Snake eyes tongue piercing is one of the known ways the add some weird beauty to your tongue. Find out what this type of piercing is, pictures, procedure of how it is done, pain, cost, before and aftercare, safety and possible infections it comes with plus jewelry.
What is a snake eyes tongue piercing?
Snake eyes piercing is also known as venom piercing for its resemblance to snake eyes. This has grown in popularity and has become a trend in the western world. It is however noted as the most dangerous types of tongue piercing. This is because, it runs dorsolaterally in the tongue muscle and holds both sides of the muscles together. They are therefore not able to move freely.
The two balls of the barbell at the terminals are visible on both sides of the tongue. The length of the metal runs through the muscle of the tongue but bending backwards then out through the other side. The barbell may be either a gem or an acrylic ball-barbell as these are less erosive than metallic balls on the teeth and other parts of the oral cavity.
Snake eyes tongue piercings are painful pleasures just as other tongue piercings and bears the same risks associated with them. Therefore, the procedure and aftercare are similar to each other.
This material details information regarding getting a snake eyes piercing among other considerations that you will need to take as you go to the parlor.
Getting a snake eyes tongue piercing is a simple process. Here the procedure used:
- The tongue is held with some sponge forceps after marking the site of piercing.
- An initial piercing is done with a gauge that bores into the tissue into the other side running dorsolateral.
- The jewelry is then inserted into the bore and is pushed inside while the initial borer is pushed out.
- When the needle is well placed, it is screwed on one side.
Pain-How much does it hurt?
Snake eyes piercings are associated with pain but this pain may be limited to factors touching on the individual. This is why any tongue piercing is known as a painful pleasure and despite this fact, it has grown in popularity on all social platforms. You will look trendy, they say.
The pain that accompanies snake eyes piercing may be due to the disruption of the normal tongue integrity that signals pain and inflammatory mediators that lead to the pain you will feel. Other reasons that you may experience the pain may include your contracting of an infection or an allergic reaction to the barbell that is used in piercing.
The inflammation or sore that comes with piercing may take up to 6 weeks to heal and therefore, the pain may take longer especially with the non-use of anti-inflammatory agents or analgesics.
Price-How much does it cost?
The price or cost of getting a snake eyes piercing may vary from one region to another. Aspects to consider include;
- The caliber of the piercing parlor.
- Barbel among other instruments used in the procedure
- Expertise of the parlorist
- Location of the parlor
Since cost is dependent on the above mentioned factors, the cost may thus be variable. It however ranges between $40 and $70.
Before and Aftercare
What to do before
You need to consider some aspects before you decide on piercing your tongue and on the choice of the parlor. This section alludes to some of them including;
- Do you have any health concerns? This question goes to those who would potentiate an existing illness when taking the piercing. If you have any metal allergies especially since the metal of the barbell is known to cause hypersensitivity reactions. You need to avoid certain metals and get another recommended and that which is non-irritant.
- Is it a licensed studio/parlor? You will need to do your research well to get a reputable parlor that is also well established in both experience and best practices when it comes to all piercing and not just snake eyes tongue piercing. You can get such information from the internet or other people who have had such piercings. Here are some questions that you can jot down as you do your research:
- Research on the training and experience of the parlorist
- Check out the lay out of the parlor for separate areas meant for piercing and other services they offer.
- Does the parlor have basic sterilization equipment such as an autoclave or any other effective method of sterilization?
- Do they use any anesthesia basically, local anesthesia for surgical alleviation of pain?
- You can have a figure-out of whether piercing procedures done in the parlor involve any latex gloves and new ones after each procedure completed.
- If the parlor uses a piercing gun, then you have a right to disagree with its use as it is associated with transmission of infections as it cannot be sterilized to par.
- Lastly, you need to follow your instinctive thoughts you never know, you might be just right and save yourself the agony of pain or the extra cash.
- The piercing studio– do your research well and get a reputable and established studio. Avoiding infections and nerve or blood vessel damage as much as possible should be your mainstay aim too. Today’s era has seen many infections crop up some of which are drug-resistant. Have the standards you want to meet and match them with the studio you are targeting. A good studio should be:
- Ask about the piercer’s training and experience
- Studio should have separate areas for piercing and tattooing.
- Should have an autoclave for sterilization of piercing tools.
- Piercing equipment should be opened in your presence and used once
- During each procedure, check that the staff are using new latex gloves
- Disagree with the use of a piercing ‘gun’ as this cannot be sterilized to par.
- Follow your instincts and leave if you are uncomfortable. (University of Michigan)[i]
What to do after (cleaning etc.)
After-care is important in the healing process of snake eye tongue piercing and this is encouraged. You need to observe proper and optimal oral hygiene and make counters to infections before they are complicated. Reporting any changes in color, bleeding or production of pus is critical. Here are some tips on how to go about it after you have had a snake eyes tongue piercing.
- Consistently use mouthwashes that are alcohol free. There are some brands out here that are so including Listerine and Dentyl pH. If you can prepare a normal saline solution by dissolution of sodium chloride 0.9 gms in 100 mL of boiled and cooled water, then it can also suffice. The saline should be a non-iodized sea salt solution. Avert Epsom salts, Magnesium sulfates and the normal table salt.
- You will need to talk less often during the first three days. During this time, the tongue will be swollen and giving it a break will do it good.
- Habits such as smoking should be avoided.
- Avoid oral sex and kissing as this will prevent infections
- When selecting a mouthwash, Betadine and the likes of hydrogen peroxide should be avoided. So should treatment with antibacterial creams such as Neosporin.
- Leave the jewelry intact and do not play with it.
- During the healing period, you might need to make a purchase of a new toothbrush. There are suggestions that you should get a new toothbrush each week until the wound has healed. You can do this too.
Healing Process-How long does it take?
It will take you about 7 – 10 days for the snake eyes tongue piercing to be ready for a change in the size of the barbell but about 3 to 6 weeks to get completely healed. The healing process follows some predetermined steps as follows:
Day 1: on this day, swelling is at its optimum and it may continue until the third or fifth day. It will make you unable to speak as fluently and comfortably as you did before the piercing and so will your eating be hampered. You are encouraged to have something fluid and soft foods such as mashed potatoes. This period is characterized by hyper-salivation but you should not worry about this as saliva provides an antiseptic action against microbes.
On day 3 to 5: you will notice that your swelling is reducing. However, this will depend on whether you are taking after-care seriously and whether there is an infection or not.
Day 7 – 10: this entirely depends on the third and fifth day and aftercare procedures taken. During this period, you will have your barbell replaced with one that is much shorter.
Note that when you have your tongue pierced, it will become tender to touch and at some point, you will have a tingling sensation. This means that the healing process has started and the tingling is normally associated with deposition of fibrin on wounds. If the discharge you produce is colorless, have no worry as this means that there are no white blood cells which would otherwise mean that you are infected.
At times, when you use a mouthwash for longer than 3 times daily, you might have yellowing of the tongue which is normal.
However, beware when you see the following to mean that you are having an abnormal healing process:
- Green/black discoloration
- Yellow discharge
- Increasing inflammation and pain especially one going beyond 14 days
- Burning sensation too often
Risks and Infections
Some of the risks associated with tongue piercing include:
- You might get pierced by an inexperienced person. There are risks linked to this such as getting the wrong size of tongue piercing barbell. Since the length is normally about 18 mm or lower during the first phase, one may give you a bigger one. The smaller barbell is meant to allow some space for swelling and the implications might be dire. You might also get loosely clamped barbells in your snake eyes tongue piercing.
- If you get a quack, you might just end up with a nerve damage. Quacks don’t understand the anatomy of the tongue well and this may make them hit a critical nerve in the tongue.
- You might have an allergy to one of the metal used as the barbell.
- The barbell may result in increased tooth sensitivity or periodontal gum disease when it moves over the surface of oral cavity wearing it and resulting in gum recession.
According to WebMD, infections are the most common complications for tongue piercings. Therefore, it is important if you can be able to tell whether they are infected. Here are some tips:
- Is your tongue swollen big and not reducing even with intake of anti-inflammatories?
- Is your tongue or any other part of the oral cavity such as the gums tender?
- Do you see a yellow discharge from the piercings?
- Do you feel shivery and sweaty in an alternating fashion?
Things that bring about infections that should be avoided include putting items that are dirty in your mouth, kissing, not observing proper oral hygiene, injuries to the tongue and the use of unsterilized piercing objects.
It is essential to understand the implication of not treating an infection. There have been cases where a piercing site infection led to endocarditis, Lugwig’s angina, dehiscence, cracked or fratured teeth and even led to a brain abscess. There is a strain, Streptococcus intermedius that has been shown to cause brain infections in two victims after a tongue piercing.
Selecting the best jewelry type and size for your snake eyes piercing is pertinent. You will bring yourself a lot of comfort and avoid allergies when you do. The jewelry used initially is about 1.6 mm in size and 14 g in weight is very appropriate. There are cases in which a 2 mm or 2.4 mm jewelry is used. In the stretching stages, you can use 2 mm to 4 mm in size of jewelry.
Metals that are non-allergic to many people are those such as niobium, gold, titanium, platinum or stainless steet-300 series. According to the Association of Professional Piercers, barbells that are gold-plated or those that are gold-filled sterling silver may not be appropriate for use.