When you first think about lip piercings, the most standard probably come to mind: Maybe it’s a hoop on the side of the mouth, or perhaps a stud decorating the middle. But one of the more unexpected iterations of this is the spider bite piercing.
The spider bite is an edgy type of lip piercing that goes on the underside of your pout, and its name comes from the fact that it’s a pair of side-by-side piercings — located close together on either the right or left side of your lip — that looks like a mark from the aforementioned insect. The heyday of the look was in the early 2000s, but, while it may be a rare sighting these days, it’s still a creative option for body art, says Starr Ellis, owner and piercer at Nine Moons Piercing.
Also notable? Now that face masks are slowly peeling off, it makes the bottom half of your face prime real estate for a new piercing. “With the restrictions being lifted, more high-quality studios have been opening their books for under mask services,” Ellis tells Bustle.
If you’re considering booking an appointment at a local studio, here’s everything you need to know about spider bite piercings, including its average cost and tips for aftercare.
How Much Does A Spider Bite Piercing Cost?
When you first get a spider bite piercing, your piercer will give you a flat-back stud with various end options (the part that shows on the outside of your lip), says Ellis. Because you can pick from different types of hardware — from gemstones to hoops — the cost will vary. “In quality studios, the cost can start at $160 for the pair and go way up if you prefer precious metals and gemstones,” Ellis says. That said, some places can run around $50 for the pair of piercings.
While you can pick any jewelry under the sun to decorate your lip with, Ellis advises using something high quality. “Cheaper piercings will mean cheaper materials and higher risks [of infection],” she tells Bustle. “Make sure to do your research and choose a reputable studio and piercer.”
How Painful Are Spider Bite Piercings?
Of course, everyone has different levels of pain tolerance. Experts say the spider bite isn’t very high on the piercing pain spectrum — if you’ve gotten your lobes pierced before, this should be a cinch. The only thing to keep in mind? It’s really two piercings in one, so be prepared knowing it’s not a one-and-done deal.
How Long Does A Spider Bite Piercing Take To Heal?
Healing time can be helped with proper care before your appointment. Ellis recommends getting a good night’s sleep, healthy meals, and avoiding stress for the sake of your skin before heading to the piercing studio.
After that, there are two notable healing periods when it comes to spider bite piercings. The first happens 4 to 8 weeks after the initial puncturing. Ellis explains that initially longer posts will be placed in the lip to accommodate swelling. Then, during a checkup a month or two later, she notes that “shorter studs should be fitted for optimal healing.”
The overall healing period is about 4 to 6 months, says Ellis, during which the swelling can fluctuate. If you find at some point your piercing needs an adjustment, you should leave it to a professional. “Oral piercings can be very finicky, especially when there's more than one,” Ellis warns.
What Is The Spider Bite Piercing Aftercare Like?
Aftercare for your piercing is all about the less is more approach. “Try to avoid touching the piercing as much as possible during healing, rinse very thoroughly with running water, and [use] sterile saline solutions for irrigations and removal of debris,” Ellis advises.
That said, it’s important to know there’s an adjustment period during which your body gets accustomed to your new lip piercing. At this time, Ellis recommends eating soft foods and drinking through a straw as your new studs heal. It also helps to eat smaller bits of food and to (of course) stay hydrated.
What Happens When You Remove A Spider Bite Piercing?
If you ever get bored with your spider bite piercing and want to remove it, there’s a potential for a small scar, says Ellis. “But the risk can be minimized by getting the piercings done well, following appropriate aftercare, and scheduling checkups for potential jewelry maintenance.”
The healing or closing of the pierced holes also varies from person to person. Ellis says it all comes down to your body’s natural healing propensity, how well the piercing was taken care of, and how long it was in. Other than that, you’re all set to enjoy your chic body adornment.