Your Complete Guide to Philtrum Jewelry

philtrum piercing ideas

The philtrum is the central groove going from the bottom of the nose to the top of the lip. A philtrum piercing goes in the middle of this spot.

The most common piece of jewelry for a medusa or philtrum piercing is a labret stud. Labret studs are great for lip piercings. They have a flat end and a screw-on piece, which makes it simple to put on and take off jewelry. It enables easy insertion and removal of the jewelry, as well as the ability to switch out different accessories to personalize your look. In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about philtrum jewelry, including the different types of jewelry available, how to measure for the right size, and where to find the best options on the market.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is the Philtrum?
  2. Our Favorite Philtrum Piercing Threadless Jewelry Ends
  3. What Gauge Is the Philtrum Piercing?
  4. What Type of Jewelry Do You Use for a Medusa Piercing?
  5. Shopping for Philtrum Jewelry
  6. Changing Your Upper Lip Jewelry
  7. FAQ's
  8. Conclusion

What Is the Philtrum?

The philtrum is the vertical groove that extends from the bottom of the nose to the upper lip's top. It is a prominent feature of the human face and has been a popular area for piercings for many years. The philtrum piercing, or medusa piercing, is placed in the center of the philtrum, just above the upper lip. It is a unique and eye-catching piercing that allows individuals to express their style. They used lip piercings in their spiritual rituals. 

In the Western world, the philtrum piercing has a more recent history. It gained popularity in the mid-1990s during the peak of facial piercings. It is believed that a Canadian piercer introduced the idea of the medusa piercing, which is placed in the philtrum, and it gradually caught on among piercing enthusiasts.

Our Favourite Philtrum Piercing Threadless Jewelry Ends

When it comes to philtrum jewelry, there are a wide variety of options. One of the most popular types of jewelry for a philtrum piercing is the threadless jewelry end. Threadless jewelry ends are easy to insert and remove, making them a convenient choice for those who like to switch up their jewelry frequently. Here are some of our favorite threadless jewelry ends for philtrum piercings:

Feather Quill in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 Feather Quill in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 Regular price $276.00


Swarovski Prong in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 Swarovski Prong in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 Regular price $138.00


4 Gem Swarovski Line in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 4 Gem Swarovski Line in 14k Gold by Junipurr

 Regular price $282.00


The History of Philtrum Jewelry

The practice of adorning the philtrum with jewelry dates back thousands of years. In ancient cultures such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Egyptians, the philtrum piercing was seen as a symbol of beauty, status, and spirituality. These civilizations believed that the piercing enhanced physical attractiveness and spiritual connection. Over time, the popularity of philtrum jewelry waned but has experienced a resurgence in recent decades, becoming a fashionable choice for body modification enthusiasts.

What Gauge Is the Philtrum Piercing?

The gauge of a piercing refers to the thickness of the used jewelry. The gauge of a philtrum piercing is typically between 16 and 14. A 16-gauge philtrum piercing is thinner than a 14-gauge philtrum piercing. The gauge you choose will depend on your personal preference, as well as the healing time of the piercing.

If you are getting your philtrum piercing done by a professional piercer, they will likely use a 16 gauge needle. This is because the thinner needle will cause less trauma to the tissue, which can lead to faster healing times. If you want to use a thicker piece of jewelry when switching, it's important to wait until your piercing is completely healed before making the change.

What Type of Jewelry Do You Use for a Medusa Piercing?

The most popular jewelry choice for a philtrum piercing is a labret stud. Labret studs work well for lip piercings because they have a flat end on one side and a screw-on accessory on the other. The plate sits on the inside of the lip and helps to prevent the jewelry from falling out. The threaded accessory can be changed to different ends, such as a ball or gemstone.

Threadless jewelry is another popular option for philtrum piercings. Threadless jewelry is made to be easily interchangeable, making it a great choice for people who like to switch up their jewelry often. Threadless ends have a small pin that fits into the jewelry post. The pin clicks into place, holding the end securely in the piercing.

Shopping for Philtrum Jewelry

When shopping for philtrum jewelry, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, it's important to choose high-quality jewelry that is made from biocompatible materials, such as titanium or surgical steel. These materials are unlikely to cause allergies or irritations and are generally considered safe for extended periods of wear.

Additionally, consider the style of the jewelry. Do you prefer a minimalist look or something more bold and eye-catching? Are you interested in gemstones or prefer a simpler metal design? Take the time to browse different options and find a piece of jewelry that reflects your style.

Some reputable online retailers that offer a wide range of philtrum jewelry include XYZ Piercings, Piercing Paradise, and Body Candy. These websites have various options and often offer detailed customer reviews and product descriptions to help you make an informed decision.

Changing Your Upper Lip Jewelry

Once you have your philtrum piercing and the appropriate jewelry, you may wonder how to change it. Changing your upper lip jewelry can be simple and painless if done correctly. Here are some steps to follow when changing your philtrum jewelry:

  • Begin by cleaning your hands completely with warm water and soap to make sure they are clean.
  • Remove the current jewelry by unscrewing the threaded accessory from the labret stud. If you're having trouble, use clean, non-latex gloves or a pair of clean tweezers to provide extra grip.
  • Clean the jewelry and the pierced area clean by using an antiseptic or saline solution recommended by your piercer. This will stop infections and speed up the healing process.
  • Insert the new jewelry by aligning the flat plate of the labret stud with the inside of your lip and threading the accessory onto the post until it is securely in place. Be sure not to overtighten the jewelry, which can cause discomfort or irritation.
  • Once the new jewelry is in place, give it a gentle twist to ensure it is secure. It's advisable to avoid frequently handling or fiddling with your jewelry to maintain cleanliness and reduce the risk of infection.

Remember, if you're unsure or uncomfortable changing your philtrum jewelry yourself, it's always best to consult with a professional piercer who can assist you.

How to Take Care of Your Philtrum Jewelry

Proper care and cleaning are vital to maintain the longevity and appearance of your philtrum jewelry. Here are some guidelines to help you keep your jewelry clean and in good condition:

  • Clean the jewelry regularly with a mild saline solution or non-alcoholic antiseptic mouthwash. Gently swish the solution around your mouth, paying close attention to the piercing area, and rinse thoroughly.
  • Don't touch your philtrum jewelry with dirty hands. It can bring in germs and make infection more likely. If you need to handle the jewelry, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.
  • Be cautious when eating or drinking to prevent food particles or liquids from getting trapped around the jewelry. After you eat, wash your mouth with water to remove any leftover food.
  • Avoid exposing your philtrum jewelry to excessive moisture, such as in hot tubs, swimming pools, or saunas, as this can increase the risk of infection and cause damage to the jewelry.
  • If you experience any signs of infection, like redness, swelling, or discharge, seek professional medical assistance immediately. Avoid taking out the jewelry on your own, as it may exacerbate the infection.

By following these care instructions and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can keep your philtrum jewelry clean, safe, and looking its best.


Is it painful to get your philtrum pierced?

The region surrounding your philtrum contains numerous nerve endings, making it more sensitive to pain compared to, for instance, your earlobes.

What's the difference between philtrum and Medusa piercing?

A philtrum piercing, commonly known as a medusa piercing, is situated on the upper lip, precisely beneath the nose's septum. This piercing is usually done using a labret stud as jewelry, with the ball positioned on the outside of the mouth, in the indentation of the upper lip.

What is the downside of a Medusa piercing?

A medusa piercing involves inserting a stud in the philtrum, the groove located right beneath the nose and above the middle of the lips. Some may call it a Cupid's bow piercing. Oral piercings have the potential to harm the gums or teeth, leading to issues like gum recession, gingivitis, or enamel wear.

How can you protect your teeth when you have a Medusa piercing?

When patients understand the risks but still desire an oral piercing, they can follow certain steps to lessen the potential negative consequences.

  1. Keep the piercing site clean. After every meal, rinse the area and use an antimicrobial mouthwash daily.
  2. Avoid fiddling with the piercing to prevent any harm to your teeth.

Why does my Medusa piercing smell?

If you don't clean your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, you may get some regular but unpleasant odors building up. Your piercing might appear healed even if it's not fully recovered.


Philtrum jewelry offers a unique and fashionable way to enhance your appearance and express your style. With a range of styles and designs available to choose from, there's something for everyone. Remember to choose high-quality jewelry, take proper care of your piercing, and have fun experimenting with different trends and DIY ideas. Whether you're a long-time body modification enthusiast or considering a philtrum piercing for the first time, philtrum jewelry is a captivating and empowering form of self-expression.

Explore the world of philtrum jewelry and find the best piece to enhance your style and individuality. Visit our online store today!


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