use of beauty products on a fresh piercing (2).

5. Avoid Touching The Piercing

This is an absolute rule with any type of piercing, never touch your new piercing with unwashed hands that bear unwanted germs and bacteria. Completely refrain from physical contact, which has the potential to cause skin infections.

A common issue faced by those who get a snake bite piercing is eating as it heals. The next section provides some tips to help you navigate the process.

How To Eat With A Snake Bite Piercing

When eating with a new snake bite piercing, start with small, manageable bites. Chew slowly and be mindful of the lip piercing to prevent accidentally biting it. Opt for softer or liquid foods during the first few days of the healing process. You may also want to avoid anything sticky that may get stuck on the jewelry pieces or anything too hot or too cold as the piercing makes the surrounding area quite sensitive to sharp sensations.

Understanding how to carefully clean a fresh snake bite lip piercing is crucial in achieving proper recovery. Continue scrolling as we read about the process in the next section.

How Do I Clean My Snake Bite Piercing?

A fresh snake bite piercing requires utmost care, along with a proper cleaning method to prevent possible risk of infections. So, follow the simple yet crucial cleaning steps below.

  1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water.
  2. Create a saline solution with one teaspoon of salt and half cup of tepid water.
  3. Take a surgical cotton swab and dip in the solution.
  4. Squeeze out the excess water before using it on the new piercing.
  5. With a light hand, clean the skin with the cotton swab and do not put unwanted pressure.
  6.  Finally, use a paper towel to dry the pierced area.
  7. Follow the instructions twice daily for two to three weeks.

If you are someone who likes to experiment with different jewelry pieces, then the thought of changing your initial piercing will surely cross your mind. So, scroll down and learn how to successfully do the task below.

How To Change Out A Snake Bite Piercing

To change out the initial piercing, simply unscrew the back of the jewelry piece, be it a stud, circular barbell, or hoop, and gently slip out the accessory. Then, clean the area with a saline solution and insert the new jewelry piece. Make sure you are not forcing in the new piercing and refrain from doing the task if bleeding or continued discomfort occurs. It is better to take assistance from a professional in such circumstances.

protip_icon Trivia
Snake bite lip piercing gained popularity in the early 2000s along with the rise of pop-punk fashion trends.

But despite the snake bite piercing appearing gorgeous, it also carries numerous side effects that one shall be aware of before committing to it. So, let’s check out its possible disadvantages below.

Why Is Snake Bite Piercing Dangerous? Possible Side Effects

A snake bite piercing, while popular, can pose numerous side effects. Let us read about them in detail below.

  • Snake Bite Piercing Scar: Improper aftercare practices or healing issues can lead to permanent marks and scars around the piercing area.
  • Snake Bite Piercing Swelling: While initial swelling is common, persistent inflammation can indicate a sign of allergic reaction or skin infection. Consider applying an ice pack in such cases. A recent study on oral piercing complications also reported 41 patients experienced swelling after undergoing a fresh piercing (3).
  • Snake Bite Piercing Infection: A new piercing infection will bring signs such as, redness, pus, and increased pain, so ensure to use a saline solution daily along with antibiotics if recommended by a doctor.
  • Rejecting Snake Bite Piercing: The body has its natural response as well and may view the piercing as a foreign object, thus leading to subtle skin protruding and rejection (4).
  • Tooth Or Gum Damage: Incorrect piercing placement or jewelry size may come in contact with teeth or gum, causing damage over time. While chewing or talking as well, the piercing can irritate the gums and teeth and lead to discomfort. A recent study also reported how a fresh oral piercing led to tooth fracture in some of the patients (5).
  • Trauma Or Tearing: Rough handling or snagging even in the simplest of the daily tasks like wearing a clothing article can lead to accidental trauma and tearing. This can thus further prolong the healing time and increase the risk of infection.
  • Nerve Disruption: Improper piercing technique or jewelry placement may affect the nerves, causing numbness or tingling. And, while the instance is uncommon, a study was conducted that proved the relation between facial piercings and nerve damage and how a few of the subjects experienced eye misalignment and chronic back pain (6).

You may want to know about the cost of piercing as well before going ahead and booking an appointment, so check out the section below for more information.

How Much Does Snake Bite Piercing Cost?

On an average, you can expect anything between $50 to $100. But the price may vary depending on factors such as, location, studio reputation, piercer experience, and jewelry quality. Hence, it is always advised to check the rates with the piercing studio before booking an appointment.

There are certain types of jewelry pieces that fit perfectly with a snake bite piercing and instantly justifies its look. Let’s read about them below.

What Type Of Jewelry Is Used For Snake Bite Piercing?

Woman with snake bite lip piercing and hoop jewelry
Image: IStock

For snake bite lip piercings, typically labret studs, captive bead rings, or horseshoe rings are used. Once the initial healing stage is over, the jewelry piece can be changed to your preference but while getting a new piercing, it is recommended to stick to simple and comfortable accessories.

Considering the ideal jewelry material is also important to prevent the risk of skin infection. Scroll down to know which ones are the most advised.

What Jewelry Material Is Used For Snake Bite Piercing?

The type of jewelry material plays an important role in maintaining the appearance of the new piercing, along with aiding in the proper healing process. On that note, let’s have a glance at the section below and understand the various materials and sizes.

  • Material Of Jewelry

Opting for high-quality jewelry materials like gold, stainless steel, surgical steel, or titanium for a snake bite piercing is always recommended (7). These aid in reducing the risk of infection and prevent allergic reactions, thus ensuring a safer and comfortable piercing experience. They also minimize potential complications and promote quicker healing. It is also suggested to avoid low quality materials and allergen-causing metals like nickel. A recent study revealed how individuals with piercings were more likely to be sensitive to nickel (8).

  • Ideal Jewelry Size  

Typically, the size and shape of one’s lips and the exact location of the snake bite piercing are responsible for determining the ideal size of the jewelry. You can also request for some suggestions from your piercer that will help in choosing the ideal jewelry size that fits comfortably and sits beautifully on your lower lip.

The popular snake bite lip piercing is ideal for anyone seeking a daring look. But while the body modification looks stylish, it also demands high maintenance and constant attention, something you may want to consider before getting it done. Being aware of potential complications such as skin infection, piercing rejection, and damage to teeth or gums is also important. However, with the right jewelry and getting the oral piercing done by an experienced piercer can help in achieving a satisfying snake bite lip piercing and allow you to showcase your individuality and striking style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kiss with snake bite piercings?

Yes, while kissing with a snake bite piercing is possible, it is recommended to avoid excessive movement to prevent discomfort and skin tearing.

Can I brush my teeth after getting a snake bite piercing?

Yes, but with a soft toothbrush and only gentle movements, avoiding the piercing area. You can also rinse with a saline solution afterwards.

Can I put Vaseline on my snake bite piercing?

No, it is best to avoid Vaseline on the piercing as it may lead to unnecessary skin clogging and cause the risk of infection.

Why does my snake bite lip piercing smell?

The odor may result from bacterial buildup or improper cleaning. Ensure you maintain proper hygiene with saline rinses to prevent infection and smell.

What size are snake bite piercings?

The jewelry size for snake bite piercings is commonly 14 to 16 gauge that offers a distinctive style along with comfort.

How to hide snake bite piercings?

You can camouflage snake bite piercings with the help of clear retainers and heavy makeup or concealer.

Key Takeaways

  • Snake bite lip piercing features two symmetrical piercings on either side of the lower lip, resembling the appearance of a snake bite.
  • There are mainly three types of snake bite lip piercings, such as, snake bite piercing, double snake bite piercing, and viper bite piercing.
  • Proper aftercare measures should be followed post a new snake bite lip piercing like, using saline solution twice daily, avoiding sticky or spicy foods, and refraining from aggressive kissing.
  • The piercing can cost anything between 50 to 100 dollars, depending on the studio location, shop reputation, and jewelry material.

Deciding on getting a new snake bite lip piercing is exciting, but it is important to be aware of factors such as the pain level associated with it and aftercare. Check out the following Youtube video to learn about them before booking that piercing appointment!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Cleaning and healing of pierced body parts
  2. Suggested aftercare for body piercings
  3. Oral and dental complications of intra-oral piercing
  4. Complications of body piercing
  5. Piercing and oral health: A study on the knowledge of risks and complications
  6. Face piercing (body art): Choosing pleasure vs. possible pain and posture instability
  7. Piercings in medical students and their effects on the skin
  8. Body piercing and metal allergic contact sensitivity
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