Also known as teardrop piercings, butterfly kiss or crow’s feet, anti-eyebrow piercings are placed just above the cheekbone and below the lower orbit of the eye.
They are usually done with a small surface bar or a curved barbell and can be either vertical or horizontal depending on your preference.
Anti-eyebrow piercings belong to the surface piercing category. This means that rather than being placed through a part of the body (like the lip or the earlobe), they are placed on a flat area. Surface piercings take the form of a bar that goes under the skin and two balls on either end above the surface of the skin.
Teardrops are a relatively new addition to facial piercings and are becoming increasingly popular. Eye-catching and unusual, they’re sure to make you stand out!
Anti-eyebrow piercing methods
Like all facial dermal piercings, anti-eyebrow piercings can be done with either a small dermal punch or a piercing needle.
The professional doing your piercing will be able to advise you on the pros and cons of each method. In general, the ‘punch and taper’ method is a relatively new technique and is said to result in faster healing and better survivability rate than the ‘clamp and needle’ procedure.
At the same time, though, a dermal punch removes a piece of tissue, while a needle merely parts the skin. This means that using a dermal punch carries greater risk of leaving a scar behind if the piercing is taken out.
When getting an anti-eyebrow piercing, it’s crucial to work with a professional, experienced piercer. Not only will they be able to minimize the pain factor and the risk of infection or rejection, but most importantly they will know how to carry out the procedure safely.
Correct placement of the piercing is incredibly important – a mistake on the part of the piercer could lead to tissue and nerve damage.
Teardrop dermal piercing
The dermal version of the anti-eyebrow piercing involves a single anchor being placed inside the skin – so rather than using a bar with two beads, you’re using an anchor with one bead. It’s still considered a surface piercing, though it’s known as a ‘single-point’ surface piercing.
Anti-eyebrow piercing price
The exact price will depend on the piercing studio you choose, but in general, you should expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $60.
We all have different pain thresholds for different kinds of pain, so it’s difficult to place the pain associated with an anti-eyebrow piercing on a universal scale. It’s going to hurt, that’s for sure – how much will depend on your tolerance.
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Since they’re done in a delicate place and require a relatively large amount of initial damage to the skin, in general, teardrop piercings are among the more painful procedures.
Still, a highly-skilled piercer should be able to perform the piercing quickly and efficiently, minimizing the amount of pain experienced.
An anti-eyebrow piercing should take between 6 to 8 weeks to heal. During the healing process, avoid touching the piercing or irritating the area in any way. This also means that you should not attempt to remove or replace the piercing until it’s completely healed.
During the first two days or so after getting the piercing, some bleeding, pain, and redness around the area are perfectly normal. Equally, white and yellow liquid seeping out from the wound is to be expected and nothing to worry about, unless it persists for a long time and is accompanied by unusual pain or itchiness.
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While your piercing heals, you may want to refrain from using face creams and makeup in the area. It’s also recommended to avoid ingesting alcohol and drugs, as these substances can slow down the healing process.
Your piercer should give you detailed aftercare instructions – in general, it’s recommended to wash the piercing twice a day, using a saline solution.
One simple method is to put saline solution in a large enough shot glass, press it over your piercing and tilt your head back for a moment, effectively soaking the area. You can make your own saline at home by dissolving a small amount of sea salt in warm water. The warmth of the water stimulates blood flow to the area and promotes healing, while the sea salt gently cleans the wound.
It’s important to use sea salt and not table salt, as the latter will irritate the area rather than help with the healing process.
Apart from saline, there are other products that may be used to clean the piercing, such as gentle soaps and solutions designed specifically for this purpose. There are liquids and medicated swabs that you can buy in piercing salons. Some piercers also suggest using natural oils, such as diluted tea tree oil or emu oil.
In addition to cleaning the piercing itself, it’s important to pay attention to general cleanliness and hygiene, too – for instance, ensuring that your towels and bedding are changed often.
Like all surface piercings, teardrops carry a risk of rejection. When faced with a foreign body (in this case, the piercing) inside or underneath the skin, the human body has two choices: to heal the skin and form a scar around the object or to push the object out.
Rejection is the result of the second option: rather than healing the damage to the skin and tissue, your body opts for pushing the piercing out like a splinter. This process starts out as migration – when the piercing begins to move due to being pushed out. Signs of rejection include:
- Redness around the piercing persisting for longer than expected
- The jewelry beginning to show through the skin
- A sensation of warmth, irritation, or itchiness around the area
If you think your piercing has been rejected, see a professional piercer or a doctor as soon as possible. Piercing rejection may mean that there is a serious infection and can be dangerous.
It’s not possible to completely ensure that rejection won’t take place, though there are some factors that affect the likelihood of your piercing being rejected. Proper placement and the correct choice of jewelry is the most important consideration – this is up to your piercer, so make sure you choose someone you trust to get things right.
Your general health is another factor – the healthier you are, the smaller the chances of rejection. It’s also important to avoid damaging the area or tugging on the piercing, since this can trigger a rejection mechanism even after the piercing has been apparently healed and stable for a long time.
It goes without saying that infection is something you want to avoid at all costs – and the way to avoid it is to keep the area of the piercing clean at all times. Signs of infection could include:
- Thick, yellow discharge
- Skin around the piercing hot to the touch
- Feeling of warmth, irritation, itchiness around the area
If you suspect your piercing may have become infected, start out by intensifying your aftercare routine – wash the piercing 3-6 times per day and use complimentary cleaning products like aftercare sprays and medicated swabs. If the symptoms persist or worsen, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Unlike standard (non-surface) piercings, surface piercings are susceptible to becoming rejected or infected even after they’ve healed. Although there is a chance that everything will be fine with your piercing forever, statistically speaking most surface piercings have a limited lifetime.
How long exactly you can enjoy your teardrop piercing is pretty much impossible to guess. In general, successfully healed surface piercings last anywhere from three months to several years, though it’s possible they’ll be around for longer.
Jewelry types for anti-eyebrow piercings
There are several types of jewelry that can be used for anti-eyebrow piercings. When choosing which one to go with, there are both practical and aesthetic considerations to take into account. The piercer you choose will be able to advise you on the best type for you.
Barbell piercings take the form of a straight bar with a bead on each end. The bar is the part that goes under the skin – only the balls will be visible. In order to remove a barbell, one of the beads has to be unscrewed.
There are plenty of different styles of barbell jewelry out there. The standard ball shape of the bead is sometimes replaced with spikes or squares, and the piercings come in a range of colors and aesthetics. They don’t have to be plain surgical steel, either – some designs involve gems, colored steel, precious metals (like gold) or various shapes to make the piercing look even more original.
Curved barbell style
A variation on the barbell piercing, where the bar is slightly curved into a bow.
Surface bar style
Likely the most common choice for anti-eyebrow piercings. Surface bars are shaped like staples – a straight bar with a right-angle bend on either end. Like with barbells, balls (or other shapes) are screwed onto the ends.
Captive bead ring style
Bead rings are, as the name suggests, circular in shape with a small metal bead completing the ring. Though more popular for lip, ear, eyebrow, and nose piercings, they’re also a viable option for teardrop piercings.
Like barbells, they come in a variety of colors and styles.
It’s important to note that using barbells, rather than rings, for surface piercings is generally preferable. The reason for this is that barbells promote healing much more effectively than rings. With barbells, there’s minimal movement in the wound – however, rings can move and turn, potentially introducing germs into the wound.
Dermal jewelry style
If you’ve opted for a single-point anti-eyebrow piercing (a single bead rather than a bar and two beads showing), you’re looking at getting dermal piercing jewelry.
This consists of an anchor – the part that’s inside your skin; and atop – the part that screws onto the anchor and shows above the skin. There are thousands of differently colored, shaped, and stylized options for top & anchor jewelry, so you’re sure to find something to suit your style.