Dermal Piercings: Everything You Should Know

dermal piercing

If you are getting dermal piercing, your piercer will make one tiny hole to accommodate an “anchor” in the middle layer (dermis) of your skin.  The anchor is usually 6 or 7 mm at the base, long enough to secure the post.

The actual jewellery screws into the top of the post. It sticks on the skin’s surface and looks like beads stuck to your skin. 

What is the difference between surface and dermal piercing?

Dermals lie on the surface of your skin, but they are not just ordinary surface piercings. 

With surface piercings, entry and exit points are separate. They are anchored by staple-shaped barbells. This barbell goes under the skin. Decorative tops lie on the surface of the skin.

What are dermal piercings?

As long as the area of skin is flat, dermal piercings can be put anywhere on the body piercing.

Popular areas are:

  • cheekbones
  • Chest
  • Neck’s nape 
  • abdomen
  • lower back
  • Thighs

However, nothing is out of bounds so long as the dermal anchor is held in place by a thick area of skin.

What kinds of jewellery are used for this piercing?

You can pierce the skin with a needle or a skin (dermal) punch. Different piercing methods call for different kinds of jewellery.

Here are your options:

  • Anchor: A traditional piercing(dermal) starts with an anchor inserted under your skin. Your anchor can be ground-based or alternately flat on the post on each side.
  • Top: After securing the anchor, your piercer will add the type of jewellery you choose. These include magnetic gems or metal studs.

What is the piercing cost?

Cost Helper estimates that a back dermal piercing runs about $70 to $100. Moreover, some shops even charge for the jewellery separately. Adds another $ 10-20 to the complete cost.

You also need to plan on tipping your piercer. The minimum is 20 percent. Inquire of your piercer about advance costs for aftercare products, such as saline solution.

How to do piercing?

Dermal piercing can be done with either skin punches or needles. Both approaches require an anchor to be placed underneath the skin.

For needles dermal piercing:

  • Your piercer will clean your skin to make sure that it is sterile.
  • After letting the area dry, they will put a dot on your skin with a marker or pen to indicate where to pierce.
  • They will stick the needle into the skin and pull it in return. This forms a seat for the anchor.
  • The anchor base will be inserted into the hole with forceps by your piercer. They will shove the jewellery in until it is completely sublimated under your skin.
  • After the anchor is in place, your piercer will screw on the jewellery top.
  • For a skin punch back dermal piercing, because a hole is made by means of the punch rather than the needle, your piercer will still follow exactly the same steps. A skin punch removes small tissue pieces to make the pocket where the anchor will sit.

Will it give pain?

A little pain comes with all piercings. So, dermals are not different. The feel you get will be:

  • the location (the flesher an area, the less it hurts)
  • your pain tolerance
  • experience and reputation of your piercer.

How much time does it take to get better?

The healing time for a dermal piercing is usually 1-3 months. If you do not follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions, the piercing will take longer to heal.

Small swelling or crusting around the top of the jewellery is expected during some of the weeks. As the healing proceeds, these symptoms will gradually diminish.

For how much time does a healed piercing last?

There is no actual schedule for a dermal piercing. But your skin will gradually push and grow the anchor up to the surface when it loosens. Whether in the coming 3 months to 3 years depends on how you take care of the piercing.

How to alter the jewellery top

After your dermal piercing is completely healed, you can replace the outer dock. Have your piercer do this preferably, so that you do not experience any complications, like accidentally dislodging a stud from the mouth.

Follow the given these steps:

  • Before you touch the area, wash your hands using the antibacterial soap.
  • With a saline or sea salt solution, wash the area clean.
  • Pat the area dry.
  • Remove the existing jewellery top by unscrewing it counterclockwise. If the top is implacable, you may have to visit your piercer. Your piercer can apply forceps to aid in unscrewing the jewellery.
  • Screw on the new jewellery top clockwise.
  • Clean the area a second time and then blot dry.

How to take out the piercing

If you have to take out the dermal piercing, ask your piercer to do it for you. You should never try to take this piercing out yourself.

Your piercer will be:

  • Wash the piercing using sterile solution and pat dry.
  • Unscrew the jewellery top.
  • Also, massage the skin around it to work the anchor loose.
  • Take a scalpel and make an incision relative to the anchor base size.
  • With the scalpel, cut away any scar tissue around the anchor.
  • With forceps, pull the skin anchor out.
  • Suture or bandage the area.

If you can get a cosmetic surgeon or general practitioner to remove the dermal, that is fine, but make sure to run it by your piercer first. They can debate the advantages and disadvantages of a third party removing the anchor and can get recommendations.

Some FAQs

What should I know about dermal piercings?

If you enjoy activities or play sports, remember that even the mildest disruption easily displaces a dermal piercing. If you are in it for the long haul, wait to get your dermal piercing until an off-season or steel yourself for being less active while your dermal piercing heals. If that is not possible, then try another piercing type.

Does the dermal piercing hurt much?

Most definitely. After all, your piercer is jamming an instrument through several layers of skin. However, how much pain you are in is hard to say, as pain is so subjective, and everyone’s personal threshold for it is different.