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When I was in 7th grade, I decided that I really wanted to have eyebrow rings.  Not just one eyebrow ring, but two.  I was, of course, too young to get them and back in 1995 there weren’t too many piercing shops around, especially not ones that would pierce someone underage, and I knew enough not to try to pierce them myself.  So I was forced to wait.  And wait I did, until I was 18 years old and away at college.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was October 6th, 2000 and I went to a shop called Instant Karma.  I knew they wouldn’t do two piercings right next to each other at the same time so I had to start with one. I was a little nervous about having a needle shoved through the skin above my eye but I stuck it out.  Once I was in the chair, they cleaned the skin, put the clamp on, and before I knew it, the needle was in and the clamp was off. They make you sit there for a minute with the needle through your skin, in front of your eye while they prep the jewelry.  I honestly expected it to hurt a lot more than it did, in fact, I could barely feel it.  They slid the ring through the new piercing, popped the ball into the BCR and I was on my way.  Six weeks later, I was back in the chair getting ring number two.  This time, I was not nervous because I knew that it wasn’t going to hurt very badly and I was so excited about finally getting them to look like I had always wanted them to look.

Looking back over my eyebrow ring experience over the past 11 years, I realized that I have some pretty good tips to share.  The healing process is similar to other piercings and when the piercer tells you to keep your hands off of them, listen.  The worst thing you can do for an eyebrow piercing is to play with it, especially when your hands aren’t clean.  According to piercer it’s best to clean them with a solution of sea salt and warm (not hot) water twice a day for the first 6 weeks.  You can use a Q-Tip to get the solution right onto either side of the ring or use a clean paper towel soaked in the solution.  Turn the ring gently in order to wash away any blood or residue that collects on it from the inside of the piercing.  Do not ever use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on your piercings or jewelry.  Both of these can seriously damage your jewelry and will dry out your piercing which is very uncomfortable and can cause infection, not get rid of it.

When I first got my rings, I found myself looking at them in the mirror at least 10 times a day.  I tried not to touch them but it is difficult.  The hardest thing is to make sure you don’t get them caught on a towel or on your clothes, especially while they are healing.  The first time you even bump it a little while it’s healing you will yell and touch your forehead, for sure. It definitely hurts and stings and they may even bleed a little bit.  If you do pull them at all, clean them gently with the sea salt solution and then leave them alone.  You can also take an anti-inflammatory to cut down on any swelling that may occur.  You also want to avoid going swimming until they are healed because the chlorine in pools will dry them out a lot and there tends to be a lot of bacteria in fresh water that can cause infections in your open piercing.  Also, avoid the ocean (even though it’s sea salt), because the sand and other particles in the water can get inside your piercing and irritate it or scratch up your jewelry.

When I was 19 and had had my piercings for over a year, I must have pulled them on a towel by accident because they became very sore.  I ended up putting peroxide on them (because I was not aware of the problems that it causes) and they got much worse.  The peroxide dried my skin out and the rings had a lot of friction when I tried to slide them through the piercing.  Imagine rubbing sandpaper on really dry skin, that’s what it felt like. The holes swelled up and that made it hurt more and they started to bleed a little bit.  I called my piercer and they recommended that I use some iodine on them until they stopped bleeding, which worked like a charm.  They told me about using the salt water soaks on a paper towel after they started healing back up and they were SO right.  Since then, I have only had minor irritations with my piercings, (mainly related to changing the jewelry) and I was able to clear up the irritation with the salt water in a few days.

One other thing to make sure you do is to ask your piercer not only what gauge they pierce you with, but the size of the ring as well.  BCRs are measured across the inside edges of the ring for diameter.  Some piercers will pierce eyebrows with 14g instead of 16g.  The ring sizes can be anywhere from 1/4” to ½”.  Both of my rings are 16g 3/8” BCRs.  If you get pierced with a certain size ring, you will be very uncomfortable trying to change it out with a bigger gauge or a different size ring as your piercing heals along the shape of the ring.

Both of my eyebrow rings were pierced deep enough in my brow to avoid migration and they have stayed in the same spot for 11 years.  I still really do enjoy having them and they are pretty much pain free as long as I remove the rings and clean them with salt water about once a week.  Happy piercing!

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