Surface Anchor Trouble

I got this message from a Facebook friend:

Back in November I got a micro dermal in my middle finger. I know now that is was a horrible place to get one. I have knocked it on things numerous amounts of times and caught it on clothing also. It would swell up, but after a day it would go back down. Well now it has been having puss coming out of it and the skin where the longer part of the bar is, is red and raised, like a fresh scar, and when a little pressure is on it, it looks like you can slightly see the metal. It's rejecting isn't it? If so, do I just let it reject on it's own or get it cut out? It isn't causing any pain, and the puss doesn't have an odor. Thank you so much! Jennifer

Hi Jennifer, Body art on the hands is notoriously hard to deal with. Unfortunately, it does sound as though it is rejecting. It is best to return to your piercer for an in-person evaluation and probably some assistance in removing it. There should be no necessity to "cut it out" though. Please see your piercer. By the way, the preferred terminology for this type of piercing (from the Association of Professional Piercers) is a "surface anchor." We want to distinguish it from implants and other more serious forms of body modification, because we view them as simply another type of piercing. When we use the terms "microdermal," "dermal anchor," or "microdermal implant," that can cause legislators to think we're doing something more serious than we are. Good luck, Elayne

Elayne, The guy who pierced it, I see him normally every day because my boyfriend works at his shop tattooing. The bad thing is he doesn't know much of anything about the surface anchors and his answer has been to keep cleaning it and put a band-aid on it. When he did the piercing he told me it was his first one (surface anchor). It was extremely painful getting it done, I almost passed out. So now I am a little scared of him messing with something he doesn't know much about. I was at a tattoo convention in Orlando about a week ago and had a piercer named Cholo do the micro dermal "tear drop" and it was very quick and pretty much pain free. I haven't had any complications with it at all. He offered to take the one in my finger out for me for free but I had worked my anxiety up so much, I couldn't get myself to do it right then, but part of me wishes I would have calmed myself and just did it. I went to the APP website and searched for piercers within 100 miles of my area, and there aren't any. After that experience I am being extremely cautious of who I let touch me. Thank you For your help! Jennifer

Jennifer, Sorry to hear that. Still, perhaps you should continue your search for a local piercer who has more experience than the guy who pierced you? You're likely to end up with less scarring if it is removed by someone who knows how, rather than if you try to deal with it yourself (one handed) or let it reject completely on its own. Good luck, Elayne