Eyebrow piercings are relatively new and purely aesthetic piercings with no recognized symbolic tradition or cultural origin; they simply look good. Their location draws attention to one’s eyes and upper face, either opening the gaze or intensifying it. Placement can vary, but is usually towards the outer end of the eyebrow, just past the arch, as this location tends to be aesthetically pleasing on almost all faces. The angle of the piercing can vary from nearly vertical to a dramatic diagonal.
Eyebrow piercings tend to be easy to sit through and quite simple to heal, taking just six to eight weeks. They generally heal up with few complications provided you keep them clean and keep dirty hands, makeup, and hair away. Much like other facial piercings, when infected, eyebrow piercings can swell and/or develop a fluid-filled bump or pimple at the hole. If irritated, warm salt water soaks several times a day tend to help fairly quickly.
We usually an eyebrow piercing with a 16 gauge curved barbell. While a ring can also be worn, it’s usually better to go with a curved bar for healing. These piercings often swell slightly and some people can get bruising—and an unlucky few can can even get a black eye. Treat the swelling as you would any other area: use cold packs and elevation. Anti-inflammatories can help, and try to avoid things that thins your blood further (including alcohol and/or stimulants, aspirin and Tylenol). Generally swelling is gone in a day or two, though bruising may take a couple days more.
It is important to note that while some individuals have an eyebrow piercing last several years, the majority tend to migrate, or “grow out,” in the long term. This means they gradually get closer and closer to the surface as your body grows new layers of skin behind the jewelry. This process can take several months or even several years but ultimately leads to rejection, which is simply the way your body deals with any jewelry placed along the surface of flat skin. Once the jewelry starts to migrate it’s usually better to remove jewelry earlier than later, as this minimizes scarring. If you really like the piercing it can always be redone later.