If you wish for some fun on your tongue piercing, then you might consider a venom piercing. A venom piercing is also called double tongue piercing. This means you will get two punctures symmetrically placed on each side of the tongue.
A venom piercing can also be called frog eye-piercing because when you open your mouth, the balls on your jewellery in these double holes look like frog eyes.
A venom piercing is unique and can be done by all genders. The procedure is also relatively quick. However, there’s a lot more information you need to know such as the cost, healing time, pain level, healing time, and other details about the procedure. We will cover all of these important details in this article.
Types of Jewelry Used for Venom Piercing
The most popular jewellery for venom piercings is straight barbells (basic barbells). A barbell usually has two ball ends and thread into place at the exit and entry points. However, the ones that would be used initially for the piercing would have to be long enough to give room for the swelling.
Once the healing is complete, you can always play around with different jewellery options such as shorter barbells.
According to the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), the most recommended jewellery is made from biocompatible plastics, metals, gold, or metals with certain designations by the American Society of Testing and Materials Standard (ASTM international) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). Such kinds of materials include:
- Titanium: Go for implant-grade titanium which is free of nickel especially when you have nickel sensitivity. Generally, opt for titanium that is ISO 5832-3 or ASTM F-136 compliant. You can also choose commercially pure titanium with the designation ASTM F – 135.
- Surgical steel: Choose surgical steel jewelry that is ISO 5832-1, ASTM F-138, or ISO 10993- (6, 10, or 11) compliant. Don’t forget surgical stainless steel may contain nickel, which might cause an allergic reaction if you have a nickel allergy
- Biocompatible plastics: Plastics like Bioplast and Tygon are safe for initial piercings. They are also excellent for oral piercings because they may not cause damage or irritation to the gums and teeth.
- Niobium: This metal is similar to titanium but it doesn’t come with an implant-grade designation. However, it’s hypoallergenic and affordable.
- 14-karat or higher gold: Avoid gold vermeil or overlay, gold plated or filled jewelry. Instead, opt for gold jewelry with at least 14 karats.
How Much Does Venom Piercing Usually Cost?
A venom piercing may cost between $60 to $100. This does not include the jewellery which on its own might cost about $10 to $30 for each piece. Nevertheless, what you pay depends on the location and how popular your preferred studio is. Jewellery material and level of piercer’s experience may also influence the price you pay for your piercing. Regardless, don’t forget to put in your 20 per cent tip.
How Does the Piercing Procedure Work?
The first thing the piercer does is to assess your tongue to ensure you are a good candidate for the process. Next, you will be asked to choose your jewellery and then fill some paperwork such as a consent form. After these, you might undergo the following steps depending on the piercer:
- Now you will be asked to swish your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. This will help get rid of some amount of bacteria from your mouth.
- Then the piercer will use a surgical pen or body-safe marker to mark the piercing spots (entry and exit points for each barbell).
- The piercer will ask you to confirm that you like where the spots are located before moving forward
- Now he/she will use forceps to hold down the tongue steady.
- Next, using a hollow, sterilized needle, the piercer will puncture through the underside of the tongue up into the first marking, followed by adding the first barbel, and then the ball is screwed on.
- He/she will now do the same for the other side of the tongue.
- Finally, the piercer will ask that you rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash and all blood will be wiped away.
- Afterward, the piercer will share with you all aftercare procedures. You can also ask your questions before leaving the studio.
Is the Piercing Painful?
Venom piercings will most likely hurt, but for most people, the rating is usually 4 or 5 on a 10-scale. Some people also say it’s a bit more painful than a regular tongue piercing and that the second piercing hurts more than the first side. However, your pain threshold and the experience of the piercer will also determine how painful the procedure would be.
Don’t forget that your tongue may be swollen, and tender for a few days after the procedure. But the pain should lessen and the symptoms improve over the next week. You might also consider using an ice cube on your tongue to numb the pain or take an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen
Are There Any Risks Associated With Venom Piercing?
Pain, swelling, and tenderness are normal. However, you should look out for potential risks such as:
- Infection: It’s possible for the piercing to become infected through the procedure itself or poor aftercare.
- Bloodborne infections: Ensure to use a reputable piercer to avoid developing bloodborne infections such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, and tetanus, from contaminated needles.
- Allergic reactions: some people with sensitive skin or nickel allergies may report an allergic reaction if their jewelry material contains nickel.
- Severe swelling: Swelling is normal but too much that it blocks your airway is a cause for alarm.
- Bleeding: if a blood vessel is damaged during the process, then it might result in severe bleeding.
- Increased saliva production: It’s possible for your tongue piercing to cause an increase in saliva and may often lead to drooling.
- Teeth and gum issues: If you choose a cheap jewelry material, it might rub against your teeth and gums thereby irritating and damaging them. It’s also possible to crack or chip a tooth if you accidentally bite down on your jewelry.
- Heart and brain abscesses: Although rare, there have been cases of heart or brain abscesses. It happens when infection travels from the bloodstream after the tongue piercing procedure.
- Nerve damage. Although just as rare, there have been cases of nerve damage. For instance, in a 2006 case, the jewelry used irritated a nerve beneath the tongue that is linked to the trigeminal nerve causing trigeminal neuralgia.
- Choking or swallowing the jewelry: It’s also possible to ingest and choke on loose or broken jewelry. This is why you must always choose high-quality jewelry for the piercing.
Healing and Downtime
The mouth has plenty of bacteria any day. Therefore, venom piercings like other tongue piercings take a longer time to heal. It’s even more because of the double piercing. Generally, without complications and the correct aftercare, the piercings should be adequately healed in 4 to 8 weeks.
Always remember that we don’t all heal at the same speed. Again your overall health and lifestyle (e.g smoking) may also slow down the healing process.
Aftercare and How to Clean Your Piercing
It’s vital to follow a proper aftercare procedure to minimize your risks of complications.
While healing, here are some things you should do:
- Avoid taking and rest your tongue
- For the first few days eat only soft foods
- Use a soft bristle brush to brush your teeth twice daily
- Avoid spicy foods and alcohol
- Always wash your hands before touching the piercing
- Use a sea salt rinse or diluted mouthwash after taking alcohol or smoking and before going to bed.
- Drink ice water or dissolve an ice cube in your mouth to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Sleep with your head elevated to also minimize swelling
- As said earlier, consider using Ibuprofen or naproxen to help deal with swelling and inflammation.
- Don’t forget to clean the piercing twice a day, using non-alcoholic mouthwash or by making your own sea salt solution.
While healing, avoid doing these activities:
- Avoid sharing utensils and cups with other people
- Avoid playing or touching your jewelry
- Don’t engage in sexual activities that involve the mouth such as open-mouth kissing.
- Avoid chewing gum or other things that might increase exposure to bacteria
- Avoid talking or moving the tongue too much
- Avoid contact sports or other rough activities.
- Don’t remove the jewelry before healing becomes complete as it might cause the closure to close completely
Signs of a Complication
Stay aware of every stage of the healing process. While you should expect pain, bruising, and swelling, be on the lookout for other signs that might be a complication. See a healthcare provider, if you see signs such as;
- Severe or worsening swelling, bleeding, or pain
- Redness around piercing sites
- Foul smell from the piercing areas
- Thick green or yellow discharge from the piercing regions.
How to Change Your Jewelry
Be sure to avoid changing your jewellery before the piercing heals completely to prevent risks of infection. Therefore, you should wait for at least the recommended healing time of eight weeks. After the piercing has healed, consider going to your piercer to help change the jewellery or you can change it yourself.
What if You Wish to Retire the Piercing
Retiring the piercing is easy. All you need to do is remove all jewellery and let the piercing sites close. However, the complete closure depends on how long you have had the piercing. It’s possible to also have a little scarring that looks like tiny indents or bumps in the piercing sites.
Are you ready to get your venom piercing? Find a reputable piercer and studio near you through the APP. Regardless, ensure to follow these tips to choose the right piercer with the best experience:
- Visit the studio to assess their cleanliness and sterilization process
- Assess the staff to ensure they are professional and knowledgeable and will make you feel comfortable.
- Request their portfolio which should contain pictures of healed client piercings
- Ask to see their jewelry selection.