Archive for dermals


Hemp, Hemp, Hooray! Happy 4/20!

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With the growing acceptance of all things cannabis lately, the 20th of April will carry more of a reason for celebration than ever before. No matter your choice on whether or not to participate in the holiday’s hazy traditions, we’ve got you covered in today’s post with some fun 420 history and a plethora of awesome weed-related jewelry and accessories.


Rasta Santa Claus enjoys his 4/20 responsibly.

But why this date? What makes April 20th and the time of 4:20 so special to the cannabis community? There are a lot of myths surrounding the origins of this holiday, which isn’t too surprising since some weed enthusiasts are known to have difficulties remembering the time to get the pizza out of the oven. Likewise, the story itself is nothing short of what you would expect from the celebration considered the Oktoberfest for potheads.

4/20: A Brief History

Let’s take a little trip back to the year 1971 – the year when five high school students from California first uttered the term “4:20” whilst meeting daily at that specific time under their school’s statue to partake in a smoke session before wandering around the wilderness searching for a legendary lost cannabis crop allegedly left behind by “some dude from the Coast Guard.”

Despite never stumbling upon their pot field treasure, the term “420” lived on in infamy as a code to conceal drug use from parents and teachers that eventually found its way into pop culture (thanks to one of the high schooler’s older brothers being a friend of the bassist for the Grateful Dead) to become the number that is now synonymous with the plant and the culture that surrounds its consumption.

A 2014 article from Vice News has a bunch of interesting facts and research about this day and its origins if you feel like incorporating a little knowledge into your holiday this year.

One of my favorite tidbits from the article is the fact that the Denver, Colorado Interstate mile marker 420 has been stolen so many times that it was replaced with mile marker 419.99 to deter further theft.

4-20 Products

If you’re looking for some 4/20 friendly body jewelry to show off your love for the holiday, we’ve got a TON of awesome options for you to check out, including:

Our stash plugs are the perfect way to keep your goods secure, and we even carry herb grinder plugs for easy rolling no matter where you might find yourself.

Want something even more resourceful? Check out our 0 gauge pipe talon taper (it’s the blue Sherlock-like piece in the above image) made from unobtanium borosilicate glass for the perfect piece to add to your stash.

Another cool option for 4/20 body jewelry is our glow-in-the-dark items! A selection of our logo inlay jewelry features the ability to glow, which only adds to the righteous style you’ll gain from wearing it. This colorful rasta pot leaf belly ring is an especially popular choice on our site.

We also carry a selection of weed-themed jewelry for those who haven’t delved into the vast world of body modification just yet, featuring fashion jewelry and accessories including the products featured in the image below. Additionally, a lot of our jewelry with rasta colors and marijuana leaf designs are currently a part of our clearance section for an easily affordable celebration.

4-20 Non-Pierced Products

Use coupon code “BC420” for 15% off of your purchase, which is valid until Friday, April 22nd, 2016.

Maggie’s Lower Back Dermal Piercing

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Come see Maggie get her lower back dermals done!

What is a Dermal?

A dermal is a piece of jewelry that sits beneath the skin and has a decorative top that sits on the surface. Also knows under the term surface piercing, dermals are done using a dermal punch. The dermal punch is a hollow needle with an angled end that is used to remove a section of the skin to make way for the dermal anchor. The dermal anchor itself has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged.

 The Process

Our friend James begins by cleaning the area and then marking and measuring for the placement of the dermals.  He then pushes the dermal punch through the skin, then slides the anchor into place and secures the top. He finishes by cleaning up the area and the end result is two lovely gems and one happy customer.


Caring for dermals requires keeping them dry and clean. Full healing takes about 2-3 months.

Skin Divers Vs Dermal Anchors

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What is a Skin Diver?

A skin diver is a small piece of jewelry that is implanted partially under the skin. The base which is the part that lies under the skin’s surface has a pointed end. To insert them the piercer must use a biopsy punch to create a hole for the jewelry to sit inside. The ends which are exposed are non-interchangeable, so whichever color or style of jewelry you pick would not be able to be changed once  the jewelry is placed. The jewelry can be removed by the piercer should you decide you no longer want this piercing.


What is a Dermal Anchor?

Also referred to as a Microdermal, a dermal anchor has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged with many colors and styles available. The method of placing this piercing involves the piercer using a dermal punch, which is a hollow needle with a slanted end. The piece of jewelry is then inserted into the pocket created by the dermal punch. This jewelry can also be removed by your piercer when you no longer want it.

The Decision:

Only you and your piercer can decide what’s best for you, but as a general rule Dermal Anchors or Microdermals are made of better quality metals and are less likely to be accidentally ripped out or reject. Still unsure? Check out AJ get her Dermal Anchors:

So you’ve probably heard a ton of different phrases thrown around about body piercing, but how do you know what people are actually talking about?  Depending on the region, level of expertise, and a number of other factors, different people will call different piercings and procedures by different names.  Here’s a few suggestions that might help to sort it out:

 microdermal implants and surface piercing


Most of us will call regular piercing, well, “piercing.”  For dermals and surface piercings though, the terminology is a little more varied.  Depending on where you live and who’s talking, you could hear any of these phrases:

Surface bar, staple, surface barbell, surface wire, U-bar: these are all references to the type of jewelry used in a surface piercing.

Punch, piercing punch, circle razor, dermal punch, hand punch, dermal razor: they’re all names for the device used to create a hole for dermal anchors to be inserted underneath the skin.

Dermal, dermal piercing, dermal anchor, microdermal, dermal implant, surface anchor: all phrases used to describe single point piercings.

 other names for microdermal implants


Punch and taper: a surface piercing technique that used a dermal punch to make the entrance and exit holes for a surface piercing, along with a taper or dermal elevator to separate the skin in between from the subcutaneous tissue, creating a perfect staple shaped channel for the jewelry.

Double needle, two needle, over under: terms that refer to the use of two standard hollow piercing needles to create a surface piercing.

 slang terms for surface piercing

As with surface piercings, microdermal implants also have several methods still in use, including the use of a dermal punch, a single needle, or a needle and an elevator to create a dermal pocket for jewelry insertion.

Categories : Piercisms
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When we say “dermal,” we’re making a reference to a class of piercings that appear to have a single entry point in the skin, rather than both an entry and an exit point like a traditional piercing.  For organizational purposes, there are four main types of dermal piercing: the sub-dermal, the trans-dermal, the microdermal, and what’s called a skin diver.

 Dermal Body Piercing

Sub-dermal piercings can be considered less of a piercing, and more like an implant, and thus are often referred to as sub-dermal implants instead.  This is when a piece of jewelry is implanted underneath the skin so as to leave the impression of its shape.  Some common sub-dermal implants include those in the shape of horns, stars, hearts, and loops or “doughnut” shapes.

When a sub-dermal is completed, there will be no visible entry or exit points as with a piercing, just the shape given to the skin by the underlying jewelry.  These are generally implanted surgically through a single incision which is then healed shut.

 the look of subdermal implants

Trans-dermal piercings are also considered a type of implant, and are implanted through a two-prong process.  These require both an incision and a punched or pierced hole.  The hole will be made using a hollow needle or dermal punch, and then a few inches away an incision will be made too.  The jewelry is then inserted under the skin via the incision, and moved so that its free end protrudes through the piercing.  This allows for less noticeable scarring around the piercing itself, as the healed incision is not in the same area as the visible portion of the jewelry.

Trans-dermal and microdermal jewelry both consist of two parts:  a base (which remains underneath the skin), and a topper (the part that can be seen above the skin.)  The big difference is that microdermal bases, also called “anchors,” are implanted solely through a single hole pierced or punched in the skin, and don’t require a separate incision of any kind.

 microdermal style anchor and top

For this reason, microdermal bases will often be smaller than those used to anchor a trans-dermal implant, and will heal a little quicker and leave no significant scarring.  The single entry point of a microdermal is usually made using a device called a dermal punch that utilizes a very sharp circular razor to pierce a hole through the skin, but it has also been made with relative success using standard hollow piercing needles.

 microdermal implant style body piercings

Finally, the skin diver is much like a microdermal, except that instead having a separate base and top to the jewelry, the skin diver item is a single piece in the shape of a hand weight.  One large end sits underneath the skin, and the other sits atop.  For this reason skin divers are far easier to pull or yank out of their piercing than items with a wider base and separate top, but this ease of removal is the very reason many choose them.

 skin diver style dermal jewelry

Because the jewelry is a single piece however, and is meant to remain until the piercing itself is no longer desired, the ability to change out for a different color or shape doesn’t exist.  With two piece jewelry like that used for trans-dermal or microdermal piercings, changing style is as easy as twisting off the topper, and twisting on a new one.


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Location: On any one of the fingers, most notably the ring finger.  Usually on the back of the hand near the base of the finger, on the largest phalanx (where a ring would normally sit).

 dermal piercing of the index finger

Alternate Names: Finger surface piercing, ring piercing.

Piercing: The finger piercing is normally performed as a surface piercing, but can also be done as a single point dermal piercing.  Because the finger is lacking in excess flesh, some consider it slightly more painful than a standard surface piercing, and it generally takes just a tad longer to perform due to the necessity of proper placement and depth.  When using a microdermal anchor, a dermal punch may be used rather than a needle. styles of finger piercing

Aftercare: Because the hands see so much movement and traffic, a finger piercing will take a little longer than average to heal, with initial healing at closer to twelve weeks and substantial total healing at around six months to a year. During the first few weeks it’s recommended to avoid hand lotion and make use of sea salt soaks as with other surface piercings.  Due to the constant opportunity to be knocked or yanked, rejection and migration rates are slightly higher than with other piercings, but healing without incident is entirely possible.

Jewelry: Surface bars are generally used, but due to the curvature of the finger, flexible bioplast barbells and even small curved barbells have been successfully worn.  For those who pierce the underside of the finger, a large diameter horseshoe may be worn to give the illusion of a ring.  When performed as a dermal piercing, microdermal anchors and interchangeable tops are most successful.  Skin divers may pull out too easily, and transdermal placement is more difficult to accomplish.

 flexible biocompatible curved barbell body jewelry

Prevalence: Surface piercing is estimated to account for approximately two percent of piercings in those ages 16 to 29 living in the United States.  This number plummets below one percent in persons above that age range.  The finger piercing has grown substantially in popularity amongst young women in particular, as it often gives the appearance of a piece of jewelry generally worn almost exclusively by females:  the cocktail ring.

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Kelsey from interviews the vivacious and fashionable Bridget McNally about her body modification journey that began when she was only 13. Bridget talks about her extensive array of piercings: including having ears currently stretched to ¾, a dermal implant on her wrist, pierced nostrils, conch, septum, belly ring, and various facial and ear piercings. She talks about her unnecessary piercing anxiety and how she actually has to be blindfolded by her piercer before getting poked.

 a closer look at Bridget's modsA closer look at Bridget’s piercings

BC– What piercings do you currently have?

Bridget- I have a dermal on my wrist, my ears are stretched to ¾ , and I have my nose pierced  on either side.

BC– What was your first piercing?

BridgetMy first piercing (besides my regular ear lobes) was my conch when I was 15.

BC– What was your most recent piercing?

BridgetI had my nose done last March, so I have had them for about a year now.

BC– Can you tell us about the ear stretching process? How long it took  you to get there?

BridgetIt has been a very long journey, I started stretching my ears when I was 13. Its been about 9 years now.

BC-Slow and steady

BridgetThey have been really big, they were almost 2 inches, 1 ¾ at biggest and have been really small at ¾

BC– So do you find it easy to go bigger and smaller?

BridgetEverybody is different. My ears shrink up a lot when I take out my plugs (but they will never shrink back to “normal sized lobes”).

BC– So what about your dermal? Did it hurt? How was that experience?

BridgetIt was actually my least painful piercing. I thought it was going to be terrible. But it was not hard at all.

 star dermal tops and skin divers

BC– How did your piercer do the dermal implant?

BridgetEvery piercing shop is different, some places punch out your skin, my piercer took a scalpel and made a tiny incision and then took the dermal jewelry and shoved it in, it sounds painful but it was not bad at all.

BC– Why did you get both sides of your nose pierced?

BridgetI like things to be symmetrical.

BC– Do you have any advice for people who want to get nose piercings, dermals, or stretch their lobes?

BridgetMy advice is that you can’t over anticipate. I have made myself cry before. You have to remember that it is not going to be that bad.

BC– Which piercing hurt the most?

Bridget My septum.

BC– So you have had other piercings that you do not currently have in now. What other piercings have you had?

Bridget  –Basically everything. One of my best friends from back home went through a phase where thought she was a piercer and used us as guinea pigs and would pierce us(my friends and I) all the time. I have had everything from things in my stomach and my belly button to like everything on my face imaginable and my ears.

BC- It is cool that you just do it for the experience and then decide to take them out shortly after. Like a trial period.

Bridget- (She laughs) Yea, I usually take them out after about one month.

BCDo you have any other interesting piercing stories?

BridgetThe professional piercer who does my work now, back home in Syracuse NY, just puts a blindfold over my face while I am being pierced so I don’t get scared!

BC- Like you mentioned earlier, the anticipation is worse than the actual piercing.

Bridget- Pretty much

BC- Well you keep that blindfold on.

Bridget- Thanks.

(Laughter ensues)

By now most of us have heard of a bridge piercing, the horizontal surface piercing performed at the upper part of the nose bridge right between the eyebrows.  A vertical bridge piercing occurs in the same area, but because of the nose’s shaping, is generally slightly farther up, with the top ball resting on the actual forehead.  This type of bridge piercing is sometimes referred to as a “third eye piercing,” but the more commonly referenced third eye piercing is a single point piercing (called a dermal) that rests in that same area.

Third eye area of the face

The concept of a third eye is connected to many forms of Eastern mysticism, with the placement of a third eye marking or piercing being associated with one of the primary chakras, or centers of energy in the body.  This type of marking is symbolic of enlightenment, deep rooted spiritual knowledge, and sometimes even clairvoyance.  In many Eastern religions, the enlightened beings, meditative leaders, or deities are depicted with third eye markings.  And those who participate in religious observance will often wear markings in the same place such as bindis or tilak (red dots or marks).  In popular Western culture as well, the “third eye” denotes psychic abilities and spiritual peace.

Because it is a dermal piercing, most often performed as a microdermal or skin diver style piercing, the third eye piercing is visible at a single point on the skin and mimics the look of a jeweled bindi.  This type of piercing is most often performed with a dermal punch, although a large gauge piercing needle may sometimes be employed instead to create a pocket in the skin.  When pierced as a microdermal, a base will be inserted underneath the skin with decoration then screwed onto the base to become the visible portion of the jewelry.  With this type of dermal, the ball or charm that shows can be interchanged.  In skin diver style third eye piercings, the jewelry is a single piece that cannot be changed out without being completely removed.

skin diver style dermal jewelry

If you’re thinking of getting a third eye piercing, it’s a good idea to find a reputable piercer in your area that has performed dermal piercings before and supports a clean and healthy piercing environment.  And when in doubt, you might want to meditate on it.

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Dermal Piercings Overview

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Any piercing that’s referred to as a “dermal” is basically a non-traditional piercing.  What does this mean?  Well, the easy difference is that a traditional piercing has both an entry point and an exit point, and a dermal piercing has only a single point (which as I’ll explain in a minute, is often thought of as just an exit point or just an entry point.)  Dermal jewelry, like most other piercing jewelry, consists of at least two pieces or main components, which are the dermal anchor (the base), and the dermal top (the piece that will be seen once the jewelry is in.)  There are three basic types of dermal piercings: microdermal, transdermal, and subdermal.  As you might imagine from the names of these piercings, the three styles are done in different ways in relation to the skin.

A microdermal is a piercing done with a single whole, and as such is often considered to have only an exit point, because the decoration that rests above the skin is the only visible side of the piercing.  Microdermals can be done with a hollow piercing needle, but are most often performed with a dermal punch.  This device is exactly what it sounds like, essentially a whole punch for the skin.  It slices out a circular hole in the skin’s surface through which the dermal anchor will be inserted.  The anchor itself once in place will never been seen again, as it will remain underneath the skin, and only the top which is screwed onto the base will be visible resting above the skin’s surface.

Transdermal piercing, as its name infers, involves movement across the skin.  This style of dermal is done with a punched whole and an incision.  The hole is punched where the wearer wants the jewelry to be, and an inch or two off to the side a surgical incision is made.  By this method, the dermal anchor will be inserted underneath the skin through the incision and then moved to the placement of the hole so as to cause as little irritation or stretching as possible to the whole making healing easier and rejection less likely.  Transdermals are again often thought of as having only an exit point, because the technical entry point (the incision) is afterwards healed up and is no longer part of the piercing.

Microdermal Tops

The last dermal type, subdermal piercing, has only an entry point.  In subdermal body art, a piece of medical grade material jewelry in a particular shape is inserted under the skin through an incision and has no visible or emerging area.  The shape of the jewelry in this case becomes the modification and will present itself in healing the overlying skin into the shape of the object.

Microdermal and transdermal piercing are generally the more popular and widespread forms of dermal piercing, although subdermals have begun to rise in popularity since the early 2000s and may reach a similar level of prevalence in the near future.  Modifications of microdermal piercing have already arisen in the form of the skin diver, a tiny barbell shaped piece of jewelry that can be inserted into the skin in lieu of the traditional two piece microdermal.  Only time will tell what’s up next for “dermal” modification.

I’m going to start off by making it clear exactly what I’m talking about today.  When I say dermal, I’m referring to a piercing that utilizes some sort of anchor to be embedded under your skin and is worn in a singular location.  There are a few different ways of doing this: Punch Dermals, Micro Dermals and Trans-Dermals.  Punch Dermals , also called “Skin Divers”, use jewelry that is designed similarly to the way that plugs are flared so that it’s “punched” in, and once inside is held in by a lip.  Micro Dermals are designed with a separate anchor piece that is placed under the top layer of skin through a small incision or dermal punch-out; once the anchor is placed it has internal threading and allows the wearer to interchange different heads.  Finally, Trans-Dermals are done with a more traditional surgical method, with a hole and an incision being made in the skin, so that the larger anchor runs under the skin; the ball on the end resting above the skin.

Skater Wearing Microdermal Implants

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can get onto the good stuff.  One of the best things about dermals is that they give a solution to the problem of “how do I fit more metal on me”.  If there’s skin, there can be a dermal.  Popular styles and locations you’ll see involve anchoring them in cheeks, by eyes, and commonly on people’s necks but let’s be honest here, you want something a bit more…..intense.  Well there’s a few ways to really let a dermal bring out the demon in you or add an accent that doesn’t bring to mind the thought “ooo your face is so sparkly and pretty!”

One of my personal favorites is mid knuckle dermals done for a brass knuckle.  This involves planting an anchor or a punch dermal in between each of the knuckles, usually capped with a stainless steel spike so that when closed into a fist they give the look of the fist having spikes along the knuckles, like a pair of knuckledusters.  Going to a very different area of the body, there are also common styles found on the back of the neck.  Here you’ll commonly see surface piercings or micro-dermal piercings, usually around the base of the neck but it also can be a great place for a skin diver, or better yet a series of them!

Skin Diver Dermal Jewelry

By placing anchors in between vertebrae or on either side matching each other, the string of dermals can give the look of a spiked spine.  This pattern can be done essentially anywhere on the body with the versatility of dermal anchors, allowing for the look of being truly “covered” in spikes or metal.

One of the things that I can’t stress enough with dermals is how unique and really up to you the piercing and style is!  The trend as a whole is still coming into a common light and really has just started to explode over the last few years, so it’s your call and your game to decide what’s going to work for you.  Whether it’s a single anchor at the base of your neck, a pair of skin divers buried as demon horns in your forehead or a line of trans-dermals down your wrist (called a bracer btw) it’s up to you what’s going to suite you.  Just be sure that you’re safe, as always; especially with dermals and rejection you have to make sure you go to a well versed, reputable piercer and take extremely good care of your new modification.

Microdermal Jewelry