Healing A Lip Piercing

I received a message from someone who got a lip piercing and was concerned about how it was healing:

Hi! 8 days ago I got my lip pierced professionally. I was pierced with the standard gauge at 16g stud. My cleaning regimen goes like this: Every morning after my first smoke and breakfast, I brush my teeth, do a 50/50 mouthwash with water and Listerine, and clean the outside with antibacterial soap. When I get out of the shower I do a sea-salt soak for 3-5 minutes depending on how it feels. These actions are per my piercer. After I eat or smoke I swish sea-salt water. I do the morning regimen before bed, skipping the last sea-salt soak.  My problem resides on the inside of my lip where the back of the stud sits against my lip. I'm trying not to panic, but I am known to overcook things when I notice something weird going on on/in my body. What I SEE looks like a small mound of scar tissue; it's not very red and there is no leakage other than small amounts of lymph. I should tell you that this scar tissue (or whatever it might be) is aiding in the back of the stud leaving a mark where it sits. What I FEEL is a small lump under the skin just next to my piercing. If I show anyone what I am feeling, they would not see it as it is impossible to see under the scar tissue. It worries me because I don't want to take it out or get rid of it. It looks pretty and I love it. I wouldn't think it is because my long stud is too short because it sticks out a ways in front.

Facial view of a lower lip piercing that has been irritated by over cleaning. Inside mouth view of a lower lip piercing that has been irritated by over cleaning.

My reply:

You're cleaning too much! Don't use Listerine (even diluted), or any alcohol containing mouth rinse.

These are the care instructions I suggest you follow and you will likely see some improvement if you stop abusing the delicate tissue of your piercing!




Believe it or not, the piercing actually looks pretty normal. 

Note that 14 gauge is actually more common for lip and labret piercings, rather than 16 gauge, which is a little thin, and may not be helpful for healing. Though I would not suggest you stretch up to 14 gauge until the piercing has fully settled and healed.

Also, You should give the no-pull piercing disc a try. This is exactly the type of situation it was invented for!

You can read about it and see a video on my site:


You can order it here:


If you use it, please let me know how it works for you. I'm gathering data about its effectiveness (all signs point to "it works GREAT!").