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Bridge Piercing: Everything You Need to Know Before and After

Posted by BPJ on 16th May 2023

Bridge Piercing: Everything You Need to Know Before and After

The world's most pierced woman has over 15,000 piercings on her body. So if you thought you were pretty holey already, think again!

It's fun to collect piercings, especially if they're edgy and striking. For example, a bridge piercing (aka Erl piercing) goes across your nasal bridge. It's a horizontal surface piercing that typically uses a barbell, so it's definitely a bold look.

This isn't a suitable piercing for everyone though. It's one thing to think a piercing looks stunning, but it's another to actually live with one.

So educate yourself; read on to find out everything you need to know about getting a bridge piercing. That way, you can determine if it's the right piercing for you.

What's a Bridge Piercing?

We've already covered that a bridge piercing is exactly what it sounds like: it's a hole created horizontally through the bridge of your nose.

However, there's a common misconception about it. While it looks like the piercing goes through bone, it doesn't! Therefore, this is actually a surface piercing, which comes with its own set of problems (more on this later).

If you've heard that bridge piercings make you go cross-eyed, then that's another myth. If the jewelry is long enough that you're constantly staring at it and going cross-eyed, then you've got a terrible piercer. The jewelry should be small enough that you don't even see it.

Before You Get a Bridge Piercing

There are some things you need to consider before you even book a bridge piercing appointment. Here are the main points you need to know.

Do You Wear Glasses?

You might be worried that you can't get a bridge piercing because you wear glasses. Those specs sit high on your nose, after all, so won't they bump into your fresh piercing?

If your piercer knows what they're doing, then they'll place it high enough so the jewelry doesn't touch your glasses. So if you're vision impaired and have to wear glasses, but want a bridge piercing, then this isn't a problem!

Should the original barbell get in the way of your specs, then you can always change it out to a shorter one. Curved barbells work too.

Your Anatomy

The majority of people can get bridge piercings without issue. However, if your nose is too bony, flat, or short, it may not be ideal for this piercing.

If you're not sure if your anatomy's right, don't worry, as the piercer will check your nasal bridge before proceeding with the actual piercing process.

Pain Level

Are you scared of pain? Well, there's always a degree of pain for any piercing since you're creating holes in your body.

The good news is, while bridge piercings look painful, they're not really all that bad! They hurt less than cartilage piercings, such as nasallang and septum piercings. This is because there aren't many nerve endings in this area.

The Cost

In general, expect to pay anywhere between $30 to $100 for a bridge piercing. The exact cost will depend on which piercer you go to and where they're located.

Also, the cost can vary depending on what type of jewelry you get. Higher quality barbells may cost a little more, but they'll be better for the healing process, as there's a lower risk of an allergic reaction. This is something you don't want to skimp on.

In addition, don't forget to factor in the money you'll need to spend on aftercare products, especially if this is your first piercing.

Possible Migration and Scarring

All piercings have the risk of scarring should you remove the jewelry later on. But the risk is higher with surface piercings since they might migrate.

Piercings can migrate if your body rejects them. Should this occur, the earlier you remove the jewelry, the better. This will minimize the chances of a permanent scar.

However, you should be prepared for this possibility; it may affect your decision to get the piercing, especially if you can't stand scars.


There are several piercings you can technically have forever in your life. Sadly, the bridge piercing isn't one of them.

Since it's a surface piercing, the chances of a bridge piercing rejection are seriously high. If you get a few years with the piercing, count yourself lucky. Eventually, you'll probably have to take it out.

Your Bridge Piercing Appointment

To ensure you have the best experience possible, you should do your research before making an appointment. You'll want to pick someone who's not only experienced and skilled, but also compassionate and friendly, especially if you're afraid of needles. Having the right piercer for the job can make all the difference!

You can always do a Google search to find a reputable professional if you don't already have a professional you go to. In addition, you can check with the Association of Professional Piercers. They have a database of both piercers and apprentices.

Once you've decided on a piercer, call them up and make an appointment. On the day of the appointment, make sure you're well-rested, have eaten, and aren't intoxicated. We know it's tempting to get liquid courage before your appointment, but that's a bad idea since it can make you bleed more and slow down healing too.

Your Arrival

When you get to the piercing shop, the piercer will look at your nasal bridge to determine if your anatomy is right for the piercing. If it is, then you'll be given a few forms to fill out. Mainly, you'll need to complete a piercing consent form; if you're a minor, you'll need a parent or guardian to accompany you and sign the form too.

The shop will also ask for your government-issued ID (from the parent too if a minor's being pierced). They'll scan your ID to have it on file.

The piercer will then ask if you're intoxicated. If you reply "no" but are obviously drunk or high, they'll refuse to pierce you.

The Piercing Process

When the paperwork's done and the piercer's ready, they'll take you to the piercing station. Some piercers allow you to choose the jewelry first; if this is the case at the shop, then they'll show you the available choices before heading back.

You'll sit down, and the piercer will disinfect your nasal bridge area. If you wear glasses, you'll have to take them off so the piercer has good access.

With a marker, they'll dot the left and right sides of your bridge so they know where to aim the needle and how to guide it through.

Once that's done, your piercer will use a clamp to gently pull the skin away from your nasal bridge's cartilage. They'll ask you to inhale deeply, then exhale deeply too. On the exhale, they'll push the sterile and single-use needle through the entry and exit points.

After removing the clamp, the piercer will replace the needle with your bridge piercing jewelry. You're done after they screw the balls in to hold the barbell in.

They'll clean the nasal bridge area gain then send you home after giving you detailed aftercare instructions.

After Your Bridge Piercing

A little bleeding after your bridge piercing is normal. You'll need to keep an eye on it though, as you'll need to take extra care of your piercing if it's infected. Or if there's an allergic reaction, you'll need to remove the jewelry and clean the area thoroughly.

Possible Side Effects

Your nasal bridge will probably swell in response to the "injury," which is normal. You might also have some tenderness, pain, and discomfort. It's also typical for the piercing to have crusting and itching.

Should you experience severe pain, thick discharge or pus, redness, and swelling that won't go away, then you probably have an infection or an allergic reaction. If it's bad enough, you'll need antibiotics for an infection, so see the doctor if you suspect you have one.

Bridge Piercing Aftercare

Always follow the instructions your piercer's given you. Here's a general idea of what aftercare is like.

You should clean the piercing two or three times a day with a saline solution. Wash your hands thoroughly first, then grab a cotton ball and soak it in the solution. Take it out and clean both sides of your bridge piercing, then let it air dry.

You can use a saline solution spray too. Spray both sides of the piercing, then let it dry.

With both the saline solution and spray, avoid buying products with tea tree oil in them. It's good for healing, but can irritate open wounds.

Some professionals will also advise you to clean your piercing once a day with mild soap and warm water. Just make sure to rinse all the soap out. In addition, don't use makeup or face products near the area while healing.

Sleep on a clean pillowcase to avoid getting dirt and bacteria in your new piercing. And while in the past, people were advised to twist and turn the jewelry, modern protocols say don't do it. Avoid touching your piercing and jewelry as well.

While your bridge piercing's healing, avoid swimming too. Whether it's a pool, lake, or ocean, you're exposing your open wound to lots of nasty bacteria.

Time to Completely Heal

Your piercing might seem ok after a few days or weeks. In general, it'll take around three months to heal the soft tissue that you see and feel.

For your bridge piercing to heal completely (including the inner tissue), that can take anywhere from four to eight months. It's considered completely healed when it doesn't hurt to replace the jewelry. The exact time will depend on how your body handles the piercing, how well you take care of it, and some luck (or bad luck).

Changing Your Bridge Piercing Jewelry

After you're fully healed, you can finally change out your jewelry if you wish! The best way to do it is to go back to your piercer, as they'll be able to do it swiftly and without causing pain or injury.

Plus, they can check if your piercing's actually ready for a jewelry swap. Make sure you listen to them if they say you're not ready yet; patience is key to the healing process. If you force new jewelry in before it's ready, your bridge piercing will have to go through healing back at square one.

Otherwise, if you've completely healed, and are confident enough to try changing jewelry at home, thoroughly wash your hands first. Clean the new piece of jewelry to ensure it's germ-free.

Remove one ball of the current barbell and keep it somewhere safe; it's very easy to lose! Slide the barbell out of the piercing and pair it together with the loose ball again.

Screw off one ball of the new barbell, then slide it through the piercing. It may take a few tries, but it'll be securely in once you screw the ball back on.

Is a Bridge Piercing Right for You?

A bridge piercing looks amazing, but as you can see, it's a lot of work to ensure your piercing stays clean and uninfected. Plus, there's a chance of it migrating after it heals, meaning it won't be a permanent piercing.

However, if you're willing to put the work in, and you feel like you've got the right nasal bridge anatomy for it, then we say go for it! You'll feel happy with a bold new piercing to show off.

Whether you've decided to get a bridge piercing or something else, purchasing jewelry is always fun. Browse our selection of new arrivals to see if there's anything that catches your eye!


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