Lip piercings have become quite common. While most of them do not scar, some develop into unsightly scars once the wearer decides to remove the jewelry. Hypertrophic scars and keloids are also common complications of lip piercings that did not heal properly. In this article, learn more about lip piercing scars with pictures to give you an idea of what piercing scars look like. Also included are the cost and ways you can use to get rid of piercing scars.
Young people are very fond of facial piercings. However, as people grow up, they find the piercings more juvenile and some even get rid of them. This can happen with minimal or huge scarring. The smaller the gauge of the lip piercing the smaller the scar that will be left behind- most times, this should only be a small scar that resembles an open skin pore or a zit. Smaller scars may fade over time.
Whether one gets a lip piercing scar depends on the time they took having the piercing on and how stretched the piercing was for larger jewelry. This will also depend on individual healing capabilities. Since scarring varies in different people it is hard to tell how bad the scarring will be once you decide to get off the jewelry.
Professional piercers will usually ask you to sign a consent and no piercing would be done without accepting the risk of scarring.
Lip Piercing Scar
A scar happens when fibrous tissue replaces normal tissue. There are three types of possible scars that can form after a lip piercing; hypertrophic scar, keloid scar and atrophic scar. Keloid scars are a form of scarring that can be caused by piercing. They are caused by delayed healing. They can occur in anyone but are more common in people who have a history of keloids- those who have darker skin tend to get them more. Atrophic scars are more common and unlike hypertrophic and keloid scars which form raised tissue, atrophic scars look like a sunken pitted appearance on the skin. It also does not extend beyond the piercing.
Note that some lip piercing scars are caused by trauma or injury during fights or contact sports. It is always advisable to replace your jewelry with a softer and smaller retainer to avoid the risk of scarring.
Do lip piercings leave big scars? Do lip piercings scar?
Anyone who is thinking of having their lips pierced will normally try to get answers to these questions. It will be right to say that YES, lip piercings scar. It is a normal occurrence since there is an injury to the skin whereby the body responds by producing collagen- collagen forms a thicker skin lining which may be raised or indented. This is what appears like a scar.
Do lip piercings leave scars always? Do lip piercings scars go away?
While this is a genuine concern for most people, lip piercings will only leave a tiny dot on the skin which will eventually fade into nothing. This, however, depends on the size of the hole in line with the needle gauge used. If your piercer used a gauge larger than size 16, it may affect your skin’s elasticity and leave some scarring.
Vertical Labret Piercing Scar
Do vertical labret piercing scar? Like all other piercings, it is normal for a scar tissue to form around the area pierced with different levels of skin thickness from one person to another. Vertical labrets will almost always leave a scar especially in cases of early infection or playing around with the jewelry before complete healing. The scar is usually tiny- almost the size of a blackhead.
For inverse vertical labrets or Ashley piercings, the part that comes out of the actual lip will not be noticeable but the one that comes out below might be visible- no big difference though. The scar tissue feels like a small lump. The small dimple like a mark that forms at the top of the lip is hidden by the jewelry and will only be visible if the lip is ‘naked’.
Lip Piercing Scar Removal
According to the piercingbible.com, the presence of jewelry and prolonged healing may cause excessive scarring. Piercing scars are usually very small. But if the size and the appearance of the scar are bothering you, there are ways you can reduce their appearance. Here is how to get rid of lip piercing scars;
Punch Excision Surgery
Punch excision method is growing popular with a very good success rate- here, the shape and size of the scar are altered by cutting into the scar and bringing the edges together with fine sutures under local anesthesia. The dented scar is singled out, the skin is removed and the edges brought together to a normal level using sutures or surgical strips.
The excision eliminates the deep pockets of the skin and replaces them with tiny marks on the skin. This method allows for regular and faster healing of the edges. While this improves the appearance and reduces visibility it cannot get rid of the scar completely- you will have to accept the possibility of being left with a smaller scar which will fade over time and become less visible.
If the scars are larger, punch excision can be combined with a skin graft where the scar is removed and replaced with new skin.
How much does lip piercing scar removal cost?
Depending on where you are, the cost may be anything from $300- $1000. It is best to first identify a well experienced plastic surgeon in your area and discuss the possibility of getting the procedure done, cost and course of treatment before settling down to decisions. If you are in the UK, you can get these services at Ramsey Health Care.
Other methods of scar removal such as laser and creams are not recommended for lip scars on the actual lip. For those piercings that do not go through the actual lip such as Monroe and Madonna, you can massage the area daily for 1-2 minutes with vitamin A, C or E oil. They soften and smoothen the collagen bonds in the scar tissue.
Lip Piercing Scar Tissue
Sometimes scar tissue forms inside the lip piercing and grows over the jewelry. If this happens, make a point of seeing the piercer for evaluation and immediate jewelry change. Extra skin around the piercing poses a risk of embedment.
Does a lip piercing scar tissue scar go away?
According to Dr. Andrew Kaufman, M.D a Los Angles Dermatologic Surgeon, in the early phase of healing there is the fibrous reaction and scar formation. It is normal for the skin to feel thick and hard in the first few months. With time the scar becomes less fibrotic and becomes softer. Scar tissue removal is usually delayed to allow for this process to be complete.
Application of pressure, massaging and injection of corticosteroids can hasten to soften and flattening of the scar. Otherwise, since most lip piercing scar tissues are small, if they are not bothersome leave them alone and they will improve on their own.