Eyebrow Piercings: A Complete Guide

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 20, 2020
    Last Updated: February 10, 2022

Piercings have long been a part of style and individual expression. While popular piercings such as those done on the ear are more common, some opt for piercings considered a bit more non-traditional. Eyebrow piercings certainly fall into this category.

Eyebrow piercings are popular with both men and women, making it one of the true unisex fashion statements. You can have piercings anywhere along the eyebrow; however, it is usually done just beyond the arc.

Its location and the type of tissue pierced makes it unique. When considering this type of piercing, it is vital to understand its unique qualities and expectations.

Choosing a Piercing Service

When deciding where to get your piercing, it is essential to find a location that uses best practices. Look for experienced professionals who maintain recognized standards. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners recommends that any service you choose provides the following:

  • An autoclave to sterilize all non-disposable equipment
  • Sterile needles
  • A piercer who wears surgical gloves for the procedure
  • Hypoallergenic jewelry

Does It Hurt?

Though the skin around the eye can be sensitive, eyebrow piercings score low on the pain scale; it will feel like a slight pinch or pressure in most cases. As the face tends to be a blood-rich area, it is prone to more swelling than places such as the ear lobe. 

In some cases, bruising can occur. There are occasions when bruising can migrate into a black eye. However, all these conditions will disappear after time.

How Much Does it Cost?

Eyebrow piercings range in cost from $20 to $70, not counting the jewelry prices. However, in making your decision, always choose experience over price. The skin area for this type of procedure requires expertise.  

Healing Times

The eyebrow varies in healing time from between two to three months, depending on the individual. Do not change jewelry during the healing process. It is also important to avoid moving the jewelry. 

The skin around the eye is sensitive, and because of its delicate nature, it can scar easily. It’s also important to note that you should not cover it during the healing process.


Though general practices, such as keeping the area clean to avoid infection and cold compresses to reduce the swelling, need to be administered, other items require your attention. Eyebrows piercings are on flat skin, therefore, they are more susceptible to migration and rejection than other piercings types.

It’s essential to adhere to additional practices during the healing process to avoid complications. Keep foreign substances away from your eyes. Do not wax your eyebrows and be careful with makeup. During haircuts, make sure that cutting or styling implements do not get caught on your jewelry. Choose only precious metals to lessen the chance of irritation or allergic reactions.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals the best it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

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Any time you puncture the skin, there is the possibility of scaring. Nevertheless, properly caring for the piercing should minimize this possibility. Additionally, the hair of the eyebrow will aid in concealing any possible scarring. By not touching or frequently irritating the area, chances for scarring will also decrease.

Though following general rules will minimize scarring chances, you must regularly check your piercing for migration signs. If you notice migration, remove the piercing before it gets to the surface, that will lessen the chance of scarring.

Excessive Swelling

The face contains numerous blood vessels surrounded by very soft tissue. Swelling and bruising is a natural occurrence when piercing this part of the anatomy. In most cases, swelling and bruising will subside in a few hours. Sometimes the swelling can be more prominent if clamps are used during the procedure.

In the event of swelling taking place, use ice packs and extra pillows to elevate your head when you are resting to treat this condition. You can also take anti-inflammatories, such as Advil or Motrin. Furthermore, it would be wise to avoid blood thinners, such as alcohol and caffeine. If the excessive swelling continues, consult with your physician as soon as possible.

How Can I Tell the Piercing is Infected?

With any piercing, there is a risk of infection. Recognizing the signs can aid in minimizing severity and scarring. Often, irritation is mistaken for an infection. If you suspect an infection, look for swelling and soreness near or on the piercing site.

Other signs are shiny skin or itching at the piercing point. The appearance of discharge may also be an indication of infection. Swelling can continue for days and even weeks after the procedure, thus, you must inspect the piercing daily. If you suspect an infection, keep the area clean, soak with sea salt and consult a physician immediately.

Things You Should Consider

Eyebrow piercings require more care. If you are prone to absent-mindedness or do not want to be bothered with additional care, an eyebrow piercing may not be for you. Plus, if you have very sensitive skin, another type of piercing may be a better choice.

It is important to note that, most likely, your eye piercing will be rejected over time. Unlike ear piercings, it is not generally permanent. There is the option to have the area re-pierced, though recognize that this is a continual process.

Eyebrow Jewelry Options

Eyebrow piercings generally use a 16G needle. Initially, a curved barbell is recommended immediately after the piercing. Hoop jewelry tends to pull at the skin, causing additional irritation or migration during the healing process.

Many choose to stay with the barbell design, and it remains the most popular of the eyebrow jewelry options. Others will decide to go with a hoop ring option. For those who want to try something more out of the ordinary, you can choose a captive bead or a seamless ring. There are several variations of these designs tailored to different tastes.

Other Eyebrow Piercing Styles

Like the ear, different types of eyebrow piercings can add a new flair. One of these is the double eyebrow piercing. Others have chosen to get multiple piercings stretching the entire length of the eyebrow.

Horizontal piercings are another option. As the name suggests, they run horizontally rather than vertically. There is a slight difference in the area as well, as the horizontal piercing will generally be above or below the eyebrow.

The Best Way to Change Out Jewelry

In most cases, within six to eight weeks, an eyebrow piercing will heal enough to allow you to change the jewelry. Generally, the preferred option is to go with a smaller piece of jewelry. The majority of shops offer jewelry at prices similar to your initial piercing.

However, it is essential that on your first attempt of changing out jewelry, you don’t do it unaided. Seek out the instruction and guidance of a professional. Mistakes in jewelry exchange, which is common among first-timers, can cause the piercing to close. A poorly removed piece of jewelry can also cause trauma to the skin, leading to an infection. When picking your replacement, opt for titanium or gold, as these high-quality metals are better for sensitive skin.

Can an Eyebrow Piercing Be Concealed?

There may be an occasion in which you need to hide your piercing, and a clear plastic retainer can be used for this purpose. The retainer will keep the piercing open while making it very difficult to see.

Do not use a bandaid, makeup or tape to conceal your piercing, as those methods will risk infection. It is also discouraged that you do not use the retainer at any time during the healing process, as removing jewelry could create irritation and possible infection. The best idea is to plan out your schedule before piercing, so you do not run into potential conflicts.


It is imperative to consider all of these factors when deciding whether to get an eyebrow piercing. Your eyes are maybe the most recognizable part of your face. The skin surrounding your eye is extra sensitive. Getting an eyebrow piercing takes care, patience and commitment.

Do your research. Talk to a professional and make sure if you decide to get this piercing that you do not skimp on the quality of the product or the service provider’s professionalism. Eyebrow piercings are a bold fashion statement that adds unique detail to your style. They require that same attention to detail when caring for your new eyebrow piercing.

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