For the first 3-6 days, lip piercing swelling is normal. Fortunately, there are effective ways to significantly reduce the swelling, pain and bruising that comes with it. Below find out how to make a lip piercing swelling go down. Also learn more on piercing bleeding, healing and aftercare.
Lip Piercing Swelling
According to the Association of Professional Piercers, a swollen lip after piercing is a normal inflammatory process during the first stage on healing where tissue swelling can start in the first 24 hours with heightened swelling on the 3rd day. The mouth would typically feel itchy, swollen and hot.
For how long does the lip piercing remain swollen and sore? It is completely ok for the inside of your mouth to feel numb and swollen. After 3 days, the swelling and pain starts to significantly go down. Do not worry, – as long as there are no other problems, the swelling should be gone in a couple of days.
However, if the swelling is too much that the jewelry starts to sink in or embed, you should immediately go back to the piercer and get the piercing changed to a longer bar to accommodate for the swelling. When the bar of the jewelry is too short, it adds on pressure and irritation to the surrounding tissues causing more swelling.
Lip Piercing Swelling Pictures
Note that if you experience swollen lymph nodes in the neck and behind the ears, you should get medical attention immediately- this may be a sign of an infection. A couple of lip piercing swelling pictures can give an idea of what to expect during the initial phase of healing. Here are some of them:
Image 1- A swollen lip after piercing is normal as long as there are no other problems
Image 2- In this image, the lady had her lip ring removed due to severe swelling that had caused it to sink in
Image 3- In this picture you can clearly see mild swelling on the inside part of the piercing
New Lip Piercing Swelling
Some people report that lip swelling came back a week, a month or two months after the initial healing. While the normal healing time for a lip piercing is 4-6 weeks, some may take even longer. If your lip piercing problems start as late as 2 months- you should consider the piercing not completely healed which could be as potential entrance of infection. New lip piercing swelling may be accompanied by draining of greenish pus or severe pain.
How to Make Lip Piercing Swelling Go Down
While lip piercings are cool and trendy, it should always be remembered that the lip is a very sensitive part full of nerve supply. Mild to severe swelling as soon as immediately after the piercing should be anticipated. Here is how to make a lip swelling go down using simple home measures.
- Sucking on Ice– this is considered one of the best methods to reduce lip piercing swelling fast. Simply place the ice on the swollen part or allow it to dissolve in the mouth. You can do this several times a day and repeat as required to effectively get rid of the swelling. To get the same effect, you can suck on a fresh Popsicle made from pure or mineral water. Never use ice for more than 15 minutes at a time.
- Take over the counter anti- inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- Lower your lip gently into saline solution several times a day. You can buy saline solution from the chemist or make one for yourself with sea-salt.
- Rinse your mouth with non- alcoholic mouthwash after eating and smoking to reduce the risk of getting an infection and also to make sure that there are no food particles that are lodged inside the lip piercing hole- infections can also cause swelling.
- Elevate your head by sleeping on more pillows to avoid pooling of blood near the pierced area.
While bleeding and lip piercing swelling are common after-signs of a lip piercing, it is advisable to avoid eating, drinking and smoking for the first 3-4 hours. Avoid over-cleaning- using too much mouthwash- more than twice a day could cause irritation. Irritation leads to swelling.
Lip Piercing Bleeding
It is perfectly normal for a lip piercing to bleed, swell and hurt a little because a fresh wound has been created. It can be intermittent or mildly continuous for a few days. Bleeding excessively after 2 days or mild bleeding even after a week should be a point of concern- consult with your piercer or physician immediately. Bleeding is more likely to occur with freshly pierced areas but it can also happen with healed piercings.
A healed or healing wound may bleed for a number of reasons;
- Sleeping on the piercing
- Touching or pulling on the piercing
- Picking at a crust that has formed
- Smoking or taking alcohol
- Medications such as aspirin are blood thinners
- If you have bleeding disorders that do not allow the formation of clotting factors
If your lip piercing keeps bleeding, it could be a sign of infection or even an indication of trauma or fresh injury. Removing the crust that forms on top of the piercing could pull on the skin and cause injury. It is best to first wash the area with mouthwash or saline solution and allow the crust to soak so that you can be able to remove it without injuring tissues.
Use of externally threaded jewelry may also rub on the inside part of the piercing and cause bleeding. Use internally threaded jewelry and check with clean hands to makes sure that the threads are on tight. If the piercing keeps bleeding, try using ice packs to help constrict the small blood vessels that bring blood to the lip.
Lip Piercing Healing
The lip piercing healing process is gradual. During this healing time, swelling, pain, bleeding and bruising are normal. You may have a harder time kissing, eating and performing other basic oral activities. Here are the stages of a lip piercing process:
Just like any fresh wound in your body a piercing should be allowed enough time to heal. Piercings that go through inside of the mouth heal faster since the saliva produced has antibacterial properties. A lip piercing is one of the fastest in healing- it takes 4-10 weeks or even less. The first stage may take anywhere between 2- 3 weeks. In this stage, you should expect,
- Lip piercing swelling and itching
- Bruising, redness and tenderness
- Yellowish- whitish lymph discharge around the piercing hole
- By the 2nd week, there will be formation of a scar tissue around the piercing
This stage begins anytime from the 3rd week. The changes in this stage are more noticeable. Here is what to expect,
- Redness, lip piercing swelling and other symptoms experienced in the first stage diminish
- There will be formation of a scab on the wound
- There are tissue layers added on the piercing hole to make the healing permanent
Note that while the healing in this stage is permanent, removing jewelry for a prolonged period may cause the hole to close. It will take up to 3 years to be sure that the hole will not close again.
A look at lip piercing healing pictures will help you understand what to expect in each of these stages.
Image 4- in this picture, there is mild bleeding and swelling which are normal after the lip is pierced.
Image 5- formation of a yellowish scab or crust is normal in the second stage of healing
Lip Piercing Aftercare
Once you get a new lip piercing, your piercer will normally give you a set of instructions to ensure proper healing and to prevent infections. Along with guidelines on how to make a lip piercing swelling go down, here are aftercare tips to help you reduce the risk of infection.
- You should never touch your piercing without washing your hands with soap.
- You should not smoke or drink during the first phase of healing- alcohol thins blood while smoking changes the PH of your mouth. If you have to smoke, be sure to rinse your mouth after every cigarette. Smoking is as bad as not cleaning at all
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush and mild toothpaste to clean the inside of your mouth
- You should not use alcohol based oral hygiene products until the piercing is fully healed. Stick to one cleaning solution and do not over-clean. Twice daily is enough.
- Avoid kissing and oral sex during the initial phase of healing- this could lead to transmission of diseases and irritation.
- Rinse your mouth after you eat to ensure that there are no food particles lodged in the piercing hole
- Saline or sea salt soaks should be used at least two times daily. Lower you Lip into a cup with saline solution or use a gauze for certain placements.
- It is also good practice to change your pillow case and bed sheet after you get a new lip piercing and thereafter change them at least after every week.
- Do not take your jewelry out even when cleaning.
- Eat healthy- a healthy body heals faster. Take multivitamins and zinc supplements
Important to note: while some professional piercers recommend that you should rotate your piercing when clean, it has been found that doing so interrupts the process of healing. During healing, cells form a tube along the piercing. When you rotate the jewelry, it destroys the cells slowing down the process of healing. The only time that you can rotate your jewelry should be to remove soap and body wash- this should be done gently under warm running water.
How to Clean Lip Piercing
Once you get a new lip piercing, cleaning should be a priority to ensure that the piercing does not get infected. Even so, cleaning should be done moderately. Over-cleaning can slow down healing and cause irritation. Proper aftercare aids in faster healing and a reduced risk of infection.
Here is how to clean a lip piercing
- Always wash your hands with mild soap and water before and after touching the piercing
- Use mild antibacterial mouthwash after eating, or smoking. You can dilute your mouthwash to 50% with water to avoid irritation.
- Use saline soaks as described above at least twice a day for ten minutes. Make your own saline solution with sea-salt by mixing ¼ teaspoon of sea-salt with 8oz of warm distilled water.
- Use mild soap and warm water. You can do so while taking shower- lather up some drop of soap and clean the jewelry and the piercing. Do not leave the soap on the piercing for more than 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap from the lip piercing hole.
- Pat dry using a disposable paper towel- using cloth towels is not recommended as they can be primary sources of bacteria. They can also tug on jewelry and cause trauma