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What Are the Best Tips for Lip Piercing Aftercare?

Alex Tree
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Lip piercing aftercare generally involves soaking the piercing in a saline solution multiple times per day. Mouthwash is sometimes recommended to rinse the mouth and clean food debris that might have gotten stuck in the piercing hole. Strong mouth rinses, alcohol, and certain kinds of soap can irritate the wound. An infected lip piercing can delay the healing process and should be properly taken care of as soon as possible. Neglecting to clean the hole or the lip ring itself and having the lip pierced under unsanitary conditions can increase the risk of infection.

The main priority of lip piercing aftercare is to keep the wound as clean as possible. Saline soaks are typically recommended up to three times per day, plus alcohol-free mouthwash after eating. Other aspects of proactive lip piercing aftercare are less medically involved, but can be just as beneficial. For example, consuming cold foods or sucking ice cubes can reduce swelling and lessen pain without the use of drugs. Staying healthy by consuming a balanced diet and taking vitamins can also impact healing time and make it less likely for the piercing to become infected.

Some things to avoid during lip piercing aftercare involve exposing the area to foreign substances. For example, activities such as oral sex or smoking can expose the wound to additional bacteria and substances that may cause irritation. Practically anything that results in more bacteria being exposed to the piercing site can have negative consequences. Simply touching a piercing or the surrounding area can make it more likely to become infected or slow the healing process. Common activities such as sharing eating utensils, drinking from the same glass, or kissing can also have a negative effect on the healing process.

While a person recovers from a lip piercing, it is advisable for him or her to be wary of rejection and infection. Symptoms such as itching and the pierced area becoming larger can signal that the body is rejecting the piercing. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid this problem, but other times it is possible to use a different piercing material in the same place to prevent rejection. While some secretions are normal while a piercing is healing, colored pus can mean that an infection is underway. Most experts on lip piercing aftercare advise quickly seeking a medical professional if a piercing infection is feared, as this problem can be both difficult to diagnose and dangerous.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.

Discussion Comments

By fBoyle — On Apr 17, 2013

I used to have a lip piercing, it got infected and I had to remove it permanently. But I have an ugly scar below my lip now. I wish I had used some scar cream when the piercing was first done.

By bear78 — On Apr 16, 2013

@ysmina-- You can eat normally. Due to the initial swelling and the size of the bar that's put in, it will be difficult to eat and drink for the first two weeks. But once the swelling is down and the bar is changed to a smaller one, you will get used to the piercing being there.

The only thing I would advise you against until your piercing is completely healed is spicy food. It burns a lot!

Feel free to suck on ice cubes and eat lots of ice cream and ice bars. These help bring down the inflammation.

I have both a tongue piercing and a lip piercing. Tongue piercing aftercare is a lot more difficult than lip piercing aftercare. There is less risk of food particles causing infection with a lip piercing. You will be fine!

By ysmina — On Apr 16, 2013

I will be getting a lip piercing next week. I already know how to clean the piercing but I'm not sure about eating.

Should I avoid solid foods for the first couple of days to prevent irritation or infection? Or is it okay to eat as usual?

Alex Tree

Alex Tree

Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and The Health Board contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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