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If you are considering getting a snake bite piercing, you should keep a few things in mind; finding a reputable piercer with experience with this type of piercing is vital, and you should be aware that snake bite piercing can be painful and should be prepared for discomfort.
What is snake bite piercing?
A snake bite piercing, also known as snake eye piercing or venom piercing, is a type of horizontal tongue piercing where two small curved barbells or rings are placed side by side through the tip of the tongue, resembling the eyes of a snake and is inspired by the snake’s fangs.
The piercing is located towards the front of the tongue, just below the tongue’s surface and above the frenulum (the thin piece of tissue that connects the tongue’s underside to the mouth’s floor).
All piercing appointment begins with a consultation to discuss the piercing and the jewelry you need.
You’ll also be asked to complete some paperwork, and once it is done, the below steps are followed:
- The professional piercer will clean and disinfect the area around your lower lip or tongue and wear gloves to maintain hygiene.
- Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash(antibacterial) to eliminate any bacteria.
- The piercer will mark the exit and entry points for the two piercings on the top of your tongue using a body-safe marker and ensure you are content with the location.
- A hollow, sterilized needle will be used to create the two holes, one after the other, typically in quick succession. They’ll use a clamp to remove your bottom lip from your teeth and gums. The barbells or rings will then be inserted into the fresh piercings.
- Usually, small curved barbells are used for snake bite piercings. However, some people may prefer rings instead.
- Next, the professional will push a needle over the inside of your entry and exit spot. After that, the jewelry is inserted before the piercing on the other end is stirred.
- The professional will clean the area again, and aftercare instructions will be given.
- Avoid touching your piercing with unwashed hand
- Avoid playing with the jewelry or moving it unnecessarily.
- Avoid oral contact or kissing with others during the healing process.
- Avoid foods that can irritate the piercing, like acidic and spicy foods
- Rinse your mouth and the outside of your piercing with a saltwater solution or a non-alcoholic, antimicrobial mouthwash after eating, drinking, or smoking.
- Keep your hands clean before touching the piercing.
- Wash your hands regularly before handling or cleaning your piercing.
- Practice good oral hygiene with regular flossing and brushing
- Use a soft toothbrush, and store it away from other toothbrushes
- Use mild soap to wash the area around the piercing gently
- Rinse the spot methodically to eliminate traces of soap
- Dry up the area with a clean paper towel
- Swell down by lying down your head in an elevated position when sleeping.
- Apply ice chips and let them dissolve in the mouth.
- Avoid talking too much when your piercing’s new, as It can damage tissue and cause scarring
- Avoid chewing on gum or objects that can harbor bacteria, like pencils or your fingernails
- Avoid sharing dishes or utensils
- use alcohol, including mouthwash that contains alcohol
- Avoid smoking as it can slow healing and increase your complications risk.
- Avoid submerging your piercing in hot tubs, open water, or pools
- Avoid taking your piercing out before it’s fully healed
The initial healing period for piercing snake bites can take six to eight weeks.
Nevertheless, complete healing might take several months.
Following proper aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of infection and promote recovery is essential during the healing process.
Risk comes hand in hand whenever you puncture tissue. Proper aftercare and an experienced piercing professional can significantly minimize risk.
Let’s check with some possible side effects & complications:
- Infection – Tongue piercings can quickly get infected due to bacteria in the mouth while oral sex, kissing, or touching your mouth. Following proper aftercare is crucial to minimize this risk. It’s also possible to contract a bloodborne infection, like HIV and Tetanus.
- Swelling and Pain – Swelling is joint after getting a snake bite piercing. Over-the-counter Ice packs and pain relievers help you cope with discomfort.
- Damage to Teeth and Gums – Improper placement or movement of the jewelry can cause damage to teeth and gums over time if the piercing is done on the tongue. Also, it can irritate your tooth enamel or gums when you chew or talk, as the jewelry might rub against them.
- Speech Difficulties – Initially, you might experience problems speaking clearly, but this usually improves as you get used to the jewelry.
- Allergic Reaction – In some cases, the jewelry might not comprehend the person’s sensitive skin leading to an allergic reaction.
- Scarring – the area pierced might be affected by partial scarring.
- Pain – The Pain experienced during the piercing process can vary from person to person, but it’s generally considered moderately painful. These piercings seem intense, but they aren’t typically viewed as excruciating as other lip/mouth piercings, especially those that go through the lip. People who’ve had it done rate the Pain around three-five on a pain scale, with ten being the maximum.
- Nerve Disorder – The risk is shallow, but it might lead to nerve disruption in facial piercings, resulting in eye misalignment and chronic back pain.
- Tearing & Trauma – It’s easy to accidentally snag lip jewelry when doing everyday things like styling long hair, kissing, or wearing a sweater.
If you are considering getting a snake bite piercing, weigh the risks and benefits carefully.
If you are unsure if this piercing suits you, it is best to talk to your piercer or a doctor.
Jewelry for Piercings
Labret studs and Rings are your jewelry options for snake bites. Rings wrap around the lip, while a labret stud is a bar with a knob or similar decoration on one end and an even plate on the other that sits against the inside of the lip.
Material is critical when it comes to piercings. And for mouth piercings, the jewelry will potentially contact your gums and teeth.
The App (Association of Professional Piercers) recommends implant-grade jewelry made from metals or 14-karat or higher gold for initial oral piercings as
- 14-Karat or Higher Gold – Make sure it’s real gold, not filled or plated. Similarly, watch out for gold overlay or vermeil, which holds other alloys under a thin gold layer that can chip or wear off.
- Titanium – It is safe and nickel-free for everyone. It charges more than stainless steel but is better if sensitive to other metals.
- Surgical Steel – This jewelry encloses other alloys like nickel and has a low release, making it safe for most people.
- Niobium is a lightweight and affordable decoration similar to titanium but without the implant-grade designation.
Healing usually takes two-three months. This depends on how closely you follow your aftercare instructions.
Other factors impact healing time, too, like your overall health and your piercing professional’s skill level.
Symptoms of a Problem
Light bleeding, tenderness, and swelling are standard for the first five days.
There may also be some yellow color discharge from the piercing spot.
Anything outside that could specify an issue, like an infection.
Some of the possible symptoms are:
- Swelling, Pain, or Severe Redness
- A hefty amount of foul discharge that’s gray, thick, green, yellow
- Blisters or Rashes around the spot
- Skin is warm when touched
- Spreading of redness from the spot
- Tooth or gum problems, like erosion or bleeding
- Vomiting, confusion, chills, or fever
Change of Jewelry
- Remember that piercings heal from the outside, so it might look healed even though it’s not. If unsure, check with your piercing professional and have them do it for you.
- You can change it yourself once it’s healed. But, if it’s stubborn and hard to remove, have a professional do it instead.
- Wait until the piercing’s completely healed to change your jewelry.
Removing the Piercing
Keep your current jewelry until the piercing’s fully healed. Keep the area clean, and then proceed with removing the piercing.
Remember that you can get a tiny scar over the piercing spot once the tissue is healed.
Remember, before committing, getting any piercing or snake bites piercing involves some risk.
Talk to your piercer or doctor if you have questions or notice any signs of infection about snake bite piercing.
Always follow their aftercare advice to ensure reducing the risk of complications and proper healing. They’re generally safe as long as you follow aftercare instructions.
It would be best to consider a few other things for healing lip piercings.