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Positive Philtrum Experience

For about two years I'd been considering a Monroe piercing, but there was always something about it that held me back. Then one day I seen a picture of a pierced philtrum, intrigued by it, I began to do my research and find as many pictures as I could (thanks BME!). The more I would see photos of "Medusas", the more I preferred it over the Monroe, however still being unsure which would be best suited to my own face, I began to seek opinions from friends and family. It wasn't a lot of help, and when people did lean either way, it was usually toward the Monroe.

I still preferred the philtrum, but my indecision put a damper on any plans for actually getting a piercing.

A couple months later, while planning a visit to a friend in California, I asked on a forum for recommendations for piercing studios in the Bay Area. There were a couple different shops mentioned, and I decided that I would check them out while I was on my trip. One of the shops was Staircase Tattoo.

My friend and I took the drive down to Santa Cruz, to visit the city and also with plans to visit the shop. We walked to the studio, and when we got there it was fairly busy, mostly people who were there for tattoos. We waited for a while, and I spent time looking through the flash, portfolios, and the selection of jewelry (which was quite impressive!). When finally someone was free to answer my questions, I spoke with Tom. I asked him about the differences between piercing a Monroe and philtrum, and he was very informative; he answered all my questions and more, he related his own experiences with healing and scarring, and the experiences of others. After our conversation, I felt that I'd gained quite a bit more knowledge. At no point was he ever pushy, he was quite personable and encouraged me to take time to consider everything before making a choice.

He'd given me quite a lot of food for thought, and I decided to take some time to think about it. My friend and I left to explore the city for a couple of hours, we were going to wait a couple days and return once I'd made a decision, but it didn't take as long as I thought to make up my mind. We returned to the shop, which was considerably less busy, and waited a short time before Tom was free.

We discussed the philtrum again, and chose the jewelry; a 16g threadless Neometal flat back labret with a tiny CZ gem. While Tom went to get everything ready, I paid, gave my information to one of the staff and filled out the forms. It wasn't too long before Tom was ready for me, and I went to the private room to be pierced. I went without my friend, by choice, and I started to get very nervous. We continued to chat while he was preparing my lip, we agreed on the placement and he spent a bit more time marking it and making sure it was straight.

During the actual piercing, I don't remember much talking, if any, which was perfectly fine because it was more important to me that there be focus than getting an explanation of what was happening. The feeling of the needle going through my lip is something I'm not sure I can describe; it was just this weird sensation that might have been pain! I didn't really enjoy it, and my eyes began to water, but once the needle was actually through, there wasn't much pain, just a tight and tingly feeling in the area. The jewelry insertion was painless, though getting the tiny CZ end on tugged a bit.

When I examined the piercing in the mirror, it looked quite foreign and suddenly I wasn't sure if I liked it! For about a second, but from then on I have been in love. Afterwards, we discussed aftercare (and I had a sheet with details as well), and about changing the post length once the swelling was gone. When I told him that I would likely not be able to return, but that I'd have access to ordering a shorter Neometal post, he said that he'd give me one instead, just in case.

Tom was super nice, and my piercing experience with him was very positive! Sheepishly I asked if he would accept a tip, which he was very appreciative of, and then he walked me to the front of the shop before saying our farewells. The swelling didn't really start until we were in the car on the ride home, and it lasted for a solid week at its "fullest" point, and then another week of slowly going down. There was some bleeding in the first week, maybe twice lasting for about 10 minutes each time. Since then it's been a breeze.

It's been a little over 3 months now, I've had the jewelry changed to the shorter post that he provided, and it's been healing very nicely. It's straight and sits perfectly inside my mouth, I have had no gum irritation or damage. A lot of people compliment it, and I get a lot of "did it hurt?" questions, I guess because the Medusa isn't a big trend yet where I live. I've been told it's actually quite tasteful and dainty, and I work in customer service where I deal with all sorts of people face-to-face on a daily basis.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 June 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Tom
Studio: Staircase+Tattoo
Location: Santa+Cruz%2C+CA

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