Dahlia piercings: Cost, pain, healing, aftercare, jewelry

Dahlia piercing

Dahlia piercings are placed at the corners of the mouth for a symmetrical look that captivates anyone’s attention.

These increasingly popular piercings, also known as Joke piercings, were named after the Black Dahlia, which has a dark Hollywood story. It makes these types of piercings extra edgy and iconic.

Dahlia piercings give a stylish look around the lips for a unique appearance. The placement requires the fine skills of experienced professional piercers that can perform exact placement. It is only in this way that you can achieve an aesthetically pleasing result.

Let’s dive into what you need to know if you’re considering getting a Dahlia piercing.

What are dahlia piercings?

Dahlia piercings: Cost, pain, healing, aftercare, jewelry

This lip piercing derives its name from the famous actress Black Dahlia. The actress was a victim of murder in the 1940s. It is also known as the joker piercing. It is a double perforation on both corners of the mouth nearing the end of the lips.

This type of piercing is less painful, with most people rating the pain at 4 out of 10.

However, it takes longer to heal since it is done in two sittings. Its healing time is approximately 20 weeks, and it could take longer depending on an individual’s skin type.

A 14 gauge stud is most suitable for the Dahlia piercing and goes well with the flat disc labret studs.

Dahlia piercings pros and cons


  • It is rare, unique, bold, and good looking
  • It is less painful (4 out of 10) compared to other lip piercings


  • This piercing is prone to rejection, migration, and infection
  • The two piercings on each side of your mouth might be uneven
  • It takes longer to heal (about 20 weeks) since it is done in two sittings
  • It can be difficult to find an experienced piercer as dahlia piercings are quite rare
  • You might have a problem eating with this piercing
  • You have a limited selection of jewelry

How much are dahlia piercings?

The cost mostly depends on the location and price of the jewelry. Most stores charge between $30-$80. Some websites list their charges, and it would be wise to go through them before visiting the store.

How long do dahlia piercings take to heal?

The dahlia piercing takes longer to heal since it is done in two sittings. Its healing time is approximately 20 weeks, and it could take longer depending on an individual’s skin type.

Do dahlia piercings hurt?

Pain tolerance varies in different people. But most people agree that this type of piercing is less painful, rating the pain at 4 out of 10.

Dahlia piercings vs cheek piercings

Although Dahlia piercings are similar to cheek piercings, they have different placements to achieve a precise look.

Dahlia piercings are not really on the cheek but in the corners of the mouth. Cheek piercings give the appearance of dimples while Dahlia piercings are made for achieving a mouth like the Joker with the corners slanted upward.

Both types of piercings require the same care and present similar issues.

Some professionals consider cheek piercings to have higher risks due to possible damage to the parotid gland. However, Dahlia piercings are more frequently related to tooth damage.

Are dahlia piercings dangerous?

Dahlia piercings are not dangerous. They are actually safe to get. That being said, any piercing can be dangerous if not done by a professional with high standards of care.

Dahlia piercings are known to have the potential to cause infections due to bacteria in the mouth. Proper aftercare will make a significant difference in a successful outcome.

Potentials risks of dahlia piercings

Knowing all the risks and taking good care of your piercings should help you achieve an overall good result. You can expect the healing process to take approximately 12 to 20 weeks or sometimes longer.

1. Infection

Since a piercing is an open wound, there is the potential for developing an infection. If Dahlia piercings involve mouth bacteria, the chances of an infection increase.

If you see signs of infection, you can use antiseptic solutions, such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide to clean the piercing twice per day.

2. Dahlia piercings migration

Migration happens when your body rejects the piercings and attempts to push them out. Since Dahlia piercings are on the surface of the skin instead of deeper in the body like tongue piercings, they are more likely to experience migration.

Surface piercings have less tissue to hold the jewelry in place and therefore it is easier for the body to reject them.

Migration occurs gradually and you may notice that your Dahlia piercings don’t look the same as they originally did. Seek the help of a professional piercer if you notice migration. Quick action is necessary to avoid scarring.

3. Uneven dahlia piercings

Dahlia piercings as with many other types of lip piercings require symmetry to achieve the desired look. When Dahlia piercings are uneven, most people opt for removing them because they simply don’t look right.

Even placement is another reason why you should only have your piercings done by an experienced licensed professional.

As your body begins to heal after the initial piercing, each side of your mouth may react differently. It may temporarily give an uneven appearance, which is why you should wait until you are completely healed to assess the evenness of your piercings.

4. Do dahlia piercings leave bruises?

Each person reacts to piercings differently. Do not be alarmed if you experience bruising, bleeding, or swelling. It is your body’s normal response to trauma and should subside in several days.

If you experience discoloration or itching during healing, it is completely normal and you should continue with your aftercare routine.

Dahlia piercings by self

It is not recommended to do any type of piercing on your own, especially more complex piercings such as the Dahlia piercings.

Always seek the service of an experienced professional who has done this type of piercing. It is not worth taking the risk to do it on your own because it can lead to major health issues, not to mention an unpleasant result.

Eating with dahlia piercings

Because of the unique location of Dahlia piercings, they make eating a challenge for some.

The jewelry can sometimes get caught as you chew, which can lead to chipped or broken teeth. Eating can also irritate the piercing as it heals, making it more likely for your body to reject it or develop an infection.

What to do then? Eat slowly, and think about chewing. Avoid hot and spicy food and hot drinks which will scald and/or increase swelling.

What gauge is a dahlia piercing?

A 14 gauge (1.6 mm or 1/16-inch in thickness) stud is most suitable for the Dahlia piercing. For this piercing, piercers will often use a slightly larger needle to make healing easier.

To be detailed, the larger hole allows for some swelling and prevents the healing from getting too tight as it heals.

Dahlia piercing jewelry

Flat disc labret studs are the best choice for dahlia piercings. They are also known as flatback studs or labret studs.

They are designed to give a comfortable feel in the mouth as it has a flat back on one of their ends and an accessory such as a ball, charm, or stone on the other end that is threaded.

It is designed with consideration to fit and get into contact with the lip and gums, and teeth.

The studs can display both sides of the jewel, with one end of the stud having threads and the other with a design.

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They have the advantage of better healing for the piercings and are designed with safe materials that mean they are good for health.


  • They heal relatively quickly
  • They don’t cause much discomfort
  • They aren’t extremely noticeable


  • They can come out more easily than lip rings
  • If not cleaned regularly, they can get infected

Recommended metals for dahlia bites piercings

1. Implant-Grade Titanium

Titanium is an element that is completely hypoallergenic, so it’s probably the best material for lip piercings, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Implant-grade titanium is the purest form and will not change or corrode if it’s exposed to skin or bodily fluids. Implant-grade titanium jewelry is durable, hypoallergic, lead-free, nickel free, and non-corrosive.

Implant-grade titanium is often marketed as ASTM F-136 titanium. Compared to ASTM F-136 titanium, G23 titanium is not an implant grade of titanium.

Price Range: About $10-$20.


  • Approved by the Association of Professional Piercers
  • Won’t cause allergic reactions
  • Is scratch-resistant and won’t fade


  • Not as valuable as gold, silver, or platinum
  • Doesn’t sparkle quite as much as other metals

2. 14K or 18K Gold

If you’re looking for a glittering, valuable metal for your lip piercing jewelry, either 14K or 18K gold may be your answer.

It is also one of the best metals for lip piercings that are highly recommended not only by piercing experts but also doctors. Its excellent quality of being inert makes it suitable for first piercings.

However, gold is a fairly soft metal, so it doesn’t stand up to scratches and excessive wear. Compared to 14K gold, 18K gold is more prone to being affected by everyday use as it is softer and is closer to being pure 24K gold.

Both of these metals include other metal types in order to make them stronger. In order to avoid skin reactions, look for nickel-free metals.

Price Range: About $30-$200.


  • One of the most valuable materials
  • Will not easily tarnish
  • Offers plenty of sparkles
  • Is easy to engrave or use to set stones


  • May contain non-hypoallergenic metals
  • 18K gold in particular is not very scratch resistant

3. Platinum

Platinum is a precious metal, so it’s one of the pricier options on the list. It’s completely hypoallergenic, so it’s safe for even very sensitive skin. Its brilliant luster makes it a good choice for those seeking a sparkly, high-end look.

Price Range: About $40-$200.


  • Hypoallergenic and non-reactive
  • Has a brilliant shine
  • Is a very valuable material


  • Is a lot heavier than other metals
  • It’s uncommon, so your jewelry choices might be limited

4. Surgical Stainless Steel

Lots of new piercings are done in stainless steel. This material is affordable and typically doesn’t cause reactions. However, it contains a small amount of nickel, so if you have a nickel allergy, it might be best to choose something else.

It is incredibly resistant to corrosion and will keep its shine for years.

If you’re considering steel, 316L or 316 LVM steel is probably your best choice. Both names stand for the same surgical steel material, but the “VM” stands for”vacuum melt,” or the way the steel is produced.

Price Range: About $10-$40.


  • Very affordable
  • Common enough that you’ll have plenty of jewelry choices
  • Extremely durable and resistant to damage and corrosion


  • May cause reactions in those with nickel allergies
  • Not considered as valuable as some other materials

How to take care of dahlia piercings?

  • Take care to avoid contaminating the piercing.
  • Avoid touching it or applying makeup very close to it.
  • Avoid getting in water that might be dirty.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating.
  • Clean your piercing twice per day using a saline/salt solution or a piercing aftercare spray.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • When brushing your teeth and cleaning your mouth, use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash.
  • And of course, make sure to avoid snagging on clothes or towels.
  • Don’t move the piercing before it heals. Pulling on a piercing early in healing is painful, but it also can get in the way of healing or damage the piercing itself.

How to clean dahlia piercings?

  1. Make a salt solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with one cup of water. Stir the solution until it dissolves. As an alternative, you can buy ready-to-use piercing aftercare sprays. If you see signs of infection, you can also use antiseptic solutions, such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it around the piercing site. Don’t remove the jewelry!
  3. Take clean gauze or tissue and pat the area dry.

Your piercer should give you detailed instructions on keeping your piercing clean once the piercing has been placed.

Making a bold choice

Getting Dahlia piercings is a big decision. As you can see, they require careful planning and care. Although they are a bit more complex than other types of lip piercings, they are truly unique and stylish.

Where should you start then? Consult a licensed professional who is experienced with Dahlia piercings. Look at reviews and be sure to select someone who offers plenty of information.

Take your time making this bold choice, after all, you only have one face!

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