A bridge piercing is also commonly referred to as the Erl. In essence, it is piercing with a horizontal barbell or curved barbell that is inserted across the bridge of the nose. While it is a form of surface piercing, you may often see individuals with vertical barbells as well. The one thing you should know before getting a bridge piercing is that because there is not much flesh located at the bridge of the nose, even the smallest gauge body jewelry may find it difficult to stay in place. This increases the risk of the jewelry to shift or reject from the skin completely.
Due to the rejection rate, the most common and effective jewelry for bridge piercings would be a small gauge, curved barbell. The curvature on this type of barbell gives the flesh more space to adjust around the barbell, reducing the risk of rejection. Using a straight barbell, while possible, usually creates an excessive amount of tension that could increase the chance of migration and rejection.
Bridge piercings are pretty popular amongst both men and women, especially in younger generations. a common misconception of bridge piercings is that placing body jewelry on both sides of the bridge will cause your eyes to naturally focus on the edges of the barbell, in turn, making you cross-eyed. However, this is far from the truth. There have not been any reports of eye-crossing, unless of course the individual intentionally does it themselves!
After a while of wearing a bridge piercing, your body gets used to the position and what some would call an obstruction of view. You will pretty much forget it’s even there after a while. If you do however, consistently notice the jewelry, either from the corner or lower parts of your eye, odds are that the bar gauge is just too long for your facial proportion. All that should be visible to you , especially after a few months, is just your nose.
Another common misconception of bridge piercings is the fact that many people believe that they will no longer be able to wear glasses, whether prescription or regular sunglasses. While you may not be able to see the bridge piercing while wearing your glasses, as long as the piercing is placed in proper position at the top of the bridge, it will not affect anything.
Under normal circumstances, to prevent rejection, a professional piercer will use one of the three smallest gauges to perform bridge piercings. While you can always opt for larger gauges at a later time, this is done to prevent any infection or unnecessary tearing of the flesh from piercing with a larger gauge from the start. Essentially, the ability to use a larger gauge barbell will be ultimately determined by the amount of flesh and tissue that you naturally have readily available in this surface area. Some people are able to wear much larger gauges than others without implications. However, you should be aware that when it comes to facial piercings, you may not want to deal with the headache of finding out after the damage is already done. The larger gauge you can wear naturally and comfortably, will reduce the risk of rejection accordingly.
Proper aftercare of your bridge piercing is highly important. You will want to ensure that there are no cleansers, makeup, or hair products used immediately following the procedure. This can cause serious buildup and lead to an infection almost instantly. Healing time may vary based on the initial gauge used to pierce your bridge, however it usually lasts between 8-12 weeks at the very most to fully heal. After this time, you can easily change jewelry and move to a smaller or shorter curved barbell if you prefer. Keep in mind that the inner tissue will not yet be healed so be careful of how you remove and rotate the new jewelry.
Here are some more images of bridge piercings and ideas that can help you determine if this type of piercing is right for you.