Snake Bite Piercing: Cost, Healing, Pain, Meaning, Jewelry, and Aftercare

Snake Bite Piercing: Cost, Healing, Pain, Meaning, Jewelry, and Aftercare
Fast Facts
  • Placement: Near the outer corners along the edge of the lower lip
  • Cost: Usually between $60-$120
  • Pain: Around a 3-5 on a scale of 10
  • Healing time: Between 4-6 weeks
  • Jewelry: Rings, horseshoes or labret studs
  • Risks: Infection, swelling, tooth or gum damage, tearing, trauma or nerve damage

What Is a Snake bite Piercing?

A snakebite piercing consists of two separate piercings along the bottom lip. It is called a "snakebite piercing" because it resembles a bite from a snake or even fangs, depending on the jewelry type.

Snake bite Piercing

Image: Paints and Needles.

Variant: Vertical Snake Bite Piercing

Another popular variation of this look is a vertical snakebite piercing, which is similar to a labret piercing, except you can see the entry and exit points of the jewelry.

Snake Bite Piercing Cost

How much does a snake bite piercing cost? On average, most snakebite piercings will cost between $60-$120. While this is the average price, some studios may charge more. You also must factor in the amount of your tip.

That being said, the cost of snakebite piercings varies significantly and depends on several factors. These factors include the choice of jewelry, the placement of the piercings, and the individual piercing studio. 

Snake Bite Piercing Healing Time

How long does it take for a snake bite piercing to heal? If you properly care for your new piercing and follow aftercare instructions from your piercer, it should heal within four to six weeks.

If complications arise, they may take additional time to heal correctly. For some, their piercing may take up to several months to completely heal.

The best way to shorten your healing time is to keep it clean and contact your piercer with any questions you may have.

Snakebite Piercing Pain

While snakebites seem painful, they usually aren't as difficult as other lip piercings. Because the piercing goes around the lip, it hurts less than piercings that go straight through it.

Most people find the pain minimal, registering between a three to five on a ten-point scale. Many feel that the clamping before the piercing is the most painful part.

Snake Bite Piercing Meaning

Snakebite piercings are visually stunning and attract attention to the lips, making them popular among those wanting to make a statement. They are a good option for people who want to alter their look with a "punk" vibe.

Snakebite piercings are excellent conversation starters and are a popular form of self-expression.

Snakebite Piercing Jewelry

1. Types

Several jewelry options are available for this type of piercing, but the most common types are horseshoes, labret studs and rings.

Snake Bites Piercing Rings

Piercing hoop 6mm 8mm 10 mm simple and minimalist $15.9, SHOP NOW.

Rings are another popular jewelry option for snakebites and wrap completely around the lip. Some rings are bendable hoops that are adjustable depending on personal preference.

Snake Bites Piercing Spikes

Piercing ring with arrows horseshoe with spikes F136 titanium 16 gauge 8 mm $17.9, SHOP NOW.

Snake bites piercing spikes can be made of barbells or labret studs, featuring either 2 or 1 spike at the end. This type of jewelry create s a very edgy look.

Horseshoe Barbells

Titanium ring horseshoe barbell $17.9, SHOP NOW.

Horseshoes can create an edgier look than rings and labret studs and may have spikes that protrude sharply at both ends. Horseshoe jewelry is another option with internally threaded balls that secure it into place.

Labret Studs

Piercing stud implant-grade titanium with cubic zirconia 16G $18.9, SHOP NOW.

Labret studs are the third option and usually have an adornment or spiked stud at one end and a flat plate inside the lip, which anchors the jewelry in place.

2. Sizes


The gauge size of the jewelry used for snakebite piercings is typically 14 or 16 gauge. Because swelling is common after the initial piercing, the jewelry used for initial placement will be larger.

After about a week, it is removed and replaced with a smaller gauge.


The standard lengths of jewelry used for snakebite piercings are 6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm.


If you prefer hoops or circular barbells, the diameters will usually vary between 6mm and 10mm, which will also depend on the size of your lips.

3. Materials

Commonly recommended materials for lip jewelry include:

Implant-Grade Titanium

Implant-grade titanium snake bite piercing jewelry is strongly recommended. It is lightweight, nickel-free, and won’t tarnish. It’s often recommended for those who are allergic to brass, nickel, and other metals common for jewelry.

Precious Metals 

Platinum and 14-karat gold lip piercing jewelry can offer an elevated look. However, they may be more pricey and could tarnish over time. Also consider if you have allergies, such as an allergy to gold.

Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel

If you opt for stainless steel, you should opt for surgical-grade steel. It often contributes to a smooth healing process and is extremely durable. However, it does contain small amounts of nickel that could cause allergic reactions in those with skin sensitivities.

Talk through all material options with your piercer to figure out what’s best for you and your skin.

Sterling Silver

A metal allow that is durable, affordable, and appealing to the eye with its shiny appearance. However, sterling silver is often not recommended for new piercings because it can complicate the healing process.

Bioflex Plastic

Flexible jewelry made from renewable materials that are metal-free and can come in different colors.

Risks Associated With Snakebite Piercings

All piercings come with their own set of risks. The most common risks associated with snakebite piercings include infections, scars, swelling and tooth or gum damage.

1. Snake Bite Piercing Infection

Infections may occur if you don't thoroughly follow your aftercare instructions. If you notice a sudden increase in pain, swelling or redness, your piercing may be infected. In addition, you may see pus oozing from the piercing site.

Call your piercer or healthcare provider immediately if you experience these symptoms.

2. Snake Bite Piercing Swelling

While swelling around the piercing is common, it should not persist for more than a week. Call your doctor or piercer if your swelling does not improve or it becomes more pronounced. Prolonged swelling may indicate something more serious, like an infection or rejection.

3. Snake Bite Piercing Scar

All piercings will leave a permanent mark, even if you decide to remove them. Keep this in mind before getting a snakebite piercing. In addition, you can experience significant scarring if you fail to follow proper aftercare instructions or have an infection.

4. Tooth and Gum Damage

Tooth and gum damage are unique risk factors for piercings around the mouth. As you talk or chew, your piercing may rub against your gums or teeth, irritating the area or causing damage to the enamel.

5. Trauma

It's easy to accidentally get a lip piercing snagged on a piece of clothing or caught on your hair if it's long. In addition, kissing may also cause tearing.

6. Nerve Disruption

Although uncommon, nerve damage can occur with snakebite piercings. Some facial piercings may disrupt the nerves around the piercing site, leading to numbness or chronic pain.

What Age Can You Get Snake Bites Piercing?

While anyone can get a snakebite piercing if they are 18 or older, people as young as 16 can receive one if a consenting parent accompanies them.

Pros and Cons 

Snakebite piercings are:

  • Fashionable and make a bold statement
  • Sensual and draw attention to the mouth
  • Simple to get and relatively inexpensive
  • Low maintenance

However, some things to consider are:

  • Snakebite piercings are hard to conceal
  • Two piercings mean double the maintenance
  • There is a long-term risk of tooth or gum damage

Snake Bite Piercing Aftercare

You may be able to do two piercings at a time, but you must make sure they get cleaned front and back. It’s crucial for you to properly clean your piercings at least twice a day. 

  • Opt for soft foods that aren’t overly spicy or acidic.
  • Chew very carefully to avoid biting your lip jewelry.
  • Avoid strenuous activities with your mouth until your piercings are fully healed.
  • Clean the piercings at least twice a day using a sea salt or saline solution.
  • Soak the outsides of your piercings for 3-5 minutes in the solution.
  • Gargle with salt water, paying extra attention to the front of your mouth to clean the backs of the jewelry.
  • Avoid mouthwash with alcohol.
  • Avoid touching and playing with the jewelry as this can introduce contaminants that contribute to infection.

Once your piercings are fully healed, you’ll be able to resume most of your daily habits. However, you may still find it difficult to eat certain foods or drink certain beverages that irritate the wounds. Be sure to talk with your piercer about concerns you may have.

How to Clean Snake Bites Piercing?

The best way to prevent complications is to perform the right aftercare. This involves cleaning your piercing at least twice a day. Your piercer may give you a saline solution, or, you can make your own at home by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm water.

To clean the piercing, you’ll soak something like a cotton ball in the saltwater solution. Then, you’ll apply it to the front and the back of the piercing to saturate the area. If needed, you can use a dampened cotton swab to gently brush away any crust.

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