December 16, 2021

What is Surface Piercing Rejection?


What is Surface Piercing Rejection?

An inconvenient challenge that people may face when looking to get a piercing is dealing with surface piercing rejection. There are certain surfaces on our body that are prone to rejecting piercings. Our bodies can treat certain piercings like foreign objects and push them back out of our skin. In this post, we’ll discuss surface piercing rejection – what it is and what to do if you have it. 


What is Surface Piercing?

A surface piercing is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a piercing that travels along an area of skin on the body and enters and exits on the same plane. Unlike other piercings such as an earlobe piercing, it does not go all the way through your body part, but has the entrance and exit holes next to each other and gives the look of a double piercing. 


A surface piercing is not the same thing as a dermal piercing – which is where there is only one entrance hole and the piercing is held in place by a dermal anchor that is placed under the skin. 


Examples of Surface Piercing

Some examples of surface piercing include:

  • Bridge Piercing – where the barbell threads horizontally through the bridge of the nose
  • Eyebrow Piercing – a piercing that goes through the eyebrow or the skin near to the eyebrow
  • Wrist piercing – where the piercing goes through the skin of the wrist, generally on the top side. 
  • Madison Piercing – this is a horizontal piercing at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone
  • Neck Piercing – also known as vampire bites – is located on the side of the neck
  • Hip Piercing – a surface piercing on the pelvis near the hip bones or the hips
  • Navel Piercing – through the skin of the belly button


Healing Process For Surface Piercings

The healing process for surface piercings is much longer than other piercings and depending on the location, you should be ready for up to a year of healing. To allow your piercing to fully heal you will need to avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs and lakes and be aware of activities that could cause snagging like high-impact sports. Always follow the aftercare instructions that your technician gives you and get in touch with them if you have any issues. 


What Are The Signs of Surface Piercing Rejection?

Surface piercings are also more at risk for rejection because they are so close to the surface. Rejection is when your body considers the jewelry a foreign object and tries to force it out of the body and get rid of it to prevent infection. There is a chance even when your piercing is completely healed that your body could still reject it, so you should always keep an eye on it and watch for scarring or migration. 


What is Migration?

Migration is a bit different from rejection, but they are related. With migration, your piercing moves from its original spot to a new one and this can sometimes lead to rejection. With migration, you can also have some swelling and redness and if you don’t keep an eye on it it can lead to infection. 


With migration, you want to look for signs of soreness or increased sensitivity and keep an eye on the skin over the piercing to see if it appears thinner or the jewelry is easier to see. You should also look to see if the holes appear larger or the jewelry is hanging more loosely. If you start to notice this happening you should see your doctor as soon as possible or talk to your piercing technician for advice. 


What Are the Most Common Locations For Surface Piercing Rejection?

The most common areas for surface piercing rejection are ones that are close to the surface of the skin because there is less tissue there to support the piercing and it is easier for your body to push it out from these locations. Often this is a very individual thing and one person’s body will reject a surface piercing while another person won’t have any issues. 


Some of the most common areas for surface piercing rejection are:

  • Sternum – along the front of the chest the surface piercing is very close to the surface and there is not a lot of tissue to hold it.
  • Neck
  • Eyebrows – eyebrows are one of the most common surface piercings
  • Hip
  • Wrist – areas with lots of movement also have a higher risk of rejection 


What Do I Do If My Surface Piercing Is Rejecting?

If you notice that your surface piercing is rejecting, there is not a whole lot you can do to stop it. One thing you should do is remove your jewelry right away to help prevent scarring. Catching a migrating or rejecting piercing early can help avoid future scarring and infection. 


Once you have removed the jewelry, you should contact your piercer right away and see if using a different piece of jewelry would be possible. Sometimes a different metal or a larger gauge of jewelry can help the piercing heal and stop the rejection. Remember, you should not try to treat the rejection at home. It is important to see a professional. 


If you are interested in a surface piercing or a unique piercing idea and have questions about rejection and the best ways to avoid it talk to one of our experienced piercing experts at Sage Piercing in Ottawa. We are experienced with a variety of surface piercings that can fit any individual’s body. Book an appointment with a professional piercer & get some flashy body jewelry today!