What is a Dermal Piercing: How Do Dermal Piercings Work?

by Karm yogi
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So after researching about piercings for my latest article, my feed got filled with related articles. And here I am, with another article related to dermal piercing; this topic is highly in demand tho.

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What is a Dermal Piercing?

It is different from traditional piercing types, and it does not have an exit point like an earring or a nose piercing.

But what is done, the skin holds the piercing, the pierced jewelry anchors the skin. So would it be painful? Damn yes! But, we will talk about it briefly ahead.

The jewelry looks like a bead on your skin, so it looks really pretty. And it might seem that dermal piercings are surface pierced, but they are not.

Surface piercings are barbell-shaped; they have entry and exit points, they go through the skin, whereas dermal piercing stays on top of the skin.

Read More: Types of Ear Piercings

How Do Dermal Piercings Work?

How Do Dermal Piercings Work
How Do Dermal Piercings Work

The artist or piercer will make a hole in your skin, so that the jewelry can be anchored into your skin’s middle layer. The jewelry base is around 7mm long, which is enough to secure the spot.

Now, where can you get pierced? 

ANYWHERE… but, the place should have flat skin to hold the anchor and jewelry. 

The very famous places people get dermal piercings done are:

  • Cheekbones,
  • Chest,
  • Neck,
  • Forehead,
  • Back,
  • Abdomen.

There are different stages in this process, and for that, the body artist will use different tools. Let’s take a deep look at it.

  • First, the artist will sterilize the area that will get pierced.
  • Then a dermal punching machine to make an ‘L’ shaped hole in your skin where the anchor will stay, or he/she will do it manually.
  • Forceps will be used to plant the anchor inside the skin to hold the jewelry.

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Available Materials To Get

The body artist will give you a choice of materials through which your piercing will be done. These options vary from suitability to their cost, and you can talk to this about your piercer. They will let you know more. 

Here are a few of them:

  • Surgical titanium: Well, just like I said last time, if you have sensitive skin? This is a go-to option for you. It is safe because it is used to create surgical implants, so obviously, you can get a piercing with this.
  • Surgical stainless steel: This is a perfect option for those who do not wish to spend too much money, but it may irritate a little bit, can’t give you surety.
  • Niobium: Now, this is a material, which will not get corrode, and it is important; really, it is not that costly either.
  • Gold: Do NOT! Go for 24carat or any other carat, it is not durable, and it will get really painful if it breaks inside your skin; if you have extra money? Go for 14carat white, rose, or pink gold. Do not opt for gold-plated stuff. Not healthy.

Oh, and before we move on, I want to clear that micro dermal piercing is just another word for dermal piercings. It is the same thing.

So don’t get fooled and pay extra, okay? Yeah good.

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How Much Will You Be Charged?

Well, it depends on your artist, the kinds of materials you are choosing and the jewelry you are choosing. 

It can cost you up to 100$, and for Indians? Anywhere under 5k INR

And it can increase, like I said, totally depends.

Does Dermal Piercing Hurt?

Does Dermal Piercing Hurt
Does Dermal Piercing Hurt

Well, yes, But not that much.

There are a few factors, though, 

  • The area of piercing, the fleshier, the less pain,
  • Type of piercing, dermal punching is better it is like taking a vaccine shot,
  • Your own ability to take the pain,
  • Artist’s experience and technique.

Risks Involved in Dermal Piercing

Here they come, what everyone is afraid of, the dark side, side effects may be.

Well, let’s dive straight into it:

  • Getting infected: Well, is the piercing is not done in a clean environment, and if the material does not suit the body and the aftercare is neglected? Boy, you are getting infected.
  • Rejection by the body: As I said, if the body rejects the material, it will create issues. It can also happen if the skin tissues expand until the jewelry is pushed out. This is common if the anchor is misplaced, so get it right because the body will reject it.
  • Tissue level damage: This can and will occur if your body artist is inexperienced; if the anchor is inserted too deep, it will damage essential tissues.
  • Hypergranulation on the skin: Is there a red bump around your skin? Go see a doctor; by skin, I mean the pierced area. It is caused if the jewelry is too tight or the piercing gets irritated because of skin sensitivity. Putting on too much makeup around that area or improper cleaning can lead to these things.
  • Scarring: If you plan to get the piercing removed, it will leave a scar, and it may not look good to you.

Time To Heal

At first, the piercing site may seem swollen for a few weeks, and it will heal with time. The typical time it takes for the piercing to get healed is 1-3 months. It can and will increase if you do not take care of it properly.

It is very much important to watch out for signs of infection alongside also, for example, if you see pus coming out? Go to a doctor.

DOs and DON’Ts

Apart from some obvious things like staying in touch with your doctor and giving your piercing spot enough sunlight. Here are a few things to ensure you don’t make any mistakes that might lead to bad stuff.

  • Keep the healing area covered for a few days with a bandage to save it from getting infected. You can take it off once the piercing starts to get dried.
  • Wash your hands with non-alcoholic soap and solutions so the wound does not get infected.
  • Use antibacterial paper towels for cleaning. 
  • Clean your wound using sea salt solution twice a day.
  • Clean away any crust forming using paper towels.
  • Try to keep the piercing wound away from water cover it during showers.
  • Pat it dry clean after each showering session. 
  • Do not wear tight clothing; you need to let it breathe for it to heal.
  • Keep your hair away so it does not get tangled.
  • Please stay away from hyperactivity like playing a rough sport. At least in the healing days, it will ruin the piercing. 
  • Do not use soaps and solutions directly on the wound. Use a paper towel to clean and leave the rest on your doctor.
  • If you have a terrible habit of picking apart crusts that form around a wound when it starts to heal like me? Don’t do that here. Use a paper towel instead.
  • Please do not change jewelry until the wound has completely healed. 
  • And for god’s sake, do not play with your jewelry.

How long will the piercing last?

You must be confused about; why It should stay in forever, right? Sorry to burst your bubble but no, slowly, the skin will grow, and it will push it out, the anchor.

It can take from 3-5 years for that to happen. 

So if you want to get that thing again? Well back to square one, mate.

Dermal Piercing Removal

If you wish not to get it again, once the skin inside grows back, or if you don’t like it.

You can get it removed, but please do not do that yourself. You will critically injure yourself.

Hence contact your body artist when it is time to get it out and seal the place. 

Yes, a doctor can also do this; you can contact your body artist regarding this, they would give you a better opinion on this.

That’s it, people, now before moving onto the FAQs section. Thank you very much for reading up to this point; please let me know your thoughts in the comment section.


Q.1. Is a dermal piercing painful?

Ans. Yes, it is, but there are a lot of factors like your pain-taking ability and technique used.

Q.2. How long do dermal piercings last?

Ans. 3 to 5 years. It also depends on how properly you clean it. 

Q.3. How do dermal piercings stay in place?

Ans. Inside the dermal layer of your skin, an L-shaped anchor is fitted, which will hold your jewelry in place. 

Q.4. Is Dermal permanent?

Ans. No, they are not. Eventually, the skin grows back, and it starts pushing out the anchor and jewelry. 

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