Lip piercings have become very popular with the younger set in recent years. In addition to a traditional lip piercing, many people also prefer the look of a stretched piercing with a larger gauge, or metal bar in the lip. While it is uncomfortable and must be done gradually, you can stretch your lip piercing yourself if you are extremely careful about it. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to heal before moving on to the next size.
Wait for your lip piercing to heal completely. Body Manipulations, a piercing studio in San Francisco, estimates that it can take from 9 to 12 weeks for a lip piercing to heal.
Multiply the time it took for your lip ring to heal by three. If it took 12 weeks for your piercing to heal, you should wait an additional 24 months to begin the stretching process.
Purchase a lip ring one gauge higher than the gauge you are currently wearing. If you are unsure what gauge you are wearing, go to a local piercing studio and inquire.
Remove your current lip ring.
Soak the taper in your liquid soap and place it into the lip hole until it becomes difficult to do so.
Push the rest of the taper through until there is only a small bit (about 1/4 of an inch) sticking out of the piercing site. This should be a bit uncomfortable and even slightly painful. However, if the pain is excruciating, discontinue immediately.
Lubricate the end of your new jewelry with a moderate amount of soap and push the taper through your lip, followed immediately by the new jewelry.
Wash the outside of your piercing with liquid soap, and rinse your mouth out with a salt water solution twice a day to prevent infection.
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Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.
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