Forehead Piercing: Everything You Need To Know

You’re looking to express your individuality and consider a unique body modification, but traditional piercings don’t seem to cut it. What if there was a piercing that not only made a bold statement but also held a deep spiritual significance? A piercing that could truly set you apart and allow you to express your inner self?

Enter the world of forehead piercing, also known as the third eye piercing. This unique form of body art is more than just a piercing; it’s a symbol of enlightenment and a bold expression of individuality. In this article, we’ll delve deep into everything you need to know about forehead piercings, from their cultural significance to the procedure and aftercare. Let’s embark on this journey of self-expression together.

Key Points

  • Forehead piercing, or third eye piercing, is a surface piercing positioned in the center of the forehead, above the bridge of the nose.
  • The forehead piercing holds significance in various cultures and religions, symbolizing enlightenment, wisdom, and spiritual communication.
  • The piercing procedure can be done with a needle or a dermal punch.
  • Healing time for a forehead piercing is around 6 to 8 months.
  • The jewelry used for forehead piercing is usually a surface bar, dermal anchor or curved barbells with a focus on biocompatible and hypoallergenic materials.
  • Risks and complications include infection, rejection or migration of the jewelry, scarring, nerve damage, hypertrophic scarring or keloids, allergic reactions, prolonged healing time, and social or professional acceptance.

What is a Forehead Piercing?

A forehead piercing, often referred to as a third eye piercing, is a unique form of body modification that falls under the category of surface piercings. Unlike traditional piercings that go through two layers of skin (entry and exit), a surface piercing such as the forehead piercing is done on a flat area of skin, and the jewelry rests on the surface of the skin.

Types of Piercing Placement Pricing Pain Level Healing Time
Forehead Piercing (Third Eye) Vertical piercing located between the eyebrows $30 – $60 5/10 (Dermal)

4/10 (Needle)

6-8 months

The forehead piercing is typically positioned in the center of the forehead, directly above the bridge of the nose. This placement is not random; it is believed to correspond to the sixth chakra, also known as the “third eye” in various spiritual traditions.

The jewelry used for this type of piercing is usually a surface bar, a special type of body jewelry that is shaped like a staple. The two ends of the bar are visible on the surface of the skin, while the middle part sits under the skin. Alternatively, a dermal anchor can be used, where only one end of the jewelry is visible on the skin’s surface.

Forehead Piercing Placement

Before committing to a forehead piercing, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and find an experienced piercer. Given the similarities between third eye piercings and bridge piercings, it’s preferable to find a professional with a background in bridge piercings. A skilled and experienced piercer will not only ensure the procedure is done safely and correctly but also minimize potential risks and complications.

The placement of the piercing is a critical aspect that requires careful consideration. It’s typically positioned in the center of the forehead, directly above the bridge of the nose. Precise placement is crucial for a third eye piercing, as even the slightest misalignment can impact facial symmetry. Therefore, before deciding on the placement, it’s essential to consult with your chosen professional piercer. They can assess your suitability for the piercing and help determine the best placement based on your facial features and skin condition.

However, the exact placement can vary slightly depending on your personal preference and the anatomy of your forehead. Some people may prefer a slightly higher or lower placement, but it’s important to ensure there is enough tissue in the chosen area to accommodate the piercing. If the skin is too tight or thin, it may not be appropriate for a piercing as it could affect the healing process and the longevity of the piercing. Therefore, a professional consultation is vital to ensure a successful and safe forehead piercing experience.

The Forehead Piercing Procedure

The procedure for a forehead piercing can be performed in two ways: using a needle or a dermal punch. Both methods should be performed by a professional piercer in a clean and sterile environment to minimize the risk of infection.

Needle Piercing Procedure

The needle piercing procedure is the more traditional method used for most body piercings, such as earlobe piercings, nose piercings, and navel piercings. Here’s how it typically goes:

  1. Consultation: The piercer will discuss the procedure, aftercare, and potential risks. They will also help you choose the appropriate jewelry.
  2. Preparation: The area to be pierced is cleaned and disinfected. The piercer will then mark the exact spot where the piercing will be placed.
  3. Piercing: The piercer uses a hollow needle to puncture the skin. The needle goes in one side of the marked area and comes out the other.
  4. Jewelry Insertion: The chosen jewelry is then inserted through the hollow needle. The needle is removed, leaving the jewelry in place.
  5. Aftercare Instructions: The piercer will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your new piercing to promote healing and prevent infection.
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Dermal Punch Procedure

The dermal punch procedure is often used for surface piercings like the forehead piercing, as well as other piercings such as dermal anchors and certain types of ear piercings (like conch piercings). This method removes a small circle of skin to accommodate the jewelry. Here’s how it works:

  1. Consultation: Similar to the needle piercing procedure, the piercer will discuss the process, aftercare, and potential risks. You’ll also choose your jewelry at this stage.
  2. Preparation: The piercer cleans and disinfects the area to be pierced. They will then mark the exact location for the piercing.
  3. Piercing: Instead of a needle, the piercer uses a dermal punch to remove a small circle of skin. This creates a hole for the jewelry.
  4. Jewelry Insertion: The piercer inserts a dermal anchor into the hole. This anchor has a flat base that sits under the skin and a post that protrudes from the skin where the jewelry will be attached.
  5. Aftercare Instructions: The piercer will provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.
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Dermal Punch Needle Piercing
Method Removes a small circle of skin to create a hole for the jewelry. Uses a hollow needle to puncture the skin, creating an entry and exit point for the jewelry.
Piercing Types Often used for surface piercings like forehead piercings and certain types of ear piercings (like conch piercings). Used for most traditional piercings such as earlobe piercings, nose piercings, and navel piercings.
Pain Level Pain level can be higher due to the removal of skin. Pain level can be lower as it involves puncturing the skin rather than removing it.
Healing Time May take longer to heal due to the nature of the procedure. Generally has a quicker healing time.
Risk of Rejection Higher risk of rejection as the body may treat the dermal anchor as a foreign object. Lower risk of rejection as the jewelry passes through the skin rather than sitting under it.
Jewelry Uses dermal anchors or surface bars. Can use a variety of jewelry types including studs, rings, and barbells.

Forehead Piercing Pain

Pain is a subjective experience and can vary greatly from person to person. However, when it comes to forehead piercing, there is a general consensus that the dermal punch method tends to be more painful than the needle piercing method.

The dermal punch method, which is often used to insert a dermal anchor, involves removing a small circle of skin to create a hole. This process can cause more discomfort due to the removal of skin tissue. On a pain scale, it’s often rated around 5 out of 10.

On the other hand, the needle piercing method, typically used for inserting a surface bar, involves puncturing the skin with a hollow needle. This method is generally considered less painful as it does not involve the removal of skin. It’s often rated around 4 out of 10 on the pain scale.

The reason for this difference in pain levels is primarily due to the nature of the procedures. The dermal punch method involves a more invasive process of removing skin, which can cause more discomfort. In contrast, the needle piercing method simply creates a pathway through the skin for the jewelry, which tends to cause less discomfort.

Forehead Piercing Healing Process

  • Healing Time

The healing process for a forehead piercing can vary from person to person, but generally, it can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months. This is due to the piercing’s location and the fact that it’s a surface piercing, which typically takes longer to heal than other types of piercings.

  • Aftercare Tips for a Healthy Piercing

During the healing process, it’s crucial to follow proper aftercare guidelines to prevent infection and ensure the piercing heals correctly.

Here are some general aftercare tips for a forehead piercing:

  • Avoid touching the piercing – Minimize contact with the piercing to prevent introducing germs and causing infection. Refrain from playing with the jewelry, as it can irritate the area and hinder healing.
  • Clean the piercing twice daily – Use warm salt water or saline solution to clean the piercing at least twice a day. This promotes faster healing and reduces infection risk. Dry the area gently with a clean paper towel, avoiding cloth or towels that may harbor bacteria.
  • Refrain from swimming until healed – Avoid swimming in pools, lakes, or other public water sources until the piercing is fully healed to prevent inflammation and infection.
  • Be careful when dressing – When putting on or removing clothing, be mindful of your piercing. Jewelry can easily snag on fabric and damage the piercing site.
  • Monitor for migration or rejection – If you notice the jewelry has shifted position or is moving closer to the surface, remove it. Leaving the jewelry in place may result in tissue damage and scarring. Surface piercings are prone to rejection, so vigilance is crucial.
  • Be patient – The healing process for a forehead piercing can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months. Allow ample time for healing and avoid changing the jewelry too soon.

Risks and Potential Complications

Forehead piercing, while a unique and expressive form of body art, does come with its own set of potential risks and complications. Here are some specific to this type of piercing:

  • Infection: Forehead piercings, like all piercings, carry the risk of infection. This can occur if the piercing is not done in a sterile environment, or if aftercare instructions are not properly followed. Infections can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain, and unusual discharge from the piercing site. If left untreated, an infection can lead to more serious complications, including abscess formation or systemic infection.
  • Rejection or Migration: The body may perceive the jewelry as a foreign object and try to push it out. This can cause the piercing to move (migration) or be completely ejected (rejection). This risk is higher in surface piercings like the forehead piercing due to the minimal amount of tissue and the constant movement of facial muscles.
  • Scarring: If a piercing is removed, rejected by the body, or if it migrates, it can leave a scar. This is more common with surface piercings like the forehead piercing. The scar can be a small indentation or a noticeable raised area, depending on the individual’s healing process and skin type.
  • Nerve Damage: Though rare, there’s a risk of nerve damage if the piercing is not placed correctly. This is particularly important for forehead piercings, as there are several nerves running across the forehead. Incorrect placement could potentially lead to numbness or changes in sensation in the area.
  • Hypertrophic Scarring or Keloids: Some people may develop raised scars around the piercing site, known as hypertrophic scars or keloids. These are more common in individuals with a history of this type of scarring or those of certain genetic backgrounds.
  • Allergic Reaction: Some people may be allergic to the material of the jewelry, causing an allergic reaction. This can lead to symptoms such as itching, redness, swelling, and discomfort. It’s important to choose jewelry made from hypoallergenic materials like surgical steel or titanium.
  • Prolonged Healing Time: Forehead piercings can take longer to heal than other types of piercings, sometimes up to a year. During this time, the piercing is more susceptible to infection and other complications.
  • Social and Professional Acceptance: While not a physical risk, it’s worth noting that forehead piercings might not be widely accepted in all social or professional settings. This is something to consider before getting the piercing.

If you run up a fever or notice any redness, itchiness, pain, swelling, or tenderness around the piercing area, get medical help immediately, as these are sure signs of infection.

How much is a forehead piercing?

The cost of a third eye piercing can vary based on factors such as the salon or piercer you choose and your desired jewelry. Generally, you can expect to pay between $30 and $60 for the piercing alone. However, high-quality jewelry can increase the overall cost. Do your research to find a reputable piercer who offers a safe, professional experience.

Choosing the Perfect Jewelry for Your Forehead Piercing

There are limited jewelry options for forehead piercing. During the healing phase of a forehead piercing, the most suitable types of jewelry are surface bars and curved barbells. These options are ideal for providing the necessary support and minimizing the risk of complications during the healing process.

  • Curved Barbells

Curved barbells are a popular choice for forehead piercings. They are designed with a slight curve, allowing them to sit comfortably and securely in the skin. These pieces of jewelry are simple yet stylish, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The curved design reduces pressure on the piercing site, which can help minimize the risk of complications.

  • Surface Bars

Surface bars are specifically designed for surface piercings like the forehead piercing. They have a 90-degree angle at each end, which allows them to sit flat against the skin. This design puts very little pressure on the piercing, greatly decreasing the chance of rejection or migration.

When choosing a surface bar for a forehead piercing, it’s recommended to opt for a flat surface bar rather than a round one. A round surface bar can potentially be visible under the skin and may increase the risk of rejection. Surface bars come in various designs, from simple and basic to elaborate and complex, with ends available in all kinds of colors and patterns.

  • Microdermal Anchors

Microdermal anchors, also known as dermal anchors, are a popular choice for single-point piercings like the third eye piercing. They consist of a small post that is inserted into the skin with a piece of jewelry attached to the end that sits on the surface of the skin. This provides a unique and sleek appearance. Microdermal anchors secure the jewelry just below the skin, minimizing the risk of the jewelry getting caught or pulled, which can lead to complications.

When selecting your jewelry, prioritize biocompatible and hypoallergenic materials, especially if you have sensitive skin. Opt for hypoallergenic materials such as titanium, surgical steel, or niobium to minimize the risk of allergic reactions or infections. It’s best to steer clear of jewelry types like ball closure rings, which can place excessive pressure on the piercing. Forehead piercings are particularly susceptible to rejection and migration, potentially leaving a scar on your forehead. Careful jewelry selection can help prevent these issues.

How to Change or Remove a Forehead Piercing?

Changing or removing a forehead piercing should be done with care to avoid causing damage or infection. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Changing a Forehead Piercing

  1. Wait Until It’s Healed: Before you attempt to change your forehead piercing, it’s crucial to wait until the piercing has fully healed. This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks, sometimes longer. Changing the jewelry too soon can interrupt the healing process and potentially lead to complications.
  2. Clean Your Hands and the New Jewelry: Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Also, clean the new jewelry you’re planning to insert.
  3. Remove the Old Jewelry: If you have a surface bar or a curved barbell, you’ll need to unscrew one end of the jewelry first. Once the end is off, you can gently slide the jewelry out of the piercing. If you have a dermal anchor, it’s best to have a professional piercer remove it as it requires a specific technique to avoid damaging the skin.
  4. Insert the New Jewelry: Once the old jewelry is out, immediately insert the new piece. For a surface bar or curved barbell, slide the jewelry into the piercing and screw on the end. For a dermal anchor, the new top can be screwed onto the existing base.
  5. Clean the Area: After the new jewelry is in place, clean the area with saline solution to keep it clean and free of bacteria.

Removing a Forehead Piercing

If you want to permanently remove your forehead piercing, it’s best to visit a professional piercer, especially if you have a dermal anchor. Removing a dermal anchor on your own can cause damage to your skin. A professional piercer has the right tools and expertise to safely remove the jewelry.

If you have a surface bar or curved barbell, you can remove it by unscrewing one end and sliding the jewelry out, similar to the process of changing the jewelry. However, keep in mind that once the jewelry is removed, the piercing will start to close up. After removing the jewelry, continue to clean the area with saline solution until the hole has fully healed over.

Remember, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable changing or removing your forehead piercing on your own, it’s always best to seek help from a professional piercer.

Forehead Piercing Pros and Cons

If you’re contemplating getting a third eye piercing, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

Here’s a detailed look at the potential benefits and drawbacks:


  • Forehead piercings are distinctive and less common, making them a unique form of self-expression.
  • Forehead piercings are less painful than some other facial piercings  such as tongue piercings due to fewer nerve endings in the area.
  • These piercings offer a bold way to showcase your style and personality.
  • Depending on your jewelry choice, a forehead piercing can be either subtle or attention-grabbing.


  • Its central location makes a forehead piercing hard to conceal, which may not be accepted in some professional or social settings.
  • Forehead piercings have fewer jewelry options due to their specific placement and type.
  • The piercing’s location makes it prone to snagging on clothing or hair, potentially leading to discomfort and complications.
  • Like all surface piercings, forehead piercings have an increased risk of rejection and migration.

Forehead Piercing Meaning

The significance of the third eye piercing varies across cultures and religious traditions. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, the bindi placed (where the forehead piercing is located) is known as the “Ajna” or “third eye” chakra. This chakra is believed to be the seat of concealed wisdom, inner knowledge, and spiritual communication. It’s often depicted as a dot, eye, or mark in the middle of the forehead, symbolizing enlightenment and the ability to see beyond the physical realm into the spiritual one.

While some individuals argue that getting a third eye piercing constitutes cultural appropriation, the piercing itself (unlike the bindi) is not exclusive to any one culture. It is a contemporary trend embraced by people from diverse backgrounds, and choosing to get one is a personal decision.


What does the third eye piercing symbolize?

The third eye piercing often symbolizes spiritual communication and enlightenment, drawing from its roots in Hindu tradition where the area is known as the “third eye” or “inner eye.”

What is the piercing on your forehead called?

The piercing on the forehead is commonly referred to as a forehead piercing. It’s also known as a third eye piercing, bindi piercing or vertical bridge piercing.

How does a forehead piercing work?

A forehead piercing is a type of surface piercing that involves creating one hole or two separate perforations on the same plane of skin. The procedure can be performed using either a dermal punch or a needle. The choice of method often depends on individual preference and the piercer’s recommendation.

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