If you are looking for unique body modifications, consider a Monroe piercing. Facial piercings have become more common than ever these days. With more people choosing to adorn their faces with jewelry, it's harder to find a piercing that's unique.
Definition of a Monroe Piercing
A Monroe piercing is a lip piercing that is placed above the upper lip in emulation of a beauty mark. If the piercing is on the left side of the face, it is usually called a Monroe, after the famous actress Marilyn Monroe who had a birthmark (beauty mark) on that side. If the piercing is done on the right side of the face, it is sometimes called a Madonna, after the singer who has a beauty mark on that side. This type of piercing is typically done on women.
How the Piercing Is Performed
A Monroe is a piercing that is very subjective, unlike other body piercings. This piercing can be placed in many different locations on the upper lip, depending on personal preference. A Monroe is generally pierced with a smaller gauge labret stud (either 18 gauge or 16 gauge), but can sometimes be pierced with a barbell.
- First, the piercer will mark the spot for your Monroe with a permanent ink marker. He or she will often give you a couple spots to choose from.
- You will be instructed to rinse your mouth with mouthwash, usually a medical strength variety. This will help sterilize your mouth.
- Your upper lip will be clamped and held in place by the piercer, and then a hollow needle will be passed through the lip.
- A labret stud or barbell will be placed in your lip - which will often be longer than the size you'd like. This is to allow for swelling, and most piercing shops will have you return in two to three weeks to have a shorter bar placed.
- Your piercer will give you aftercare instructions, and you will need to use an antiseptic mouthwash (such as Listerine) as well as clean the Monroe piercing on the outside.
Specific Aftercare for the Monroe
- Brush your teeth three times a day. This cuts down on the amount of bacteria in your mouth and allows less bacteria to reach the piercing site.
- A sea salt rinse can also help to reduce swelling and heal your piercing. Put about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (not regular table salt, but this salt can be found grocery stores) into eight ounces of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Rinse your mouth for at least 15 seconds after eating anything or smoking.
- At the time you are cleaning the outer portion of your piercing (usually morning and night), be sure to check the ball or gem on your barbell or stud. It should be snug in order to avoid losing this part of your jewelry.
As with any facial piercings, there are some problems that can occur with your new Monroe. Your upper lip will often swell after your piercing - sometimes quite noticeably. Be sure to allow time for your swelling to go down if you are planning for a big event or pictures. Monroes are also quite prone to infection if proper aftercare is not followed. Above all else, do not play with the piercing. The less you touch your Monroe, the better. Smoking (tobacco or anything else) can affect the ability to heal, as can the consumption of alcohol. The typical healing period for a Monroe is three to six weeks.
Other Lip Piercings
There are several other lip piercing spots that are seen as complementary to the Monroe. A labret piercing, which is underneath the bottom lip, is also a popular choice. A medusa is a lip piercing that is done through the philtrum (the sunken place in the middle of your upper lip). There are also typical lip piercings, which are seen as rings around the bottom or upper lip.
Make a Statement
For years women everywhere penciled in moles above their lips to get the iconic look of Marilyn Monroe. If you're considering a lip or facial piercing, take this a step further and consider the Monroe piercing. You're sure to make a statement wherever you go.