More on Microdermals

December 3, 2009

Anchors, single point piercings, microdermals–whatever you call them, they are one of the newest big things in body piercing.  Traditional piercing placements are described in the old  maxim, “If It Protrudes, Pierce It.”   Single point piercings are attractive because you don’t need a protrusion, flap, or fold of skin–you can place them anywhere (theoretically.)  So far, the major problems with these cute little things are migration and rejection. Innovative jewelry makers and piercers are still working to refine the concept for viability, versatility, and long-term wear.

Above is a picture of my almost one-year old single point piercing (which I wrote about getting here.)   I’ve been lucky–many don’t make it this long, as they tend to reject.  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve learned about them:

Placement can make or break a piercing.  Lots of ladies are getting “cleavage” piercings, but are finding that the movement of their breasts is causing the piercing distress.  The anchor part that is in your skin must remain flat to the plane of your body.  My piercer placed my anchor higher than I initially wanted, but I believe it has been the key to my success so far.

Aftercare for these piercings consists of keeping them clean, with the occasional sea salt soak or compress.  Compresses (clean gauze or paper towel soaked with hot saltwater solution) are a good option because unlike a normal piercing with a channel and two exit points, there is only one hole.  Therefore, gentle pressure with a hot compress can help expel any lymph or other matter from the piercing.

Rejection and migration are the big problems here.  A messed up piercing must ordinarily be removed by a piercer, and may leave a scar.  Unfortunately, I’m not aware of anything that can be done by the piercee to prevent this.

As good as mine has been doing (no redness, pain, or anything), it has popped out a bit over the course of the year, as you can clearly see in the above pic.  (It looks a little red in this picture, but I think that’s just my pink person skin!) I think it may eventually work itself out and need to be removed.

Contrast my anchor with the two in the pic above, used with permission from PriestessLolo at the BAF forums from this thread. Her two chest anchors have clearly migrated away from the plane they are supposed to be in.  This is a very common consequence, and the piercee is planning to remove at least the bottom one before it can get worse.

I only have one single point piercing, so my thoughts and experience are limited.   They look amazing, but some might feel the piercing is a lot of money spent for pain, with more money, and more pain to remove them.   If you are willing to experiment with your body and accept the risks of rejection or scarring, they are really very rewarding and unique piercings.  Are they worth it?   The jury is still out on this one.

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Aftercare for anchors

March 3, 2009

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Whatever you call these piercings,* whether “microdermals,” “dermal anchors,” “surface anchors” or  “single point piercings,” they are a slightly different animal than traditional piercings.

(ETA:  this shot is supposed to be of the anchor–not the boobs! Darn things always get in the way!)

Here’s an aftercare tip for these:

For regular piercings, I believe immersion methods of soaking offer the most benefit, which is one reason I don’t like proprietary aftercare sprays.   (Here’s my post on how to do sea salt soaks.)

However, because single point piercings do not have a tunnel, with two exit points which would allow for easy draining, try a compress. A sterile gauze pad which has been soaked in your sea salt solution, applied with a bit of pressure, can help expel any fluid or detritus caught in the piercing better than soaking with a cup. Thanks to John Lopez for this tip. (He gives me so much good stuff!) Another one of my friends uses chamomile tea bags, moistened in hot water, for compresses and loves their soothing effect.  Do this only when needed, and otherwise, Leave It The Hell Alone.

Don’t call ’em “dermals.”

*A note on terminology.  Piercing terminology is a bitch, fractious and confusing, but in this case, the industry is trying to get away from any description which has “dermal” in it, as being too “medical.”  Piercers are not medical practitioners, and have to be careful not to overstep the bounds of unauthorized practice of medicine.  So call ’em surface anchors or single point piercings.