What is a snake eyes piercing?
Also known as a venom piercing, a snake eyes piercing is when a horizontal piercing goes across the tip of the tongue, with a barbell going all the way through the width of the tongue. It is a surface piercing, and gives the appearance of having a separate piercing on each side of the tongue.
What does a snake eyes piercing look like?
As the name might suggest, it looks a bit like snake eyes! The two balls of the barbell sit on top of the tongue, making a matching pair of little balls, like the eyes on the side of a snake’s head. Gems on the balls tend to be fairly small (3mm or less) as large jewelry in this position can be too awkward and uncomfortable. Acrylic may also be used as the balls on the barbell, to avoid damage to the teeth which can result from metal balls.
Why get a snake eyes piercing?
While standard tongue piercing have become fairly common, a snake eyes piercing is still very unusual! They have become very popular on social media sites, but this popularity still isn’t reflected in reality, so this is a chance to get a different piercing to everyone else! You can also get one alongside other tongue piercings, because of its location near the tip. This location also means that it is quite an obvious tongue piercing, if you like the idea of something that everyone will notice.
Some fans of tongue piercing have pointed out that it’s as fun as playing with chewing gum or sweets in the mouth, but without the extra sugar!
How is a snake eyes piercing done?
First of all, a good piercer will examine your tongue before agreeing to the piercing, because not every tongue is suited to a snake eyes piercing. Your tongue needs to be thick enough for the piercing to be possible.
The piercer will then clamp your tongue carefully to push your tongue together, and to help him or her avoid any major veins. A hollow piercing needle will be inserted, followed by either a straight or curved barbell inserted via the blunt end of the needle. It is generally agreed that this isn’t too painful a piercing- probably no worse than biting your tongue!
The initial barbell is usually a little longer than ideal, to accommodate swelling. A few weeks after getting your snake eyes piercing, you will probably need to return to your piercer to have the barbell changed. Do not attempt to do this yourself! The piercing is usually still healing, and you may damage it. Leave this to the professionals!
How to care for a snake eyes piercing
In general, a snake eyes piercing will take between 4 and 8 weeks to heal, during which time you should take very good care of it. Tongue piercings tend to be the fastest to heal, and the easiest to take care of.
It should not be forgotten that a snake eyes piercing is a surface piercing, which makes it more prone to rejection and migration than many other types of piercing. The position it is in also makes catching it on food or teeth a very real possibility, so you will need to be very careful! It might even be a good idea to only eat soft or blended food for the first few days after piercing. A little bit of swelling is also pretty normal in the days immediately following the piercing, so be prepared for this. Eating and talking may be a bit more difficult than usual! Ice may help with this. You can also try keeping your head nice and elevated while you speak, to reduce swelling.
As with all other oral piercings, you should avoid alcohol, as it can exacerbate swelling. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash, and also use a daily salt water solution to gargle. Rinsing after each meal will prevent food particles from getting stuck in your piercing. Smoking is a bad idea, as is eating spicy or acidic food. Avoid touching the piercing at all! Be very careful about what you put in your mouth, and especially avoid oral sex because of the risk of bacteria.
No matter how carefully you take care of your piercing, there is still the chance that it will produce a small amount of white discharge. This is a normal part of the healing process, but if it continues for too long, or if an abscess develops, you should return to your piercer or see a doctor, as the piercing may be infected.