Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — written by Kristeen Cherney — updated on July 26, 2018

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Dermal piercings are also known together single-point piercings. That’s because dermals don’t have actually a separate entry and also exit suggest for jewelry, unlike classic piercings.

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Instead, her piercer will produce one small hole so the an “anchor” deserve to be put into the middle layer (dermis) of your skin. The base of the anchor is typically 6 or 7 millimeters long, just enough to for sure the post.

The actual jewelry is screwed into the top of the post. It sits on the surface ar layer, offering the figure of beads on your skin.


Although dermal jewelry sit on the peak layer of your skin, dermals aren’t surface piercings.

Surface piercings have actually a separate entry and exit point. They’re anchored using barbells shaped like open staples. This barbell is inserted underneath the skin. Decorative tops rest on the skin’s surface.


A dermal piercing can be placed anywhere on the body, so long as the area the skin is flat.

Popular areas include the:

cheekbonesnape the the neckchest reduced backabdomenthighs

Although no area is necessarily off-limits, the skin has to be thick sufficient to hold the dermal anchor in place.


A dermal piercing deserve to be done with a needle or with a skin (dermal) punch. The form of jewelry offered depends ~ above the way the piercing is done.

Here space your options:

Anchor. A traditional dermal piercing starts v an anchor that’s placed underneath your skin. Your anchor may have actually either a rounded base or level “feet” on every side of the post.Top. once the anchor is in place, her piercer will top off the anchor with the type of jewelry you’ve picked out. Examples include metal studs or magnetic gems.Diver. Divers have actually pointed-end bases through preset jewel on top. Your piercer will usage a skin puncher come insert this type of jewelry. Unlike the typical anchor and topper style, divers aren’t interchangeable.

Talk to your piercer about the complying with options:

Niobium. This is one more hypoallergenic product that’s i can not qualify to corrode.

A dermal piercing typically costs in between $70 and $100, estimates cost Helper. Some shops charge separately for the jewelry, too. This may include another $10 come $20 come the in its entirety cost.

You’ll also need to variable in a tip for her piercer. At the very least 20 percent is standard.

Also ask her piercer about upfront costs related come aftercare, such together saline solution.


Dermal piercings room done through either needles or skin punches. Each approach involves placing an anchor under the skin.

For a dermal piercing with needles:

Your piercer will clean your skin, making sure it’s totally sterile. After ~ the area is dry, they’ll note your skin through a pen or marker to ensure the piercing is produced in the right spot.They’ll puncture the skin with the needle and also pull it earlier out. This create a “pocket” for the anchor to sit in.Your piercer will most likely use forceps come insert the base of the anchor into the hole. They’ll push the jewel in till it’s totally situated under the surface of your skin.Once the anchor is set, her piercer will certainly screw the jewelry height on.

For a dermal piercing with a skin punch, her piercer will certainly follow the same actions as above, other than the hole is made v a punch rather of a needle. The skin punch clears a small bit of organization to produce the pocket the the anchor will certainly sit in.


A little of ache is feasible with all piercings. Dermals are no exception.

How you feel throughout the piercing process depends on several factors, such as:

the location (the fleshier the area, the much less likely it’ll hurt)your individual pain tolerance your piercer’s level the experience and also reputability

Although dermal piercings are popular and highly versatile, they also carry a high threat of complications. Be certain to comment on the following risks with your piercer beforehand:

Infection. If the piercing isn’t excellent in a sterile setting — or aftercare is neglected — bacteria have the right to spread deep in ~ the dermis. Displacement. If the anchor isn’t placed deep enough, it may come to be dislodged within the dermis and also move to one more area the skin.Tissue damage. If the anchor is inserted too deeply, it may damages the bordering blood vessels or nerves. Hypergranulation. marked by a red bump roughly the piercing site, hypergranulation occurs when the jewel is as well tight or if the piercing is otherwise irritated. Covering the neighboring skin v makeup or chop fabric, continually messing v the jewelry, and improper cleaning have the right to all cause hypergranulation.Scarring. If you experience rejection or otherwise retire the piercing, a small scar will type as the hole heals shut.

A dermal piercing commonly heals within one to 3 months. If you don’t follow her piercer’s aftercare recommendations, the piercing may take much longer to heal.

Crusting approximately the jewelry top and also minor swelling is common during the first pair of weeks. These symptoms will slowly decrease together the healing process continues.

They usually aren’t cause for worry unless the piercing is additionally leaking yellow or environment-friendly pus, warm to the touch, or mirroring other indications of infection.


Proper cleaning and care are an essential to the success of her dermal piercing.

During the healing process, do:

Keep the area covered with a bandage because that a few days.Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching the area.Use a new record towel each time you clean the piercing.Clean twice everyday with a sea salt or saline solution.Gently wipe away any type of crust it is formed between cleansings.Cover the piercing to defend it from obtaining wet during showering, if possible.Pat the area dried after each cleansing or after taking a shower.

At the exact same time, don’t:

Wear chop clothing roughly the piercing.Allow your hair to get tangled in the jewelry.Play high-impact sporting activities or communicate in other activities where collision is possible. Submerge the pierced area in a bath, pool, or other body that water.Use antiseptics or antibacterial soap to clean the piercing.Rub the bordering area with a towel. Pat dried instead.Pick off any crust the forms around the piercing.Change the jewelry for at the very least three months, or until the piercing has actually healed.Play v or eliminate the jewelry.

While mild swelling and crustiness is typical for any brand-new piercing, various other symptoms might indicate much more severe health concerns.

See your piercer if friend experience any of the complying with signs of infection or rejection:

severe painsevere swellingskin that’s warm to the touchyellow or green discharge foul odorrash

With rejection, you may likewise experience:

jewelry displacement jewelry the hangs or droops rather of sitting level on the surface of the skin transparent or calloused skin about the jewel topcomplete anchor dislodgement

There’s no real timeline for a dermal piercing. However, your skin will at some point grow and also push the anchor approximately the surface ar until it drops out. Even if it is this happens in ~ the following three month or 3 years counts on just how well you treatment for the piercing.


Once her dermal piercing has fully healed (about 3 months), you’ll be in the clear to readjust the exterior jewelry top. It’s ideal to have your piercer execute this so you can avoid complications, such together accidental anchor dislodgement.

If you do decide to change the jewelry optimal yourself, very closely follow this steps:

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching the area.Clean the area v a sea salt or saline solution.Pat the area dry.Unscrew the currently jewelry top in a counterclockwise direction. If the peak is stubborn, you may need to see your piercer. Your piercer have the right to use forceps to help unscrew the jewelry. Screw on the brand-new jewelry optimal in a clockwise direction.Clean the area again and also carefully pat dry.

If you need to retire the dermal piercing, view your piercer for skilled removal. You have to never attempt to eliminate this type of piercing on your own.

Your piercer will certainly likely:

Clean the area v a sterile solution and also pat the area dry.Unscrew the jewel top.Massage the bordering skin to assist dislodge the anchor.Use a scalpel to make a small incision loved one to the size of the anchor base.Use the scalpel to remove any kind of scar organization that has formed roughly the anchor.Use forceps to traction the anchor out of the skin. Use a suture or bandage to the area.

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Although a general practitioner or cosmetic surgeon may be able to remove the dermal, you have to talk to your piercer before moving forward with removal. They can talk about the pros and also cons of having an exterior party eliminate the anchor and may be able to make a referral, if needed.


A prospective piercer from a reputable shop is your go-to authority because that dermal piercings. Lock can also answer specific questions concerned your desired placement and associated risks. A dependable piercer will also be honest around whether the desired area is great or no for a dermal piercing.


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Medically the evaluation by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — created by Kristeen Cherney — to update on July 26, 2018