The jewel under my hair
What's that little thing on the back of your neck?
This is the question I get almost every day now. Dermal pierces, "dermals" or micro-dermal implants are still very new to Romania, but an old story for other places. Today, I'm planning on answering the most frequent questions I got about my pierce and hope to give you the best advice possible if you're thinking on getting one yourself.
Good! Great! Let's get to it!
First, I really want to lay out the fact that I'm no expert in piercing, nor do I have much experience with them. I'm only going to talk about the knowledge I gathered by having one myself.
What the heck is that?
Well, it's called a dermal piercing, which means it's a pierce put inside the skin tissue. While (almost) all pierces just go through the skin, the difference with this one, is that there is nothing popping out on the other side of it to keep it still, so to speak. It is more of an implant than anything else.
No way! But how does it stay in?
Now, while it does look like it's just a little gem glued to the skin, it's hardly as simple. The body of the pierce has a "T" shape. The upper part goes inside the skin, revealing just the shiny top for the viewer on the surface. To be more precise, it is built out of two pieces, one is called the anchor, which does exactly that, it anchors the surface pierce in place. The other part is the jewellery, which is then screwed in the anchor.
The "feet" of the anchor go deep after the skin tissue, through a portion of the fat from underneath the skin. The deeper it goes, the less you have to worry about your body pushing it out.
How is the procedure like?
First you have to decide where you want to have it. The surface must be flat and without any joints, so that you don't harm yourself and your body won't reject it.
After you picked the right spot, it is going to be drawn over with a surgical marker. You can then double check in the mirror if it still feels right. Now this is where I had a lot of trouble, haha. The back of my neck is pretty hard for me to see, so I got my buddies and my lover there with me, to make sure the artist is doing things right.
The next part is called a "dermal punch". Imagine a metal drinking straw. Can you see it? Well after the skin is sterilised, the place where the pierce is supposed to come is cut open with an appropriate knife. The feeling is very intense, almost as if the skin is burning, then all of the sudden, all the pressure seems to be out.
Here comes this straw I'm talking about! It's being inserted in the tissue right inside with a push. It will extract a few millimetres of your tissue, where the anchor is then put into place.
The area is cleaned up and sealed tightly, so that the pierce won't accidentally be pulled out by any outer element.
Did it hurt?
I swear it hurt like hell. Seriously, it was awful. I still don't know why there isn't any local anaesthetics used in the area, but I'm hoping to find out when I get the chance to talk to someone else. I feel I deserve an explanation here!
To be honest, if I would have known how bad it was going to hurt, I would never have done it.
Oh, sorry, I only meant the procedure. That was the real pain. Right after I left the salon, less than 1 minute after having the little surgery, I was already touching it and it felt alright. Sort of like a pimple you have just picked on. Now, it may also be different from one body part to another. The area I selected was easier because, 1 I couldn't look. ( imagine the horror! ), 2 there are not that many nerve endings at the tip of the skin, compared to the nipples, for example.
Can you get them anywhere on the body?
The most popular spots are probably around the collar bones, the face, those two little dots on the lower back, the hands and fingers.
You'll find a bunch of pictures on Pinterest if you start looking. Then again, not all of those place are recommendable.
As I already mentioned, the area has to be flat and not too flexible.
You can't have them on the hands where the skin is always moving, for example. I mean, you can, but it's very risky. All the people I've talked to before having my pierce, have warned me about having one on my wrist. Actually, the guy that made mine, refused to do one on the hands right in front of me. He didn't want to take responsibility on something he knew better.
Now, there's something else you also need to consider. After you're going to have the pierce, you're going to notice there's a very high risk of having things like clothes, hair and so on, get stuck into it. If you're not paying attention, it may rip your skin out. ARGH! NO. We don't want that!
I though mine would be very, very safe. Soon after having it, I noticed there where more aspects I never have considered before. For example:
When I blow-dry my hair, I always have to be careful to not point the warm air towards it. Metal heats up more easily than skin does, so it may burn the skin from the inside out. Thank God it never happened, but it can and if you're going to have one, you really have to be mature about it.
From that, to having extra care when wrapping my hair in a towel, to brushing it slowly in the back, to reminding Andrei not to grab my neck in a too sexy manner. The gym is also a tricky place to exercise, since I can hardly squat with weights on my shoulders without pushing too hard on my pierce.
The worst time I remember, was having one of my turtlenecks get caught up into it. Now, it did hurt a bit, but the pierce was already healed so there was no big risk of having it come out.
On the other hand, remember I told you I went to get the pierce with two other girlfriends of mine? I talked about in my post about America. Well, we all decided to take one each, together, in fabulous San Francisco. It was just a spark of craziness and courage we had in the moment.
By then, it was by far the coolest memory I could think of. At least until I was fainting in front of Andrei because of the pain. Oh, I can still see his worried face look out for me, cursing himself that he let me do it. What a sweetheart! I actually think he was hurting more than I did, just by having to watch me go through it.
Yeah, and I almost fainted too, like twice. Hahaha, so much about courage!
Anyhow, what I actually point out was, that one of my friends had her pierce at the lower part of her cleavage. She has gorgeous skin and a very stunning pair of breasts, so having a pierce right between them was probably the hottest thing she could get back then. Now, while we were all enchanted by just how good it looked, she always ended up having trouble with it. It would either get stuck in her braw or it would bother her when she was sleeping. We'd get to see her occasionally stand up with her cheeks all red, closing her eyes in pain, without saying one word.
"The pierce again?" we all knew already
"Shit. Yeah. Awwwh it hurts."
Eventually she pulled it out in her sleep, the whole thing, including the anchor from inside. It somehow winded up with her pyjamas or her blanket, that without noticing it was already bleeding. She said it hurt, badly.
We should all learn from her experience. You see, I think the biggest problem she had, was choosing a too large jewel. She didn't know back then, but she could have gone for a more flatter gem, so it wouldn't give her so much pain. A smaller jewel, that she could change later after the skin was healed.
Then, she should have worn a bandage all the time, at least until the tissue would grow to the anchor and keep it inside. The artist that had pierced her, had told her to let it breath and not keep it covered. He felt it would recover faster. He was SO wrong.
While that was by far her biggest mistake, the placement could also have been way safer. Sometimes you have to think thing a little longer before being too excited.
Wait, did you just say you can change the jewel?
Sure thing! That's probably the coolest part in this whole deal. After it's healed and safe, you can just unscrew the gem you have and put a different one inside. Neat, huh?
Are there other risks, too?
Well yes. Of course. Your body may reject it.
Or worse, it could get infected.
It is human nature for our living organism to try and keep foreign objects outside of our system. Now, most commonly this reaction is rather mild, and if the pierce is put in deeply enough, then it won't react that way. All that considering the procedure is done professionally, with sterile instruments and a sterile pierce.
Make sure you always chose a salon where there's a good reputation, a professional team and people that are ready to show you where and how they keep everything involved in the surgery. It's you're right to double check everything before going through it. Make sure everything comes out of a sterile wrapping., that everything looks clean and safe and nothing is used twice. There's absolutelty nothing more important than that. An infection is tough luck, but comming across a blood transmited dissease is the worst case scenario! This may lead to a lifelong of sickeness, so I'm not kidding, always do everything in your power to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
Even if everything is harmless and you trust the salon and the artist, no body is like any another, so yours may react differently than mine.
You should pay attention on how your skin and your scars look like in time. If you heal quickly, if you tend to get complications from a simple cut and so on. I was lucky my body was fine with it, but there is no 100% reassurance that things won't get messy.
The first thing you should do, is get informed on how bad it can get. I did my share of research and checked out how it looks like when it gets rejected, when is gets swollen up or how the scar would look if I would ever want to take it out. Just google it and you'll find enough pictures to make up your mind. You have know every single side to the story.
If you decide to have one,
then you have to keep it clean!
The first few days you're not supposed to touch it. It's still sensible so cleaning may disturb the healing process. After two days or so, you're allowed to clean it up. I would just spray it with salty water every now and then, about 3 to 4 times a day. Andrei would just puff some of that water under my hair, to make sure it would be fine.
If you do experience a rash and you feel it heating up, even after one whole day or two, then you may want to pay more attention to it. Keep a close eye on how your skin reacts, so you can go and have it taken out before any other side effects come to show. Don't be scared to ask for help if you feel something went wrong, no one will judge.
DO NOT, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, TRY TO TAKE IT OUT AT HOME. & DO NOT TRY TO PIERCE YOURSELF AT HOME.
Ugh, I had to put that thought down before going further.
As a conclusion, I don't regret having it, not at all. I love the way it looks, I love the experience it reminds me of and I love the way it feels. It's a little secret of mine, in a very personal way. Like a cute little tattoo you know you get for a lifetime.
Then again, when I took it, I made sure I knew everything there was to know about them. This is the reason why I wrote this post, I want you to make sure you're informed before wanting one yourself.