What Does It Feel Like To Get A Medusa Piercing?

medusa piercing

Medusa piercings have been popping up a lot more often recently. and for good reason! This stunning piercing is front-and-center on the face, offering varied options for true statement pieces or subtle and dainty accents.

Once a niche piercing, the medusa has become much more accepted societally. The medusa piercing is a specialized lip piercing located underneath the septum above the middle of the upper lip. These piercings are sometimes referred to as philtrum piercing – named after the formal name for the indentation in your upper lip.

Besides the philtrum, there are many different kinds of lip piercings. The labret, monroe, and madonna piercings are located in either side of the lower or upper lips. There are also a suite of “bites,” symmetrical pairings of lip piercings like snake bites; cyber bites; or spider bites. For more information on lip mods, check out our comprehensive Facial and Lip Piercing Dictionary!

Since the medusa is generally considered a more “advanced” piercing (i.e. in most cases, it’s probably not anyone’s first or only piercing), if you’re actually considering getting this mod, you probably already have a piercing or two. The drill for the medusa is the same as any other piercing – sit in the chair, get marked up, check the placement, push the needle through your lip, so on and so forth. But what exactly is it going to feel like?

There’s no one true answer to this question. Because everyone’s body is different; every piercing pro is a bit different; every piercing shop is a bit different. Every piercing shop is different. You’ll have a completely different experience than the next person. But it still helps to hear some first-hand accounts of what a piercing felt like from someone who has been through it.

We reached out to five (5) Body Candy fans and asked them what it was like to get their medusa done. Here’s what they had to say!

Note: some names/faces below have been changed for individual privacy

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philtrum piercing

Ellie M. – Philadelphia, PA

My medusa piercing did hurt, but only for a little bit!

I’m proud of my high pain tolerance as you can probably tell by my many tattoos and piercings! But to be honest, having my medusa done made me tear up. I’d give it a 6/10 on my personal pain scale. It hurt less than one of my nipples, but more than my belly, snake bites, and earlobes.

The clamp was kind of uncomfortable for sure. But when she pushed the needle through my lip, besides THAT stinging quite a bit, I also got that burning sensation that feels like you’re about to sneeze or cry. My eyes watered but I didn’t sneeze or cry really, I just kind of welled up.

I had kind of a fat lip for a few days, but the swelling went down pretty quickly. I used sea salt to keep it clean and that really seemed to do the trick. My best advice is to make sure you clean it after every single time you eat. I feel like that went a long way toward it healing up quickly.

My medusa is probably my favorite piercing now. I love wearing an opal labret in it!


Kendra E. – San Francisco, CA

I’ve had my medusa done twice. I did it myself the first time (bad idea), and even though it hurt really badly when I did it, I liked it. I ended up taking it out for some reason and it unfortunately closed up really quickly. A few years later I decided to go back to a piercer to get it redone properly.

Even though a pro did it the second time, I still found this jewelry really painful. They explained to me that your upper lip is really sensitive with lots of nerve endings. I’m not going to lie, the piercing was pretty uncomfortable, but only for a few seconds. It no longer hurt after like 30 seconds.

My medusa healed up just fine. I did a bunch of salt swishes to keep things clean on the inside of my mouth and used H2O spray to keep the outside clean. Once everything was healed up, I switched to a flat back labret piercing to make sure I minimized any damage to my teeth. Right now I have a 14k gold labret in.

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Listen, this piercing hurt A LOT but it was totally worth it. I give it a nine out of ten on the pain scale but I would do it again if I had to!

lip ring

Maya D. – Phoenix, AZ

I have over a dozen piercings, with my medusa being the most recent. I’m pretty used to needles at this point, but I still had a bit of trepidation heading into the piercing studio.

My piercer and I have a pretty good relationship now, so I take for granted the usual procedure of getting pierced. Just like any piercing, she takes me back to her space and made a little small talk. Everything is either covered with plastic or freshly sterilized (you can usually smell this in the air). She sat me back in the chair and did a few measurements, culminating in a little purple dot in the middle of my lip. She gave me the opportunity to check out the dot in the mirror and sign off on the placement. After that, it was over within the next two minutes. Clamp, needle, jewelry, done. That simple.

As it went through, I was surprised at how much it stung. It was probably three out of five stars on the pain scale for me. Not worse than my tragus or my nipples, but worse than just about everything else. The pain was only temporary though. Even the aftercare was pretty easy going.

All in all, I highly recommend this piercing. Although I have lots, this is the one I get complimented on the most.

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Heather H. – Vancouver, WA

I have always thought the medusa was such a stunning mod. But I had always been afraid of the pain (and also what other people would say about it). But eventually my desire for an opal labret stud outweighed everything else so I made the appointment with my piercer friend to finally get this piercing I’d wanted for so long.

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I knew this one was going to hurt, but I had also had a few traditionally painful piercings before (multiple ear cartilage), so I was ready for the pain. I actually overestimated how bad it was going to hurt – it stung but it really wasn’t that bad. Maybe a five out of ten on my pain scale.

It’s clich√© but the worst part for me was actually having the needle pushed through my lip. It hurt. But now my philtrum is my favorite piercing and I’m so proud for pushing outside of my comfort zone and getting something I’ve always wanted.

lip piercings

Jennie J. – San Diego, CA

I’m a waitress and I recently switched jobs from a more strict dress code to something that allows us a bit more freedom with our looks. I had been thinking about the medusa for a long time (I wanted it to pair up with my septum piercing) and as soon as I could, I went to my piercer to get it done.

I really appreciated that my piercer lined me up with a little dot and let me approve the location – her initial placement seemed a little high to me and she ended up moving it down just a few millimeters (and I’m super glad she did). The procedure was over and done within 10 minutes. The clamp was a little cold and it definitely feels weird to have someone pulling on your upper lip like that. But the needle was through before I knew it.

I give the medusa a three out of ten on the pain scale. Make sure to practice good aftercare (salt sprays, no spicy food, etc.) and you won’t have a problem at all!

Tell us all about your medusa piercing experience!

Do you have a medusa? How did getting your philtrum pierced feel? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know about your piercing experience; your aftercare; and what you think about it now in the comments below!

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