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All About Snake Bite Piercings

Jennifer Weist

Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images


Snake Bite piercings are two lower lip piercings evenly separated on each side of the lip's center. Typically, they're fitted with two CBRs which encircle the lower lip, but they can also be fitted with labret studs if you prefer. You have to decide how you want to wear your Snake Bites from the initial piercing, though—it doesn't work to change back and forth from a ring to a labret stud, because the holes aren't pierced the same and the jewelry won't set right if you try to switch. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it could cause a lot of irritation and healing problems.

One thing to consider about getting snake bites is that you're getting two piercings at once: that tends to be a little more painful and more stressful on your body than just getting a single piercing. You also want to find a piercer who's really careful about lining them up properly, too, because if one is a little bit off center or higher/lower than the other one, it's going to look bad. Your piercer will probably place dots with a washable marker on your skin and ask you to look in the mirror and approve the placement. When this is done, we recommend you don't flippantly approve the markings without carefully examining the placement. You need to really look at them and make sure you're happy with where the piercing will sit before the incision is made. Slightly off placement may not seem like a big deal, but it's going to be more noticeable than you think.


Like most lip piercings, snake bites are both external and oral piercings, so you have two types of aftercare instructions to follow to keep your piercing clean and healthy. Topically, it's important to keep the piercing clean with a saline rinse, fragrance-free soap like Naked Soap ($12), or an alcohol-free wipe daily. Next, you'll want to be mindful of your diet, as certain foods can irritate the area. As a result, it's best to stick to foods that are soft and cool in temperature and in "heat" (as in, avoid spicy foods). In that vein, swelling and pain is common among mouth piercings, and your speech may be a little unclear while your lips are swollen.

Also, while it may seem like mouthwash would serve as an antiseptic, alcohol is irritating to a new piercing and will delay healing. And while we're at it, drinking alcoholic beverages also isn't recommended (along with smoking and caffeine, as these all constricts blood vessels, limiting a steady blood flow).

Taking these precautions won't be the most fun for a few weeks or months as you wait for your piercing to heal, but you'll be happier having avoided irritation and infection. Once your piercing is healed, you can resume eating and drinking as usual, but always keep an eye out for infection and perform proper piercing care.

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