the ramblings of a music journalist and nearly-published author.

Sick of boring ol’ tattoos and piercings?

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From a young age, I’ve had a vested interest in body modification. Not being allowed to have my ears pierced until age 13 furthered this interest. At 14, I experimented with piercing my ears at home (which is not a good idea – I had keloids on my earlobes for years afterward. Don’t do it), and at 15 I began stretching my earlobes. At 18, I got my first dermal_montagemtattoo, and I’ve had several piercings since then. The lip piercings came and went, and as of now, I still possess 5/8″ holes in my ears, a septum ring, and a Monroe piercing. The Monroe is named after Marilyn, and its’ placement is said to be similar to that of her beauty mark. Now at 23, I possess tattoos in numbers in the double digits, and have learned through experience that getting and healing piercings is a pain, really. This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to try getting something new – a dermal anchor.

Dermal anchoring is a technique that is a single-point pocketing, rather than a piercing. Its’ appearance is that of a single bead on the skin, and is similar to a transdermal implant. Originated by Ben at House of Color in Colorado Springs, dermal anchoring hasn’t been around long, but has made its’ mark. Dermal anchors can be placed anywhere on the body, and can be a better choice than surface piercings if the area is high movement. Personally, I have seen dermals on fingers, chests, faces, and arms. Procedurally, a hollow needle is inserted to clear the way for the 6mm internal portion of the jewelry. Following this, the jewelry is placed with a forceps. Some piercers use the punch-and-taper method with a dermal punch, and have found that it’s a bit easier than the old method. Depending on the piercer you see, there will obviously be a difference in technique.

From personal experience, I would get ten more dermal anchors instead of getting one more piercing. I, for one, hate the constant pain, swelling, and care that comes with a new piercing, and none of these things have happened with my dermal. The procedure itself barely hurt, and the pain after the fact is almost nonexistent. I can sleep on my face unintentionally (where the anchor is located) without pain, and still clean the area a few times daily with a Q-Tip and saline solution. While a more permanent option than a simple piercing, dermal anchoring is a new style of body modification in its’ infancy, and one that is becoming more and more popular as time goes on.

Sidenotes! Anchoring information thanks to If thinking about getting a dermal anchor of your own, be sure to check the portfolio of your piercer and be completely knowledgeable about the procedure and aftercare. I am not a professional piercer, and opted to write this blog post to express how happy I am with my new modification. Any questions should be directed to a licensed piercer.


Written by Liz Van Pay

October 23, 2009 at 3:28 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hey thanks, I didn’t know about these, but curiousity made me look up some pictures on the internet. They look pretty wicked.


    November 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    • Thank you! My own experience led me to write the piece, and personally, I’d get a bunch more of these before I’d ever get another piercing!

      Liz Van Pay

      December 30, 2009 at 12:40 am

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