What is a Microdermal Piercing?

Janis Adams
Janis Adams
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Woman posing

Also known as dermal implants or microdermal implants, microdermal piercing is a type of permanent body piercing. These permanent sub-dermal skin implants are considered to be an alternative to traditional skin piercings. This type of piercing can be placed on nearly all surface areas of the body. A microdermal piercing must be removed by a medical professional, and for this reason these piercings are are considered to be permanent.

The procedure for a microdermal piercing is less invasive than the trans-dermal or sub-dermal implant. This procedure is also known to be less painful than the other two implant options. The entire implantation procedure, from start to finish, takes approximately one hour.

Prior to the implantation, the skin where the mircodermal piercing is to be is first cleaned and sterilized. The specific location for the implant is then marked with a surgical marker. A dermal punch is used to remove the necessary skin from the location. The microdermal anchor is then placed with surgical forceps in the desired location. The anchor will be rotated until it is parallel to the surface skin so that after healing the attached jeweled piece will always appear flush with the surface skin.

Made up of two separate pieces, the implant used in microdermal piercing consists of a piece called an anchor and another piece that is ornamental in nature. The anchor is implanted underneath the skin. It has a flat bottom with a protruding step that sits flush with the level of the skin. The ornamental and detachable piece can be changed at whim.

The anchor is made of titanium and contains a number of holes in its base. The reason for the multiple holes within the base of the anchor is so that tissue can grow through it. This further stabilizes the base after implantation. Instead of steel, titanium is used because it is known to be less reactionary within the human body. The size of the anchor need never change, though the size of the decorative jewelry piece can range in size and shape. Though you can find the jewelry pieces in many types of metal, titanium pieces are suggested as they create the least opportunity for a systemic allergic reaction.

The cost of microdermal piercing differs from location to location. However, it is advised that a trained professional do the procedure, as it is an invasive one. As with any body modification that is intended to be permanent, for the best results following all instructions from start to finish is advised.

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Discussion Comments


In college I got a belly button ring. I have gotten other body piercings and the jewelry hadn't bothered my body; I even have a rook piercing in my right ear that was hard to get done but has never bothered me at all.

When I got my belly button done, I love it- but it never healed. Almost exactly a year after getting it done, the ring actually fell off- the skin between the piercing had gotten so thin, I touched it one morning and the ring came off in my hand.

The fact that my body rejected it made me really mad, and I had a scar for over a year afterwards, but I realize now that I was lucky I didn't need any sort of medication or cleaning for infection.


@stolaf23- I feel the same way. I like the piercings I have because they're pretty and simple and don't require much extra care, now that they've healed. I also wouldn't want to go to a doctor or piercing shop to get something removed. That sounds so painful, and I wouldn't be able to get over the fear of what might go wrong.


Microdermal piercing implants kind of scare me. I have a few traditional piercings, but these are pretty easy to tale care of because I can change my piercing jewelry myself if I have to or remove them easily if they get infected or something else happens.


I knew a girl who went all out with her microdermal piercings. She had them implanted all over her back into a design. I asked her how she laid down to sleep at night with all those jewels in her skin, and she told me that she slept on her stomach.

She had the professional piercer make an outline of several butterflies linked together on her back. Tiny rhinestones formed the lines, and she must have hundreds of them under her skin.

I just wonder what will happen if she ever has to go to the hospital. They generally make you lie on your back in the bed, and if she ever needs an MRI, she will be out of luck because of all the metal in her body.


When I turned eighteen, I got a microdermal piercing. I had been wanting one for several years, but my mother refused to sign the consent form. On my eighteenth birthday, I went to a tattoo and piercing parlor and got a jeweled pink butterfly attached to my upper arm.

Unfortunately, my body rejected it. It tried to push the jewelry out of the wound. The area became infected, and it hurt so much that I had to have it removed.

I was glad to hear that microdermal piercing removal was free, but my joy quickly turned to fear when the piercer told me how painful it would be. I had to do it, though, because the infection could become dangerous.

He had to cut it out of my skin, since it had started to wrap through the holes in the jewelry. I remember shaking from the pain. I wound up having to go to a doctor afterward to get some pain medication and some antibiotics to treat the infection.


@OeKc05 – I realize that it would seem a bit risky, but I got a microdermal piercing, and I have had absolutely no trouble with infection. I suppose it depends on the individual's immune system and skin sensitivity.

I have never had any allergy problems in my life, and I rarely get sick. I guess my body is just strong enough to handle this type of piercing.

I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. It's a personal choice, and you have to be willing to have it removed if it does become infected. I think that young people should understand that there is a risk involved, but if their body is tough, they will probably be all right.


Maybe I'm just uncool, but this sounds like the worst type of body piercing ever! I can't imagine having a foreign object under my skin that my tissue would actually grow through.

This sounds like an invitation to infection. Your body will naturally try to attack anything that doesn't belong in it, and I would imagine that a piercing beneath the skin would fall into that category!

I'm sure that having it done by a professional would reduce the chances of infection at the time of implantation, but can it prevent infection from developing later on? It seems likely that one could start during the healing process.

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