Bridge piercings are located high on the bridge of the nose where the bone dips away between the eyes. Despite being one of the more exotic piercing types, bridge piercings have a deep history to them that one might not expect. These piercings require barbell jewelry only, since rings are too small and not shaped for this piercing in general. Thankfully, getting a this piercing is not as painful as some others since it doesn’t go through cartilage. However, it’s important that you trust your piercer since lining up this piercing is more tedious than most and it needs to be centered on your face.
Where Did Bridge Piercings Emerge From?
This piercing a long history dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They were first popularized in Mesoamerican cultures of the Mayans and Aztecs. The theory is that being cross-eyed was a sign of beauty at the time, and since bridge piercings are often in your field of vision, they would turn your eyes inward so that this look was achieved. This legend may or may not be true, but there are plenty of examples of old statues with bridge piercings that tell us this piercing was popular culturally for one reason or another.
How Much Does a Bridge Piercing Hurt?
Any piercing is going to be at least slightly painful, since you’re sticking a needle through skin. However, bridge piercings tend to not be as painful as other piercings (such as nostril piercings) because the needle goes through thin skin on your nose as opposed to hard cartilage. Bridge piercings are usually centered across the slimmest part of your nose, so the amount of skin they will have to penetrate is small.
Can I Get a Bridge Piercing if I Wear Glasses?
Glasses might make things a little complicated for this piercing, but it doesn’t mean they have to be avoided. Wearing contacts during your healing period is preferred if possible, but otherwise making some adjustments should work. Make sure to modify your glasses so that they are worn lower on your nose for the time being. This will ensure they don’t constantly bump into your piercing and you are still able to see through them.
What Does the Piercing Process Look Like?
When you first show up to your piercing appointment, you will sign some forms and then get measured for your piercing. Your piercer will line up the puncture points so that they will be even between your eyes. It is important to stay still and sit straight up so that these points are lined up correctly for an even piercing. After this, the area will be sanitized to prevent infection, and your piercer will give you some warning before they stick you with the needle. Try to stay as still as possible so that the piercing lines up with the designated holes. The less you move, the more likely your piercing will be straight.
What Jewelry Do I Use?
Your piercer will most likely pierce you at either a size 14 or 12 gauge. This mostly depends on the look you’re going for. If you have a preference either way, make sure to discuss this with your piercer beforehand. Barbells are the only style available for use with bridge piercings, since rings are not wide enough to stretch over the entirety of the nose comfortably. Size wise, the recommended barbell length for bridge piercing jewelry is anywhere from 1/2” to 5/8” depending on the width of your nose. Unlike many other piercings, the bridge piercing is not known for massive swelling during aftercare, so there is no need to get an extra lengthy barbell. Only a tiny bit of extra length will do in this case, so try to stick to jewelry that gives you that perfect fit.
Can Bridge Piercings Migrate?
Since bridge piercings are borderline surface piercings, extra-long barbells in this instance specifically means more movement of your piercing, which can equate to more migration under your skin. Piercing migration can cause scarring and unevenness in this case, so unnecessary handling of your piercing should be avoided. Migration can happen quite easily with bridge piercings if you’re not careful, so make sure your jewelry is properly placed and fitted to your nose and try not to bump or touch it during the healing period. Your piercing will thank you and stay aligned in the long run!
How Long Does a Bridge Piercing Take to Heal?
Like most piercings, the healing period is anywhere from two to three months depending on how well you take care of it. Try to leave your piercing alone as much as possible during this time and try not to rotate or spin it needlessly. Piercing rotation is like picking at a scab and introduces a ton of dirt and bacteria to a healing piercing, potentially increasing your likelihood of infection.
How Do I Care for My Bridge Piercing?
First off, avoid using bactine, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. All these products are too harsh for your healing piercing, and they will only dry it out and cause problems. The best solution to use on your piercing is a salt-water soap or spray. Saline helps to disinfect while not being overly irritating to your piercing. Especially since the area around your eyes is already sensitive, using something delicate is best. NeilMed offers a convenient mist for this occasion, or you can make your own using a diluted solution of one-gallon distilled water to four teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt. Wash your hands first, and spray both sides of your piercing with the saline solution to clean it. Clean off the sides as needed with your fingers, but make sure not to rotate the piercing as much as possible. Do not use cotton swabs since the fibers can get caught in your piercing and cause irritation. You can also do your own sea salt compresses with this saline mixture if your piercing is feeling dry or irritated. In the shower, let the water run over your piercing for irrigation purposes, but do not spin it around. This is only done to passively rinse off the ends.