Monroe Piercing Tips, Care and Precautions


An off-center piercing of the upper lips on the left or the right side using a labret having a metal ball or a jewel is called Monroe piercing. Resembling a beauty mark, the Monroe piercing is also known as Madonna or Crawford. This variant of piercing derives its name from the famous icons of female beauty Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Cindy Crawford. 14g or 16g labret are usual used for this type of piercing. These labrets are shortened after the area is healed.

monroe marilyn
Unlike the other piercings that came to popularity in late 70s and 80s, Monroe piercing has a more recent appearance in the world of fashion. World saw the appearance of this variant in the late 90s when it was first seen on the face of the bassist, Rayna, of the music band Coal Chamber.

Monroe piercing generally heals fast and normally takes 8-12 weeks to heal but, some people reported that the piercing healed in 6 weeks or less. The faster healing is an outcome of the enzymes which are capable of killing the infectious bacteria which causes the trouble.

It’s always good to be cautious and take some kind of curative and preventive steps to avoid any kind of problem. Keep the site of piercing clean and dry. Avoid swellings and blisters by applying ice numb and also quit smoking and/or drinking while the site is healing. Smoking and drinking have a tendency to irritate the area and delay the healing procedure.

Monroe Piercing
Softness of the area of piercing makes the Monroe piercing relatively less painful than the other types of piercing. The nerve running over the top lip is less vulnerable to needle piercing as it is very close to the lip and the piercing is generally done well above the lip. The pain felt by an individual during the Monroe piercing varies from person to person and also the location of the piercing determines the degree of pain involved. Male are prone to slightly more pain than the women because the skin surface on their face is rough owing to shaving. People having thick lips can also experience more pain than those having thin lips. People who play brass instruments or woodwind instruments tend to have larger muscle around their mouth. This will cause greater amount of pain if they try to get a Monroe piercing.

Monroe piercing looks good and cute. Unlike a trashy and hip-hop kind of piercing, Monroe piercing actually adds to your beauty and elegance. Why don’t you try once? Though a little bit painful, you will like it.

Monroe Piercing Care

Below are some of the aftercare tips that should be taken care of after Monroe piercing for a proper Monroe piercing healing. One of the foremost care that should be taken care of is oral hygiene. Lets look at some of the care methods for Monroe piercings –

  • Just after your meal you should rinse mouth for 1 minute to take care of the oral infections out of food products with medical grade mouth wash
  • Oral antiseptic in the diluted for could also be used if the above is not available
  • Halitosis could be covered if you use the regular oral rinse. Avoid using the regular oral rinse at all cost
  • If you try to clean the piercing too much then it might delay the healing process.
  • Swelling out of your piercings could be reduced by taking ice pops, ice creams or just chilled or frozen yogurts
  • If there is severe pain in the area of piercing then over the counter analgesics could help in bringing down the pain
  • Bacteria and food particles in the mouth could further create infections. This problem could be taken care of by brushing 2-3 times of day which would remove all the food particles in between teeth – breeding ground for bacteria
  • The crust below the piercing jewelry could be loosened by taking steam on your face. You could also clean your face with anti-bacterial soaps twice daily
  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soaps if you are going to touch the jewelry or the piercing area even for smaller duration in order to curtail the infections
  • Do not stuff your mouth with big bites but eat very slowly
  • Tobacco products, sweets and chewing gum should be completely avoided while Monroe piercing is healing
  • Petroleum based products should be completely avoided while healing is going on
  • The jewelry should not be loose as it might also delay the healing process

Monroe piercing care is very essential. One should look out for good and experienced piercer and take good aftercare for the piercing to prevent infections.

Precautions for Monroe Piercing

Body piercing is a very sensitive procedure. Experts’ advice, not to take a chance in selecting a piercing shop. Make sure the shop is clean and providing healthy environment. Some shops might not take basic precautions against infections. When you want to get a body piercing, inquire about the shop’s procedures, their tackling sense with customers and the hygienic conditions they maintain. The piercing shops should have an autoclave to sterilize the instruments.

Make sure by inquiring any customers of the shop or just visit the shop once before you get a Monroe piercing done.

Sample Tips for Your Inquiry about piercing center
  • The shop you are visiting is clean or not
  • The person doing piercing wears fresh disposable gloves or not
  • He uses disposable instruments or sterilized instruments
  • If he uses sterilized instruments, make sure he sterilizes them or not
  • If he uses Piercing gun, say ‘no’ to him, because the piercing gun is not a sterilized one
  • Needle is the fresh and new one or not using it for first time or not
  • Needle is disposed off in a special container or not

Also ask about the type of jewelry the shop provides because some material can cause allergies to some people. Before your Monroe piercing, make sure if you are allergic to any metals.



  1. okay i always wanted this peircing but i do play a wood wind insurment and have very big thick lips im sorta scared it will be extra painful….but is it safe to do a home?

    • No, def not first of all when they pierc it they must use a clamp and long thick needle. Then once the hole is made the earing goes through the back out the front then gets screwed on. Dont try this at home ever!!

  2. I am getting a Madonna considering it’ll be on my right instead of left. I think it’s cute and not many people have it so why not? But my lips aren’t well THICK so much as err… well they’re not to thick but not to thin. So I should be safe right?

  3. I REALLY want this piercing . My sister is even encouraging me to get one . I’m 13 years old and my sister is 24 . I would like to get this done AS SOON AS POSSIBLE , I have sewing needles , but they vary in sizes , should I put rubbing alcohol on the site and the needle ? And I heard somewhere to put the needle over fire for a couple seconds to kill germs , but isn’t that what the rubbing alcohol is for ? I’m ver nervous to do this , but I have thin lips so it shouldn’t hurt as bad , and I asked a couple of my friends that have the “Monroe” and they said it doesn’t hurt that bad .

    • Are you kidding me? Right? Your actually NOT thinking of doing this piercing by yourself are you? And wtf is your older sister thinking trying to convince you to get it done at such a young age? I am 27 and I have mine pierced, but your way to young and stupid. Plus mine got infected, and they used sterile needles, and u wana use a sewing needle?? Stay in school hun AS LONG AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN! You need education!

  4. I have a Monroe. It does not interfere with any instrument playing, eating, drinking, virtually anything.
    It heals quickly and it’s really cute (: The pain is not unbareable, infact it hurts a lot less than imagined. I encourage it (:

  5. Can someone tell how long the swelling lasts? A few days? I am planning on getting mine done on Friday so the swelling will be down before I go back to work on Monday.

  6. Hey, I have a monroe that I got 2 years ago and recently got a matching madonna on the other side. They’re relatively easy to care for, yet everybody is different so my healing process may be different than yours. Usually swelling lasts for a month or two. Mine did for a month. It doesn’t interfere with anything at all, but I caution you all trying to do it yourself. Go splurge and go to a professional piercer. It greatly reduces the chances of infection and makes sure the placement of the piercing won’t be irritating. Trust me, some of my friends have diy’d their own piercings and they looked a lot worse during the healing process and they were often forced to take them out becuause the swelling/icky side affects. I love my piercings, and if you’re thinking about it just go for it!

  7. I have had a monroe since last tuesday. I have pretty thin lips and I have to say it hurt pretty bad but the shop where I got it done does not use a clamp. I have had absolutely no swelling at all, however it is red just around the hole and the healing like any other wound itches like crazy!! I think if you really want it to get it done even if it hurts really bad like mine did cause its sooo cute! However many people say it doesn’t hurt at all everyone has a different pain tolerance and just because it doesn’t hurt for one person doesn’t mean that it will be painless for you!! I have my tongue, nose, cartillage, and ears pierced and I thought this was more painfull than any of the rest not to mention the many tattoos I have I thought this piercing was also more painfull than a three hour sitting of a tattoo

  8. It’s really not that bad. Aside from my ears, which were pierced when I was about 10 or 11, my Monroe is my only piercing and I love it. I’m a tattoo girl, so I very much prefer being inked – I love the sensation of getting a tattoo but have a hard time with piercing.

    Pick a good, reputable piercer who is a piercer only. Piercers know piercing and tattooists know tattooing. A piercer is going to be more familiar with this procedure than a tattoo artist who pierces on the side.

    Please, for those of you I saw talking about doing it with a sewing needle, DON’T. First of all, a piercing needle is hollow and takes the portion of skin and tissue it goes through with it. It creates a sizable hole in your skin to accommodate the jewelry, which is usually 16 or 14 gauge (mine is 16). Piercing yourself with a sewing needle will lead to at least an improper hole for your jewelry and in the worst case (and most common) scenarios, nasty infections. Plus, sewing needles are dull. Piercing needles are made to slide through the skin smoothly and painlessly. Your face is not a piece of fabric.

    Look for a reputable, clean piercer whose shop you will leave looking like a million bucks. Trust me, you’re going to look ridiculous with a fat, swelled lip and some nasty discharge running down your face.

    Overall, I’d say that the process was not bad at all. I did need a hand-holder, because I’m a baby when it comes to piercing. But that was just for my own peace of mind. I probably drove my piercer crazy, but she was patient. My lip was swelled for about two days, but after that I felt very little discomfort.

    I did have to go back to the piercer for my first jewelry change, as the bead on the end of the initial jewelry was stuck firmly in place and must have developed a crush on me. It did NOT want to leave my face. A good piercer is going to accommodate you on your first change out and you should go to them for it. If for no other reason, it’s good to let them do it just so that they can see how it’s healing and give you any information or tips on what you need to be doing with it. They’ll also sterilize your new jewelry very well so that you’re not putting a germ infested mess into your fresh wound.

    I love my Monroe and am intensely happy that I worked up the nerve to get it done.

    For those of you who are concerned about having to hide it at work, I’ve discovered that a Bioflex stud is a good option. It’s a thin, surgical grade plastic post that you can cut to fit the width of your lip and has a push pin type bead that slides into the hollow outer end. When I remove the bead it is impossible to see the post and it fits snugly against my gum. As far as my employer knows, I’m not even wearing jewelry.

    Be sure to keep up with the aftercare and please, people, for the love of all that’s holy, research your piercer or tattoo artist before you let them mod you. We need to take the same care in choosing an artist as we would in choosing a doctor. Bad piercings and tattoos aren’t just ugly. They can lead to serious infections and disease if not done properly and safely.

    That being said, I’d recommend the Monroe to anyone who wants a new mod with a timeless appeal. I wouldn’t give mine up for the world.

    • I had mine February this year..but the base that’s the inside…the metal has healed in my mouth….like it isn’t showing no more,but I can feel it….am going back to my piercer to see if there is anyway the hook can come out of my gum….I really hope this can be

  9. I am going to have Monroe piercing soon. I boyfriend is insisting on getting that but I am not sure. Well, anything to please him. I never had any piercings as I am scared of needles. But, this time I might go for it. Then I might go for an ear piercing too as I love ear rings but due to fear of needles I was not able to have piercing since long. Let us see how it goes.

    • Please, if you want one for yourself, go for it
      Not because your boyfriend wants you to get one
      Be wise and don’t be with someone who wants to change you.

  10. I play a woodwind instrument (clarinet) and I was wondering would it hurt when I get my lip pierced, and would it interfere when im playing my clarinet?

  11. DON’T do this piercing on your own. Go to a good piercing shop (try not to be too cheep) and get it done.
    I just got my Monroe done a couple of days ago. It’s healing actually quite nice. If you go to a good place everything is nice and clean and it’s actually pretty fast and almost painless. You’ll get all the information you need to know about aftercare and it has a way less chance of getting infected.
    Trust me, if you get this done professionaly it will hurt way leas am you’ll be happier with it.
    I love this piercing though, and the pain wasn’t actually too bad. Plucking your eyebrows is worse then this.

    • Is plucking your eyebrows really worse? Because im 13 and i want one for christmas i dont think my mom would care but i am like really scared of needles and shots and stuff like that. Does it like pinch really fast? and will it make me cry or anything? i dont care if it hurts afterwards im just scared about the pain when the person does it. please reply!

      • A shot hurts worse than getting this done, it’s just a pinch ,if you every bite the side of your cheek that hurts worse than this

  12. Hi i had my Monroe done for the Nd time 3 days ago…. first time i had it done, the pain was not to bad, but i got a infection the doctor told me i was over cleaning, which caused all the natural bacteria to be washed away but it is needed to help heal it.
    I built up the courage to have it redone and DON’T ever get it done through the same hole… they did it through scar tissue and the pain was terrible… i have many tattoos and piercings and have given birth to 2 children and i have a high pain tolerance, but i nearly cried this time round and had to sit on the chair after as the pain was so bad i felt really faint… so WARNING… don’t ever go through scar tissue for a piercing ….

  13. hey im 10 and my parents are letting me get one but uhh my brother and i fight alot adn still i am ten should i get it???

    • you are 10. give a few years and then consider if you still want one. don’t make too quick decisions. but once you are older then I say go for it πŸ™‚ I have one (im 16) and im so scared of needles but my monroe was half as painful as i expected. you wont regret it.

  14. Okay, so I play the Baritone/Euphonium and would really like a Monroe peircing. My parents say it is okay, but I was just wondering if it would interfere with my playing at all

  15. im 15 i got my monroe done aout 2 weeks ago and its all red when will the swelling go down and when will i be able to change

    could you guys please help me out thats soo soo much πŸ™‚
    oh and why is the ball on t so lose ?

  16. I got my monroe piercing back in 08 and I did let it heal for about 3 months, but my employer was bugging me so I took it off. If I decide to get another one now will I still have to wait about 3 months for it to heal?

  17. Monroe Piercings on

    I had my Monroe pierced for about 3 months. Then i sorta learned Monroe’s are not meant for men lol. Took that out and now I just have a normal lip piercing. The Monroe piercing looks beautiful on women though.

  18. I am planning to have a Monroe piercing in a week or so. I am very scared after reading lots of negative things on net about this piercing. At one place I read that if you do not put jewelry in your piercing, it will close and will put a ugly scar behind it. Is this true? After the piercing is done, is it necessary to put jewelry all the time? Are there some types of plastic fillers that could keep the piercing in place?

    What are the chances of having an infection after the piercing is done. I wanted an opinion from someone who got this done while in teens. I want someone to tell me that it is not fine and why as I am scared and wanted to drop the idea but on solid grounds.

  19. i love my monroe. although, i have to go back to my piercer because it it so tightly screwed on. this is my fourth week to have it. it never really swelled up but did turn a little red bc i made the mistake of putting rubbing alcohol on it! DO NOT DO THAT! use dial soap or sea-salt.

  20. I’m 15. An I’ve had my minroe for about a year now. An i did mine at home. I bad a lot of bcterial things. It tool me a few hours. It swelled an was red an crusty for a few weeks. But I’m a smoker an a drinker an it didnt effect it at all.

  21. I really want to get a Madonna since I have a nosering in the left side, so I want them to be crisscrossed. Also I have a pretty thin upper lip but thick lower so I guess that works out well with this piercing.

  22. Ok. So i got my monroe done about 5 months ago and it completely healed, but I got a shorter bar and that night it fell out. I had to wait for it to get healed. And I just got it redone. I was readingthe comments and everyones saying it didnt hurt. But it varies from person to person. For me the first time hurt alot, but i could easily handle it. The second time however, hurt alot more. Like excrusiating pain. I dont mean to scare anyone out of getting it cuz it varies. But it does look very nice so I reccommend it πŸ™‚

  23. I got my Madonna piercing 2 days ago and now I am noticing a white blister on my gum and it hurts.. Is that normal??

  24. Hey. Im on the chubby side, and I want a Monroe. Does it hurt more with chubby girls? Ive had plenty of piercings on my ears and i have my nose done. Is the pain sorta like the nose?

    • it shoulnt matter chubby or not. they clamp it. en after it swells a little but your lip goes back to normal. just make sure it is long enough. I think that I my problem

  25. How can they call this the Monroe “or” the Madonna? Madonna is a skank and can NEVER [nor has she EVER been able to] hold her own against Marilyn.

    • Because Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark was on the left side of her face, while Madonna’s is on the right side.

  26. I just got mine done 3 days ago and it is swollen, red, and has a lot of puss coming out of it. I am allergic to metal but I made sure I got the correct one. I cant tell if I am allergic or if it is infected. when I clean it, it throbs in pain. any ideas? please help..

  27. I just got mine pierced yesterday and I have a really long bar in it. I have noticed that it is irritating my gum. What do you guys think?

    • Mine is doing the same thing it keeps rubbing on my gum. I am going to try to get some of the wax that the dentist gives people with braces to see if that helps.

  28. Tonya Thornburg on

    I did mine myself yesterday. Its alil swollen not red or anything but I think the bars to short cause as it swelled the skin inside my lip is covering the back of the metal stud. Will I be fine? Or will the skin grow over the disk? Do I change it with a longer lubret?

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