“Angel Bite” Piercings Are Trending Right Now

Getty / Jeremy Moeller

Image Source: Getty/Jeremy Moeller / Contributor

Piercings can be just as versatile of a form of self-expression as tattoos. Don’t believe us? Ear curation has been rising in popularity over the last few years, with people mixing and matching their earrings to create the perfect vibe with their jewelry. As a result “rearscaping” quickly followed suit, with some people becoming more playful with the backs of their earrings.

Just like the jewelry you wear in your ears, the types of piercings you wear can say a lot about who you are as a person. If you’ve long been a part of the ear stacking and rearscaping movements, chances are that you’re more of a trend lover. To that end, there’s one piercing that’s currently having a moment and it may make you run to your nearest studio to get the look. Say hello to angel bites.

Ahead, a piercing expert explains everything you need to know about the trend, including what to do if it gets infected, the best candidates for the piercing, and how much it costs.

Experts Featured in This Article

Jef Saunders is a professional piercer and the cofounder of Gemma Piercing in Michigan.

What Are Angel Bite Piercings?

Essentially, it’s a type of lip piercing. “Angel bite is a colloquial term for paired vertical lip piercings of the upper lip,” Jef Saunders tells PS. They are typically done on both sides of the upper lip and give the appearance of fangs. “In general, curved barbells are used for this type of piercing,” Saunders says. “Exceptions are almost unheard of.”

The Risks of Angel Bite Piercings

Rejection is something that can occur with any piercing and that holds true with angel bites. “Inappropriately placed vertical lip piercings can migrate and reject,” Saunders says. “Still, full rejection [where] the lip piercing growing through the skin would involve a degree of neglect that doesn’t seem realistic.”

While full rejection likely involves ignoring your piercing progressively getting more irritated over time, Saunders says that there is a tell-tale sign that you’ll likely be able to catch sooner. “Take note if a vertical lip piercing seems to be migrating through the skin,” he says. “If you see the jewelry moving to a different location in the same area, you should see your piercer.” If it continues to become more irritated and eventually rejected, Saunders recommends going to a dermatologist as the risk for scarring increases exponentially with a rejected piercing.

Who Is the Best Candidate For Angel Bites?

Angel bites are more high maintenance than most traditional piercings because you need to be extra vigilant to make sure that you don’t irritate them (which can be hard given how often you need to move your lips). If you decide to get them, that is something to be aware of. “These piercings are a big commitment and challenging to heal,” Saunders says. “They require lots of open communication with your piercer. Ensure you are prepared for the effort necessary to make these piercings work.”

How Much Do Angel Bite Piercings Cost?

The cost of any piercing will vary depending on everything from the type of jewelry used to the experience level of your piercer. “2024 piercing fees in the US hover around $50 per procedure,” Saunders says. “Jewelry fees for curved barbells also hover around $50 each for implant-grade, safely constructed curved barbells. A pair of these piercings (including basic jewelry) could range from $150-$300. More complicated or ornate jewelry will cost more.”

Speaking of jewelry, some materials are better than others when it comes to this piercing. “F136 or F1295 implant grade titanium or F138 implant grade steel is most common,” Saunder says. “Niobium, 14 karat, 18 karat solid gold, or platinum also work.” If you’re ever feeling unsure, the Association of Professional Piercers has a guide that will help you make sure you’re on the right track.

Aftercare for Angel Bite Piercings

Aftercare for angel bites is similar to any other facial piercing. Make sure to use a saline solution like the H2O Piercing Aftercare Spray ($12) to clean the wound, and make sure that it is fully dry after each cleaning session. Also, only touch your piercing with clean hands, as the latter increases the risk of infection. And when in doubt, always consult with a professional.

Ariel Baker is the associate editor for PS Beauty. Her areas of expertise include celebrity news, beauty trends, and product reviews. She has additional bylines with Essence and Forbes Vetted.

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