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EYEBROW PIERCING AFTERCARE




PLACEMENT

The usual place to pierce the eyebrow is at a 35 degree angle from the outside corner of the eye (see illustration on front cover), however, it may be pierced anywhere along the eyebrow from directly above the eye, to the edge of the eyebrow. The eyebrow should never be pierced further in than directly above the eye, because of the presence of the three major Supra-Orbital nerves, piercing one of these nerves can cause permanent damage.

The piercing is usually done at an angle to make the ring sit better, if the piercing is done vertically it sits directly outward and has a greater likelihood of migration (see migration). There is a variation of eyebrow piercings invented by "Angel Binnie" a famous American piercer, this piercing is done horizontally just under the eyebrow so that the ring hangs downwards.




JEWELLERY

The usual jewellery for piercing the eyebrow is a 1mm ball closure ring, I usually use 8mm rings for men and little 6mm rings for women. However, the piercing can also be done with the very small barbells which I use specially for eyebrows; barbells seem to have less problems, most probably because they are knocked around less than rings.




HEALING

The piercing will take approximately 5-6 weeks to heal, some people may take longer though, the better you care for the piercing the quicker it will heal, and the less problems you will have. Eyebrow piercings can sometimes be very problematic, this is for several reasons, the skin where the piercing is done is quite thin, and contains a lot of hair follicles and doesn't have much tissue underneath to give it strength. Eyebrows are there to prevent any dirt from falling into the eyes, and therefore the dirt gets into the wound. The piercing gets knocked around a lot when you sleep, and movement hampers the healing process.




MIGRATION

Migration means the movement of the jewellery out of the skin, in the same way that the body forces out a foreign object like a splinter, it can cause the jewellery to migrate. The amount of skin taken by the initial piercing will decrease until the jewellery eventually grows out altogether. It doesn't matter how well the piercing is done initially, migration can still occur. However, I pierce eyebrows with the very small rings and barbells, I believe that this puts less pressure on the wound and I have achieved a very good success rate using this method. If you are really concerned about migration the it's best to get the piercing done with a barbell.




INFECTION

Because of the dirt which gets into eyebrow piercings, movement, and the amount of hair follicles near the wound, eyebrow piercings are prone to infections. You must be diligent with cleaning to prevent infections, however if an infection does occur it can turn nasty very quickly. Because there is no tissue under the skin of the eyebrow, the infection can quickly turn into a large cyst. The area of the piercing can become very red and tender and there can be a large amount of discharge from the wound.

If an infection occurs you must return and let me look at it immediately, if you can't return you will have to clean the wound yourself. The easiest method to remove infection from the wound is the application of a hot compress. Get a clean hand towel or paper towel and hold it under very hot running water, test the heat of the compress so that you can just bear the heat on the wound. Be careful not to apply it twhen it's too hot as this can result in a bad burn.

Hold the hot compress on the wound until you feel the heat dissipate altogether, remove the compress and gently bathe the wound with warm, salty water. Don't squeeze the piercing to remove any infection, just apply very gentle pressure with a clean tissue, repeat the hot compress a couple of more times until all residue is removed from the wound.

Follow this process twice a day until the wound settles down, if this doesn't alleviate the infection you will have to see a doctor for antibiotics. The doctor may tell you to remove the ring, don't do this as the jewellery allows any exudate to come out of the wound, if you remove it there will be no way of allowing the pus out of the wound. If antibiotics fail to stop the infection you have no choice but to remove the ring, however in my experience this is very rare.




DO's DON'Ts TO CARE FOR YOUR EYEBROW PIERCING

THE NUMBER ONE REASON FOR INFECTION IS TOUCHING AND PLAYING WITH THE PIERCING, ONLY TOUCH THE PIERCING WHEN CLEANING IT!






HIDING YOUR EYEBROW PIERCING

Because employers and parents are pretty conservative, some people have no choice but to try and hide their piercing. Luckily this isn't too hard, all you need to do is purchase a small amount of clear 1mm fishing line. Cut a piece which is approximate to the length of the wound, and then push one end against a heated knife to create a flat end like a nail. You should clean this with some disinfectant like cleaning alcohol, Dettol etc. then gently place it in the wound. There should be 2-3mm room to spare so it doesn't get caught in the wound. You can only do this after the piercing is healed, trying this method to hide it while it's healing will lead to infection.


©Cheyenne Morrison, The Piercing Temple, Australia 98.

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