Microdermal piercing by
A microdermal or
surface anchor has evolved from the techniques used in
"The idea is to give the aesthetic look of a transdermal implant but
with the simplicity and safety of a piercing" (Brian Decker -
Pure Body Arts).
The simplest way to describe the jewelry is that of a miniaturized
transdermal implant, i.e. a flat plate which sits beneath the skin
with a single exit for a barbell post giving the visual effect of
jewelry (a bead, spike, etc.) that appears to be screwed right
into the body.
There are a number of similar
microdermal jewelry designs currently being made by several
manufacturers but they all share some basic design elements.
Following the ideas proposed by transdermal implants, the portion of
the jewelry which sits beneath the skin has a number of holes to
allow tissue to grow through, anchoring the jewelry in place. It
is possible that in order to minimize some long term risks this type
of jewelry be made of titanium rather than any type of steel.
Needless to say making this specialized jewelry requires advanced
machining facilities or titanium casting access.
insertion - 1. Entry/exit point is made using a needle or
dermal punch; 2. Microdermal jewelry is inserted in
to this hole and used to elevate a pocket as needed; 3.
Jewelry is coerced in to a correct placement.
The "beauty" of this
technique is that it requires no special tools and is minimally
invasive compared to an implant procedure. However, it does need
some advanced techniques and a pair of steady experienced hands.
describes the following method:
- I tried a couple
with a 10 gauge needle. Everything went fine, but I found I like a
1.5mm dermal punch better since it is very similar to how I do
surface piercings (using the “punch-and-taper
method”). What I do first is
clean the area with Technicare, and then mark where it is going to
be. I pinch up the skin where the mark is, and insert the 1.5mm
dermal punch straight down into the skin. Once that hole is there,
there is no need to use a taper to elevate the skin like you would
with a surface piercing — you can just use the leg of the
microdermal to separate the tissue for itself. Using a pair of
hemostats, I hold the microdermal by the healing nub, and place
the long leg of the piece into the hole, lean it back, and pop the
short leg into place. The whole procedure is very fast; faster
than a surface piercing.
Another advantage of the
microdermal techniques is that they are generally no more painful
than a regular
and therefore do not usually require the use of anesthetics. It is
advisable to not place the microdermal in areas where it is likely
to be snagged and pulled out, but the client should be advised in
any case that this will always be a risk, as well as having to
remove them for MRIs, etc.
MicroDermal Anchors can go by
a variety of names. "surface anchors" "Transdermal anchors",
Microdermals or "anchors"
This piece of jewelry is designed for a "single point" piercing.
Which means that it is a piercing that has only one visible end or
bead. Because of this it allows you to be very creative with
piercing placement. Place a single gemstone in a third eye position,
add an eye to a tattoo, basically anywhere on your body you can
insert a microdermal anchor. No invasive procedure is required to
implant a dermal anchor.
These are installed with only 1 needle and one insertion. Only go to
an experienced piercer who has done this procedure before. This is
not the Dermal Anchor™ made by Ben Trigg.
Our microdermals are made from 6AL4V ELI F-136 Implant Grade
Titanium (Grade 23). A variety of ends such as gems, spikes and
balls can be used to change things up with your new microdermal.
Healing and Aftercare
Although relatively new, a
significant number of microdermals (of various designs) have been
successfully inserted and healed. The aftercare advised differs from
artist to artist but all include keeping the area clean, dry, and
free of irritants. Opinions on healing time vary from 1 month to 24
Words of Caution -
From Elayne Angel
(Author of the Piecing Bible)
Migration, rejection, scarring,
and catching accidents, including traumatic removal, are risks, but
the extent of scarring is most likely to be limited because of the
limited size of the piercing. Many piercers and their clients have
accepted the fact that surface anchors are not a permanent body
adornment. A large percent of anchors are subject to lifting,
tilting, and sometimes migration. Migration can be a direct result
of a lifting or tilting anchor that is unattended. Snagging or other
types of trauma can turn a well-healed anchor into a migrating mess
very quickly. If you determine that an anchor is on its way out, it
is best to consider removal rather than risk having the jewelry
migrate out on its own. Migration of the jewelry and any tearing may
result in a more raised and/or darker scar. Most piercers caution
their clients that the client should not consider the dermal anchor
as a permanent piercing, but rather, a temporary piercing that can
last from a few days to several years.
Surface anchors require
ongoing care, even after the healing period is over. Like any other
piercing, it is normal for them to experience some secretions. If
these are allowed to build up under the base of the gem, disc, or
other ornament, there is a tendency for problems to result. This
means that if you receive this type of piercing, you will need to
continue to care for it for the life of the piercing. Irrigating
and flushing with water to reduce build up on the jewelry inside the
channel and remove matter underneath the threaded end are strongly
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