is increasing in popularity but is still considered one of the more alternative types of piercing. Surface piercings require excellent aftercare in order to heal successfully and, due to their placement, your lifestyle should be taken into account when choosing the placement. For example, you may find surface piercings are not the best option if you regularly participate in sports due to the chance of them being knocked or caught.
The most common surface piercing types are:
- Sternum/Cleavage: Surface piercing chest is usually placed vertically on the sternum.
- Neck: Also known as nape piercing or vampire bite piercing. The most common placements are the back and side of the neck.
- Wrist: Wrist surface piercing can be placed on either the top or underside of the wrist.
- Hip: Hip surface piercings are usually performed in pairs for a symmetrical look.
- Hand: The most common placement is on the top of the hand near the thumb.
In fact, nipple and navel piercings are considered to be surface piercings too but are often not categorised as so due to earning popularity on their own. Other unusual forms of surface piercing include:
Do surface piercings hurt?
- Collarbone Piercing: This piercing is usually done in pairs and is placed under the collarbone following the neckline.
- Finger Piercing: Finger piercing can be done using either a small barbell or microdermal and is usually placed just above the knuckle.
- Anti-Eyebrow (Butterfly) Piercing: This surface piercing face is placed below the eye and mirrors the eyebrow piercing. It is usually placed horizontally or to match the curve of the face.
- Surface Tragus Piercing: This is a surface piercing ear placement that is usually vertical. It is placed where the ear meets the head, on the tragus which is the small piece of cartilage over the ear canal.
- Snake Eye Piercing: The surface piercing tongue is considered to be a risky type of piercing which is why not all Piercing Studios offer it. If you are thinking about getting a Snake Eyes tongue piercing make sure you are aware of the risks and choose a piercer who is experienced in performing Snake Eyes.
Surface piercings do hurt but not as much as you might think. The pain from a surface piercing is minimal because the piercing is only going through a thin layer of skin. It can be uncomfortable during the piercing procedure because your piercer may need to clamp your skin in order to insert the needle but the process is usually over very quickly, so it won’t be painful for long.
How long do surface piercings take to heal?
Surface piercings are easy to take care of but they can, unfortunately, take a long time to heal. This is due to them often being in places on your body that endure a lot of regular movement and are usually covered by clothing. Therefore most surface piercings can take between 6 to 18 months to fully heal.
How long do surface piercings last for?
The healing time on a surface piercing can last from any time between 6 – 16 weeks. During this time, it is important to keep the piercing clean and irritation-free. During the surface piercing healing time, it is important not to knock or put pressure on the piercing in order to help it last longer and heal successfully. Surface piercings are prone to migration and rejection so they may not last long but using a strict aftercare routine will give them the best chance of healing.
Do surface piercings always reject?
Surface piercings are prone to rejection but this does not mean that they always reject. Surface piercings are placed close to the surface of the skin which is why there is a higher chance of rejection occurring. The body can easily push the jewellery out of the skin causing the piercing to reject. Although, it is important to remember that just because you have had one surface piercing reject, it does not follow that your surface piercings will always reject.
How are surface piercings done?
The location of the surface piercing will determine how it is done but most surface piercings are performed in a similar way. The piercer will sometimes clamp your skin to make it easier to pass the needle through. Usually, your piercer will use a Cannula needle which is a type of hollow needle so that the piercing jewellery can easily be threaded through once the piercing procedure is complete. Your surface piercing is likely to require barbell jewellery but some surface piercing placements can be pierced with a microdermal.
If you are having a microdermal surface piercing, your piercer will make a small incision in the skin in order to place the dermal anchor beneath the dermis. While this is healing the skin will grow around the anchor to keep it secure.
Can you take out surface piercings?
If your surface piercing was performed with a barbell you can take it out on your own in order to change the jewellery. If you are thinking about removing your jewellery and retiring your piercing you may wish to consult your piercer before your try surface piercing removal, for advice on how to care for the piercing wound and minimise scarring.
If your surface piercing was performed using a microdermal you will need to return to your piercer to have it removed. If you want to change your piercing jewellery it can be easier to simply change the ball at the end of the bar. Your new add on will instantly change the look of your piercing without giving you the hassle of trying to change the bar.
If you need help with changing your piercing jewellery you can visit one of our stores where a piercer will be able to change your jewellery for a small fee.
What’s the difference between a dermal and surface piercing?
Dermal piercings feature one stud on the surface of the skin whereas surface piercings have two holes due to being pierced with a barbell. A dermal piercing features an anchor or plate underneath the skin onto which an add-on or dermal top can be attached. This is often a more permanent type of surface piercing as it has to be removed by a professional if you wish to retire the piercing. A surface piercing describes any piercing that is close to the surface of the skin and is usually pierced with a barbell. Nipple and navel piercings are the classed as surface piercings and the most common surface piercings include cleavage, nape, hand, and hip.
Are surface piercings safe?
Surface piercings carry the same risks as any piercing but with the slightly higher chance that they will reject which can cause scarring. Surface piercings on areas such as the hand can have a higher risk of getting infected due to the movement and contact caused by regularly using your hands. An experienced piercer will be able to carry out a surface piercing safely and in a sterile environment to reduce the risk of infection but after that, it is up to you to maintain a strict aftercare routine while your piercing is healing.
The most common type of surface piercing jewellery is surface barbell jewellery which consists of either straight, curved, circular, or staple bars. Surface bar piercing features a ball or jewel to each end so you can customise your surface barbell piercing by simply changing the add on balls. If you have a surface anchor piercing, also known as a microdermal piercing, you can easily change the dermal top once the piercing has healed by simply unscrewing your current add on and screwing in a new one. With all piercing jewellery, it is important to ensure you choose the right size.