Snake Eyes Piercing : You Need to Know The History with Benefits and Drawbacks [Detail]

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A snake eyes piercing, also known as a venom piercing, is an increasingly popular choice for those looking to get facial or oral piercings. As the name suggests, a snake eyes piercing consists of having both the left and right side of either the tongue or upper and/or lower lips pierced.

Getting any type of body modification like a piercing requires research and consideration beforehand. Snake eyes piercings are no exception. While they can look very striking and attractive, they also come with health risks and require significant aftercare. Below is detailed information on what to know before getting snake eyes piercings.

Snake Eyes Piercing : You Need to Know The History with Benefits and Drawbacks [Detail]

Overview and History of Snake Eyes Piercings

Snake eyes piercings likely originated in the 1990s within Western body modification and punk subcultures. The name comes from the parallel alignment of having both sides of an area pierced, resembling the linear eyes of a snake. While snake eyes piercings were initially associated with subcultures, their edgy look has now gained mainstream popularity.

The most common areas pierced in a snake eyes style include:

  • Tongue – Both left and right sides of the tongue are pierced horizontally. This is the most well-known type of snake eyes piercing location.
  • Upper and/or lower lips – The left and right sides of either the upper or lower lip are pierced to create a snake eyes effect. Some opt to pierce both upper and lower lips.
  • Septum – Both the left and right nasal septums are pierced to create the linear, symmetrical snake eyes look. This is a less common location.

While conceived as rebellious, snake eyes piercings are now requested in piercing shops around the world. Their parallel alignment creates visual balance and harmony. When centrally placed, they can also enhance facial symmetry.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Snake Eyes Piercings

As with any piercing, snake eyes come with both pros and cons to weigh:


  • Aesthetic appeal – The parallel alignment has an edgy yet artistic look. Snake eyes piercings can complement other facial piercings as part of a coordinated style.
  • Enhanced self-expression – For some, snake eyes allow them to outwardly communicate their personality and interests. They indicate a willingness to push societal norms.
  • Confidence boost – Like any body modification, a new piercing can make one feel more self-assured and comfortable in their own skin.
  • Conversation starter – Snake eyes piercings tend to draw attention and questions. Some enjoy having a distinctive look that sparks dialogue with others.


  • Health complications – With oral piercings especially, snake eyes raise the risk for infections, chipped teeth, gum damage, and nerve issues if not properly cared for. Reputable piercing standards are a must.
  • Social stigma – While becoming more mainstream, facial/oral piercings may still face stereotypes or assumptions from conservative crowds. Snake eyesexplicitly rebel against conventional looks.
  • Employability concerns – Jobs with customer-facing roles or conservative workplace cultures may require removal of snake eyes piercings during work hours. Alternate job options should be considered.
  • Cost – Good quality snake eyes piercings done safely under sterile conditions can have upfront and ongoing costs higher than earlobe piercings. Proper aftercare products also have expenses.
  • Speech impediments – Tongue swelling during initial snake eyes tongue piercing healing can temporarily affect speech. This resolves as swelling goes down within a few weeks.

As with any body modification, the choice to get snake eyes piercings is highly personal. One should review both the aesthetic appeal of snake eyes against the health and social considerations they bring.

Snake Eyes Piercing : You Need to Know The History with Benefits and Drawbacks [Detail]

Snake Eyes Piercing Procedure

Properly placed and cleanly pierced snake eyes should be relatively hassle-free to heal. However, the piercing process requires skill and sterilization standards to minimize risks. Below are key steps in the application process:

Before the Piercing

Reputable studios will take measures to protect client health and safety:

  • Thoroughly sterilizing piercing equipment and studio surfaces
  • Using single-use disposable needles and gloves
  • Having the client gargle strong antiseptic mouthwash to cleanse oral tissue
  • Marking anatomical entry/exit points on the tissue with a sterile surgical marker
  • Reviewing suitable jewelry sizing and placement given the individual’s anatomy

During the Piercing

Piercing should follow contagion control measures:

  • The pierced area gets thoroughly cleaned again with antiseptic
  • Sterilized piercing clamps precisely hold the tissue in place
  • A new disposable needle makes a quick puncture through marked points
  • Jewelry gets inserted through the hole and fixed in position via a bead, ball or screw
  • Excess blood/fluid gets cleaned off with gauze
  • Final jewelry position gets checked for symmetry and fit

After the Piercing

The client receives detailed aftercare instructions on:

  • Using antiseptic mouthwash 2-3 times daily
  • Avoiding intake of alcohol, smoking, or oral sexual contact during initial healing
  • Eating only soft foods for approximately a week after tongue piercings
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relief medication as needed for soreness
  • Returning for a follow-up appointment to assess healing and replace initial jewelry

Following proper piercing protocols minimizes health hazards. However, as an open wound, some swelling and discomfort are still common immediately after snake eyes piercings.

Snake Eyes Piercing Pain Levels

Pain levels can vary significantly between individuals getting snake eyes piercings. Factors impacting discomfort include:

Piercing Location

  • Tongue – Usually the most painful given the dense network of nerves. The tongue’s constant mobility also disrupts healing.
  • Lips – Slightly less painful than tongue piercings since lips contain fewer nerve endings. However, the thin lip tissue leads to longer heal times.
  • Septum – Often the least uncomfortable given the nasal septum’s relatively few nerve endings. Its stable placement also promotes easier healing than tongue or lip tissue.


  • Nerve supply – Areas with greater nerve fiber density perceive more acute pain sensation.
  • Tissue thickness – Thinner tissues with fewer layers feel more discomfort than fleshy areas.
  • Vascularity – Well circulated areas with many blood vessels swell and bleed more, heightening soreness.

Individual Factors

  • Pain tolerance – Those comfortable with piercings or tattoos likely handle discomfort better.
  • Psychology – Previous positive or negative piercing experiences can influence perceived pain.
  • Menstrual cycles – Women report higher sensitivity leading up to their periods when progesterone levels peak.

In a certified studio, the piercing process itself takes seconds. While momentarily intense, the poking sensation fades quickly. Throbbing and soreness stem more from aftereffects like swelling and healing. Over a few weeks, snake eyes piercing discomfort gradually subsides with proper care.

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Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Venom Tongue Piercing

Type Average Cost Pain Level Healing Time
Tongue $80 – $120 High 4-6 weeks
Lips $40 – $100 Moderate 2-3 months
Septum $40 – $80 Low 6-8 weeks

Average Costs of Snake Eyes Piercings

Reputable piercing studios charge more than pop-up stands for good reason – their hygiene standards protect client health and safety. With snake eyes, both sides get pierced, essentially doubling costs. Expect to invest roughly:

  • Snake eyes tongue piercing – $80 – $120
  • Snake eyes lip piercing – $40 – $100
  • Snake eyes septum piercing – $40 – $80

Factors affecting precise pricing include:

  • Studio’s overhead expenses
  • Experience and skill level of the piercer
  • Geographic location and market rates
  • Jewelry quality and materials
  • Initial aftercare supplies provided

Clients should view higher prices as reflecting better quality sterilization products, needles, training, and jewelry grade. This helps minimize infection risks that ultimately cost more to treat than quality initial piercing services.

Snake Eyes Piercing : You Need to Know The History with Benefits and Drawbacks [Detail]

How Long Do Snake Eyes Piercings Take to Heal?

Healing durations vary based on piercing area:

  • Tongue snake eyes – Heal in 4-6 weeks typically
  • Lip snake eyes – Take 2-3 months to fully heal
  • Septum snake eyes – Require a 6-8 week healing timeframe

Tongue piercings heal fastest given the mouth’s constant temperature, moisture, and blood flow. Lips heal slower as the tissue gets more disruption when talking or eating. Healing also progresses quicker the healthier the client keeps the area.

Factors promoting faster, complication-free healing:

  • Maintaining excellent oral hygiene
  • Using quality jewelry that avoids friction
  • Keeping hair, fingers, and objects away
  • Avoiding playing with or rotating jewelry
  • Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet

With appropriate aftercare and lifestyle factors, snake eyes piercings should heal smoothly. However, if uncontrolled bleeding, worsening pain, severe swelling or pus occur, one should return to the studio or seek medical care promptly.

Possible Health Risks and Complications


The most common issue, infections occur when microscopic germs enter the puncture site. Signs include soreness, redness, swelling, pus, and fever. Left untreated, infections can spread deeper causing abscessed tissue or sepsis. Seeking antibiotic treatment rapidly is vital.

Nerve Damage

Oral piercings like the tongue can hit sensory nerves or obstruct critical functions like swallowing if incorrectly placed. This nerve trauma can cause chronic pain or paralysis. Proper tongue piercing positioning parallel to the midline avoids bilateral branches near the tip.

Tooth Damage

The pressure of oral jewelry rubbing against teeth over months gradually chips enamel or frays gums. Dentists may recommend removing mouth piercings to halt progressive deterioration leading to tooth loss or periodontal infections.

Difficulty Healing

Lip and tongue tissue get more movement that disrupts healing. Continuous swelling impedes closure. Poor blood supply, underlying conditions like diabetes or medications like steroids also retard healing. If wounds fail to improve within two months, removal may be required.


While not unique to snake eyes, in some skin types a raised hypertrophic scar called a keloid may form around the exit holes. Genetics and tension across the skin influence scar prominence. Injections can flatten the appearance.

The good news is that most snake eye piercing risks are avoidable by selecting:

  • Reputable studios with extensive training and credentials
  • Piercers specifically experienced in oral/lip procedures
  • Appropriately sized and hypoallergenic jewelry
  • Keeping tobacco usage, gum chewing or similar friction sources away during healing

While providing detailed care instructions for avoiding complications, quality studios also give clients explicit warning signs indicating medical follow up is needed. Closely monitoring fresh piercings minimizes problems.

FAQs – Snake Eyes Piercing

Does getting snake eyes piercings hurt?

Pain levels vary based on area pierced and personal pain tolerance but are usually temporarily intense. Well pierced tongue snake eyes often hurt most. Septum and lip snake eyes tend to be less painful overall. Throbbing discomfort fades as the piercing heals over subsequent weeks.

How much do snake eyes piercings cost?

With both sides getting pierced, expect to pay $80 – $120 for reputable snake eyes tongue piercings, $40 – $100 for lip snake eyes, and $40 – $80 for septum snake eyes. Higher prices reflect better hygiene standards and jewelry grade.

How long does it take snake eyes piercings to heal?

Complete healing takes 4-6 weeks for tongue snake eyes, 2-3 months for lip snake eyes and 6-8 weeks for septum snake eyes. Keep the area very clean while avoiding irritation to encourage quickest closure with no complications.

Can my employer make me remove snake eyes piercings at work?

Potentially yes, especially in public facing roles. More conservative workplaces may require stud retainers instead of rings or bars during business hours. Know workplace culture before getting visible facial piercings.

Do snake eyes piercings leave scars?

Usually only minimally. In some cases, raised keloids can develop around the exit holes but this is not overly common. Genetics, jewelry friction and wound tension influence scarring risks. Quality aftercare minimizes permanent marks.

Will snake eyes piercings damage my teeth or gums?

Potentially over time yes, if jewelry constantly rubs. Ensure oral jewelry fits properly. See your dentist promptly if noticing tooth chipping, gum recession or related issues for evaluation.