Every few months a new fad piercing pops up on the internet and drives people into a mad dash to try and get something new. Snake eye piercings have come out of this trend. There was a horizontal tongue piercing popularized through the internet that passed straight through the tongue from side to side. This placement has more or less been proven non-viable and is very rare.
Snake eyes are almost like a surface piercing on the top of the tongue near the tip. Typically pierced with a curved barbell they are sometimes also called a “scoop” piercing. Basically the ball ends of the curved barbell sit on top of the tongue and look like …eyes.
Here’s where the problem comes in with horizontal tongue piercings. The tongue is one organ, but it’s two individual muscles covered by a rubbery membrane. Piercing side to side will cause the muscles to be almost pinned together and will limit the natural movement and function of the tongue. Minimally this could cause slurred speech and difficulty eating, more serious risks exist like tooth damage or structural damage to the tongue from tearing or rejection.
The reason you see piercings like snake eyes online but not in person is because they’re oftentimes unsafe and experienced piercers will not accept the risk of performing them. Most of the time people can not comfortably heal them so the jewelry is removed after a few days or weeks. I have yet to see any well healed horizontal tongue piercing, they’re kind of a piercing urban legend at this point. I’m sure it’s disappointing to be told what you want is not available, but we say no because we have your safety in mind.
Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach
Damn. I’ve been wanting these for a couple years now but never got around to getting them done. What a shame..