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Bridge Piercing

Bridge Piercing
A bridge piercing is a type of nose piercing, where the thin flap of skin on the bridge of the nose is pierced. Find out the various aspects of this piercing with this article.
Chandramita Bora
The nose piercing is one of the few ancient practices that have become a fashion trend in the recent times. There are mainly three types of nose piercings - nostril piercing, septum piercing, and bridge piercing, of which, nostril piercing is the most common and the popular type of nose piercing. However, the bridge piercing is also becoming increasingly popular. It is basically a surface piercing, and hence, differs from the other two types of nose piercings. Being a surface piercing, it often takes more time to heal than the nostril and septum piercing.
Piercing the Nose Bridge
It is a type of body piercing that involves the skin on the bridge of the nose, i.e., the flap of skin at the top of the nose just between the eyes. This piercing is also known by the name of "Erl" piercing, after the name of Erl van Aken, who was the first recipient of this piercing.
This piercing is usually done with the help of a straight barbell, which consists of a straight bar with a small bead on each end. However, barbells also come in a curved shape, though the straight ones are usually preferred for this purpose. Even surface bars can be used as jewelry for bridge piercings.
Usually, a professional piercer uses a hook or needle to pierce the skin and make a hole in it, through which the jewelry is inserted. While doing so, the flap of the skin on the bridge of the nose is held with the help of a forcep or skin clamp.
Once the piercing is healed, you can wear a captive bead ring. Piercing migration is very common in this type of nose piercing. Migration refers to the process, where the piercing moves from its initial location. The pressure exerted by the jewelry like the ring can increase the likelihood of piercing migration.
This is a minor piercing, and hence carries only a few risks. However, many misconceptions are in circulation regarding this surface piercing. For example, many people believe that this type of piercing can affect the eyes, and cause problems like involuntary eye crossing. Some people also think that the infection from the piercing site can spread to the brain via the sinuses.
But nose or Erl piercing does not involve such major complications. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is that, the risk of rejection is quite high for this type of piercing. There is also an increased likelihood of getting piercing migration.
Moreover, some individuals can develop an allergic reaction to the jewelry used, especially if it contains nickel. Some people on the other hand, can be allergic to gold jewelry as well. Therefore, the usual method is to use only stainless steel jewelry for the initial piercing, and go for the other types of jewelry only when the piercing site has healed completely.
Other important risks associated with this type of piercing are infections and scarring, which can take place once the jewelry is removed. The pain is usually not very significant. However, the pain tolerance levels can be different for different individuals, and so, some people can find this piercing quite painful.
The risks associated with bridge or Erl piercing can be reduced to a great extent with proper aftercare. The most important point is to keep the piercing site and the surrounding area clean. So, avoid touching the piercing and the jewelry with unwashed or dirty hands. Use saline solution to keep the area clean, and reduce the risk of infections.
At the same time, refrain from playing with the jewelry or rotating the jewelry while cleaning it. Take every possible precautions to not irritate the piercing site. Do not try to change the jewelry unless the piercing has healed completely. Do not remove the jewelry if an infection develops. Otherwise, it may cause the development of an abscess. If the infection seems to be serious in nature, then consider to take the help of a professional.
A bridge piercing is not very painful when it is preformed. But there can be some swelling, and the piercing site may remain tender for a few days. In general, the healing time for this type of nose piercing is 2 to 3 months. While considering this type of piercing, a few things need to be taken into account. The first thing to be considered is whether there is enough skin on the bridge area to get the piercing done. If there is not enough skin on the area, then the piercing can grow out, which can be quite painful. Secondly, people who wear glasses are not good candidates for this piercing, as their glasses can rub against or irritate the piercing and thus increase the risk of infection. Lastly, be sure to get the piercing done only with the help of a trained professional.