How Do I Know What Gauge My Lip Piercing Is?

Written by sarah nyako
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How Do I Know What Gauge My Lip Piercing Is?
Buying lip piercings in the wrong gauge can cause discomfort. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A lip piercing is a bold way to express yourself because your face is the first thing people notice. In addition to colour and shape, body piercing enthusiasts can further express themselves by varying the gauge of the piercing. The gauge is a measure that describes the jewellery's thickness. The thickness increases as the number goes down, so a 5 gauge piercing is much thicker than a 16 gauge. Knowing your lip piercing's gauge will come in handy when ordering replacement piercings or trying a new look altogether, since gauge sizes are the same for barbells, rings, studs and other styles.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Ask your piercer for gauge size when you are getting your piercing. They may use a standard size on all new clients or vary them slightly depending on the thickness of the lips. If it has been a while since you have got your piercing (and you have not switched sizes), call the same piercing shop and ask for the standard gauge sizes used for new clients.

  2. 2

    Visit the piercing shop in person if you have switched sizes since your first piercing. The staff may be able to tell you what size the piercing is by comparing it to their supply. If you cannot, find a local jeweller, who may have the tools or expertise to measure the piercing.

  3. 3

    Use a caliper to measure the thickness of your piercing. Since gauge sizes may be as small as 1/32 of an inch, standard measurement tools such as a tape measure or ruler will not be accurate. You will need a vernial, dial or digital caliper for this kind of tiny measurement.

  4. 4

    Use an online gauge conversion chart once you have measured the piercing. Simply find the gauge size that corresponds to your millimetre or inch measurement. You can find one such conversion chart at

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