Microdermal Implants: Body Jewelry Wave of the Future


The Look of Gemstone Body ArtIn the past couple years, a new rage has developed in the arena of body modification and piercing: the dermal implant.  Before this handy fresh mod existed, the only way to get the look of gems or spikes on areas of the skin not easily pierced was to glue them into place with a non-toxic adhesive.  Currently, however, on the center stage of body art, the temporary fix of glue and craft store rhinestones has gone the way of the dodo, and our friend the dermal implant has effortlessly stolen the show.




There are three major types of dermal implants. 

1. Subdermal Implants

Subdermal implantation is when an object is surgically implanted beneath the layers of the skin (or dermis), and no holes, marking, or exit points are left behind.  Essentially, the object remains beneath the skin so that it's shape or design can be seen, but no part protrudes from the skin in any area.  Because they are meant to remain underneath, these types of implants have no removable or interchangeable parts.

2. Transdermal Implants

Transdermals have a portion the lays underneath the skin, and also a fraction that exits the skin through a pierced hole.  The anchor piece (the part below the skin) is generally implanted through a small surgical slit made close to the desired site on the body, and then a hole is punched through so that the piece that will come through the skin can easily protrude.  Next a decorative topper is screwed onto the part of the anchor that passes through the skin.  Toppers can be changed for these pieces, but the anchor that remains inside the body under the dermis cannot, and requires surgery for removal.

3. Microdermal Implants

Microdermals are the most common of the dermal implants, and involve a less invasive procedure and fewer risks.  When completed, this type of implant gives a similar look to a transdermal, with small gems or decorations that are interchangeable resting above the skin's surface and a small anchor embedded below.  These commonly heal much like a standard piercing and can be placed at almost any location desired.


Today we'll concentrate on the most prevalent of the three types mentioned here: Microdermal Implants.

Beautiful Microdermal Implants

As mentioned above, microdermal implants involve two pieces: the anchor (which is implanted below the skin), and the top (the piece you can see that rests atop the skin.)  Dermal anchors have holes in them and an oblong shape, and when the modification has completely healed, the skin will grow around the holes and the topper can be changed out for different colors and styles.  This type of dermal implant usually heals similar to a regular surface piercing, accept that extended redness and bleeding are very common in the days directly following the procedure.  The use of a dermal punch for opening the pocket in which the anchor will be placed is the most common method of insertion, but a large gauge hollow piercing needle can also be used.

Dermal Anchor

The jewelry worn on a dermal anchor varies greatly based on preference, but among the more conventional choices are the ball, spike, dome or disc, gem, bolt, and the star. 

Microdermal Tops

The even quicker healing and less painful alternative to the microdermal piercing is called a "skin diver."  These have a shape very similar to a tiny dumbell, with a thin center and larger disc-like ends.  They are easy to remove with minimal fuss, and can be placed much closer together than standard dermal implants.  The biggest difference aside from shape is that the skin diver is a single piece, so the decorative end does not unscrew.

Microdermal Skin Divers

Want to be kept up to date on the latest and greatest forms of body modification?  Stay tuned to the BodyCandy Blog for more Body Art and Extreme Modification.


  1. Adam DiMarcos says:

    You guys seem to know a lot about these things. I’m definitely bookmarking your site!

  2. toddler momma says:

    Thanks a lot for giving everyone an exceptional informational article. Even your fashion stuff is so fun to read that me and my office friends visit your web site at least twice a week to see the newest guides you have. Keep it up!

  3. Blake Elawar says:

    I love microdermal piercings. I’m going to get some next month for my birthday. Nice article 😉

  4. Tamar Sidener says:

    Very good blog article. Really thank you!

  5. vikki ogden says:

    I want an implant, however, I didn’t know about all the options. Thank you for the information.

  6. Marlene Bokholdt says:

    Any idea how this works for people who need x-rays, MRI’s or CT scans and the metal has to be removed? Do they have to have surgery just to get the tests? As a nurse, I know these tests require removal of any metal objects and it looks like the bases are metallic.

    • Lorna says:

      For a lot of people it may depend on how long they’ve had the piercing. A more recent microdermal anchor that hasn’t yet healed into the tissue will be more easily removed by a simple visit to your piercer, and in many cases consultations with the physician who ordered the test prove helpful in determining if the actual anchor needs to be removed or just the external portion. For example depending on where you live, what type of imaging, and where in your body the anchor is in relation to the area being imaged, believe it or not, they don’t always require removal.

    • Mo says:

      External metal that is removable needs to be removed prior to an MRI study. Implanted metal is treated like schrapnel – that means that either the metal can casue pain from being ferromagentic, or, it may heat up and burn, with the latter being the more common problem. Thre is no way for MRI professionals to predict if body jewelry will burn the pt. Too many variables. The pt should be given an squeeze ball and be counseled to use it should they feel anything unusual, especially heating. RF burns can be very nasty. So, for those who insist on doing this to themselves – stop being nasty to MRI profesionals who are simply doing thier job to try to keep you safe.

  7. Lanie says:

    I am planning on getting a tattoo of poppies on my arm/shoulder/back, and I want to do microdermal piercings in each of the flowers. What is the best way to do this? I’m assuming tattoo first. But will the piercing ruin the tatt? Or if the tatt needs to get touched up can they go over the implant?

    • Lorna says:

      There are plenty of people out there who have modified existing tattoos with microdermals, but you’ll find different opinions on how best to go about it. When shopping for a tattooist, just ask their professional opinion and go from there. Good luck!

  8. Hilary says:

    Im getting a microdermal in a couple of weeks and ive had alot of questions about it. This helped alot. Thanx! 😀

    • Lorna says:

      I love the look of microdermal piercings. If you’re interesting in seeing some being done up close on video, check out our YouTube. You can watch a short video of our friend Jojo getting three of them. 🙂

  9. Doni worth says:

    I would like something…but where to get it?? Apparently wi decided it was illegal. ..where to go??

  10. Dana says:

    It looks like this article was posted a good long while ago, so I’m hoping someone will see this and help me find a solution.

    About two years ago I got 13 microdermals (the anchor kind, not skin-divers). I loved them to pieces (and still do), but about a year after getting them, my body started rejecting them. I’m down to 7 of my original 13, soon to be 6 as one is wiggling its way out of my skin. Is there anything I can do about this? I LOVE the look of the dermals, but it’s simply not cost-effective to get new implants every few years. Do I have any other options? Please help!

  11. Chelsea says:

    Like one of the above comments, I want a tattoo and then a micro dermal. I want the tattoo of a lioness on my ring finger and for her to have a crown with all real diamonds, so.. could I do that with a few microdermals? They’d need to be pretty close. I want at least 3 diamonds in her crown. Is it possible, or would I have to settle with one?

  12. Aaron V. says:

    Could you use ‘Chain Mail”,.. small circular pieces of Surgical Steel and cut using a pizza shape i bit o meat and piercing the crystal implant with the O Ring on top super glued back nder itself,….( the skin) that way you could put many more crystal diamond like implants but use the O ring meathod for

  13. Meghan says:

    What kind of top do i purchase when i wanna change it? Or is there only 1 kind used?

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