Facts on Microdermal Piercing

By Diane Hill

Most people have seen or had their ears pieced, but piercings can be much more complex, bordering in some cases on medical procedures. Transdermal implants, surface piercings and dermal anchoring are all piercing techniques that place jewelry much deeper than the through-and-through piercing done in ears. Microdermal piercings are a less invasive method used to achieve a similar look as other implants.

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Man with pierced eyebrow

Microdermal Piercing

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Woman with piercing

Microdermal piercings place jewelry just below the skin's surface, making it look like the jewelry is screwed directly into the body. Microdermal piercings can be placed anywhere on the body, but are most commonly seen on the neck and chest. Microdermals can also be companion accents to tattoos by using a piercing to replace a shape in the design. Microdermals are permanent piercings that need to be removed by a professional. The risks of microdermal piercings include infection, keloids, rejection and scarring.


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Woman with piercing

The jewelry used in microdermal piercings is made from a titanium base usually about 5 mm thick that sits under the surface of the skin. The titanium base has small holes for tissue to grow into in order to anchor the jewelry permanently. The top part that protrudes from the skin is a post with a screw hole that holds the stud. Microdermal jewelry studs can be changed and come in many shapes, like studs, spikes, cones, stars, balls, discs and many colors and gemstones.


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Woman with piercing

The procedure for microdermal piercing is much less invasive than dermal piercings but more complicated than a regular ear piercing. The skin is prepared by cleaning it with alcohol and pinching it to loosen the tissue. The piercing professional then uses a tool, either a dermal needle or a biopsy punch, to create a pocket for the base of the jewelry to be inserted. With the pocket of skin removed, the anchor is placed in the pocket, under the surface of the skin. A small amount of blood is normal and is cleaned off during the piercing.

After Care

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Micordermal piercings take about three months to heal completely. The first two or even three days, the piercings should be covered by a dressing or Band-Aid to protect the wound from bacteria. The piercing should be treated with a warm salt water press to promote healing. Water or salt water is sufficient to clean the piercing and should be used only when a scab-like crust forms around it. Use paper towels or clean cloths when cleaning to avoid getting cotton stuck in the jewelry. The piercing should not be twisted or pulled during the healing process, and the stud should not be changed for the first three months.