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Bridge Piercing 101

Bridge piercings!! These have soared in popularity again thanks in no small part to being one of the few facial piercings we can offer safely with make wearing and I am certainly not mad about it. Bridge piercings for a very long time have been a favorite of mine, and I am thrilled to be doing more recently then I have in years. These piercings have a wide selection of awesome jewelry choices, and flow well with many other facial piercings. They also have some limitations and concerns, so today let’s look closer at these awesome piercings!

Bridge Piercings are totally safe- with correct anatomy.

There is some misinformation spreading online about bridge piercings, largely driven by tiktok and social media. Bridge piercings are totally safe piercings- as long as someone has the anatomy to support them. Not everyone does, and I turn away probably between 20-40% of clients who come to me for these because their anatomy doesn’t allow for them to be done. As long as you have correct anatomy however, these piercings are entirely safe! Why is anatomy so important for bridge piercings? Well, that brings us to our next point-

A Bridge is a surface piercing- no, not like you may think.

Bridges, much like eyebrows, fall into the category of surface piercings. No, not like microdermals however. When we consider modern piercing a surface piercing is a broad term that categorizes any piercing through a flat or mostly flat area of the body. Surface piercings, due to the nature of the tissue pierced, are also often more prone to rejection and migration then other piercings. This covers a broad group of piercings, but each is approached according to the tissue in question. This often leads to people assuming curved barbells or surface bars should be used for bridges- and this is also misinformation.

We know piercings heal best when places perpendicularly to the tissue. This means in flat or near flat areas, like the nape of the neck or the forehead, surface bars or surface anchors are the perfect choice for that tissue. However- when it comes to eyebrows the curvature of the tissue there calls for a curved barbell- and traditionally the flatter and less defined the brow ridge, the harder it can be to heal. And when it comes to bridges, good anatomy will protrude even more, making a straight barbell the perfect choice. A straight barbell will be perpendicular to the tissue on both sides, where a curve will be pulled with gravity and curve downwards- putting pressure and irritation on the piercing and often leading to migration. (for those interested in more info about this Luis Garcia has some amazing YouTube videos on the subject). Correct jewelry for a bridge is a straight barbell, personally I do these at a 12g minimum for stability.

Being a type of surface piercing bridges are more prone to migration and rejection, and that’s absolutely something to consider when choosing to get these pierced. One bad snag or catch which would heal ok for a ear piercing or nose piercing may cause a bridge to fail. These are often known for leaving more visible scars even when they are healthy and healed when removed, so that is also something to keep in mind before getting them done. Any client getting a bridge should be ok with the possibility of more severe scarring should they choose to retire the piercing.

Can I have a bridge piercing if I wear glasses?

Possibly! Depending on how your glasses sit you can absolutely have those and a bridge piercing. I have found that glasses with separate nose pads rather then solid plastic frames tend to sit a bit lower on the nose and the pads allow you to adjust them to sit a bit lower- allowing space for a bridge. Some clients luck out and their usual frames are fine with a bridge piercing, others have to invest in different pairs to be able to have these done. If you wear glasses I always suggest bringing all pairs to your piercing appointment and checking how they sit and fit with marks. I sometimes suggest clients invest in a new pair of frames first before committing to a bridge so they know they have a pair they can wear without causing issues. Remember this will need to be done for the lifetime you wear this piercing, so if you are a glasses wearer strongly consider how that will effect your piercing.

Will it make you cross eyed?

This question may seem silly but I get asked it often- can’t you see the beads out of the corner of your eye- and don’t you end up staring at them?? Anyone with glasses will understand this all too well- get a new pair of frames and you are hyper aware of the frames at the edges of your vision….for all of a day or two. Just like adjusting to a new pair of frames your eyes very quickly adjust and while for the first day or so you may catch yourself staring as the ends on your awesome new bridge, before you know it you will have forgotten it’s even there- just like a new pair of frames on your glasses. Theres no long term vision risks to having a bridge piercing that we are aware of, and as someone who cycles through a number of different glasses on a daily basis I can assure you your eyes adjust much faster then you give them credit for!

Bridge piercings are hands down some of my favorites. These are an enjoyable challenge to mark and line up, and I adore the aesthetic and how they flow with different facial features. But, with their higher risks of rejection and migration, and the more visible scarring they can leave, these are piercings that should be gotten after some careful consideration and thought. If you do decide to get your bridge pierced enjoy, because they are awesome! <3

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Hi! I absolutely loved this article —I was on a hunt to find it, as I just got my bridge pierced! I was curious what you’d suggest for aftercare? It seems that I’m getting a good amount of build up on both ends. It appears to be dried blood but I never notice that it’s bleeding until it’s dried!? I typically refrain from using applicators like cotton swabs but i’m not sure what would be best?

joanna kraemer
joanna kraemer
Jun 08, 2022
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sterile saline wound wash spray on a qtip 2-3 times a day

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