Vertical Labret Aftercare – How to Take Care of a Lip Piercing

Vertical Labret Aftercare

The Vertical Labret is positioned on the same part of the lip as the standard labret.

The difference is the angle at which the jewelry enters the lip.

A regular Labret goes in through the back of the bottom lip, on the inside of the mouth, whereas a vertical labret, as the name says, goes in through the top of the lip and out through the bottom.

The whole of the vertical labret piercing can be seen from the outside of the mouth.

Although this piercing does not emerge in the mouth at all, it is still an oral piercing, so should be treated and cared for as one.

Vertical Labret Aftercare

As with all new piercings, looking after your vertical labret piercing is highly important in preventing problems from arising.

How safe is the vertical labret piercing?

Due to the fact that this piercing does not emerge from the inside of the mouth, the risks  associated with oral piercings are lower. This includes but is not limited to tooth erosion, gum recession, enamel scraping and a number of other dental issues.

The vertical labret will naturally present it’s own unique set of risks, which can be significantly reduced with a proper aftercare routine.

If you fail to take good care of your vertical labret whilst it is healing you could face the following problems:

  • Infections and disease transmission
  • Nerve damage
  • Swelling and pain
  • Keloid and scar formation
  • Rejection and migration
  • Allergic reactions

So, to state the obvious, you must take good care of your vertical labret

How to clean a vertical labret

Follow this aftercare guide and make sure to cleanse twice or three time daily.

Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your piercing.

Soak in saline solution

Saline SolutionUsing saline solution is convenient and highly effective.

To make your own saline solution all you need to do is stir half a teaspoon of sea salt into a cup of luke warm water.

Now there are a couple of different methods you could use to apply the solution to your piercing:

The suction method:
  1. Position the cup and your piercing in a position where there will be no gaps at all between the rim of the cup and your skin. This is easier to do on flat areas of the  body such as belly but can still be done on lip piercings.
  2. Once you feel you have created a suction between the cup and your skin, lean back so that the water soaks your piercing.
  3. You should stay like this for 10 minutes so you may want to get yourself comfortable.
  4. Dry your piercing using a sterile tissue or disposable towel. Do not use househeld towels as they can harbour bacteria.
Using a cotton pad:
  1. Soak a cotton pad in saline solution. (Avoid using cotton wool as they fibres  could get caught on your jewelry).
  2. Apply the saline solution to your piercing and jewelry. Make sure to not miss any parts at all. Soak the area as much as possible.
  3. Hold the soaked cotton pad on your piercing for 10 minutes or so.
  4. Dry thoroughly

Aftercare products

I am going to advise you again: get yourself a proper piercing aftercare product!

They are highly effective as they were designed for use on piercings.

My personal recommendation is the EasyPiercing Care Kit. If you are interested, read my review of this product.

Practice good oral hygiene

Due to this piercing’s proximity to the mouth, you should make sure to practice very good dental and oral hygiene.

Brushing your teeth

Brush your teethDuring the healing process you should brush your teeth thoroughly three times a day.

Eliminating bacteria and food particles from the mouth and teeth is vital as it lowers the risk of this bacteria spreading from your mouth to your piercing. Therefore you will be lowering your risk of infection.

Purchase yourself a soft-bristled toothbrush and use it to gently clean the actual jewelry. This process will remove any plaque which may have formed around the piercing.

Use mouthwash

H2OceanYour choice of mouthwash should be alcohol-free as alcohol is an irritant which can hinder your piercing’s healing process.

You can get mouthwashes purposely made for piercings which you could either purchase from your piercer or buy online. I would recommend H2Ocean Arctic Blast.

Ordinary mouthwashes are fine as long as they do not contain alcohol.

If you do not have any mouthwash available to you, just use saline solution to rinse your mouth out.

Other care tips

Just to be sure that your piercing is totally hygienic and lower the risk of infection even more, here are a few more tips on caring for your vertical labret piercing:

  • If there is any crust forming around the piercing you should gently remove it with a tissue. This is easier to do either in the shower or immediately after showering as the water softens the skin. Make sure you have washed your hands, preferably using anti-bacterial soap.
  • Avoid kissing and oral sex during the healing process to risk spreading disease and infection.
  • Eat cold food to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid swimming for the first few weeks whilst your piercing is healing. The water is not sterile and holds bacteria.
  • Do not take your jewelry out at all until your piercing is healed. Even after the piercing is healed you should make sure to wear your jewelry at all times to stop the piercing from closing up.


Any time you get a piercing, there is always going to be a risk of infection.

During the healing time it is normal to experience some redness, pain and a bit of swelling. If these symptoms persist or worsen you may have an infection.

You may have an infection if you experience:

  • Extreme pain and soreness
  • Severe swelling
  • Foul smelling or off-white pus oozing
  • Piercing rejection or migration

If you do happen to notice any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to seek help as soon as possible.

You can either contact your piercer or go to your doctor. You may need antibiotics.

Infections should not be ignored.


You must take aftercare very seriously or you will not heal up properly.

Just be sure to clean your piercing twice a day, practice good dental hygiene and avoid oral sex and kissing (I know it sucks, but it’s only temporary).

Do all this and you will have an awesome new piercing on your face to show off! Vertical labrets are great looking on women and on men.

There are different types of jewelry you could wear in it too, so once you are healed, enjoy your new piercing!

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any personal vertical labret aftercare tips, let me know in the comments, I love to hear from my readers!

20 Comments on Vertical Labret Aftercare – How to Take Care of a Lip Piercing

  1. Maybe its just me, but reading this article and all that can go wrong, it puts me off having a lip piercing done.

    I was even scared to have my ear lobes done, so I think I will leave the rest of my body parts in tact thanks.

    Otherwise a very helpful article to those braver than me who are having these sorts of piercings done.

    • Hey Michel.

      People need to know what they are getting themselves into when they get a piercing so I thought it was best to point out the risks.

      Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you think my post is useful!


  2. Thanks for this info, very useful. I always wanted a lip piercing but never went ahead with it. I was just wondering whether you have any information on tongue piercings?
    I had my tongue pierced about 15 years ago and then when I had my first child I had to take out all jewellery for the birth… and well I never put my tongue ring back in again. I am assuming this will have closed up? Do you think it will be a hard process to get that re-pierced?

    • Hey Lynne.

      I do have an article on what you can eat after a tongue piercing, but that might not b exactly what you are looking for. I intend to make an article all about tongue piercings within the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for it.

      Your tongue piercing will be long closed by now but there shouldn’t be a problem with you repiercing it, it won’t be much harder than piercing it the first time round. You should take extra good care of it this time round though.

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you found my site useful.

  3. hi Hannah
    Another great complete post on after care of piercing. Yous post comes at a good time. One of my staff has a vertical labret lip piercing (thanks to you I now know what it is called!) and I was just looking at it recently. I was thinking how does it work? Now I do 🙂 Saline solution seems to do wonders for everything 🙂

    • Hey Emily!

      The timing is pure coincidence (at least I think it is haha). Saline solution is great stuff, it’s awesome how sometimes the simple things life work the best!

      Thanks for another encouraging comment 🙂

  4. I had no idea there were different lip piercings nor did I know it was necessary to care for it as you would an ear piercing.

    Thanks for being so detailed and thorough about what can happen if you don’t care for your lip piercing and telling us how to take care of it.

    • Hi Rawl.

      You wouldn’t believe how many different types of lip piercings there are. I made a post on them if you’re interested. Aftercare is important for all piercings, especially those near to the mouth!

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Hi Hannah, thanks for this informative post about the aftercare of vertical labret. The thought of having a piercing on the lips sounds scary to me. It’s good for you to point out all the potential risk so that everyone that wish to have a lips piercing can make the proper preparation and aftercare management.

    • Hey Saber.

      I hope that giving people the information they need on piercings will help them to prevent infection and other problems.

      Lip piercings don’t really hurt much at all. When I had my sake bites (double lip piercing) done I barely felt it at all! The healing process is worse than the piercing.

      Thanks for your comment.

  6. Finally I found a website with all the information that I was looking for.
    You have some great information here! I am just learning about Vertical Labret aftercare, so I learned a lot.
    I didn´t know that saline solution could do so much!
    You saved my day.

  7. Hi!!
    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been put off piercing for a long time because, many years ago I had my nose done, I did it with a ring far too big really for me and it ended up being infected. My boyfriend had his lip done also and he had problems…I thought about having my lip done, but never went through with it due to this bad experience BUT I did do so much wrong and didn’t follow all the other care tips you mentioned…So, maybe I could do it again. Thanks.

    • Hi there.

      If you want another piercing go for it! Just make sure you take proper care of it this time round. You should opt for titanium or BioPlast/BioFlex jewelry rather than steel as it is better for the skin. Look after the piercing and you shouldn’t get any problems at all.

      If you ever need any advice I’ll be happy to help you out. Thanks for reading and taking your time to leave a comment.

  8. best take care of that lip peircing so it doesn’t get infected right? I’ve never thought of getting a lip piercing but I’ve always wanted to do my nose or septum, I feel like it would be a pretty cool. Do you think the saline solution would be good for ear piercings too? Thats something I actually do have now!

    Look me up

    • Hi there!

      Saline solution works very effectively on ear piercings too. It’s actually one of the est cleansing solutions for all piercings.

      Thanks for taking your time to read my post and leave a comment. I will look you up.

  9. Hi there. Really informative post on how to take care of a lip piercing. Having ear holes myself, I understand the amount of aftercare needed to prevent any infections, but wow! aftercare for a vertical labret piercing does sounds to me there is a lot more work on aftercare that needs to be done! Probably will not be getting a lip piercing anytime soon.

    • Hi there!

      There certainly is a lot more aftercare needed for lip piercings compared to ear piercings. Personally, I would say it is well worth it. I had a double lip piercing (known as snake bites) for years. I cleansed it frequently and never had any problems with it. The cleansing just became part of my daily routine after a while.

      Thanks for taking interest in reading my post and taking your time to leave a comment.

  10. very informative article on the care of a lip piercing, I can see from your article you have to be extremely careful and put special effort in taking care of this piercing to prevent infection.

    Kind of scary what can happen if you do not take proper care after your piercing, how often does someone experience these infection issues, is it very common for people to get infections

    • Hey there. If the piercing is taken very good care of, infection is rare. I do know people who have had infections but they did not look after the piercing well at all.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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