Surface Piercing

Surface piercing is a unique form of body art where the jewelry enters and exits through the same plane of the skin. It lays flat against the body instead of piercing through a body part completely, like earlobes or nostrils.

Unlike traditional piercings that go through a specific body part, surface piercings can be placed almost anywhere on the body. You can get your surface piercing on the nape of the neck, the chest, hips, and the wrist area. This type of piercing requires special jewelry, typically a surface bar with two 90-degree angled ends, to reduce the risk of the body rejecting the piercing.

So yes, there are some key points that you must know before getting a surface piercing. Scroll down to everything about surface piercing including the procedure, healing, pain, aftercare, etc.

Who Shouldn’t Get A Surface Piercing?

Surface piercing is not the best option for every individual due to higher risks of complications or difficulties in healing. These include:

  • People with Sensitive Skin or Allergies: Individuals prone to skin irritations, allergic reactions, or dermatological conditions like eczema or psoriasis might experience more complications with surface piercings.
  • Those with a Tendency to Scar: If you are prone to keloids or hypertrophic scarring, surface piercings might not be ideal as they can aggravate this condition.
  • Active Lifestyle or Physical Job: People engaged in sports, physical work, or activities that involve a lot of movement and contact might find it challenging to maintain a surface piercing. The risk of snagging, pulling, and applying pressure can lead to rejection or migration of the piercing.
  • Poor Healers: If your body tends to heal slowly or poorly from wounds or other types of piercings, a surface piercing, which requires more meticulous care and longer healing times, may not be suitable
  • Those with a High Risk of Infection: Individuals with immune system issues or a history of frequent infections should be cautious. Surface piercings are more prone to infections due to their placement.

Surface Piercing Back

What Are The Varieties of Surface Piercing?

You can try out different surface piercings such as Nape piercing, Chest piercing, Hip piercing, etc. Let’s go through the details.

1. Nape Piercing

Nape piercings are located at the back of the neck. This type is discreet yet intriguing, often seen when hair is up or when wearing lower-neck clothing. It’s an eye-catching choice that can range from subtle to dramatic, depending on the jewelry used.

Be careful when using hair products and clothing to avoid irritation. Nape piercings can be prone to movement and snagging, so it’s a must to follow a strict aftercare regimen.

They make a unique statement but require a commitment to proper healing and maintenance.

2. Hip Piercing

Hip piercings are surface piercings placed near the hip bone, often in pairs to create symmetry. They’re popular for their aesthetic appeal, especially in swimwear or low-rise clothing.

However, due to their location, they are prone to snagging and movement, which can lead to a higher rejection rate.

These piercings require diligent care and cleaning, and wearing loose-fitting clothes during the healing process is advisable to minimize pressure and friction.

3. Chest Piercing

Chest piercings, typically located between or around the pectoral muscles, add a bold and edgy look.

They can be a single piercing or multiple arranged in patterns. The flat surface of the chest makes it a suitable area for surface piercings, but care must be taken to reduce the risk of clothing friction and pressure.

Please note that chest piercings require careful cleaning and maintenance, and it’s essential to monitor them closely for signs of rejection or infection.

4. Wrist Piercing

Wrist piercings are placed on the surface of the wrist and are quite visible, making them a popular choice for those who want their piercings to be noticed. These piercings can range from a single bar to a series of piercings creating a bracelet-like effect.

However, due to the frequent movement and exposure of the wrists, these piercings can be prone to irritation and rejection.

5. Collarbone Piercing

Collarbone piercings, also known as clavicle piercings, are placed just above the collarbone, creating a subtle yet striking effect.

They can be a single piercing or symmetrical pairs. This type offers an elegant look but requires careful placement to avoid movement and snagging on clothing. They’re particularly prone to irritation from bag straps or seatbelts, so caution is needed.

The cost for collarbone piercings varies, typically ranging from $50 to $100.

6. Corset Piercing

Corset piercings are a series of surface piercings arranged along the back, sides, or even the arms, resembling the lacing of a corset.

They’re often more decorative and not intended for long-term wear. Due to the number of piercings involved, they require meticulous aftercare and are more susceptible to complications like rejection and infection.

The cost can be quite high, often ranging from $150 to $400 or more, depending on the number of piercings.

7. Eyebrow Piercing

While technically a surface piercing, eyebrow piercings are one of the more common types. They’re usually placed at the end of the eyebrow and can be horizontal or vertical.

The eyebrow area heals relatively well, but the piercing can still be prone to migration or rejection. The cost of an eyebrow piercing generally ranges from $30 to $70.

Hip Surface Piercing
Hip Surface Piercing

Jewelry Suggestions for Surface Piercing

Surface piercings require specific types of jewelry to make sure of proper healing and eliminate the risk of rejection. Here are some popular options, along with their general price ranges and best material choices:

1. Surface Bars

Description: Specifically designed for surface piercings, these bars have a flat, staple-like shape with 90-degree angled ends to sit flush against the skin.

Price Range: $20 – $50

Best Materials: Titanium or surgical-grade stainless steel are ideal due to their hypoallergenic and durable properties.

2. Dermal Anchors

Description: Although technically a form of microdermal piercing, dermal anchors can be used in pairs for a surface piercing effect. They consist of a flat plate that sits under the skin with a single visible end that protrudes through the skin.

Price Range: $30 – $70

Best Materials: Titanium is preferred for its lightweight and hypoallergenic qualities, though medical-grade stainless steel is also a good option.

3. Curved Barbells

Description: These are less common for surface piercings but can be used in certain locations. They are curved bars with a bead on each end.

Price Range: $15 – $40

Best Materials: Titanium, stainless steel, or even biocompatible plastics are suitable, especially for initial piercings.

4. Flexible Bars or Bioplast Barbells

Description: These are flexible bars that can conform to the body’s movement, making them a comfortable option, especially for areas prone to movement.

Price Range: $10 – $30

Best Materials: Bioplast or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) are ideal as they are flexible and reduce stress on the piercing.

Is The Process of Surface Piercing More Difficult?

Yes, the procedure of surface piercing is indeed more challenging than traditional piercings, primarily due to the nature of the piercing and the skin’s surface. There are some other reasons included:

1. Why It’s More Difficult

  • Risk of Rejection and Migration: The body often treats surface piercings as foreign objects more than traditional piercings, leading to a higher chance of rejection or migration.
  • Skin Tension: Surface piercings are placed on flat areas of the body where the skin is more likely to move and stretch, complicating healing.
  • Precision Requirement: Accurate placement and angle are critical. Incorrect execution can lead to quick rejection or healing issues.
  • Aftercare Complexity: Surface piercings require meticulous aftercare, as they are more prone to infection and irritation due to their placement.

Therefore, you cannot skip the part of looking for an expert piercer. The piercing studio must be clean and the piercer should have a decent reputation for what he does.

2. Surface Piercing Procedure

  • Consultation: Like any piercing, it starts with a consultation where the piercer discusses the desired location and type of jewelry. This step is crucial for surface piercings to ensure the chosen area is suitable.
  • Marking and Measuring: The piercer carefully marks the entry and exit points on the skin’s surface. Precision is key to ensuring the piercing is viable and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Surface and Skin Preparation: The area is cleaned and sterilized to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Piercing: A hollow needle is used to create a path between the marked points. Unlike traditional piercings, the needle doesn’t pass through a natural hole or fold of the body.
  • Inserting the Jewelry: A surface bar, specifically designed for this type of piercing, is inserted. The bar’s ends sit flush against the skin, reducing movement and the chance of rejection.

How Challenging Is The Healing Stage of Surface Piercing?

The healing stages of surface piercings can be quite challenging, often more so than traditional piercings. This is due to their unique placement and the way the body responds to them.

1. Initial Healing Phase

Duration: The initial healing phase can last anywhere from 4 weeks to several months, depending on the body’s response and the piercing’s location.

Sensitivity and Swelling: Immediately after the piercing, expect redness, swelling, and tenderness. This is normal but can be more pronounced in surface piercings due to the tension on the skin.

Risk of Infection: Surface piercings are more exposed and prone to bacteria, making them more susceptible to infection, especially in the early stages.

2. Intermediate Phase

Duration: This can last several months to a year.

Decreasing Symptoms: Swelling and redness should gradually subside. However, the area may still be sensitive, particularly to pressure or snagging.

Ongoing Care: Continued rigorous hygiene and care are necessary. Even as symptoms reduce, the piercing is not yet fully healed and still at risk for complications.

3. Full Healing

Duration: It can take a year or more for a surface piercing to fully heal.

Fragility: Even fully healed surface piercings can be fragile and prone to issues like migration or rejection over time.

Long-Term Care: Good hygiene and regular monitoring remain important to maintain the health of the piercing.

Aftercare Instructions for Surface Piercing

Aftercare is a can’t-miss step of any kind of piercing. You should be 100% careful throughout the process as a negligent aftercare can give you the worst result. Here’s a complete aftercare guide for you.

Clean Regularly, But Gently: Consider using a mild soap (fragrance-free) or saline solution for cleaning the piercing twice a day. Gently apply the solution using a clean cotton swab, avoiding aggressive rubbing. This keeps the area free of harmful bacteria without irritating the skin.

Avoid Touching or Twisting: It’s tempting to fiddle with your new piercing but please, resist the urge. Touching it with your dirty hands can invite bacteria, and twisting or turning the jewelry can irritate the piercing and disrupt the healing process.

Avoid Pressure on the Piercing: Be mindful of any activities that might apply pressure or stress to the piercing area. This includes sleeping on the piercing or wearing tight clothing and accessories over it.

Be Careful with Exercise: Physical activities, especially contact sports or exercises involving stretching and friction near the piercing area, should be minimized or adjusted to avoid impact and irritation.

Stay Clean, but Be Gentle: When showering, let water gently flow over the piercing. Avoid direct high-pressure water in the area. After showering, pat the area dry with a clean, disposable paper product rather than a towel, which may harbour bacteria.

Minimize Sun Exposure: Direct sunlight or tanning beds can irritate the piercing, especially during the initial healing phase. If you need to be in the sun, cover the piercing with a clean, breathable material.

Last Thoughts

So, that’s all about surface piercing. Hopefully, we can help you understand the ins and outs of surface piercing.

With various placement options like the nape, hips, chest, and wrist, surface piercings offer the best piercing experience. However, they require careful consideration due to higher risks of rejection and infection.

Choosing the right jewelry, such as surface bars or dermal anchors, and adhering to a strict aftercare routine is crucial for successful healing. Always talk to an expert piercer and be patient with the healing process.

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