A Monroe piercing is a facial piercing which is located in the soft flesh just above the upper lip, exactly like Marilyn Monroe's classic beauty mark. Often, a Monroe piercing is performed with a very small stud, enhancing the resemblance to a beauty mark. This piercing is also known as a Crawford or Madonna piercing, referencing two other famous females with distinctive beauty marks.
Technically, the Monroe piercing should be considered an oral piercing, which means that aftercare instructions will include steps to maintain oral health. Like other oral piercings, a Monroe will heal very quickly if well cared-for, with most healing within six weeks. After the initial healing period, the labret stud used for the initial piercing can be replaced with a shorter stud, which will reduce the amount projection from the face, making the Monroe piercing look more natural.
Monroes can be placed on either side of the face, depending on personal taste and anatomy. As a general rule, these piercings can be placed in anyone, although people who play wind instruments may want to consider the fact that the piercing can interfere with the sound of their instruments. In addition, the piercing can be more painful, as a result of thicker muscle around the upper lips which develops over the course of years of practice with a wind instrument.
Thanks to widespread adoption by celebrities, the Monroe piercing has become socially acceptable in many parts of the world. However, facial piercings can attract discrimination or unwelcome attention, and this is something which all piercees are encouraged to consider before taking the plunge.
The piercing process starts with the sterilization of the site to ensure that it is clean before being pierced, and then the piercer will don gloves and use a marking pen to mark the site of the piercing so that the piercee can examine it in the mirror. If the placement looks suitable, the piercer will clamp the upper lip, pierce it, and then thread the jewelry in behind the needle.
As with all puncture wounds, there is always a possibility of infection with a Monroe piercing. The site of the piercing should be kept clean with antibacterial soap, and use of mouthwash and toothbrushing on a regular basis is recommended to keep the mouth clean. Piercings benefit from a free flow of air, minimal interference, and periodic sea salt soaks to reduce the risk of infection and swelling; some people also find that the use of anti-inflammatory drugs can help cut down on swelling as well.