How to Remove a Labret Piercing

Unlike piercings in which the piercer inserts the jewelry vertically through the lip, labret lip piercings require piercing the skin horizontally just below the lower lip. Performed with a hollow needle, labret piercings often involve the insertion of a beaded stud bar that remains in place until the piercing site heals. After the nine- to 12-week healing window, the labret piercing is safe to remove for replacement with an alternate piece of jewelry.

A labret piercing can be fun. (Image: Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water, or apply a hand sanitizer to your hands before removing the labret piercing. Cleaning your hands prior to removing the jewelry helps prevent infection.

Step 2

Bite down on the inner portion of the labret stud bar, also known as the backplate, with your teeth. Unlike the round captive bead that rests on the skin outside your lip, the inside backplate is flat.

Step 3

Grasp the captive bead end of the labret stud bar. Twist the captive bead to unscrew it from the stud bar.

Step 4

Continue twisting until the captive bead separates from the labret stud bar, then remove it.

Step 5

Hold the stud bar between the thumb and pointer finger of one hand. Pull the backplate up and out of the skin. Replace the labret piercing with your jewelry of choice.


The initial stud bar used for labret piercings allows for swelling during the healing process. Replacement studs are usually shorter because the extra length is no longer needed after healing.


Do not pull or yank on your skin to remove the labret piercing. If you have difficulty unscrewing the captive bead, visit your piercer or physician. Either will have the tools necessary to remove the piercing and prevent your skin from tearing or scarring.

To prevent the piercing from healing over, do not leave your labret jewelry out for more than 12 hours at a time.

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