We cover all things to do with Medusa or philtrum piercing in today’s big guide!
A medusa piercing is otherwise called a philtrum piercing. This is the newest trend of lip piercing that is becoming increasingly popular among the youngsters out there.
It is a gorgeous kind of piercing located above your top lip. Specifically, it can be seen on the philtrum, which is the area that links the nose and the lip. The curve of the human lip here is sometimes called Cupid’s Bow due to the attractive way it resembles the shape of a bow.
It’s a symmetrical piercing that is particularly striking and is popular equally amongst both men and women. When done in the right way it can really accentuate or emphasize a great pair of lips.
It also combines well with other facial piercings such as nose piercings, cheek piercings, Monroe piercings, spider bite piercings, snake bite piercings, dahlia piercing and labret piercings located on the lower lip.
However, a philtrum piercing should not be taken lightly. As it’s located in such an awkward place it must be well looked after during the healing process.
In today’s guide, we’re going to explain everything there is to know about these beautiful piercings. We’ve also put together a compilation of some of the best Medusa piercings that we’ve ever seen!
Recommended Article: Don’t miss our ultimate guide on Daith piercings.
Table of Contents
The Medusa Piercing Explained
Located centrally just above the upper lip and below the nose, the Medusa/philtrum piercing usually takes the form of a labret stud.
The stud is usually composed of 3 parts:
- The visible component is called the bead. Beads come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, and are the main way of customizing the look of your piercing.
- The disk is the component on the inside of your lip. It keeps the stud in position and prevents any undesirable movement.
- The barbell goes through your lip and connects the bead to the disk.
According to an often-repeated story, the name ‘Medusa’ was given to this piercing by a Canadian hairdresser, in the absence of a catchy street name for the piercing. It’s not clear why this name was chosen or why it stuck – but there’s no proven cultural or symbolic meaning behind it.
There are a couple of variations of the typical philtrum piercing. Let’s take a quick look at them.
The Double Medusa Piercing
Rather than using just one stud, why not use two? The double medusa piercing is pretty self-explanatory and involves two piercings in the philtrum.
The Vertical Medusa (Jestrum Piercing)
It may look pretty similar to the double medusa but this involves just one piercing. The piercing goes vertically through the philtrum and a slightly curved barbell can then fit through.
Medusa Piercing Procedure
Thinking about getting one of these cool piercings? It’s not to be taken lightly so we’ve put together a quick guide to what’s involved.
Like with most piercings, it’s not a particularly complicated procedure. As long as the proper safety and hygiene steps are followed then there shouldn’t be a problem.
The big thing with one of these symmetrical piercings positioned in the center of your face is getting the positioning absolutely perfect. Should it be just ever so slightly off center then it will look really odd.
It’s important to take the time to find a reputable piercing salon with a solid track record of doing these types of procedures. Don’t do it on the cheap!
Recommended: Looking for spider bite piercings? Check out our guide!
A quick overview of the procedure:
- The first step is for the piercer to clean the philtrum and surrounding area. An antibacterial solution will be applied to your skin to make sure it’s properly clean.
- Next, you will probably be given an antiseptic mouthwash so that your mouth can be cleaned too.
- Then, the piercer will mark where the piercing will be made.
- The upper lip will then need to be held in place and tensed using a piercing clamp.
- A thin, hollow needle will then be used to make the piercing from inside to out.
- The piercer will then use a tool to push the barbell through the newly pierced hole.
- Voila! The jewelry can then be set in place.
Medusa Piercing Pain – How Bad is it?
The first thing that needs to be said is that everyone feels pain differently. It’s impossible to make a blanket statement saying that this hurts or doesn’t hurt because somebody is always going to disagree.
What we will say is that if you have experience with piercings then this shouldn’t hurt much more than those that you’ve had done before.
With this piercing, there is more tissue and skin for the needle to pass through than your average ear piercing, but after those initial few seconds of sharp pain, you should be able to relax.
Medusa piercings do have a bit of a reputation for being painful but everybody’s experience will be different. Since the philtrum tissue is generally denser than areas such as the lower lip, expect a higher level of pain.
Actually, the initial few days of recovery are more problematic. There will probably be a bit of pain as your body starts to heal itself.
Recommended Next: Take a look at our awesome guide to dahlia piercings.
The Healing Process
The piercing should take 6 to 12 weeks to heal properly.
It’s hard to be more accurate with this as each person’s body is different. Healing times will, therefore, vary from person to person.
You can have the best chance of being on the lower end of this estimate by taking proper care of the piercing. Make sure you follow the aftercare procedures to a tee and ensure it is cleaned regularly.
Also note that although the piercing may look fully healed on the outside, the tissue on the inside will take a bit longer to heal.
There’s no point rushing this and cutting corners will only harm you in the long run.
If you notice anything unusual in or around the piercing area, such as redness or swelling that persists for longer than a couple of days, see a piercing professional or a doctor as soon as possible.
Equally, if you’re concerned your piercing is taking longer to heal than expected (over 13 weeks), seek medical or professional advice.
How Bad a Scar is Left by Taking the Jewelry Out?
According to the quote below, not much. However, conflicting reports can be found. It really just depends on your individual experience.
It’s tough to predict exactly what the scar will look like, if it shows at all. This depends on a range of factors, including age, skin elasticity, skin color, and many others.
In general, though, if a scar is left behind at all, it should be minimal – in the case of Medusa piercings with a typical gauge. If you choose to gauge the piercing (use a bar larger than the standard), the hole will of course be larger and the scarring naturally more prominent.
Medusa Piercing Aftercare Steps
Taking proper care of your piercing will ensure the quickest recovery time possible.
In this section, we outline the recovery process and explain some of the ways you can aid a speedy recovery.
- The first week after the procedure is the most important time for recovery. Your body is still in a state of shock and will feel quite tender around the philtrum. You want to keep the movement of this area to a minimum, so choose what you eat and drink carefully. Particularly chewy foods should be avoided. Spicy should also be given a wide berth.
- Avoid swimming. The high levels of chlorine aren’t good for your skin and strip it of essential oils and moisture.
- As difficult as it may be for some, you should avoid smoking at all costs too.
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol “impairs wound healing” according to this scientific journal.
- Your partner might not like this one but you should avoid kissing too! As great as kissing is, it’s not actually the most hygienic thing ever. Especially for those with wounds near their mouths.
- Twice a day, try and clean the area and the jewelry with a warm salt solution.
- You should also clean like this after every meal. Make sure no food is left stuck in your mouth.
- When drying the area after cleaning, use a clean towel to pat, rather than rub, the skin. Hopefully this goes without saying, but never use a shared towel for drying an unhealed piercing.
- Avoid using cosmetics around the area, particularly makeup, perfumes, and scented lotions.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and don’t brush too vigorously.
- Avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our massive guide on tongue piercings next!
How Much Does a Medusa Piercing Cost?
The price of the piercing ranges between $35 and $80 in any elite piercing studio.
With proper care and attention, your piercing should heal nicely without any issues. However, as with any piercing, a medusa piercing is not risk-free. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with any complications that may arise just so you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for.
Here are the 4 most common complications that are associated with philtrum piercings like this:
Tooth damage – if the disk part of the jewelry comes into regular contact with your top teeth then you could have a problem. Constant rubbing can remove enamel from the teeth and even cause small dents to form.
Receding gums – this too is caused by the disk rubbing against your mouth. This time your gums are at risk and can recede as a result.
Infection – if the proper aftercare is not carried out then there’s a risk of infection. Infection can cause scarring and complications with the healing process. If left untreated for too long, an infection site around a piercing may require surgical intervention and potentially leave an unsightly scar. In rare cases, untreated infection can develop into blood poisoning or toxic shock syndrome, which can be highly dangerous.
Scars – if the piercing doesn’t heal properly or gets infected then there’s a risk of scarring. If the piercing was to be forcibly removed by accident then this might cause scarring too.
If after getting a piercing done, you should notice any severe swelling or discharge from the area, or if you experience intense discomfort then you should always consult a medical professional.
Fever is also a potential sign of infection, as is an unusual amount of pain in the area of the piercing.
Labret studs are the ideal choice for the piercing. Although rings are difficult to fit into the philtrum, it’s possible and you can have a discussion with your professional piercer.
When it comes to labret studs available, the varieties and possibilities are virtually endless. They come in a variety of differently colored materials, including white and yellow gold, silver, titanium, and variously colored metals.
The bead of the labret is where you’ll have the widest choice and the most room for experimentation. From simple spikes to hearts, moons, and tiny animals, just about everything under the sun has been turned into a labret bead.
For medusa piercings, it appears that classic round beads are among the most popular choices. These are often adorned with gems to add a glamorous, fashionable feel.
Before you go wild with getting a different stud for each day of the year, though, do keep in mind that you should not replace your jewelry piece until the piercing has healed fully. To be completely sure, you might want to pay another visit to your piercer and ask them whether you’re OK to remove and replace your jewelry.
Acrylic retainers can be worn to hide the piercing at schools and workplaces. Those wanting to sport a fake medusa piercing can go for colorful magnetic studs.
150 Inspirational Ideas
In this section, we gathered some of our favorite Medusa piercings so that you can get a great idea of what’s available.
Let us know which one you like best down in the comments section!
A medusa piercing is a gorgeous adornment on the body any men and women can wear. However, it will typically look amazing to women. But before going for this kind of piercing, making yourself well-acquainted first about it is extremely significant.