Dermal Piercing – Pictures, Procedure, Infection, Healing and Aftercare

So you have decided to go for body piercing and make a statement. Dermal Piercing is permanent and before you get your body perforated, it is advisable that you know about how it is done and the risks involved. Read on to know all about Dermal Piercing. Proper Dermal Piercing information is necessary before you try this experience.

Dermal Piercing Definition

Pictures of dermal anchor piercing
Picture 1 – Dermal Piercing
Source – superpageshosting

Dermal Piercing, also known as Microdermal Piercing, is a kind of body piercing. It is a permanent method that involves making a perforation in the sub-dermal skin layer of the body. Such perforations can be made on almost all surfaces of the skin and can be removed only with the aid of a medical professional. This is why this is considered to be a permanent method.

Dermal Piercing Locations

The term Dermal comes from the Latin word ‘Dermis’ which refers to the deep vascular inner layer of the skin. Dermis is the skin layer located between the epidermis and the subcutaneous tissues. It is found in nearly all parts of the human body. Naturally, the location of a Dermal Piercing can be almost anywhere.

Ears, nose, navel and hips are the common locations for Dermal Piercing. Some people also perforate their genitals, nipples, eyebrows, lips and tongue.

Dermal Piercing Lower Back

Dermal Perforation is generally carried out on the lower back a little above the buttocks. If you are going for a piercing in this area, make sure that you sleep on soft surfaces. Sleeping on hard surfaces such as concrete floors, wooden boards or even tough mattresses can put pressure on the just pierced area. It can result in pain, inflammation and Dermal Piercing rejection. After Dermal Piercing back should be properly looked after.

Dermal Piercing Neck

It is common to have Dermal Piercing on neck, especially on the nape or back of the cervix. After a Dermal Piercing nape looks red in appearance. There can also be minor swelling which is a natural consequence of a skin trauma.

pictures of dermal piercing
Picture 2 – Neck Dermal Piercing
Source - uponamidnightdreary

Some people also go for perforation between the collarbones. Following a Dermal Piercing collarbone becomes red and somewhat swollen. It is important to keep the pierced area protected while wearing upper garments and performing sports.

Dermal Piercing Eye

Many people love to get a Dermal Piercing near eye. Dermal Piercing under eye is also very popular. But the process can be quite painful. Unless carried out by expert hands, Dermal Piercing by eye can be quite discomforting. It can even give rise to infections.

Dermal Piercing Ear

Dermal Piercing behind the ear is also a common practice. Following perforation, the pierced area has to be kept under extreme care for 1-2 months. Most people have problems while drying their head with towel after coming out of shower.

Dermal Piercing Wrist

Dermal Piercing on wrist is highly popular among young boys and girls, though not much advisable. This is because the wrist is actively involved in performing various functions like eating, writing and other important activities. After perforation, there is soreness and swelling in the pierced region of wrist for 1-2 days. Redness is also common.

Dermal Piercing Face

Dermal Piercing on face is usually done on lips, tongue, under the eyes, eyebrows and ears. Unless done carefully, it can ruin the facial appearance of a person.

Dermal Piercing Chest

Dermal Piercing on chest is easy though it requires some aftercare. Many people injure the area while rubbing the chest dry with a towel after perforation.

Dermal Piercing Finger

Some people also go for perforation in one or more fingers of the hand.

Dermal Piercing Procedure

photos of dermal anchor piercing
Picture 3 – Dermal Anchor Piercing
Source – deviantart

Dermal Piercing is a simple process which needs a lot of care and precision. The method starts with cleaning the part of the skin where you want to make a piercing. An alcohol based cleansing agent is used to free the region from impurities.

If needed, the area to be perforated is shaved to make it free from hair. This is true in case of areas like chest and wrist.

The region to be perforated is marked with a surgical pen. Two spots are marked to indicate the points of entry and exit of the needle.

The fourth step involves ‘boring’ or making a hole on the skin surface. A surgical needle is sterilized, usually with 70% alcohol. It is inserted through one of the markings and taken out of the other. The hole is made into the skin layer which reaches down to the muscle layer.

The foot of the jewellery or ‘dermal anchor’ is inserted into this perforation. When the tissue heals, the foot of the Dermal Piercing anchor is firmly held in place. After Dermal Piercing removal of jewelry is not possible unless surgical means are adopted.

Dermal Piercing Aftercare

After Dermal Piercing care is needed to protect the perforated region. The area needs to be cleaned on a daily basis to prevent infection and other health complications.

Add ½ tsp salt into a glass of water. Moisten a cotton ball with this solution and use it to gently wash the pierced area. Throw the cotton pad away and use a fresh one. Do this for 4-5 minutes and allow it to air-dry. The cleaning should preferably be done twice daily. Salt water cleans a just injured area and prevents any cases of infection.

Make sure that you always wash your hands properly before touching the region. Dirt and germ can cause irritation and give rise to infection in the area.

It is also important to use a mild soap while bathing. A strong soap can be irritating to the just injured skin region.

You should also follow a healthy diet to aid the healing process. Make sure that all essential ingredients are supplied to your body. This will boost your immune system and keep you away from health complications.

Does Dermal Piercing Hurt?

Dermal Piercing can be painful as the process involves making a deep hole onto the skin surface. Any kind of skin trauma without anesthesia can result in pain. Dermal Piercing pain depends on your threshold for pain. You should go for this body art only if you can bear pain. Pain also persists for about 1-2 weeks after perforation. This is exactly the reason why it is often called a ‘painful pleasure’.

Dermal Piercing Infection

Following a Dermal Piercing session a piercee may get an infection due to various reasons. Touching the just perforated area with unclean hands may pass on the germ to the region and result in a bacterial infection. An unsterilized needle can also be a cause of infection in the area.

In case of an infection, the pierced area gets inflamed. The surrounding region may become very sensitive. A pus filled abscess can arise in the area. The area can also become red. Infection is one of the greatest Dermal Piercing risks.

Dermal Piercing Healing

After Dermal Piercing, the perforated area may heal in a few weeks. In some people, it may take a longer period of recovery. In normal cases not involving infection, tissue healing can occur within a month or two.

Dermal Piercing Scars

Following a surgical removal of Dermal Piercing jewelry, there may be scarring in the area. The wound however, heals properly. If you are not content with your Dermal Piercing jewellery and want to remove it after a time period, be prepared to carry a scar.

Dermal Piercing Video

Take a look at this video to know how the piercing is done.

Dermal Piercing Pictures

Want to know how an area with Dermal Piercing looks like? Check out these Dermal Piercing diagrams and get an idea.

Dermal Anchor Piercing photos
Image 4 – Dermal Piercing Photo
Source – evildet

Dermal Piercings
Photo 5 – Dermal Piercing
Source – wordpress

Lots of people try Dermal Piercing at home but lack of experience can be harmful for your health. In case of a Dermal Piercing gone wrong you can suffer from an infection. So if you are going for a Dermal Piercing experience, it is better to go for the services of a professional studio. A proper perforation can save you from a lot of pain and health complications.


Published on February 19th 2011 by  under Body Piercing.
Article was last reviewed on 31st August 2012.

45 Responses to “Dermal Piercing – Pictures, Procedure, Infection, Healing and Aftercare”

  1. Monex says:

    Its the same as any other piercing that isnt in a private area…mandyloo 4 months Ago. Surface piercings almost always reject if not right away then eventually. A Most piercers have an age limit of 16 for any piercing unless you have parental permission but it depends which piercer you go to really as they have different rules.

  2. DeedeeX says:

    My dermal fell out after 2 hrs.
    Is that normal??

  3. Sam says:

    No, that’s not normal at all.

  4. Crystina says:

    I just got a dermal piercing on the back of my neck yesterday and i am super afraid of getting an infection. is there any products i can use to clean it safely so far i have just cleaned with water like the guy said and took a q-tip to get dried blood off and cover with bandaid at night. any advice?

  5. Heather says:

    my dermal fell out too! i got it on my chest and I was just sitting down and it fell out. wth?

  6. Fatima says:

    Woah!! Where did you guys get your piercings?? I have 6 dermals, 4 of which I just got an hour ago & the other 2 I’ve had for 2 years…h2ocean is great for any piercing..It helps prevent infection.. But on mine I really didnt clean them but I had no contact with them at all either

  7. Loud Noises says:

    Is it possible for the body to reject a dermal anchor?

  8. Shelb says:

    i want one under my eye, but i was wondering if anyone knew away to hide it, u know for ur job? i would say a bandaid! but idk! lol…and could anyone give me any ideas of painlevel they experienced when getting such a piercing! i love em and i think theyre amazing and ver statement worthy! haha ((:

  9. Ryan says:

    I just got mine done. The piercer said after it’s healed, you can take te rod out and it will look like nothing is there. Or use a black rod and it may look like a mole

  10. miss.tude says:

    I had a dermal piercing on my wrist and it was the biggest mistake I could have made. I decided to have it removed because it was so red and sore. The next day it was even worse after it was out. I ended up in the ER and had to have an incision made to clean out the adscess and infection. So now while I have this even larger hole in my wrist it is now packed with dressing and now waiting to see if I have MRSA!! I have to say this was a life lesson well learned. I advise everyone to be extra cautious when deciding to get a piercing.

  11. tammy says:

    i got mine done about a week ago under my eye and it is healing wonderfully… it dont hurt and it in there really good….i love mine…lol

  12. emilyrose says:

    i want a microderaml on my chest but wanna kno how much it hurts i have my tongue, hood, smiley and nose will it hurt more than any of those?

  13. MzNikkiM says:

    I have 3 microdermals surrounding the corner of my left eye and I love them! They weren’t painful at all. I had my first one for a year now and got my other 2 about 4 months ago. I also HAD a microdermal piercing on my neck/chest, it hurt like hell but it was so beautiful. In like, 2 weeks it rejected! It didnt leave too much of a scar but I was so upset that it came out.

  14. niek says:

    To the person asking about how much it hurt to get dermals I got two one in each nipple about eight months ago it was the worst pain I ever felt I am usually great with pain tattoos made me laugh but this piercing is no joke it is probably less painful in other areas of the body but nipples suck and now mines is super infected I’m getting them removed its a waste to do ur nipples unnecessary pain be careful and think before u act I was trying to be spontaneous for once in my life and look where it got me if I had done my normal amount of research I wouldn’t have done it

  15. PGA babe says:

    Just had a microdermal on my wrist yesterday, so far its healing fast because I am very careful and always clean it with saline solution and I can’t wait to put on with a real diamond that I ordered.

  16. Sabrina says:

    I got yep on my lower back, and one of mine fell out the night I got them done (2 nights ago) I cleaned it and had my boyfriend stick it back in, and have cleaned it once daily. I also wear bandaids on them at night but recently read to use waterproof medical tape so I bought a roll of that.. Any advice? Has anyone had one fall out and turn put okay? A little worried it will reject now, seems okay so far.

  17. Katiejane says:

    I just got a dermal on my thumb, didnt hurt as much at all as some ppl say it does… its quick

  18. lexi says:

    I have a Marilyn, nose piercing, nipples, and belly button. I have never experienced any problem with any of these piercings. So i wonder, if i were to get a dermal piercing, should I still expect that my body may reject it even though I have had such luck on all the others? For all of you that have experienced infection, you really should take the time and do the research on the place you are trusting to bore a hole in your body to make sure the place is sterile. Especially if you are going to act like your after care routine had nothing to do with you getting infected in the first place. Tattoos and piercings are a beautiful way to showcase works of art, so you really should make a commitment to yourself to take special care of them and choose a quality artist that loves their job, takes pride in their work, & cares about their reputation!!!

  19. laurin says:

    I got a dermal right up from between my breast! Its absolutley beautiful. Although deeply implaanted it didn’t hurt like I had expected. Its defantly somethng I’d do again. I have 17 piercings now and my industrial and nose were by far worse than dermal. Its an easy procedure and fun to have if u take care of them! Don’t touch them and keep um clean 2 times a day w mild salt water! Now they are expensive but the more u get at one time the cheaper. Like 60 bucks a pop!!

  20. SadieMay says:

    The reson it fell out after a hour or 2 for some of you is because the outter skin had’nt closed all the way yet. I have my dimples pierced and my left one is eather infected or i think my body is reqecting it. It is red where the bar that goes inside my cheek should be. At first i thought i had a zit, so i did nothing so im not sure whats going on. I got them 5 months ago, and if nyone can tell meh anything about this it would be a big help. thanks

  21. Crystal says:

    So.. I got dermals in my shoulders a few weeks back. the left one is completely healed, but for some reason my right one got completely pushed out. When I went back to the guy who peirced it he said it was infected & thats y it got pushed out, but how could it b infected if i took care of it the same exact way i took care of the other one? anyway.. they put it back in and not (almost 2 weeks later) after doing EXACTLY what they said to do.. the dermal is falling back out. HELP! wtf is wrong with it and how do i fix it?!

  22. sabrina says:

    HI, about a year ago i got a dermal piercing near my right eye. Im not planning on removing it for a long time (if i ever do) i love it, but if i ever do want to remove it…will there be a huge scar on my face?! It healed perfectly when i got it, hopefully by body will work its magic again if i ever decide to remove it. if im too chicken i might always keep it. how long can you leave it there?

  23. nikki says:

    i have two on my chest just above my breast. done on june 26th. one of them is just now starting to get red and there are little bumps in a cirlce around in like a rash. wth i have been doing what i was told so i dont know what is happening here.

  24. paige says:

    i just got a dermal on my wrist and i was wandering if its safe to wear a jacket over the top? and is it safe to clean it with detol twice a day?

  25. If your dermal doesn’t seem to be healing properly, or if it’s red / leaking pus, etc. first see your piercer. You will likely need an antibiotic to clear up infection. However, the rate of rejection is high! The body will often treat it like a splinter, and push it out (not in two hours), but it’s likely. Be prepared for a scar wherever you place your dermal…because eventually… I’m a piercer. It’s the only piercing I won’t do. To often the client wishes they didn’t. So, I don’t.
    Clean twice a day with antibacterial soap, and pat dry with a TISSUE, not a towel. Towels love bacteria, and piercings don’t! Take alot of care not to catch it on clothing, or bump it on anything. Now you have to think twice when pulling a shirt over your head….
    Good luck!

  26. Ash says:

    I had gotten my micro dermal piercings under my collar bone last September and at the time they were both healing perfectly fine. Then around February I started having problems with one of them. It became inflamed and I knew it was infected and I tried to sanitize it every day. In March I noticed that the shorter side of the anchor had began to poke out. Of course, I waited and waited until it got really bad until I finally went back to the piercer. He said that I had waited too long and that I can either wait for it to be fully rejected, or remove it. So, I asked him to remove it and it hurt more than getting the thing implanted. Just about an hour ago, my cat bit my other one and its half way out. It looked perfectly fine! But it came out extremely easily, as if the skin didn’t heal through the hole at all. I am currently trying to pull out the other side but I’m kind of a sissy and am taking a break. I was hoping to get the first one repierced after the skin had healed underneath the surface but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe eventually I’ll get another one. I really liked my dermals too..kind of a sad day because I was just talking to my boyfriend saying that the scar from the first was nearly gone and hopefully I can get it redone. Oh well :<

  27. Erin says:

    I got a thermal on my wrist 2 days ago, today being my third day; its in there really deep and it is healing very well… The second day I has slightly redish/pink around the thermal but today it looks just fine, and I love the way it looks! :D

  28. nicola says:

    can anyone tell me how mcuh roughly it would be to get 1 dermal between my boobs ? well chest , at a good place obvioualy im not getting it done cheap after reading up about them and can anyone tlel me how painful it is on your chest im really not good with pain but if it doesnt last long ill man up thanks x

  29. brook says:

    hi im 12 and obv a bit young to think about these piercings but are they painful in the back of your neck as i might get 1 for my 13th/14th if i can ??

  30. Shayyy says:

    I want to get 6 of them but scared its gonna hurt :/ sooo help me with that? I have 17 tats and 10 piercings.

  31. Heather says:

    I just got 2 on the back of my neck. I soo love them and they were painless.I want many more!

  32. liz says:

    i got my dermal on july 11 2011 and its fine, it dont hurt on nothing i got it on my cheek like nxt by my eye and well i hope mine dont fall out or n e thing bu idk…

  33. juls says:

    This seems crazy to me.. your body pushing it out and then the area getting infected is a pretty strong statement that your body doesn’t want this foreign object there. I would listen to my body. Brook, please wait till your 18 to make this. serious decision.

  34. hayley says:

    everyones body heals different thats the hard part i guess is not knowing how ur body would react to it.. i think dermals are awsum and very pretty on girls if there in the right spot

  35. hey hey says:

    I dont have any dermals though i do have other piercings and tattoos. I love the look of dermals and i would love to get one BUT i never would. The rate of rejection is WAY too high! People also need to realise that – 1) the same as any other piercing, your body might accept it in one spot but not necessarily another, 2) water alone has no cleansing property on its own, you need to use saline solution atleast or buy 2 bars of “sapoderm” its an antibacterial soap you can get from a chemist – when you have a shower use 1 bar to wash your hands and the second to wash the pierced area because soap can still hold bacteria.. or clean it with saline solution and then some betadine. 3) you need to remember that unlike normal piercing that have 2 ends protruding from the body and can be easily removed DERMALS CANNOT so they require extra vigilance and care, they are deeper also so if the surface is not kept clean and cleaned regularly once the bacteria get below the surface of the skin thats it there isnt anything you can do besides see a doctor and go on medication and / or have it removed which becomes a waste of your money and unnecessary pain for you.
    People say they are looking after them properly but i guarantee there will be something youre doing that you shouldnt be (as a piercer said previously above) using towels to dry or wipe the area!

    Good Luck to all with piercing and tatts for the future :)

  36. Jessica says:

    so I am looking into getting 3 on my chest/cleavage area i am rather large chested and cant show peircings at work and my shirt all seem to show some cleavage any ideas how to cover them all up? and whats the best way to take care of them if i get all 3 in a row at the same time

  37. Edgar says:

    on a scale 1-10 how much will it hurt to get a piercing next to your eye? is it dangerous

  38. amber wilson says:

    i got my dermal piercings on my lower back were the dimpals are and they are lifting a lil bit they have been for awhile now but have not feel out i have had them for a year now and im wondering is my body rejecting them and if it is can it be fixed and how?

  39. Amity says:

    Ok the rumor that dermals cannot be removed is not true. I asked my piercer about that before I had it done, he told me it could be easily removed with NO INCISION and when and if I wanted to, he would show me how. However, they are not meant to be taken out so it would cause some scarring. I have a facial dermal and have had it for two months now, looks great, healed easily and I have no regrets what-so-ever. I would do it all over again and recommend it to anyone who is experienced in tattoos and body piercings. It does require constant attention. I clean mine 3 times a day with H20 solution with a q-tip and so far not a single problem. As far as covering it up, I got small round band-aids and before work I put a band-aid over it and apply a small amount of concealer to make it a tad bit more discreet. If you do get a facial dermal and wear make-up, make sure to wash your face daily and to thoroughly clean the area (And don’t wear make-up around the area until healed)!! Good Luck! I think if you are committed and know what to expect, it is a great move!

  40. dior says:

    hey ii got a dermal piercing on myy chest and ii got it last year and now ii get sudden kind of severe pain from it… whats wrong what should ii do?!?! please help!!

  41. Christine says:

    I have a necklace made out of dermals…I spent a few months and a lot of money on it…I was so happy until one started to reject, then another…I have a total of 4 rejected and another one is coming out…I am waiting for it to heal up so I can try one more time. The two I have on my back are doing just fine, so I don’t get it….dermals don’t hurt at all…I have my tongue, nipples, hood all pierced….

  42. Tyler says:

    I have 2 dermals in my hips( one each side) Ive had them for 8 months and the diamonds keep unscrewing and falling so I lose them. Is it ok from them to be out for a couple of days untill i buy somemore??

  43. kelly bolton says:

    iv had a micro dermal in my wrist been 5 days and my wrist is very bruised and my hand is swollen and hurts did any1 else do this ?? kelly

  44. I have had 5piercings: eyebrow ( 2x) I don’t recommend piercing over scar tissue , lower left lip labret ( my fav) , bellybutton ,&& Tragus . I currently have all except the belly b/c of my job… Too dangerous but I’m thinking of getting lower back dimple dermals : are they worth the trouble ?

  45. Alex says:

    I had my third-eye dermal done 4 days ago & I love it. As advised I clean it twice a day with a saline solution. I spend a fair bit of time at the gym & that hasn’t been impacted on at all. People have commented & most agree (at least to my face) that it suits me. It didn’t hurt much (to be totally disgusting I would equate the feeling with trying to pop a blind pimple) & the swelling went down within hours. Best thing you can do if you’re considering one is to go to a very experienced piercing studio & ask lots of questions. It also helps if you’re healthy & look after yourself. Things can go wrong no matter how well prepared you are but if you’re well healthy & committed to looking after it there is a good chance it will work out.

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