What Is a Jestrum Piercing? Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Aftercare

What Is a Jestrum Piercing? Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Aftercare

Lip piercings offer a unique look with multiple different jewelry options that allow you to express yourself and your unique sense of style. What you may not realize, is there are many different types of lip piercings.

One worth considering is a jestrum piercing, which is a vertical piercing that goes through the middle of your upper lip.

What Is a Jestrum Piercing?

Jestrum piercing

A jestrum piercing is also called a vertical medusa piercing or a vertical philtrum piercing. It goes through the part of your upper lip called your philtrum. This is the dip just below your nasal septum.

This piercing ends up being visible with the lower portion sitting at the underside of your upper lip and the top portion sitting at your philtrum.

What Is a Jestrum Piercing? Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Aftercare

Image: Weeze Davis.


One variation of the jestrum piercing is a double jestrum piercing. Like its name implies, this involves two separate jestrum piercings. Instead of one vertical piercing in the middle of your upper lip, there are two vertical piercings positioned to the right and to the left of the middle portion of your lip.

As a finished look, there will be four areas where the jewelry is visible.

Jestrum Piercing vs. Medusa Piercing

A jestrum lip piercing is similar to a medusa piercing because they both are located at the philtrum.

However, while a jestrum piercing usually uses a curved barbell visible at the top and bottom of your upper lip, the medusa piercing is only visible at your philtrum. The medusa uses a labret stud with the back hidden inside your mouth, at the back of your lip.

Jestrum and Vertical Labret Piercings

Another variation to think about is a jestrum piercing combined with a vertical labret. This can be a great option for piercing enthusiasts who are looking to get multiple lip piercings that go well with one another.

While the jestrum goes through your upper lip, the vertical labret goes through your bottom lip with one end of the jewelry visible at the underside of your bottom lip. The back of the medusa’s jewelry is inside your mouth, positioned behind your lower lip.

Paired together, your lip jewelry will be visible in three spots, placed in a symmetrical vertical row. In other words, when your mouth is closed, the accents of your jewelry will be visible at the top of your upper lip, between your lips, and just below your bottom lip.

Jestrum Lip Piercing Pain

On a scale from one to ten with one being little pain and ten being the worst, many would rate a jestrum piercing at around a four. However, if your pain tolerance is low, you may experience a higher level of pain.

Keep in mind that choosing an experienced piercer can give you a better experience. They’ll be experienced in using sharp tools to puncture your skin quickly and efficiently.

Jestrum Piercing Healing

A vertical philtrum piercing will typically take around six to eight weeks to heal completely. You may realize your lip piercing heals quicker than this timeframe, or, it could take longer. If you don’t take care of your piercing or experience any complications, it could take much longer.

Jestrum Piercing Price

Jestrum lip piercings usually cost between $30 and $60, not including jewelry. The cost of your vertical lip piercing will depend on where you go, the experience level of your piercer, and the type of jewelry that you go with.

In most cases, it’s worth it to pay more to ensure a well-placed piercing with high-quality jewelry to support a smooth healing process.

Jestrum Lip Piercing Jewelry

When it comes to body jewelry, it’s important to follow recommendations for jewelry type and sizing. Different piercing areas will have different recommendations based on your body’s anatomy, the skin thickness, location, and other factors.

By going with the right jewelry, you’ll be more comfortable and are more likely to heal properly.

1. Jewelry Type

Curved barbell piercing ASTM F136 implant-grade titanium internally threaded $15.9, SHOP NOW.

Jestrum piercings really only allow for a curved barbell. This is because of its location on your lip. The curved barbell features a ball or other accent on each end with one visible at your philtrum and one visible below your top lip.

If you go with something other than a curved barbell, you risk rejection and you’ll need to take the jewelry out and allow the piercing to close.

2. Jewelry Sizes

Jestrum lip piercings typically utilize 14-gauge or 16-gauge jewelry. The curved barbell length will depend on the thickness and size of your upper lip but will likely be 6mm, 8mm, or 10mm.

If you have a thin upper lip, you’ll likely want a 6mm curved barbell. If you have a thicker upper lip, you’ll likely want a 10mm curved barbell.

With the barbell, there will be an accent on each end. Accents vary in style and size. For example, you may opt for metal balls, spikes, diamonds, hearts, or something else. They can range in size with more petite accents measuring around 2mm and statement pieces measuring more toward 4mm.

3. Recommended Materials

Commonly recommended materials for lip jewelry include:

Implant-Grade Titanium

Implant-grade titanium lip 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 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.

Pros and Cons

Vertical philtrum piercings have pros and cons to think about.

Some pros for you may include:

  • Ability to have a double-pierced look with a single piercing
  • Various barbell accent options to choose from
  • Chance to pair with other lip piercings, like the medusa piercing
  • Highly visible for those who want their piercing to stand out
  • At or below the middle of the pain scale

Some possible cons you should think about are:

  • Risk of tooth and gum damage
  • Limited jewelry types to choose from
  • Can interfere with eating, drinking, talking, and other oral activities
  • Has a lengthy healing time of three to six months


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 Jestrum Piercings?

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.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not a jestrum lip piercing is right for you truly depends on your preferences. Think about if you want a lip piercing and if you’re willing to dedicate time and effort toward cleaning and taking care of it.

Then, consider if you’re willing to undergo the piercing process and associated pain. If you are, explore different jewelry styles to determine if there are options that you enjoy.

Once you’re ready, set up an appointment with an experienced piercer and look forward to your new accessory.

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