By Chandramita Bora
Nose piercing is perhaps one of the few ancient practices that have become a fashion trend to simply create a craze amongst youngsters. There are mainly three types of nose piercings, nostril piercing, septum piercing and bridge piercing. Out of these, nostril piercing is the most common and the popular type of nose piercing. However, bridge piercing too is witnessing a significant increase in its popularity. It is basically a surface piercing, and hence, differs from the other two types of nose piercings. Being a surface piercing, bridge piercing often takes more time to heal than the nostril and septum piercing.
Bridge Piercing: An Overview
Bridge piercing 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. Bridge piercing is also known by the name of "Erl" piercing, after the name of the Erl van Aken, who was the first recipient of this piercing. Vertical bridge piercing is a variation of this piercing. Piercing is done usually with the help of straight barbells. This jewelry 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 an initial jewelry for bridge piercing.
Usually, a professional piercer uses a hook or needle to pierce the skin and to make a hole on 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, a captive bead ring can be worn. 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. Therefore, a D-ring styled ring may be required at times, to prevent piercing migration.
Bridge Piercing Risks
Bridge piercing is a minor piercing and hence, carries only a few risks. But, many misconceptions are in circulation regarding this surface piercing. As for example, many people believe that this type of piercing can affect the eyes and cause problems like, involuntary eye crossing, while others think that infections from piercing can spread to the brain via the sinuses. Nose or Erl piercing does not involve such major complications. The only thing that need to be taken into account is that, the risk of rejection is quite high for this piercing, and there is also an increased likelihood of getting piercing migration.
Moreover, many people can develop allergic reaction to the jewelry used. Some people can be allergic to jewelry that contain nickel, while others can be allergic to even gold jewelry. Therefore, the usual method is to use only stainless steel jewelry for the initial piercing, and then go for the other types of jewelry only when the piercing has healed completely. Other important risk associated with this type of piercing is infection and scarring, which can take place once the jewelry is removed. Bridge piercing pain is usually not very significant. However, pain tolerance levels can be different for different individuals and so, many can find this piercing quite painful.
Bridge Piercing Aftercare
Proper aftercare can minimize several risks associated with bridge or Erl piercing to a great extent. The most important part of bridge piercing aftercare is to keep the area clean. So, avoid touching the piercing and the jewelry with unwashed or dirty hands. Try using saline solution to keep the area clean, and reduce the risk for infection. At the same time, refrain from playing with the jewelry or rotating the jewelry while cleaning it. Take every possible precautions, so as to not irritate the pierced area. Also do no try to change the jewelry unless the piercing has healed completely, and avoid covering the piercing while applying make-up. If infection develops, then do not remove the jewelry, as doing so would seal the infection inside, which can sometimes cause development of abscess. If the infection seems to be of serious nature, then consider taking professional help. Find out more about: