This blog post is going to focus on surface piercings and surface bars in general.
The most common placement for surface bars is the nape (back of neck) but they can and have been placed everywhere and anywhere i.e.: hips, wrist, face, tragus etc. etc.
Surface bars have been going around for quite some time now and I get requests for them almost every single day but what a lot of people don’t know, and in a lot of cases aren’t told, surface bars are pretty much a temporary piercing. As everything there are of course exceptions, but in most cases (almost all as the percentage is so high) the surface bar will reject. Why you ask?
Well, there is a major design flaw in the surface bars. Explained simply, an eyebrow piercing is a surface piercing, but the reason it works and other surface bars don’t is because the eyebrow bar is curved in opposition to the natural curve of the eyebrow. The curve of the eyebrow going the opposite way to the curve of the bar means they kind of work together, in some cases the eyebrow piercing can also reject but that’s mainly down to placement. Like the end of eyebrow closest to the ear is flat and if the piercer places the piercing there it is likely to reject.
Surface bars are flat, at least the best one (the staple bar) is. The curved ones or the plastic ones are not recommended, but are still widely used (please go to a professional). The flat ones are a better design but as I have said they are still flawed which leads to them rejecting. The time frame for this is anywhere from 2 months to 2 years, some last longer but usually within the first 2 years that bar is finito, if you look at the picture above that i got off google images, this bar has rejected right up to the top layer of skin, i would give this bar about 3 weeks to full rejection.
So, are there other options?
Dermal anchors are the only other option, the best option. Reason being, Dermals are permanent if done right with the correct after care, but you can also get them taken out at any time here in the shop. The reason Dermals are the better option is due the holes, if you look at the base of the anchor there are holes in it (my dermal of choice has 3). What happens during the healing process, which doesn’t happen with the surface bars, is your skin grows around the Dermals and in through the holes locking it in place and if properly taken care of they will stay there flat to the skin. As with the bars there are exceptions to this, but these are by far the better option.
I will go into a bit more detail on the healing of both, once the Dermals are put in you are looking at about 8 weeks to fully heal, so not much longer than any other piercing. They must be regularly cleaned and minded for that whole time while also making sure they are kept straight and flat. The top cannot be changed until the piercing is fully healed. Once healed, like any other piercing, they will have to be regularly checked and taken care of. A knock, a bang or some dirt can in any case irritate any piercing and the same goes for Dermals.
The surface bars when done obviously have to heal before changing the balls and need to be cleaned just as much as the Dermals but the main difference is the redness. Any piercing goes red when healing, (sometimes an array of other colours also) redness is normal, but they never really loose the redness. This is because it’s never really fully healed. What’s happening is the body has recognized this foreign object that’s the wrong shape and instead of adapting to it and healing around it like it does with the Dermals, its pushing the bar out of the body. This isn’t painful, but it is as awful as it sounds. If you let it push its way out fully it will leave a nasty scar. The biggest issue with it not healing properly is that it is pretty much an open wound on the inside from the day you get it until 6 weeks from the day its gone (regardless of whether it has been removed or fully rejected) leaving it vulnerable to infection.
I’ve been reading recently about a person that got a bad infection in theirs which lead to them needing an a procedure to remove the infection. Now, this was quite a bad case and the papers did what they usually do by over exaggerating a story without actually even going into any real facts, but this kind of thing can be avoided so it never should have happened. The one thing the papers did say is the person researched the piercing before getting it and seen a lot of negative things about it, but got it anyway…
Look, I explain all the above to people too and some still choose the surface bar (mainly due to price, the Dermals are more expensive) but the severity of that case was a very isolated incident.
Surface bars have been going around for 30+ years and that’s the very first time I’ve ever heard anything like this.
It did say this person had been diagnosed with an infection by the doctor so I’d love to know if they were prescribed an antibiotic or told to remove the bar and didnt? I have had hundreds of people refuse to remove the bar when I explained to them that the bar they have (done elsewhere) is rejecting and will eventually push all the way out. They think that having a piercing there for as long as possible is better than having none there at all which is utter madness to be fair. In their case its fairly straight forward enough that with any piercing if it’s gotten abused in anyway or a piece of dirt got into it an infection can occur, it’s the exact same as an eye lid, or a toenail or anything. Ever just get a random tooth infection? Was it the dentists fault or a random occurrence?
In any effect, regardless of what ever piercing you have or get, please keep it clean, If at any point it gets sore or red or itchy, go back to cleaning it as if it is a new piercing. Every week or so just give it a proper inspection to make sure it’s doing ok, a piece of dirt or a knock removing a jacket or jumper can irritate any piercing at any time. If you’re really concerned go to a professional piercer for advice. Just consider if you are willing to do all that before getting any piercing. if not maybe a piercing isn’t for you?
And if any journalist does want to fully cover all the facts about piercings give me a shout no bother, but I can’t see any click bait pretend journalists ever fully investigating facts before writing about that subject……… 🙂