Dermal Piercing Care | Painful Pleasures Community

Dermal Piercing Care

This Dermal Piercing Aftercare guide will teach you everything you need to know about new dermals to ensure that yours heal well. Learn what you should and shouldn't do during the dermal piercing healing process, how to properly clean and care for your new dermals, what potential problems you may encounter and how to handle each, when and how to change your dermal tops, and other important tips for new dermal piercings. In case you're still in the research/planning stage and haven't yet had your new dermals inserted, we also discuss what you should know before you get pierced.

by Emily Starkman Last Updated: April 5, 2022

Angel Wings Dermal Anchors by Sean Dowdell, From the Painful Pleasures Photo Gallery If you’re considering getting a dermal piercing or if you’ve just had one or more dermals inserted, you should take a little time to learn about dermal piercing care and consider what your daily cleaning routine should entail to ensure that your dermal piercings heal fully and well. To help you, we’ve prepared this Dermal Piercing Care guide that will teach you what you should know before getting dermal piercings if you’re still in the research and planning phase, what you should and shouldn’t do while your dermal(s) heal, how to properly clean and care for new dermal piercings, what potential dermal piercing problems you may encounter and how to handle each, when and how you can change your dermal tops, and other important tips for new dermal piercings.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Dermal Piercing

What Dermal Piercings Are: Unlike earlobe piercings and other piercings that go straight through one side of a body part and out the opposing side, dermal piercings are single-point piercings with dermal anchors embedded beneath the skin that dermal tops screw into so that the visible part of the dermal jewelry typically sits flush with the surface of the skin. A piercing needle or dermal punch is used to create a hole in the epidermis (top layer of skin) so that a dermal anchor can be inserted into the layer of tissue below, which is called the dermis. That’s why dermal piercings (a.k.a. microdermals) are named what they are. (Learn more in our Everything You Need to Know About Dermal Piercings article.)

Potential Migration & Rejection Issues: Like other surface piercings, dermal piercings are more prone to migration and rejection than regular body piercings that go straight through a two-sided body part, like a lip or earlobe. This may be caused by a dermal anchor not being placed deeply enough in the dermis, irritations caused by clothing catching a dermal top or putting undue pressure on the piercing, a dermal piercing infection, hypergranulation or other piercing problems, or by other issues that may occur during the dermal piercing healing process. It’s also the body’s natural response to want to push out a foreign object embedded in it, as it would with a splinter, which is another factor that can work against a dermal piercing’s success.Dermal Anchors Come in Many Different Style, Material and Post Height Combinations

You can minimize the risks of migration and rejection by requesting a dermal anchor with holes in it (see examples to the immediate right and on the right below) that will allow tissue to grow up through and around the base of the anchor to secure it in place, by practicing vigilant aftercare, and by protecting your dermal piercing from getting snagged on clothes or smothered by overly-tight clothing. Placement is a key factor, too; avoid areas where your waistband, bra straps, etc., would rub against your dermal jewelry constantly, and choose a meatier part of your body for your first dermal piercing, if at all possible. That way the anchor can be placed more deeply in the dermis where it will become better secured by healing tissue over time.

Jeweled Skin Anchors, also Known as Skin Divers, for Dermal Piercings Starter Dermal Jewelry Options: Dermal anchors are typically made from either titanium, surgical stainless steel or a bio-compatible polymer. If you know you have sensitive skin, go with a titanium or bio-compatible polymer dermal anchor. If you’re outright allergic to any of these materials, tell your piercer so s/he uses a dermal anchor with the right material composition for you.

In addition to coming in different materials, dermal anchors also come with a variety of different “foot” (base) shapes ranging from circular to oval to square–again, with or without holes–as well as with different post positions centered on or towards one end of the base and varying rises (post heights).Dermal Healing Posts, Sold Separately From Dermal Anchors There are also dermal skin anchors (sometimes called “skin divers”, shown to the left above) that are all-in-one dermal anchors with permanently-connected tops. If you choose a skin diver, you will not be able to change the top once your piercing is healed, so make sure you choose a design you really love if you go that route. Your piercer will need to determine the right shape, size and style of dermal anchor for your desired dermal piercing location, but you can ask for one with holes in the footed base to reduce the chances of migration/rejection, or you can request an all-in-one dermal skin anchor, as desired.

In terms of dermal tops for anchors with interchangeable tops, the two best options for starter dermal jewelry tend to be either healing posts like those shown to the right above or fairly flat, typically circular dermal tops with no edges that could get caught on clothes, like the opal dermal tops shown to the left. Flat Opal Dermal Tops, Available in Different Colors and Diameters The best option for you depends on where you want your dermal piercing placed and if you’re prone to severe swelling after getting a piercing, which would make you more of a candidate for a healing post. Your piercer will advise you on the best microdermal top to use, but you can ask for a plain titanium or steel flat disc dermal top or one that’s inset with a jewel, depending on your preference. Remember that you’ll be able to wear fancier dermal tops once your dermal piercing is fully healed, unless you chose to have a skin diver inserted, so just pick the starter top you like the look of most from the options your piercer offers you.

Dermal Piercing Scars – When you have a dermal piercing removed, it’s highly likely to leave a scar behind. This is an important consideration when deciding where to have your dermal piercing(s) placed. For instance, if you later decide to remove a facial dermal piercing, do you want a permanent scar on your face? You can learn more about this issue in our “Dermal Piercing Scars” section.

Dermal Piercing Prices – The cost of dermal piercings varies by shop and region. You’ll likely find that shops located in bigger cities will charge more for dermal piercings, and that dermal piercing prices will be lower in more remote areas Dermal Piercing Pictures: Dermals in Tattoos, From the Painful Pleasures Piercing Pictures Gallery since it costs more for shops to operate in places with larger populations, like cities, and areas with more foot traffic, like shopping centers. To give you a rough idea of what you might expect to pay for a dermal piercing, Painful Pleasures’ tattoo and piercing shops, Body Mod Ink and The Studio at Painful Pleasures, charge $80 for dermal piercings and $25 for dermal piercing removal. Again, it could cost more or less depending on where you go, but those are fairly standard prices for highly-populated areas. That said, price shouldn’t be a driving factor in where you get your dermal piercing or where you have your dermal piercing removed, if you choose to do so later. The most important thing is that you find an experienced, professional piercer to place or remove your dermal piercings. If you need recommendations on where to go to get a dermal piercing or have one removed, talk to your friends, search online for shops in your area that have positive reviews, interview piercers at well-rated local piercing shops and look at the dermal piercing pictures in their portfolios, or post in our forum for recommendations on talented piercers in your area.

Dermal Piercing Aftercare

When it comes to new dermal piercings, there are some things you definitely should do and other things you should absolutely avoid to ensure that your dermal piercing(s) heal beautifully. Use the following dermal piercing care suggestions as supplements to the dermal aftercare instructions your piercer gives you. These tips are only meant to complement your piercer’s advice, not replace it.Recovery Piercing Aftercare Spray for New Dermal Piercings

What to Do While Dermal Piercings Heal

  • DO Keep Your Dermal Piercings Clean. You should mist your dermal piercing with a quality saline rinse like Recovery Piercing Aftercare Spray 3-6 times per day during the dermal piercing healing process, which may take 6-12 weeks if you experience few or no problems along the way, and longer if you encounter any significant dermal piercing problems. You should also do two full sea salt solution soaks per day, using a series of clean cotton balls saturated with either a homemade sea salt solution (see instructions below) or piercing aftercare spray. Each full dermal piercing soak should last 5 minutes for optimal results.
  • DO Mind Your General Health. In addition to keeping your dermal piercing clean, it’s important to take care of yourself in general while your dermal piercing heals so that your immune system can focus its attention fully on healing your fistula (piercing hole) and generating new tissue growth around the dermal anchor base to secure it in place. That means eating nutritiously, getting plenty of quality sleep, minimizing stress, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, and generally practicing good hygiene, which includes washing your hands regularly and thoroughly to minimize the amount of bacteria that comes in contact with your dermal piercings, especially before doing your twice daily sea salt solution soaks. All of these things will help bolster your immune system, as will avoiding things like alcohol, nicotine, and elicit drugs, which are more apt to take a toll on your body and its ability to heal.
  • DO Avoid Traumatizing Your Healing Dermal Piercings. While dressing, be extra careful when putting on a shirt, pants, etc., that will come in contact with your dermal piercings to avoid snagging them and loosening the tissue that’s trying to grow around and secure your dermal anchors. Even just bumping a dermal top can be bad, because it can cause one side to tip below the edge of the fistula and get stuck beneath the skin, which would require a piercer’s help to correct. (Scroll down to the “Swelling & Displaced Dermal Tops” section below to see what this issue looks like.) It’s also important that any clothing that covers your dermal piercings be loose-fitting and breathable. For example, if you have a new hip dermal piercing, avoid skinny jeans and tight leggings, and if you have a new dermal on your neck, avoid tight turtleneck shirts and itchy or loosely-knitted cowl neck or turtleneck sweaters that may irritate the skin around your dermals or snag your dermal jewelry. Loose-fitting cotton clothing is the best option for any clothes that cover new dermal piercings.

What Not to Do While Dermal Piercings Heal

  • DON’T Thin Your Blood. New piercings of all types are prone to occasional bleeding, particularly during the first couple weeks of the healing process. Because of that, it’s important to avoid anything that may thin your blood and make it harder for your body to form blood clots, like aspirin, alcohol (which is also dehydrating), and excessive amounts of caffeine.
  • X-Pressions Extra Strength Antiseptic Piercing Aftercare Rinse by Tattoo Goo DON’T Let Bacteria Trigger a Piercing Problem. We come into contact with so many different types of foreign bacteria every day that it’s almost impossible to avoid it entirely unless you live in a completely sterile environment, which is unrealistic. However, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize the amount of bacteria that comes in contact with your healing dermal piercings. For instance, you can avoid soaking your piercings in baths and communal water like hot tubs and pools to prevent your new dermals from saturating in bacteria-filled water. (Showers are always a better option than baths when you have a healing dermal piercing.) You can also limit how much you touch your microdermal dermal piercings and forbid others from touching your dermal jewelry. You shouldn’t tinker with your dermal jewelry at all, but if you have to for some reason, only do it with freshly-washed or gloved hands. If “crusties” (clear lymph that’s typically excreted from all wounds and that dries to a whitish crust) form around your dermal piercing, never twist or turn your dermal top around to try to loosen them. Instead, mist the crust with piercing aftercare spray to soften it, and then gently wipe it away with a clean tissue or cotton swab.
  • DON’T Soap up Your Dermal Piercings Directly. It’s okay to let sudsy water run over your dermal piercings in the shower, but you shouldn’t soap them up directly with anything but a mild, fragrance-free soap, and then only occasionally if you feel it’s absolutely necessary to do so. Science has proven that sea salt solution is a much more effective tool for cleaning healing dermals. Salt is naturally present in our bodies down to the cellular level, so it’s one of the least foreign cleaners you can use to wash your healing dermal piercings. Plus, sea salt is a natural healer, so sea salt solution is always your best cleanser option during the dermal piercing healing process and whenever you experience dermal piercing problems. If you begin to develop a piercing problem like signs of an infected dermal piercing, you can add an antiseptic piercing aftercare product like Tattoo Goo’s X-Pressions Antiseptic Piercing Rinse or X-pressions Antiseptic Swabs to your daily cleaning regime. An antiseptic piercing cleanser will work much better than antibacterial soap, which is drying. For a more natural antiseptic alternative or as a supplement to an extra-strength antiseptic piercing rinse, you can either dilute 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in one cup of sea salt-infused sterile water when making homemade sea salt solution or apply a single drop of tea tree oil to a saline rinse-saturated cotton ball before applying it to one of your healing dermal piercings. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic and moisturizing properties that will soften the skin around your dermal piercings and prevent bacteria from settling into crevices in dry, cracked skin until it heals. Since it’s a natural antiseptic, it’s better to give diluted tea tree oil a try before incorporating an antiseptic piercing rinse or swab into your daily dermal piercing cleaning regime.
  • DON’T Apply Creams, Oils, Ointments, or Balms to Your Healing Piercings. These heavy products can clog your fistulas, potentially trapping in bacteria and leading to an infection. If the skin around one of your dermal piercing gets dry, try the tea tree oil trick described above instead. That way you’ll be diluting the oil in sea salt solution rather than plugging up your fistulas by applying pure oil or other thick moisturizers directly to your dry skin. You’ll find that one drop of tea tree oil added to a cotton ball saturated with piercing aftercare spray or 2-3 drops diluted in a cup of homemade sea salt solution will provide you with the perfect amount of tea ree oil to have a positive impact on your irritated skin.
  • DON’T Smoke, or at Least Minimize Your Nicotine Intake. If you’re a smoker, it’s hard to stop cold turkey just because you want your new piercing to heal faster. Smokenhot Wildvape Electronic Cigarettes | Shop for Other e-Cig Styles, Juice and Accessories Many people think it’s just the smoke that’s an issue, but that’s only the case with oral and certain facial piercings that would come in direct contact with smoke, which is just as drying as soap, if not more so. However, the greater issue is nicotine’s systemic effect on the body. It slows down your immune system’s ability to heal a wound like a fresh dermal piercing. If you can’t quit smoking entirely, cut back significantly or try using an e-cigarette with a lower-dose nicotine e-cig liquid, like one of our Smokenhot electronic cigarettes. (The Wildvape electronic cigarette option shown to the right is just one of 10+ options available in our Smokenhot line, giving you a range of options so you can find the best style of e-cig for you.) Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges with a lower nicotine content are other good alternatives. Reducing your nicotine intake in any way will help your new dermal piercings heal faster, even if that means having one or two real cigarettes a day and supplementing with an electronic cigarette and/or nicotine gum or lozenges in between.
  • DON’T Try to Change Your Dermal Tops Prematurely. It’s best to wait until at least three months after getting pierced before attempting to change your dermal top, if you’ve chosen dermal jewelry with removable dermal tops rather than skin divers. Even after waiting three months to allow your dermal piercings to fully heal, it’s best to have your piercer help you change your dermal tops for the first time. The tissue securing your dermal anchors in place will continue to thicken and reinforce over time, making it less likely that you’ll torque an anchor if you wait longer to try to change your dermal tops yourself. See our “How to Change Dermal Tops” section below for more tips on when and how to change your dermal tops by yourself, when you’re ready.

Making Your Own Sea Salt Solution & Simple Alternatives

Recovery Tea Tree Oil and Sea Salt From the Dead Sea Combo Packs Will Save You Money Making homemade sea salt solution is super easy if you have the right ingredients. Instead of table salt, which contains iodine, you’ll want to use 1/4 teaspoon of a high-quality sea salt like our Recovery Sea Salt From the Dead Sea for each one cup of sea salt solution you make. You’ll also need one cup of sterile water, which you can make yourself by bringing tap water to a roiling boil for 5 minutes to sterilize it. Once the sterile water is ready, stir the 1/4 tsp. of sea salt into the cup of sterile water until the salt is fully dissolved. Consider adding 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, too, to help prevent an infected dermal piercing and keep the skin around your dermal piercing soft, well-moisturized and as free of bacteria as possible. (Note: If you plan to use both sea salt and tea tree oil in your homemade sea salt solutions, be sure to check out our combo packs of Recovery Sea Salt & Tea Tree Oil to save money.) If you boiled tap water to sterilize it, wait until your sea salt solution cools to a comfortable temperature before applying it to your dermal piercing.

Tips for Busy People With New Dermals: If you want to make it more convenient to keep up with twice daily soaks, you can make a batch of sea salt solution ahead of time, store it in a clean, lidded plastic container, and stuff it full of cotton balls so they’re saturated and ready to use as soon as you need to do a full sea salt solution soak or apply a soaked cotton ball or two to an irritated dermal piercings. If you try this tip and want to incorporate tea tree oil, too, be sure to apply just 2-3 drops per one cup of sterile water and 1/4 tsp. sea salt that you prepare ahead.

regular piercing aftercare spray will work just fine, too, If you’d rather not make your own sea salt solution at all. The important thing is how you apply it. Before doing your soak, grab a handful of fresh cotton balls. Saturate one with saline rinse, apply a single drop of tea tree oil to it as desired, and hold it gently against your dermal for 30-60 seconds. Toss it, and repeat the process with a series of fresh saline- and tea tree oil-soaked cotton balls until you’ve soaked your dermal piercing for a total of 5 minutes.

Dermal Piercing Problems

There are a number of different problems that can occur during the dermal piercing healing process or that may crop up even later, once your dermal piercing is fully healed. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these issues and their potential solutions so that you can identify problems quickly and address them appropriately, as needed.

Swelling & Displaced Dermal Tops

Dermal Piercings Swallowed by the Fistulas (Photo Complements of Occasionally people have posted in our forum explaining that somehow one side of their dermal tops got stuck beneath one edge of their dermal piercing fistulas, and they’re not sure what to do to rectify the situation. The photo to the right is a great example of this issue; you can see how both of this person’s dermal tops have tipped beneath the bottom edges of their dermal piercing fistulas and gotten trapped at an undesirable angle. If this happens to you, it’s best to visit your piercer right away to see if s/he can straighten out the problem for you before it becomes a permanent or more serious issue.

This kind of problem is most often due to some degree of swelling that’s caused the fistula to “swallow” one edge of a dermal top. Although there may occasionally be other causes at play, the solutions are typically the same. You may need to have your standard dermal top temporarily replaced with a healing post until the swelling subsides. In the event that the dermal anchor has become dislodged from its original placement, your piercer may need to use a special dermal tool to straighten out the dermal’s placement before your dermis locks the anchor into a poorly-placed position. Worst case scenario, s/he may have to replace the dermal anchor itself with one that has a taller post (higher rise), but adding14g-12g Dermal Piercing Extension Posts Will Allow Your Dermal Piercing to Heal Without Swallowing Your Dermal Top a dermal piercing extension post (see example to left) to your current dermal anchor may be just as effective. The extender would make it so that your dermal top sits a couple millimeters above the surface of your skin while your dermal piercing heals and the swelling subsides.

What You Can Do to Reduce Swelling

If you believe that swelling is at the root of your displaced dermal and can tolerate a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like acetaminophen (name brand: Tylenol), try taking a dose and see if it helps reduce the swelling around your dermal piercing. Ibuprofen (name brand: Advil) could also be used and may be more effective than acetaminophen for reducing swelling. However, ibuprofen can cause additional bruising around your new piercing that may be unsightly, but it will subside with time. The one anti-inflammatory drug you absolutely should not use is aspirin, which can thin your blood, making it harder for your body to form clots if your dermal piercing bleeds occasionally.

In addition to taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, you can gently apply a clean washcloth to your dermal that’s been soaked in cold water and rung out to help minimize swelling around your piercing. Just don’t use a single washcloth for more than one application. Alternatively, you could get a small gel cold pack (which tend to not get as freezing cold as ice), wrap the cold pack with a thin, clean cloth or paper towel, and apply it to your dermal piercing for 10-15 minutes at a time. Don’t leave it on too long, because over-exposure to cold can also be damaging to your irritated skin.

Migration & Rejection of Dermal Jewelry

As discussed in our “Potential Migration & Rejection Issues” section towards the top of this guide, dermal piercings are a type of surface piercing, which makes them more prone to be pushed out by your body as it works to heal your piercing wound. It’s very natural for the body to want to push any foreign object up and out, which is why it’s Photo of a Rejecting Dermal Piercing, From the Piercing Bible Website important to have your dermal piercing placed at an appropriate depth well into the dermis (secondary layer of skin) below the epidermis (top layer of skin). It’s also critical that you perform regular, proper dermal piercing care and avoid irritants like wearing overly-tight clothing to combat your body’s natural desire to push out your new dermal piercing.

Even if you do everything right, you may find that your dermal piercing begins to migrate out over time. If you notice that the dermal top is sitting increasingly higher above the surface of your skin compared to when you were first pierced, go see your piercer before the dermal is entirely rejected. S/he may be able to make some adjustments to the placement that will secure your dermal anchor better. If your piercer can’t do anything to stop the rejection process, s/he may suggest removing your piercing, letting the fistula heal up, and trying again at a later date and/or in a different location that’s meatier and that will allow your piercer to place your next dermal anchor more deeply beneath the surface of your skin.

Infected Dermal Piercings

With so many different potential dermal piercing problems, it may be hard to differentiate between a true dermal piercing infection and, say, irritated skin caused by your dermal jewelry migrating out. The primary signs of an infected dermal piercing are red streaks radiating from the piercing site and/or general redness around it, discharge of thick, yellow pus instead of just clear lymph that dries to a whitish crust, skin around the piercing site that’s hot to the touch, and in extreme cases, fever. Infected Dermal Piercing Picture Complements of Website Any or all of these symptoms may also present with some degree of swelling at the piercing site.

If you suspect you’re developing a dermal piercing infection, ramp up your aftercare regime ASAP. Instead of two full sea salt solution soaks per day, do three, and add tea tree oil to your cleanings if you haven’t already been doing that. In between full soaks and your 3-6 daily piercing aftercare spray applications, cleanse your dermal piercing with an antiseptic piercing rinse or wipe around it gently with an antiseptic piercing swab once or twice a day. Don’t apply the antiseptic immediately before or after a sea salt solution rinse or aftercare spray spritz, though, or you’ll negate the benefits of the sea salt solution, the antiseptic rinse, or both. Put some time in between each different treatment for optimal results.

You should see improvements after a few days to a week of ramping up your aftercare regime, but if you don’t or your signs of infection get worse at any point, visit your family physician right away. S/he will be able to prescribe an antibiotic if one is needed. If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, make sure to take the full course and to keep up with your aftercare regime while you take the antibiotic. Contrary to what your doctor may say about removing your dermal jewelry, it’s actually better to leave it in while taking an antibiotic. Removing your jewelry prematurely could trigger an abscess to develop. If you want to remove your dermal piercing, though, have your piercer do it for you the proper way for a nominal fee. Once the jewelry is out, keep up with your dermal piercing care routine while the fistula closes to keep it flushed of debris and bacteria. Do not attempt to apply any scar therapy treatments to your fistula until it’s fully closed, which will take time.Hypergranulation Ring Around an Irritated Dermal Piercing

Hypergranulation Around a Dermal Piercing

Hypergranulation is a very common problem with many different types of piercings that’s usually the result of a combination of pressure and moisture. Together, these issues may cause either a taut, dark/reddish or brownish bump that appears fluid-filled to crop up along one side of a dermal piercing, or they may cause a ring of puffy, angry-red tissue to form in a circle around the dermal piercing. The photos shown in this section illustrate both ways a hypergranulation issue can manifest around a problematic dermal piercing–either in a circular fashion, as shown in the image to the right, or in the form of bumps alongside a dermal piercing, as shown in the two photos below.

The coloring and texture of hypergranulations often lead people to mistakenly believe they’re developing keloid scars when that’s rarely the case. Although keloids may have a similar appearance to hypergranulations, they have a few distinct differences. For one, a keloid scar will continue to grow out of control well beyond a piercing site, rather than staying close to the fistula the way that a hypergranulation issue will. Dermal Piercing Hypergranulation Issues Additionally, keloid scars are hereditary issues that impact a very small percentage of the population. When the issue first crops up, talk to your piercer before assuming you’re developing a keloid and need to see a dermatologist. Your piercer can insert a healing post or a dermal piercing extension post to address any pressure issues present, which are typically caused by swelling more so than moisture in the case of dermal piercings. You’ll also need to ramp up your dermal piercing care regime in the manner detailed in our “Infected Dermal Piercings” section. Additionally, think about the type of clothing you’ve been wearing and if it may be putting undue pressure on your healing dermal piercing. A tight waistband or other constrictive clothing is liable to make you sweat more in that area in addition to putting additional pressure on your healing dermal piercing. Before and After Photos Showing How a Hypergranulation Formed by a New Dermal Piercing The added moisture combined with any swelling you’ve been experiencing are a recipe for a hypergranulation issue to develop.

If you take the steps above to address your hypergranulation problem, the issue should subside within the first couple weeks of changing your jewelry and ramping up your dermal piercing aftercare routine. If you continue to have problems, you might also consider gently blotting the area around your dermal piercing with a clean tissue a few minutes after doing sea salt solution soaks, showering, and doing anything else that leaves a wet residue behind. Should the problem persist even after taking that step, keep an eye out for any movement in your jewelry. If it turns out the real issue is that your dermal piercing is being rejected and changing your top to a healing or extended post and ramping up your aftercare regime aren’t helping, you may have to ask your piercer to remove your dermal jewelry for the time being and try getting one again later, possibly in a different location.

Dermal Piercing Scars

Minor Facial Atrophic Scar From Dermal Piercing Removal Unfortunately, scarring is a common problem with dermal piercings, particularly after they’ve been removed. If you have a talented professional piercer remove your dermal piercings for you, you’ll hopefully just end up with a minor atrophic scar, which is a recessed scar characterized by the way the new tissue doesn’t completely fill the hole where the removed dermal anchor was once positioned (see the example in the photo to the left). Some people do end up with hypertrophic scars instead, where the scar tissue is raised either in a ring around the fistula or completely covering the hole where the piercing was. Both atrophic scars and hypertrophic scars tend to be fairly skin-tone in color once they’re fully established, unlike the rarer third type of scar, called keloid scars. Keloid scars are characterized by their taut, almost fluid-filled appearance, their dark reddish-brown coloring, and the way they continue to grow well beyond a piercing site. As mentioned earlier, keloid scars are rare; only a small percentage of the population develop them, and usually those who do know well in advance of ever getting a piercing if they’re prone to keloid scars. Keloids are a hereditary issue, so if someone in your immediate family gets them, you may be prone to them, too. If you know you’re prone to developing keloid scars, it’s best to avoid all piercings, and especially dermals.Dermal Piercing Hypergranulation Scar

Since removed dermal piercings tend to leave some form of scarring, think carefully before having one inserted in a highly-visible place like your face. There are scar therapy treatments available, but they aren’t always 100% effective and they take time to work. In the case of atrophic scars and hypertrophic scars, your best bets are silicone scar therapy gel or jojoba oil, if you want to use a more natural scar treatment. With either option, you should massage the gel or oil into your scar tissue twice a day for as many weeks or months as it takes to sufficiently minimize your scar, if not remove it entirely. Keloid scars, on the other hand, need to be addressed by a dermatologist. Jojoba Oil Can Be an Effective Dermal Scar Therapy Treatment for Hypertrophic and Atrophic Scars They can be removed cryogenically (by freezing them off), using corticosteroid injections to shrink them, with a laser, surgically, or with a combination of treatments that may also include using a silicone scar therapy gel or jojoba oil at home.

How to Change Dermal Tops

After you’ve gone through the 6-12 week dermal piercing healing process, it’s still best to wait until a little past the 3-month mark to have your dermal top replaced. That way you’ll be well past the time when most dermal piercing problems tend to occur. Note that it’s always possible to have a flare-up of swelling and other irritations even after you’ve had a dermal piercing for many months or even years, but most problems (with the exception of scarring) are likely to crop up early on in the dermal piercing healing process.

When you’re ready to change your dermal jewelry for the first time, definitely ask your piercer to do it for you. Your fistula, while healed, will still be tender and easily irritated. Unlike other piercing holes, dermal fistulas may also be damaged enough to loosen the dermis’ hold on your dermal anchor, which would mean starting the healing process all over again. That’s why we highly recommend having your piercer change your dermal jewelry for you until you’ve given your dermal piercing fistula a bit more time to strengthen and reinforce–say 6 months to a year.World's Thinnest Dermal Anchor Holder Tool - Great for Changing Dermal Tops

The first time you change your dermal top yourself, it’s best to use a special tool to hold your dermal anchor in place while you unscrew your dermal top. There are a variety of dermal forceps available for this purpose, but the best by far is our World’s Thinnest Microdermal Surface Anchor Holder Tool, shown to the right. Simply slide the forked end under your dermal top/around your dermal anchor post, clamp the ends together, and use the handle to hold your dermal anchor steady while you unscrew your current dermal top and replace it with a new one. The video below shows you exactly how to change dermal tops using this fabulous little dermal piercing tool.

Jeweled Dermal Tops Your Dermal Jewelry Options

In the “Starter Dermal Jewelry Options” section towards the beginning of this guide, we discussed the different types of dermal piercing bases you can choose from before getting pierced and touched briefly on starter dermal tops. Once your dermal piercing is well-healed, you shouldn’t have to worry about dermal anchors again, but you’ll have tons of options for unique dermal tops that you can change in and out as you please to suit your mood or match your outfits and other jewelry. Jewel-Eyed Skull Dermal Tops You can view our full selection in our Dermal Tops section, where you’ll find cool dermal tops for men and women like the examples shown here.

More Dermal Piercing Info

If you’re looking for additional information about dermal piercings, dermal piercing pictures, or help from our knowledgeable moderators or other forum members who have dermal piercing experience, check out the Information Center articles, blog posts, gallery, and forum links below. You’ll need to sign up for a Painful Pleasures account to take full advantage of our forum and gallery. For instance, you can read other people’s posts in the forum and view most pictures in the gallery without being logged in, but you’ll need to sign in to post your own questions in the forum, view mature content in the gallery, like other people’s forum posts and gallery photos, comment on pictures, and so on. For help getting the most out of the gallery and forum, check out our How to Use the Forum and How to Use the Gallery articles.

Helpful Dermal Piercing & Related Links:Facial Dermal Piercings Performed by Russian Body Mod Artist Arseniy Andersson, from the Painful Pleasures Gallery

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