The spider bites lip piercing consists of two piercings placed right next to each other on either side of the lower lip near the corner of the mouth. Because of their proximity to each other, they resemble a spider bite.

Let’s get into how the spider bites piercing is done, what precautions to take, what to expect after the piercing procedure, and how to tell if your piercing needs medical attention.

To do this piercing, your piercer will:

  1. Disinfect the outside of your lips with warm, clean water and a medical-grade disinfectant.
  2. Sterilize needles, jewelry, and any other equipment that’ll be used to do the piercing.
  3. Mark your lips where the jewelry will be inserted with a marker or pen intended for use on your skin (to avoid contact allergies or sensitivity reactions).
  4. Push a sterilized needle through your skin gently but quickly to create the first piercing.
  5. Insert your jewelry into the new piercing.
  6. Stop and clean up any blood that’s been drawn during the piercing.
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for the second piercing.
  8. Disinfect the outside of your lips again to reduce the chance of infection.

Not everyone feels pain the same way.

Some people may get through this piercing with no trouble at all (and even enjoy the thrill). Others may feel intense stinging or discomfort during or after the procedure.

In general, people with this piercing have reported that it’s similar to getting an immunization like a flu shot — you’ll probably feel a brief sting or pinch, then nothing at all except some sensitivity or soreness.

If you’ve done ear or nose piercings before, many people report that it hurts more than an ear piercing but less than a nose piercing.

On the low end, expect to pay above $20 to $40 plus the price of your jewelry.

For more exclusive piercers, you may pay up to $50 or more along with your jewelry costs.

As with any piercings, there are possible side effects that you might encounter, including:

  • allergic reaction to materials used in your jewelry, such as nickel
  • piercing being ripped or torn out of the skin if it gets caught on clothing or an object
  • infections from improper aftercare or from your piercer not using sterilized tools
  • embedding (skin growing over the jewelry) if the jewelry is too small and doesn’t jut out of the skin enough
  • migration and rejection of the jewelry, where your body grows back tissue and pushes the jewelry out of the pierced area and the jewelry falls out.
  • nerve damage from an improper piercing procedure or from being done too close to sensitive nerve endings

Here are some precautions to take before getting a spider bites piercing:

  • Don’t get this piercing if you have a history of keloid scars.
  • Keep in mind that this piercing may become irritated from eating or drinking.
  • Rinse your mouth out with a gentle mouthwash before you get the piercing.
  • Piercing rejection may be possible as lip skin is thin and sensitive.
  • This piercing doesn’t require any special training beyond basic piercing certification. Make sure you choose a piercer with good reviews and a proven track record of piercing success.

Here are some basic aftercare do’s and don’ts to make sure your piercing heals well and looks good in the long term.

See a doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • pain or swelling around the piercing
  • skin around the piercing that feels unusually hot
  • pus or discharge that’s green or yellow
  • unusual or bad odor coming from the piercing
  • red bumps or rash around the piercing
  • jewelry falling out shortly after the piercing, especially if it’s hard to put back in
  • tooth damage from jewelry or plaque buildup near the piercing

Hoops are the most common and popular option used in spider bites piercings. Other options you can try:

  • Circular barbell: thick ring shaped like a horseshoe, with round beads at each end that you can take off
  • Captive bead ring: thick, fully circular ring with a spherical bead in the middle where the two ends of the circle snap together
  • Curved barbell: slightly curved bar-shaped piercing with round beads on each end

Spider bites piercings are cheap, involve a simple procedure, and heal quickly. Just be sure to find a trained and experienced piercer.

They’re a little less common than other lip piercings, so this piercing can be an effective way to express yourself with facial jewelry.