Jestrum piercing is a variant of medusa lip piercing. Also known as a vertical medusa, it is an upper lip piercing very similar to the vertical labret. Below is more on this unique lip piercing including; healing, aftercare, pain, problems encountered and jewelry options.
Jestrum Piercing or Vertical Medusa Piercing
Jestrum piercing or vertical medusa is placed just above the upper lip but unlike a normal medusa, the piercing is done vertically with two holes one above the lip (philtrum) and the other below the upper lip. It uses a curved barbell and both ends can be seen externally.
Most people prefer to combine this piercing with a standard labret to give a symmetrical look.Since this piercing is so outspoken and the center of the face, placement is very important as an off the center piercing can distort the symmetry of the face and lead to permanent teeth and gum damage. You should make sure that your piercer understands what you want before going ahead with the piercing to avoid such problems.
Jestrum Piercing Healing
The normal jestrum piercing healing time is anywhere between 6- 12 weeks. Like most lip piercings, this piercing heals from the outside inwards meaning that while it may look or feel healed on the outwards, it may take quite a while for the fistula tunnel to form and completely heal. This may be anywhere between 4-6 months.
You should not remove jewelry during the first 12 weeks of the healing process. The granulation tissue formed can be easily damaged by moving the jewelry. Rotating and twisting the jewelry during healing can trap bacteria, cause irritation, infection and delay healing. Proper cleaning and care will shorten the healing time. Note the good quality and well fitted jewelry is essential in the healing process.
Jestrum Piercing Aftercare
Vertical medusa piercings take quite some time to completely heal and need to be well taken of. You piercer will give you a set of jestrum piercing aftercare instructions that you should follow to the letter.
To reduce swelling:
- Suck on clean pieces of ice, frozen food or cold drinks
- Take anti-inflammatory pain relievers such ibuprofen
- Take chamomile tea and arnica
How to Clean a Vertical Medusa Piercing
- Make sea salt solution by mixing boiling water with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.
- Wash your hands with mild antibacterial soap and warm water
- Soak the piercing in the salt solution for 5-10 minutes and gently remove the crusties
- Rinse with clean water to remove residue
- Rinse the inside of the mouth with alcohol free mouthwash
- Dry the piercing with disposable paper towel
- Check the ball of your jewelry for tightness
Sea salt soaks should be done daily during the entire healing process. Rinse with mouthwash at least twice daily and after eating and smoking. If you do not have mouthwash, you can use clean bottled water or salt solution. Brush your teeth daily with a new soft bristled toothbrush.
Additional Aftercare Tips
- Avoid kissing and unprotected oral sex
- Do not use alcohol, betadine or peroxide to clean the mouth- they are too strong
- While showering, wash your piercing with mild antimicrobial soap
- Avoid swimming in communal pools or lakes
- Take multivitamins containing zinc, vitamin C and A
Jestrum Piercing Pain
Pain perception is really different for everyone. But that said, the placement of this piercing involves a wider distribution of the facial nerves making it one of the most painful lip piercings considering that the piercing comes out in two different places and also because the needle travels through a longer distance. Most reviews rate Jestrum piercing pain at a high 7 in a scale of 1-10 with ten being the highest. To avoid hitting nerves and capillaries the piercing should be done by a professional as they have better knowledge of the body.
Jestrum Piercing Problems
Due to the limited space on the upper lip, the vertical medusa poses some risks, here are some of them;
- Asymmetrical placement
- Facial nerve palsy
- Severe pain
- Injury to the frenulum and gums
Jestrum piercing problems can be effectively prevented by proper cleaning and care by both the piercer and pierce to reduce the chances of encountering any of these infections and long term complications.
Jestrum Piercing Jewelry
Unlike the medusa which only uses a small labret, the Jestrum gives you more jewelry options. It normally uses curved barbells but similar jewelry such as rings and circular barbells. The latter are rarer options and I actually find them not comfortable for this type of piercing.The two visual ends of the Jestrum piercing jewelry allow you to use different end pieces and styles for a unique look.
The initial curved barbell is longer to allow for swelling which should be changed to a shorter barbell once the swelling has gone down. This should only be done by your piercer.