Dermal Anchors     

Micro dermal Anchors
I'm giving micro dermal anchors their own page because they don't, strictly, fall into the category of piercing. This page will explain what they are, how they are placed, how to look after them and the risks involved.

Surface Piercing
For some time now piercers around the world have been performing surface piercing, with varying degrees of success, on areas of the body that would, traditionally, not be suitable for piercing. This has been accomplished due to the recent advances in jewellery material and design which allows for natural skin regeneration to take place without putting strain on the piercing. I have been using staple shaped bars with huge success.
Even with these advances in jewellery and technique, surface piercing is still very 'hit and miss'. A hard knock or rubbing from clothes can cause rejection and quite severe scarring.

Development of single point piercing
A piercer in New York, US came up with the idea for a prototype dermal anchor, which was a flattened bar with a right angle, but these would slip out really easily. It was found that a small 'heel' added to the bar at the back would ensure that the anchor would be less likely to slip out.
These 'Dermal anchors' were rather large and needed to be placed by cutting the skin with a scalpel or a dermal punch. Over time these have been made smaller so that they can be placed using an ordinary piercing needle. This is what we have now come to know as 'Micro dermal Anchors'.

Micro dermal anchors
Micro dermal anchors are not an implant and they are not a piercing. They are a hybrid of these. Otherwise known as 'micro dermal', 'dermal anchor' and 'single point piercing', they open a whole world of choice for decorating areas of the body that wouldn't normally heal surface piercings.
I have spent many months researching micro dermal anchors to ascertain the best method for both placement and removal. It's important to take removal into account, as it's not just a matter of undoing the jewellery and taking it out like you would with a piercing. When you need to remove a micro dermal anchor, it has to be cut out.

The procedure for placement of Micro dermal anchors is actually quite simple, providing the piercer has plenty of experience of surface piercing, as it is just half of a surface piercing. It's important to get all the angles correct or the anchor won't sit level. It's also vital that the anchor sits at the right depth. If it's placed too deep - it will embed. If it's placed too shallow - it will migrate. The sensation of the piercing is best described as - a slight stinging sensation during the piercing with a lot of tugging and pulling to get the jewellery in. The tugging and pulling doesn't hurt, it just feels very odd. There will be a slight ache or a feeling of tenderness afterwards and then there should be no discomfort at all as long as it is cared for properly.
A mepore dressing will be used to cover the micro dermal. This will need to be removed after about 3 hours. You may find a small amount of bleeding or some bruising during the first couple of days. This is perfectly normal so don't worry.
A sea-salt solution is used to clean the anchor just twice a day for two weeks. Don't be tempted to over clean the anchor as this will upset it. Be very aware of clothing etc. During the early healing stage it’s very easy to catch the anchor and to pull it out.

Jewellery change and removal.
The disk on the anchor threads into a post attached to the base. The base needs to be secure so that the disks can be unthreaded. If healing goes well this usually takes 3 to 5 months. If you are replacing the disk with something that can be caught, like a ball or spike, it is best to wait at least 6 months.
Removal of the jewellery is quite difficult and can be a little uncomfortable. Micro dermal anchors are intended to be permanent, but can be removed by cutting a small slit with the edge of a piercing needle in just the right place. Removal of a micro dermal anchor can cause scarring if it's not done correctly, so you need to think very carefully about placement before you agree to it.

Risk assessment
There is a greater risk from micro dermal anchor procedures than from piercing. It is vital that you check your piercers credentials before you agree to the procedure in order that you can reduce the risks involved.
There is a risk that a poorly trained, poorly experienced piercer with a poor knowledge of anatomy could damage the tissues under the skin. There are major nerves and blood vessels just underneath the area where micro dermal anchors are placed. If they are placed too deep they will damage nerves and blood vessels and could even embed (pull into the skin altogether), needing surgery for removal.