Bridge the Gap: Your Essential Guide to Getting a Bridge Piercing

A bridge piercing also called an Earl piercing, 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 everything you need to know about it.

What is a Bridge Piercing?

bridge piercing chain
Bridge Piercing Chain. Check price here.

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. The followings are two types of bridge piercing:

1. 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 it’s 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

2. 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.

What’s the Origin and History of the Bridge Piercing?

Bridge Piercing

The bridge piercing, a modern favorite for many, doesn’t have the ancient history that some piercings do. It mainly became popular in the late 20th century, especially among the punk and alternative crowds in the West. As more people started embracing tattoos and unique piercings, the bridge piercing quickly gained fans.

The name “Earl” piercing, another term for the bridge piercing, comes from Earl Van Aken. While he wasn’t the first to have a bridge piercing, his fame in the body art world made the name stick.

Regarding ancient history, we don’t find the bridge piercing in old cultures as we know it today. However, many indigenous tribes worldwide have always had various facial piercings and modifications. These traditional practices, which often marked identity, major life events, or social rank, might have inspired today’s body art community to experiment with and accept different piercing styles, including the bridge piercing.

What’s the 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.

1. Curved Barbell

steel blue curved barbell bridge piercing
Steel blue curved barbells. Check price here.

While less common than straight barbells, some people opt for curved barbells, especially once the piercing has healed. However, using them on fresh piercings can increase the risk of rejection or migration.

2. Straight Barbells

Opal Spike Straight Barbell Bridge Piercing
Opal Spike Straight Barbell Bridge Piercing. Check price here.

These are the most commonly used jewelry for bridge piercings. They consist of a straight metal rod with balls or other decorative ends that screw on. They allow for swelling and make cleaning easier during the initial healing phase.

3. Circular Barbells

Horseshoe Circular Barbell
Horseshoe Circular Barbell. Check price here.

Also known as horseshoe rings, these can be used in healed bridge piercings for those who are going for a different look. However, they’re not typically recommended for fresh piercings.

What’s the Best Metal for Bridge Piercing Jewelry?

When you’re choosing jewelry for a bridge piercing, pick hypoallergenic metals to reduce the chance of allergic reactions, just to be on the safe side. Surgical stainless steel stands out as a favorite because of its hypoallergenic nature and long-lasting strength. Titanium, another top choice, offers a lightweight feel and a low risk of allergic reactions. You can find it in a variety of vibrant anodized colors.

Niobium is similar to titanium, being hypoallergenic and available in bright colors. Remember, getting the right gauge and length for your jewelry is vital. If it’s too tight or the wrong size, it can put too much pressure on the piercing and cause problems like rejection.

Always turn to a professional piercer for advice, especially if you’re thinking about switching out the jewelry you first got pierced with.

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 the 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

Rainbow Hematite Stone Bridge piercing
Rainbow Hematite Stone Bridge Piercing. Check price here.

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.

So, 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.

How Much Does a 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 the piercer. Instead, be vigilant, do your research, and choose your piercer carefully.

What are the Pros and Cons of Bridge Piercings?

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 to work and put it back in once you’re back. However, this can be quite 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.

Wrapping Up

Bridge piercings blend boldness with beauty, standing out from most other facial modifications. Even though they’ve emerged more recently, global traditions anchor their history. If you’re drawn to its look or cultural significance, a bridge piercing showcases personal expression in our continuously evolving body art landscape.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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