On my piercings

As you may have noticed in this picture, or heard if you know me on Twitter or Facebook, I had my left collarbone pierced somewhat recently.

It looks like this: two little silver discs that sit just below my clavicle.

dermal anchors

My Ellie (also known as the astronaut sister), the friend from online who was staying with me earlier this fall, had always thought this particular piercing looked cool, as had I.

So a week or so before she left San Francisco, we trotted down to Body Manipulations in the Mission and got ours done together -- hers on her right side, mine on my left.

Side note: It might seem odd to get your collarbone pierced when you don't even have your ears pierced, but frankly, I don't like the look of pierced ears that much. Whereas I love, love, love the look of these. I was thinking about them when I wrote this bit in July.

These kinds of piercing are called dermal anchors, and can be put pretty much anywhere you can imagine. I've seen it on the nape of the neck, on a finger, on hips, on the cheekbone. The other advantage to them is that they have a much lower rate of rejection than other types of surface piercings.

They're not connected under the skin, and they're not just like stud earrings that someone stabbed into me. The backside of each dermal is a very small flat piece that lies just under and parallel to the skin.

Getting mine done--the jewelry plus the piercing and tip--was about $160. Pricey, yes, but so worth it. I absolutely love the way they look, I love having them right above my heart to play my fingers across, and it's something Ellie and I both have to remember each other by. [We have been through a LOT together.]

Did it hurt? Yes; enough to make me shake, but not cry. As they're my only piercings, I can't compare, but I hear that the main thing with dermal anchors is that the piercing isn't quick like piercing an ear. Each one took maybe twenty or thirty seconds of actual needle time, and there were a couple moments when it really bit, but once they were in, it was over.

Ellie and I both felt a bit weak when we got home, nothing that an ibuprofen and some snacks and water and couch couldn't cure. After that, there were maybe two days when I noticed the skin around my dermals were slightly bruised, but that's all. Neither mine nor Ellie's ever got gross (oozy etc.) or swelled at ALL. If  you're in the Bay Area and looking for a surface piercing, do yourself a favor and see Steve Joyner at Body Manipulations -- he is EXPERT.

So there you are. Dermal anchors 101.

eta: the story is continued here... (I did lose them after about a year.)


R. 12/23/2009 1:22 PM  

Wow, I had no idea that area of your body could be pierced. I like that there's meaning behind it, rather than you just getting it done because it "looks cool" (which it does!).


cuileann 12/23/2009 1:33 PM  

R. - Not as much meaning as there is to your tattoo [<3], but perhaps it evens out because I can see mine more easily? Heh heh. Thanks.

pinkapplecore 12/23/2009 5:53 PM  

well that is just plain cool. I had no idea you had one... but I think it's special that you and astronaut sister got one together...makes is 100x more special. I got my ears done when I was 8, but I didn't like them, I was a tom boy..and then one day my sister took a sewing needle and jammed it through my ear...hurt REALLY badly...and was VERY traumatizing..plus now I have scars that make it look like i'm permanently pierced..grr

cuileann 12/23/2009 7:06 PM  

pinkapplecore - your sister stabbed your ear with a sewing needle?! geez gracious. bad piercers ftl. *frown* i'm sry for your earlobes.

gabi dickinson 12/24/2009 1:24 PM  

I have never even heard of those piercings before, but wow, it looks beautiful!

cuileann 12/24/2009 4:06 PM  

Gabi - yeah, I hadn't either until I started looking. Thank you, I love 'em too.

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