Jewelry Guide

Bridge Piercing Guide – All You Need to Know

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A bridge piercing, also called an Erl, is a unisex piercing that’s been growing in popularity over the years. This facial piercing is a staple in the youth culture, especially among the emo and scene groups.

The bridge piercing is a great piercing option for anyone after a cool and unique look. It’s an easy way to achieve a bold and daring style that won’t go unnoticed.

If you’re interested in getting a bridge piercing but you’re not sure whether it’s the right one for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know about the bridge piercing.

What is a Bridge Piercing?

There are two main variations of the bridge piercing. While each looks stunning just by itself, it can be paired with other types of facial piercings to create a more customized piercing style for your face. Followings are two types of bridge piercing:

  • Horizontal Bridge Piercing

A horizontal bridge piercing goes horizontally on the surface of the skin between the eyes and on the bridge of the nose. The jewelry goes through one end and comes out the other. This is the traditional bridge piercing style and its quite popular since the beads of the barbell are right in line with the eyes, giving it a gorgeous, balanced look.

Types of bridge piercing

  • Vertical Bridge Piercing

This piercing is the opposite of the horizontal piercing. The barbell runs down the bridge, with one end above the other. You can pair this piercing with a forehead piercing, making it look even more attractive and stylish.

Best Bridge Piercing Jewelry

There aren’t many jewelry options for this type of piercing mainly because most jewelry types can put tension on the area, resulting in jewelry rejection. Since it’s a piercing that’s right between your eyes, you can’t very well go for hoops or complicated jewelry as that would obstruct your vision and will also be quite uncomfortable.

Your best option is a curved barbell.

Curved barbell bridge piercing

14 Gauge Curved Barbells from SturdySouth. Check price here.

The ideal jewelry for the bridge piercing is a small curved barbell since this matches the shape of the nose better than other types of jewelry, thereby decreasing the risk of rejection. You can opt for a straight barbell if you like, but this is not recommended since it inflicts too much tension on the edges of the piercing, increasing the chance of migration.

The starting gauge of the jewelry depends on your anatomy so when it comes to choosing this, take your piercer’s recommendation into consideration. After your piercing has healed completely, you can opt for fancier curved barbells with spikes or gemstones.

Curved crystal barbell

Curved Crystal Barbell from Crystal Heaven London. See it on Etsy.

Don’t forget that the heavier the jewelry, the more it contributes to rejection which can occur even in piercings that you’ve had for many years.

When choosing your jewelry, stick to those made of high-quality materials such as gold, silver, titanium and surgical steel which are biocompatible and less likely to cause allergies or irritate your piercing.

Bridge Piercing Pain

Not painful pain meter

The good news is that the bridge piercing is one of the least painful piercings. Since the site of the piercing is located very close to cartilage and there aren’t many nerve endings in this area, your bridge piercing shouldn’t hurt too badly.

Your piercer will pinch your skin and then push the needle right through it in order to complete the procedure and you will most likely just feel a sting.

Although pain is subjective and everyone’s pain threshold is different, most people who have undergone the process describe it as ‘a slight stinging sensation which is fleeting and doesn’t last even seconds’.

Bridge Piercing Healing and Aftercare

While the bridge piercing is quick and easy to get done, there is an advanced risk of jewelry rejection. This is due to the fact that it’s rather difficult to pierce the bridge of the nose deeply enough in order to avoid rejection, so it lies just under the skin. Therefore, the body recognizes it as a foreign object and naturally tries to push it out. If this happens, it can cause tissue damage, resulting in scarring so before you get this piercing done, you may want to give it some thought.

The bridge piercing takes from 8 to 12 weeks to heal, but internal healing could take much longer. The healing process depends on your aftercare practices, so make sure you follow the rules of aftercare that your piercer tells you as accurately as you can.

  1. Don’t play with your piercing – as tempting as it can be to play around with your jewelry, do your best to keep your hands away from it. Movement can interfere with the healing process so it is crucial to remember not to fidget with it. Giving your piercing ample time to heal is essential if you want to speed up healing.
  2. Watch for jewelry rejection – keep an eye out for signs of jewelry rejection such as redness, soreness, or dryness after the first few days. Some other signs are if the piercing hole appears to be getting larger and larger and if the jewelry looks like it hangs differently than it did when you first got it done. If you notice these signs, take out the jewelry so that it won’t scar and check with your piercer as to the next steps.
  3. Clean your piercing 2-3 times a day – it is important that you clean your piercing regularly to avoid infections. Use only sea salt soaks and saline solution to keep your piercing clean. Soak a clean paper towel in the solution and hold it on the piercing for around 3-5 minutes to kill harmful bacteria and flush the hole of any debris. If touching your piercing, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly first.
  4. Don’t use makeup or other face products on the piercing site – the chemicals found in face products such as makeup, face wash and creams can irritate the skin and contribute to rejection and infection so if possible, avoid using these altogether until your piercing has healed.
  5. Change your clothing and bedding regularly – using dirty bed linen and clothing while your piercing is still healing can cause infections so make sure to change your sheets at least once a week and your pillowcases twice a week. Also wear clean clothes every day to minimize to keep your piercing safe while it heals.

Bridge Piercing Cost

Bridge piercings can cost anywhere from $40 to $90, depending on the price of the jewelry as well as the procedure. It should be done correctly in order to avoid jewelry rejection so make sure you find a piercer with surface piercing expertise.

If you don’t get a quality piercer, then you won’t be getting a quality piercing and this may result in a bad piercing experience. Don’t let the cost affect your choice of piercer. Instead be vigilant, do your research and choose your piercer carefully.

Bridge Piercing Pros and Cons

bridge piercing pros and cons

So, to recap, here’s a look at the pros and cons of bridge piercings.

Bridge Piercing Pros:

  • It’s perfect for a completely unique and new look
  • It’s less painful than most other facial piercings
  • It pairs well with other piercings
  • It’s in an eye-catching and visible location

Bridge Piercing Cons:

  • There is a high risk of infection
  • Swelling is a common problem with bridge piercings
  • It has a high risk of rejection so don’t plan on it being a permanent fixture
  • The piercing can’t be done if there isn’t enough tissue to pierce through
  • It’s in an eye-catching and visible location

Before You Commit…

If your workplace demands a certain dress code, unfortunately your piercing may not be accepted. This is something to check before you get the piercing done, make sure to check if this would be an issue. You could take out the piercing every time you go for work and put it back in once you’re back. However, this can be quiet troublesome and you’re likely to get tired of it.

If you’re not sure of how you would look with a bridge piercing, why not take a picture of yourself and play around with Photoshop to see how it looks? Don’t commit unless you’re sure you like how it looks on your face.

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