Bedazzling Your Body – the Art of Dermal Piercings

dermal anchors

They can be called single point piercings, surface anchors, dermal anchors, or microdermals. Whatever you decide to call them, dermal piercings are the biggest growing craze in current body modification.  I think it’s because the possibilities are almost endless. These small surface piercings are done on flat areas of the skin with a single decoration per perforation. Popular areas to get dermals are the face, chest, ears, hands, hips, back, and stomach (but there is no limit). Multiple dermal anchors can be arranged in patterns or designs to create piercing projects and patterns. Dermals can also be a great accent when incorporated into a tattoo. The base of the mini jewelry has a flat plate with holes drilled in it (about ¼ inch long). The holes in the jewelry are there so that it can heal into the tissue.

tattoo art accented by microdermals

You must find a professional piercer with experience in dermal piercings because this process takes a lot of precision and care. It is a permanent procedure executed with a sterilized piercing needle or in some cases a small dermal (biopsy) punch. The piercer will massage the area to separate the epidermis from the dermis and the subcutaneous tissues/muscle. After that the area is cleaned/shaved and the entry and exit points of the needle are marked on the flesh with a surgical marker. Once the placement is approved the real fun begins. The L shaped opening is made in the flesh and then the jewelry is placed in the small pocket that’s been formed by the needle. The longer part is inserted under the skin first followed by the heel that holds the new piercing into the flesh.

The embedded jewelry remains under the skin for the life of the piercing. A short threaded post protrudes from the area that was pierced so you are able to change the decorative jewelry (known as a dermal top). When inserted correctly, it looks like the dermal top is glued onto the skin and will sit flush. Dermal tops have many different looks: gems, flat discs, dangling jewels, flat pieces shaped like cupcakes, stars, flowers, and more. It makes sense to me to think of the dermal implant as being very similar to a bedazzler project, but we’re putting studs and rhinestones on our flesh instead of our jean jackets.

the versatility of dermal piercings

Healing time is usually around 1-3 months; surface anchors heal fairly quickly and don’t really have a high instance of serious complications. Migration, rejection, scars, and traumatic snagging accidents are all risks though. Dermals are more in danger of being ripped out than surface bars but have less of a chance of growing out, and they’re much less invasive than surface bars.

If for some reason you decide to get your dermal removed, (possibly a new job that requires it, or even just that you’re “over it”) you can with the aid of a medical professional or your piercer. To remove a dermal implant, the jewelry is firmly grasped and the tissue kept steady and the jewelry is forcibly pulled out of the flesh pocket.  If tissue has grown to be connected to the plate a piercing needle or other medical tool may be used to get the piece of jewelry free.

removing hip dermals

Due to the fact that microdermals are a rather new and innovative style of piercing this procedure and the jewelry types used are always being investigated by the professional piercing community. In some states it is illegal to give or receive dermals, especially with the dermal punch method, because it is considered a surgical procedure. Piercers and those being pierced have to be very careful to stay up on their state’s current laws regarding body modification.

Epic Wins – Unique piercing and Tattoo Successes

Seen anything really funny on the internet lately?  I know I have, so I thought I’d take a moment to give credit where credit is due, to all of the awesome (and slightly twisted) minds that come up with those little sweetnesses that get us through the day.  Starting with…

webbed toes with hilarious tattoos

the best use of webbed toes, EVER.  Then onto the guy that decided to see just how many times a single tongue can be pierced.

tongue with tons of piercings

Moving on to the best case of tragedy turned modification coolness that I’ve ever seen.

awesome shark arm tattoo

Then to what constitutes possibly the most amazing use of clear large gauge body jewelry on the web.  Did I mention that the phrase “show your teeth” will have an entirely new meaning from now on?

clear jewelry in stretched lip

Next we go to a definite winner in the “ink plus body hair equals awesome” category.  Talk about making a hairstylist’s day.

tattooed face with haircut mustache

And who could forget: sweetest custom nose jewelry on the planet Earth.  (Do you think he was trying to raise awareness about the illegal poaching of African Elephants for their ivory?)

elephant tusk jewelry in nose piercings

And finally, the girl who said with tattoo art what we’re all feeling every time we pop in a set of earbuds.

musical tattoo inside ear

So thanks modification pioneers, for turning up the volume and letting loose the funny.  What would Google do without you?


Wouldn’t It Be Amazing If…

Other species could express themselves the same way you and I do?

all species expressing themselves

We all had eyes in the back of our heads?

eyes in the back of our heads

There could really be a universal language?

body mod as a cultural connection

World peace could be a possibility?

coexist body art

Fact or Faked? – Zip It

Most of us know how to use photoshop programs (some of us a little too well), so how do you tell if what you’re seeing is real.  Here we examine some of the neatest, most hilarious, and provocative piercing and tattoo photos on the web and find out if they’re fact, or just clever fakes.

The Tongue Zipper

Many of you have seen this utterly awesome looking mod floating around the internet, but did somebody really have their tongue not only split, but also pierced multiple times to look like a zipper?

real or fake zipper piercing

Actually, the answer is no.  At least, not yet.  Even if we knew nothing else about this picture, when you blow it up a tiny bit and invert it for a better look, you’ll see some faint haloing around the second body jewelry stud, and a zipper-pull shadow that has a size, color, and placement that are very slightly inconsistent with the rest of the image.

discrepencies that show the fake

Upon further investigation, you’ll find information on the internet that lets the truth out into the open.  This image was actually entered in a Worth1000 photoshopping contest, as an awesome and thought provoking work of art.  The original image has no second monroe stud, and showcases an unadorned tongue that was actually split, reportedly by Maryland modification artist Zak Zito.  The artist added the second stud and the zipper.

the original image

The Verdict

While it’s a pretty convincing image, this one is clearly faked.  Bummer, right?

Hilariously Bored – Stretched Lobes at Play

Drink Up

cups and cans in stretched ears

“Ten times better than a coaster.”

Hang Out

strange things stuffed into stretched lobes

“Hold this for a second, would ya?”

get fun straight tapers here

Goof Off

playing with stretched ear lobes

“Look mom, I’m playing nice with the other kids!”

click here for large gauge plugs

Go Go Gadget Ear Lobes

stretched lobes holding useful stuff

“Everything you need to survive in the modern world.”


Have you got any funny captions to add?  Leave them in the comments.

Body Modification – Evolved

As more extreme forms of body modification come into mainstream culture every day, the gap between human and superhuman continues to shorten.  But what direction is the next step in human evolution?  Just ask these folks who have modified their bodies to the extreme to achieve a blending of man and machine, man and animal, and even man and immortal.

cool alien full body tattoo

In many places cyber goth has been taken to a new level with full body tattooing, cyborg contacts and eye tattoos, and even plate armor attached to the skin using dermal piercings.  The illusion of a mix between man and machine has never been so apparent.

body mods that mix man and machine

Other humans prefer to mimic immortal creatures, like Rick Genest the “Zombie Tattoo Boy,” and Maria Jose Cristerna, Mexico’s “Vampire Lady.”  Maria doesn’t just have oodles of tattooing and piercings, she also has dental fangs and several dermal implants, all in the interest of transforming into a free, immortal, and powerful creature: the vampire.

body modification to mimic immortal creatures

Some others like Eric Sprague and Dennis Avner prefer to meld with animal species.  Sprague is know as the “Lizard Man,” and has subdermal implants, a split tongue, and a full body tattoo to back it up, while Avner has taken the nickname “Stalking Cat,” having taken several measures to transform himself into a tiger including dental work, ear surgery, a modified upper lip, tattooing, and several dermal implants that hold his whiskers.

transforming into plants and animals

Many of those who modify to the extreme do it simply with the intent of changing their look to something interesting, symbolic, or that they find more attractive, like Cathie Jung, the only living woman with a fifteen inch waist.  Super modifiers Pauly Unstoppable and Hawaii’s “Monster Man” have even pierced, implanted, scarred, and stretched their way to fame, proving that it’s possible to alter the human body to suit individual tastes.

people famous for extreme body mod

Remember when you were little and your parents told you that you could be whatever you want to be?

New Piercing Trends – the Valley Piercing

You might be wondering what exactly a valley piercing is, but the second you hear it, the name will automatically make sense to you.  This a surface that rests just over the tailbone; basically, right above the center of your derrière.

Tail Bone Piercing

Much like surface piercings of the hips and abdomen, valley piercing started off relatively slowly before beginning a meteoric rise to the top for one very important reason: function.  The piercing itself and the choice of available surface jewelry make the perfect accent to lower back tattoos, just like surface piercing of the stomach accent tattooing or navel piercings.  And oh what an accent!

Tattoos Accented by Lower Back piercing

Although the majority of valley piercings are simple and discreet, some choices of gems and coloring will definitely make the lower back stand out in a crowd.  Just look at the possibilities!

Different Valley Piercing Jewelry Styles

Because of their location, valleys take slightly longer on average to heal than hip piercings, and the risk of migration or rejection is about on par with piercings meant for corsetry.  But aftercare is fairly mundane, and because this piercing hasn’t hit the mainstream yet in the stricter sense of the word, there’s definitely fun to be had when it gets noticed.  Generally these are worn as either a movable barbell or a dermal.

Neat Dermals for Valley Piercings

Now all we need is needles specially made to pierce the tender flesh above our behinds, and there’ll be no limit to the popularity of this interesting and feminine slice of body modification.

Coolest Piercings We’ve Ever Seen – Holiday Edition

In this edition of coolest piercings we’ve ever seen: dermals go deer-like, candy canes get repurposed, and fancy Holiday body jewelry gets taken to an entirely new level.

Cute Holiday Candy Cane Piercings

So most of us have seen some weird and interesting things come out of the world of dermal jewelry, but when did horns suddenly go mainstream?  That’s right, it’s now not only normal, but actually kind of cute to have microdermal, transdermal, or even subdermal horns.  The thing that translates so well into pop culture is that the horns themselves (at least those that have become fairly popular) are less outlandish and frightening, and more innocent and fawn-like.  Horns = cute…..who knew?

Reindeer Horn Piercing

Next on our list: candy canes become multi-purpose.  Okay, so stretching of the ear is nothing new, but the thing that makes this especially cool isn’t the piercing itself, but the choice of jewelry.  You might be thinking that this is so much less extreme than what I usually feature, but there’s no denying that everyone who sees this is going to wish that they thought of it.  I know I do!  Looking cute for the Holidays and having a built in snack?  Pretty sweet.

Candy Canes in Stretched Lobes

And finally, the best has been saved for last.  It’s beautiful, it’s bionic, it’s….really attached?  The answer to that question is a resounding yes.  The newest and most interesting thing to hit body piercing since the invention of the curved piercing needle gives seriously new meaning to the phrase “body jewelry.”  This unique method of body mod uses dermal anchors and surface bars to attach beautiful metal plating to the skin.  Most often paired with ink in celestial or tribal designs, this fun and fancy new form of super-piercing lets you go all out when the occasion calls for it, and then remove layers of bling when it’s time to relax.

Dermal Plate Piercings

Now that’s got to be one of the coolest piercings you’ve ever seen, right?

Coolest Piercings We’ve Ever Seen – Halloween Edition

Cool Pierced Zombie Tattoo Man Rick Genest

In this edition of Coolest Piercing We’ve Ever Seen:

Our old friend the corset piercing gets more intense, the “Wolverine Piercing” goes hyper, and temporary piercings get a sweet Halloween style web redemption.

So you might be asking yourself, is a “Wolverine Piercing” what I think it is?  And the Answer is YES!  Some do it for Halloween, others for nostalgia, and some because they just have a secret yearning for comic book style super powers, but whatever the reason, this piercing is blowing up.  It seems like everyone wants a piece of our favorite X-Men hero, or at least his awesome metallic accessories.  It looks painful, expensive, and like it might have a higher than average rate of rejection, but spiked surface piercing of the hands are still one of the coolest piercings I’ve ever seen.

Cool Hand Surface Piercings

Ever wonder where the corset piercing craze is going to end?  Well from what we’ve seen lately, it’s only just beginning.  Not only have more and more people taken the corsetry plunge, but the BCR piercings themselves seem to be increasing in quantity, quality, and creativity.  Just check out some of this awesome stuff:

Corset Piercing sets spun togetherSets of several corset Piercings

Definitely some of the coolest corset piercings ever.

Which brings us to our web redemption.  You might have seen some YouTube videos and interesting photos lately showing temporary piercings gone awry, but one of the ultimate coolest Halloween accessories ever is about to change your viewpoint on temporary piercing forever.  Just get a load of these piercing buffs spreading their wings.

Temporary Angel Wing piercingGirl with Pierced on Wings

The process is done like any other temporary piercing, but with feathers attached to the needle.  The piercings are carefully arranged in a fan-like formation to allow the feathers to properly create the shape of a wing, which (not gonna lie) is one of the neatest things I have EVER seen.

They may be provocative, interesting, creepy, amazing, or even a bit extreme, but there’s no denying that we all feel a little tinge of jealousy when we see someone with one of the coolest piercings we’ve ever seen.

New Health Craze – Facial Piercings?!

In a country like the United States where health, weight management, and holistic medicine are a booming national industry, it’s usually easy to spot the next big thing.  But what if the next big thing is already a “big thing” in it’s own right?  That right, I’m talking about facial piercings.  We all know that facial piercings look great, allow for a variety of changing looks, and conform to a cultural standard that’s setting them apart more and more every day, but did you ever think that your piercings could become a healthy living choice?  Well, the answer already being given by some pierced persons out there might just surprise and enlighten you.

Ayurveda Style Nose Piercing in India

There are actually cultures around the world that have promoted piercings of certain parts of the human face as a health tool for years.  Amongst the most common instance is traditional Indian medicine called “Ayurveda,” which states that piercing of the female nose is believed to improve feminine health.  This goes for everything from reproductive health, to the natural glow attained from healthy skin and the ability to rear children.  And India isn’t the only face piercing culture in the know; other ancient and traditional forms of Eastern medicine also show how piercings of certain points on the face are believed to aid skin health and whole body well being, like acupuncture.

Facial Acupressure Points

The idea behind acupuncture is that the insertion of a needle into certain pressure points on the body, or “acupressure points” will effect overall health or even illness in a positive way by realigning the body’s energy force or “qi” (pronounced chee).  Many of these points can be found on the face, neck, and even the ears and are touted as helpful in everything from decreasing headaches, to softening wrinkles, to helping you quit smoking.

Recognizable Facial Acupressure Points

Although modern medicine has yet to fully embrace these ideas, it’s interesting to think that when studying a chart of acupressure points, some of the placements accepted by the general professions of acupuncture and acupressure massage will be startlingly familiar to those in the piercing community.  Some you might recognize?  The exact points on the face where you would expect to see a labret piercing, medusa piercing, tragus piercing, or a set of dahlia bites (piercings at each corner of the mouth).

Pressure Point Corresponding Piercings

Although there’s no proof that piercing any specific spot on the body has a direct link to your health or can cure any kind of pain, countries like India, China, and Peru continue to pierce in their traditional fashions as per the belief systems that they’ve held for centuries.  And while the United States may be slightly behind the curve in terms of cultural meaning for this type of piercing, one day soon you may find an alternative therapist in your area asking, “have you ever considered what a nose piercing could do for your health?”  It looks like facial piercings’ future may be healthy indeed.