What are snake bite piercings? Are they popular or not? How do they look like? If you have never heard of them, they have grown quite popular among the young people and it is fast rising to be a favorite in piercing and body modification.
They are two and located at equal distance from the center of the bottom lip on each side resembling a snake fang or bite. Below is all you need to know about them including healing time, cost, pain, jewelry, and answers to common FAQ.
Since they resembling snake fangs. I have no idea why it was never named snake fangs which seems more appropriate. While different types of jewelry can be worn, the most common jewelries are studs or rings.
What do snake bite piercings mean? There are many stereotypes and controversies surrounding their meaning. Originally, it was associated with certain people such as Emo guys and girls, lesbians and as a sign of being bisexual. Currently snake bites lip piercing are just a fashionable trend and anyone can have them- regardless of sexual orientation or culture.
While they are mainly on the lower lip, this term is also used for those on the tongue, brows, and cheek to give almost the same description. While most lip piercings look hotter on girls, I personally think that this one look great on guys especially when worn with rings or spikes.
The procedure is quite similar to other piercings. Sterility and precision are of utmost importance.
- The area is cleaned with antiseptic
- The entry and exit points are marked to ensure that it is placed in the correct place. The piercer will ask you to approve the placement of the marks before the piercing is done
- The lips are held in place with a clamp. This also serves to reduce pain
- A hollow needle is used to pierce through the skin and also thread the jewelry into pierced site.
- This is done for both sides
While they can be done in one sitting, most professionals recommend that you have them separately. The pain and swelling of one piercing is much easier to deal with. It also allows you to focus on it when it comes to cleaning and aftercare meaning that healing will be faster. Studs are used for initial jewelry used since they are more comfortable. They can later be changed into rings or spikes.
Before you get it, it is important to take time to think what you really want. Choose to get it in an established studio with experienced piercers. A slight mistake and you could end up with an asymmetrical bite piercing.
How to them out
You may want to take out a it for one reason or another- be it the first change or a routine change of jewelry. Here is how to take out snake bites piercing safely
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water and use a clean paper towel
- Stand in front of a mirror with good lighting
- Soak a clean cotton swab with warm saline solution and gently wipe the stem of the jewelry to remove crusties and loosen the jewelry from the skin
- Hold the stud on the outside of your lip with fingers of one hand
- Reach inside your mouth and hold the back part of the stud with the free hand
- Unscrew the ball in an anticlockwise direction until it comes of the stem
- Pull out the stem from the hole and set the two pieces aside
- Clean the piercing hole with more saline solution to remove any remaining crust and debris
- Insert a new lip stud or ring
Note that, for any reason other than tooth damage and embedding, you should not remove or change jewelry by yourself before healing is complete. Have it done by a professional. Remember to sterilize the new jewelry before inserting it. It is also important to monitor it for signs of infections such as pain, redness and discharge. By all means, you should not take out jewelry if you suspect any infection. Consult a professional.
How it looks like- Pictures
The following images show the different ways you can wear jewelry.
Image 1- Snakebites with Captive beaded ring
Image 2- with ball ended labret studs
Image 3-with spikes
The initial healing time for snake bite piercing is 6-8 weeks after which you can have your first jewelry change- be sure to replace your jewelry immediately to prevent the hole from closing up. Proper aftercare and not smoking can help to hasten the healing time. Complete healing takes between 6-12 months. This time can however be lengthened by factors such as infections, wrong jewelry and individual healing capabilities.
Things to expect during healing time
- Clear, whitish or yellow discharge
During the entire healing process, clean it twice daily with saline solution and use a suitable mouthwash twice daily and every time you eat.
Does it hurt to get snake bite piercing? Yes. Expect double the pain of single piercings. Take it as double labret piercing pain. This is the reason why it is advisable to go for one at a time. While the perception of pain depends on an individual, things such as wrong jewelry, infections, trauma and improper aftercare can cause you extreme pain.
Note that, it is normal to feel slight tenderness and discomfort during the entire healing process which may be a little worse when changing your jewelry. However, if you notice change and increase in pain, be sure to consult your piercer.
How much does it cost?
How much do snake bites piercings cost? The normal price is anything from $50 to $80. This however depends on studio, region and individual piercer. It also depends on what type of jewelry you want for your initial.
In the United States, the prices differ from state to state. They go for $60 and $30 each in Arizona. There are a number of piercing parlors in Texas charging between 30 to 80 dollars for any bites piercing. The cost in Miami Florida depends on where you go- the average price would come to around $80.
The cost in the UK depends on the piercer and whether or not you get them at the same time. An individual one will goes for 20-25 Euros meaning that two piercing in a snake bites will averagely cost 50 Euros. This also depends on whether you want a hoop of a stud for your initial jewelry.
In Canada, the average cost for a single one is 50 Canadian dollars so you expect to pay $100 to have them done at the same time.
Where to get these piercings
There are many medical facilities and parlors that should make it easy for you to find one in your local area. With better online marketing, you should be able to get as much information as possible about a certain facility before actually getting to it. Look for a good established facility where cleanliness and experience are primary. Ask the piercer about his or her qualifications and experience. Do not be blinded by cheap offers and discounts.
Fake snake bites
Can I fake ones? If you cannot have ones for one reason or another, fake piercings were made for you. Whether it’s your parents, teachers or boss who do not approve them, you can wear snakebites for occasions or to accessorize without the risk of losing your job, being grounded or kicked out of school.
How to make a fake one with a paper clip
- Unfold the paperclip and straighten it out
- Grip one end of the wire with a pliers and wrap the other end on a pen or marker
- Slide the coiled paper clip off the pen and cut two rings out of it
- Bend back the ends of each ring with a pliers and reshape to make it your own fitting
- Slide the rings onto your lip and adjust so that they are equally spaced
You can also make fake snakebites from a spiral notebook or captive beaded rings. It is actually way easier to use captive beaded rings since all you have to do is slide them on and adjust them to fit your lip. CBR’s also have smooth ends that will not hurt your lip once you are wearing them. Follow the steps used to make a fake labret stud if you want to make fake snakebites with studs rather than rings.
Now snake bites are widely sold at any jewelry shop. Go to Claire’s and Hot topic for a wide selection.
How to them
Bite piercings are a little difficult to hide. It is even harder when you have lip rings. Once they have completely healed, you can wear clear studs or lip rings. To effectively hide them:
- Get the smallest gauge stud possible- the smaller the stud the easier it is to conceal
- Use studs that blend in easily with the color of your skin- brown, olive or transparent studs. Keep off shiny or metallic studs
- Wear the flat part of your jewelry on the outside and ball on the inside. The back part of the stud is usually small and will be less visible
Typically, a ring or stud is worn on both sides of snake bites piercings. They are the most comfortable for this type of jewerly. To make a visual pair of snake bites or fangs, most people wear the same type of jewelry for both piercings. However, this is not mandatory and there are those that choose to mismatch jewelry for a unique look.
While labret studs are more common. Wearing captive beaded rings make it resemble snake fangs. Most professional recommend that you wear 16g or 14g labret stud immediately after you get the piercing, since they are more comfortable and easier to clean. The right length and size of labret studs protects against rubbing on teeth and gum erosion. Choosing the right width of the ring is also very important as the small ones may snug on skin and slow down the healing process.