Surface Piercing FAQ Guide: Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

A surface piercing is a perfect example of a popular and stylish alternative piercing style. Surface piercings involve a piece of body piercing jewellery that sits just under the surface of the skin. It’s the perfect piercing to wear bar, staple bar and curved bar jewellery.  It is often common to refer to micro dermal piercings as types of surface piercings. Choosing a surface piercing will mean an every so slightly different procedure and style from your regular cartilage or lip piercing, so of course, it’s natural to have a few questions regarding surface piercings. Here’s our FAQ and guide to surface piercings!

Q1. Where Can You Have A Surface Piercing? What Are My Options?

Located in various places around the body, piercers perform surface piercings on the less ‘fleshy’ areas of the body. These locations are alternative options and will make a welcome change from some of the more common piercing options. Here are some of the more common areas where you can have a surface piercing:

  • Hip Piercing – hip piercings are a hugely popular surface piercing style. It is common to see symmetrical piercings with the same surface piercing being performed on both sides of the hip. Perfect for anyone who wears low-cut jeans or cropped tops, they’re the best way to show off this awesome piercing style.
  • Wrist Piercing – performed on the either side of the wrist, wrist piercings are shown off in a similar fashion to a bracelet or watch. It is more commonly performed on the ‘outer’ side of the wrist due to it being more visible and more flesh being available to pierce.
  • Cleavage Piercing – also known as sternum piercing, this transverse style sits to the centre of the chest. It is popular to have surface piercings on the chest area, especially around the collarbone. These piercings are considered to be quite painful, mainly due to the thin skin located around the rib area.
  • Nape Piercing – performed at the back of the neck, a nape piercing is a hugely versatile surface piercing choice! You can choose from transverse, horizontal or micro dermal styles when you opt for a back-of-the-neck piercing.

Whilst these piercings are widely worn, it is always recommended you get professional advice before choosing an area of the body to pierce. Not everyone’s skin is malleable and flexible, so piercers can find it difficult to pierce everyone. So before you get your heart set on a style, make sure your body can allow for such a piercing!

Q2. What Happens During A Surface Piercing Procedure?

The procedure for surface piercings is slightly different from a regular piercing. The method of piercing is different dependent on whether you have a regular surface piercing or opt for a micro dermal procedure. Each respective procedure runs out as follows:

  • Piercers perform barbell and surface bar piercings with a hollow needle. The insertion of the needle takes place at a marked location on the skin and then exits out of another hole. This allows for bar piercing jewellery to be passed through both points. This can then sit just under the skin.
  • We perform our micro dermal surface piercings with a micro dermal ‘punch’ or ‘gun’. This device is used to place a dermal anchor under the skin. This L-shaped attachment has a fastener that sticks out from the skin, allowing for piercing jewellery and add-ons to be fastened and attached.

Q3. Do Surface Piercings Hurt?

As with all piercing pain ratings and suggestions, we have to stress that pain is purely subjective to each individual person. Everyone has a different pain threshold and we all experience pain differently. As surface piercings can be located anywhere on the body creating a general pain rating is difficult. More sensitive areas of surface piercing can include cleavage, rib or collarbone piercings. Other forms of surface piercing such as hip and wrist surface piercing are considered less painful.

The amount of pain experienced will be different for every person. If you feel unsure or worried about feeling pain during a piercing procedure make sure to get in touch with a professional piercer. They will be able to answer all of your questions regarding surface piercings and the pain you may or may not feel.

Want to know more about levels of piercing pain? Check out our blog on Which Piercings Hurt the Most (or Least)!

Q4. What Are The Surface Piercing Rejection Signs?

When it comes to surface piercings, rejection and migration sometimes happen after the piercing process. Due to the piercings being placed under the skin, your body can often consider it to be a foreign object. This can sometimes lead to your body pushing the piercing out of your body. Migration/rejection tends to happen because of a piercing not being performed deep enough, or that the area of skin being pierced is just too shallow for a piercing to hold firm. Surface piercing rejection signs often include soreness and sensitivity in the pierced area, the jewellery becomes more visible and seems looser than before, or the piercing holes become larger. This process can even happen to fully healed piercings.

PLEASE NOTE: This side-effect doesn’t happen every time, it’s just important to have a bit of know-how in case it happens to you!

If you think your surface piercing is being rejected, or, are concerned about migration, then make sure to pay your piercer a visit. They can safely remove the piercing jewellery for you. Leaving the piercing to fully migrate may result in scarring and may cause issues when the piercing heals.

Q5. How Long Do Surface Piercings Take To Heal?

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. This will help to speed up the healing process. If you’re after some top tips on piercing aftercare – then there’s a guide for that! Check it out here.

Also, surface piercings are often located around areas which are often in use, so keep pierced areas obstruction free where possible. If you’re a keen athlete, or always on the move, you must consider whether something like a hip piercing is the right thing for you. Constantly irritating a healing piercing can lead to prolonged healing and discomfort. So before you decide on your favourite style, make sure the piercing you pick is right for you!


At Blue Banana, we are truly passionate about piercings. If you live in the UK and want a piercing of your own, then you can check out our Blue Banana Piercing Studio Locator to see if we’re nearby.  You can check out our extensive range of Body Piercing Jewellery on our online store – and make sure to stop by our extensive guides to find all of our piercing know-how!

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Still thinking of piercing-related questions? We’re here to help answer any and every question you have about piercings you want and piercings you already have. Get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you have a question that needs answering!

Written by Sam Oliver


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