The Anti-Eyebrow (Butterfly) Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
Like yin and yang, there is an opposite force to everything. The same is true for body piercings. We have the tragus and the anti-tragus, the helix and the anti-helix (the forward helix), and now we have the eyebrow and the anti-eyebrow.
The name is a bit confusing. What exactly is the anti-eyebrow? Similar to the anti-tragus and anti-helix piercings, the anti-eyebrow is so-called because it appears directly opposite the eyebrow along the cheekbone below the eye.
The anti-eyebrow piercing, also known as the butterfly piercing, is a surface piercing. This means that the piercer will use clamps to pinch the skin that you want to be pierced and push the needle straight through. They will then insert a curved barbell into the piercing. The bead ends of the curved barbell will stick out of the piercing, offering a double pierced look.
While surface piercings heal like any other piercing, there are some things that you need to keep in mind during healing. Here’s everything you need to know about the anti-eyebrow piercing.
How much do anti-eyebrow piercings hurt?
While the pain level will depend upon your personal pain tolerance, many people report very low feelings of pain. This is largely because of the expertise of the piercer. If you find a cheaper or less experienced piercer, the process could be a lot more painful.
Anti-eyebrow piercing healing process
You can expect to spend around 6 - 8 weeks to heal the anti-eyebrow piercing. Healing times could be longer, depending on how well you take care of the piercing as it heals. If you develop an infection or other complications, it could slow your healing times.
Even though the anti-eyebrow piercing looks a little complicated, it heals similarly to any other piercing. You must keep in mind, however, that it does have a longer fistula (piercing hole) than other piercing types, so you need to ensure that you’re fully flushing it of debris to avoid infection or abscess. Additionally, surface piercings have a larger risk of rejection, so you need to watch for the signs as your anti-eyebrow piercing heals.
Here are some aftercare tips for the anti-eyebrow piercing.
Conduct a sea salt or saline compress 2 - 3 times daily. You want to make sure that you’re fully clearing the fistula when you clean your piercing, and a sea salt or saline soak is typically the best way to do that. However, the location of the anti-eyebrow piercing makes soaking difficult. Instead, soak a clean paper towel in saline solution or a homemade sea salt solution and hold it to your piercing for 3 - 5 minutes. It’s important to use a clean paper towel because they harbor less bacteria and have fewer fibers that will snag than a cloth towel.
Don’t wear makeup until the piercing has healed. Makeup has harmful chemicals that can irritate the piercing, and it can get stuck in the piercing holes, encouraging infection. You should also stay away from face wash, sunscreen, lotion, and any other product that isn’t made specifically for piercings. When you shower, make sure that you rinse any soap that gets near the piercing. Besides causing irritation, the chemicals can encourage piercing rejection, which is already at a higher risk. Play it safe, and keep your new piercing free from harsh chemicals during healing.
Try not to sleep on your side. Putting pressure on the jewelry can cause embedding or snagging. Do your best not to sleep on the jewelry, and when you get the piercing, try to get the side pierced that you sleep on the least. Additionally, you should change your pillowcase nightly to avoid contact with infection-causing bacteria.
Anti-eyebrow piercing jewelry styles
The only jewelry that you can wear in an anti-eyebrow piercing is a curved barbell. This is because it follows the natural anatomy of your cheekbone, reducing the risk of rejection. The good news is that there are tons of curved barbell styles to choose from.
Once your piercing has fully healed and your piercer has given you the green light to change your jewelry, you can choose curved barbells with gemstones, pearls, spikes, or even diamonds. Don’t be afraid to go bold; there’s nothing better than alluring jewelry in an equally alluring piercing.
Why shouldn’t I get an anti-eyebrow piercing?
All surface piercings are considered semi-permanent; they will likely be rejected at some point. If you’re looking for a piercing that will last a lifetime, the anti-eyebrow piercing isn’t it.
The anti-eyebrow piercing is prominently placed on the face. If you have a job that doesn’t allow piercings, there won’t really be any way to hide it.
If you can’t commit to aftercare practices, then you probably shouldn’t get piercings in general, but definitely not a piercing that’s located on your face. There’s nothing worse than a glob of smelly green pus seeping from below your eye.
How much will it cost?
It will depend upon the piercing studio, but you can expect to pay between $40 - $60 on the anti-eyebrow piercing, not including the jewelry. Since the anti-eyebrow piercing is located on the face, you want to make sure that you choose high-quality metals that have no alloys that might irritate your skin. Common options are implant-grade titanium and 14k gold.
You should also choose a piercer with lots of experience, even if they’re more expensive. A main cause of surface piercing rejection is when the piercing isn’t pierced deeply enough. It’s a good idea to find a piercer who is experienced in surface piercings, specifically. Their studio should also be clean, and their tools should be properly sterilized.
Anti-eyebrow piercing variations
The anti-eyebrow piercing is usually placed horizontally along the cheekbone, but there are vertical and diagonal options as well.
If you’re not keen on the double pierced look, you can get a dermal piercing in this location as well. In a dermal piercing, an anchor is placed beneath the skin, and a dermal top is screwed in, showing just a single bead or gemstone sticking from your cheekbone.