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Philtrum/Medusa Piercings

Heal Time: 2 - 4 months

Typical jewelry gauge:16g - 14g

Best initial jewelry type: Threades or Threadless Flat Back post

Minimum age for piercing: 16


A philtrum piercing, nicknamed a medusa piercing, is an upper lip piercing placed in the philtrum, directly under the septum of the nose. It is typically pierced using a labret stud as jewelry, with the ball sitting outside the mouth in the dip of the top lip.

Philtrum/Medusa FAQ

Does it hurt?

A little, but it’s about the same as other piercings. Oral tissue is very soft and easy to go through (compared to, say, navels or ear cartilage) so many say their lip and/or labret piercings were some of their easiest to sit through.

Will it scar if/when I take it out?

This depends on how your body scars. Faces don’t tend to scar too severely, so on most people an abandoned piercing hole doesn’t look any worse than an old chicken pox or pimple scar—or an ear piercing with the jewelry removed. But again, this depends on your body.

Will the piercing affect eating?

A lip piercing can definitely make eating more delicate for the first few days, but it won’t force you to change too much of your diet during healing. Simply eat what is easiest.

What about kissing and oral sex?

Ideally, you should wait until you are healed to do anything involving fluids, even with a monogamous partner. You have an open wound in your mouth, so anything in your partner’s saliva or body fluids can more easily be passed to you, and your partner can also be exposed to your blood and more. Any oral sex during healing should be fluid-safe, and if you decide to kiss your partner anyway, at least have him or her rinse their mouth before and clean your mouth and piercing after.

Can I damage my teeth?

If you bite the post hard enough, yes, but gum damage is more of a risk than tooth damage. With all lip piercings done with a post, the disc back can sometimes irritate sensitive gum tissue, or in some cases lead to gum damage or erosion. The best way to eliminate this risk is to shorten the post as soon as it’s comfortable to do so (about eight weeks after piercing). Check here for more information

Why is the initial post so long?

Regardless of their placement, all new lip piercings need jewelry with sufficient length for swelling, as they will swell quite substantially. Once the piercing is healed (between six and eight weeks) a post that is more snug-fitting can be put in.

How easy is it to hide?

Unfortunately, there is no way to hide this piercing during healing. Afterward there are several options, including clear quartz glass retainers and flat, matte finish titanium post ends anodized the color of different skin tones. If you absolutely have to hide this piercing, come in and we can go over your options.