How to Change a Lip Piercing for the First Time

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Changing your lip piercing for the first time can be satisfying, but things can go wrong quickly if you change your lip piercing prematurely or wrongly. To avoid any mishaps when you change your lip piercing, you’ll need to learn how to change your lip piercing the right way. 

In this article, we’ll take you through how to do it right the first time, when to change your new lip piercing, and how to help your piercing heal faster. 

How long should you wait to change a new lip piercing?

Your piercing has to heal before you can change the jewelry. It could take anywhere from two weeks to six months to heal fully, depending on your body’s healing time, the kind of jewelry you used on your piercing, and your type of lip piercing.  

💡 Take Note: If you’re changing a lip piercing from stud to hoop jewelry, you should wait at least six weeks to three months. 

What happens if you change your lip piercing too soon?

If you change your piercing before it heals, you’ll expose it to infection and irritation. Without treatment, an infected piercing can get ugly and even dangerous. 

If your lip piercing is infected, you may notice pus or discharge around the piercing, persistent warmth, or a painful bump at the back or front of the piercing. Your piercing could also hurt more, and you could develop a fever. 

How to Change a Lip Piercing Stud 

lip piercing stud


Most initial lip piercings are done with a stud. If yours is one, here’s a step-by-step process to guide you through changing your lip piercing stud.

  1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water and dry them with a clean towel.
  2. Clean the piercing with a cotton swab soaked in saline solution. If you don’t, your piercing may get infected. 
  3. Firmly hold the part of the stud outside your lip (usually a ball or tipped end) with one hand.
  4. Use your other hand to hold the flat end of the stud inside your lip.
  5. Now, gently turn the outer part of the stud anticlockwise until it loosens from the flat end and your piercing hole. 
  6. Remove the outer part of the stud.
  7. Gently and slowly push out the inner part of the stud until it’s out of the piercing hole. 
  8. Once the stud is out, clean the piercing site with saline solution again.
  9. Get your new stud and unscrew it.
  10. Insert the part with the flat end through the inner part of your piercing hole and use the ball to screw it from outside your lip.
  11. If you’re replacing your stud with a hoop, follow the steps on changing a lip piercing hoop  in the next heading to insert your new jewelry. 

Some people experience embedded lip jewelry after changing their lip piercing. This happens when the skin around your piercing grows to cover your lip piercing jewelry. It usually occurs when your piercing jewelry is too small. 

💡 Important: Visit your piercer to change your lip jewelry to a larger one if you notice your lip piercing embedding. In the meantime, placing ice on the piercing site and using antiinflammatory pills can help you cope with the pain. 

How to Change a Lip Piercing Hoop  

woman with a hoop lip ring


Changing a lip piercing hoop is a bit more technical than changing a stud, but you’ll be able to pull it off with patience and care. Here’s a step-by-step process showing how you can change a lip piercing hoop:

  1. Clean your hands, and clean the piercing with a saline solution. 
  2. Use your thumb and pointer finger on each hand to hold each end of the hoop.
  3. Gently pull the hoop ends apart.
  4. Now, slowly pull out the hoop from inside your lip.
  5. Once it is out, get your new hoop and separate the ends as you did with the previous hoop
  6. Insert the new hoop gently through the inner part of your lip piercing
  7. Once it’s in, use your fingers to close the ends of the hoop together, so it stays firmly in your piercing.

If you notice a whitish or blood discharge after changing your lip piercing, it may be a sign that the piercing is infected. 

Visit your healthcare provider as soon as you notice any signs of an infection. Leaving an infected piercing untreated will only make it worse. 

Tips for Helping Your Lip Piercing Heal Faster 

The key to faster healing is preventing a piercing infection. As long as your piercing isn’t infected, its healing will not be delayed. These tips will help you ensure that your lip piercing stays uninfected and heal faster.

  • Use a soft-bristled brush to brush your teeth twice daily: This will ensure that food remnants and bacteria do not get into your piercing from inside your mouth. Brush your teeth slowly and avoid hitting the piercing. 
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day: A mouthwash also helps keep your mouth clean. Your mouthwash should be alcohol-free because alcohol-based products can dry out the piercing site and slow down healing. 
  • Apply a saline solution to your piercing twice a day: The saline solution will help clear up any debris that may settle on your piercing. Soak a cotton ball with saline solution and use it to clean your piercing twice per day. 
  • Avoid touching your lip piercing unnecessarily: Frequent lip touching will irritate your piercing, and it may start to swell. Whenever you do have to touch it, ensure that you wash your hands with antibacterial soap and dry them with a clean cloth before touching your piercing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s only natural to have questions about changing your lip piercing. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions about lip piercings. 

Can I change my lip piercing after a week?

No. You should wait until your piercing heals before changing your lip piercing. This could take two weeks or more. 

How do I know when my lip piercing is healed? 

Your lip piercing is healed when:

  • It no longer swells or produces discharge
  • The piercing site feels smooth
  • The jewelry can move freely within the piercing

If you haven’t experienced most of all of these, your lip piercing has not healed yet. 

Why is my lip piercing sinking into my lip? 

It could be that your piercing is “nesting,” which is common with oral piercings. But if more than half of the jewelry is sinking into your skin, that would be “embedding,” and you should visit your professional piercer to remove and replace your lip jewelry.

Be Patient With Your Piercing

You may want to change your lip piercing quickly, but it’s safer to wait until it’s healed. If you’re unsure about changing your lip piercing yourself, you can always visit your professional piercer to get it done. The goal is to have a successful replacement and enjoy flaunting your unique, beautiful lip piercing! 

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