April 30th, 2011
I received this message from someone with surface anchrs who was concerned about them:
Hi Elayne, I have four microdermal anchors, two in my fingers, and two in my wrists. I have had them for a few months, when I first got them done they were fine, but recently they have had infections (due to my job and all my animals) and I have been taking antibiotics for them. I have just noticed that on my wrist dermals small mounds have been forming, is this a sign of rejection, or just scar tissue? Thanks alot, L.
Without seeing them, I can't necessarily offer an opinion on exactly what is wrong, but I can say that such adornments are bound to be temporary. Surface anchors seldom last for the long-term--especially in such high-trauma areas. Also, such locations are more prone to infection than other spots. I hope that your piercer counseled you about these important facts before agreeing to do the piercings on you.
Did you consult your piercer? Did you visit your doctor for the antibiotics? What did your doctor say? Are you doing saline soaks and making sure there is no build-up of matter under the threaded jewelry end? Here's the aftercare instructions I advocate:
Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
Medical Liaison, Association of Professional Piercers
February 7th, 2010
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
February 6th, 2009
I had a fantastic time in San Diego with the members of the APP Board of Directors. We came from all over: Mexico City, the Yucatan, Atlanta, and Philadelphia to name a few places! Working on the book had been a very solitary endeavor, so it was great to be among my peers and spend some time catching up with everything. While I was there, I did a few piercings. That was also marvelous, as my recent life has involved only writing about it and not DOING it. And, I also got a new ornament of my own. Not that anybody has noticed, since it simply replaces a crystal I used to glue onto my face. I had APP Vice President, Didier Suarez, of Enigma Professional Body Piercing do a surface anchor below my existing bindi piercing. It was SO easy and painless, and it seems to be healing extremely well. The board was great about letting me work on my book, but plenty of tasks and duties have been waiting for my attention in the meantime. So, I've been busy writing and editing articles for The Point, and writing and editing the APP brochures. I also had a lovely visit with my family including my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and two nieces. And an uncle of sorts, too. He is actually my dad's partner when they did a hand-balancing acrobatic act decades ago in Atlantic City! While I was out there, I managed to fit in some visits with friends from high school, too. It was a non-stop trip and I enjoyed every hectic minute of it. Though, I'm glad to be back home with my husband and our house full of pets.
January 21st, 2009
I struck up this conversation with a gal who made a comment on a post I made about surface piercings. She wrote:
… I'm getting a five point star surface piercing/s on my right hip in a few days :] gotta talk it over with my piercer but should be cool to go :] ...
I asked her:
Has your piercer been clear with you that the surface piercings are unlikely to stay long-term and that you will most probably end up with scarring instead of jewelry there?
Yeah I've been told that before. I knew it wasn't going to be long term/permanent anyways. Does a surface piercing count as one that goes under the skin, with two balls on each end? because I was thinking of doing that instead of where you can only see one ball. Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm confusing you but id like to get more background info before I get it done. thank you
I provided her with some additional information and I hope it will make her decide to take more time figuring out the best course of action: