Subdermal Implants

Body Modification, while still looked at with a raised eyebrow by some, continues to increase in popularity just as tattoos and body piercings have done. Everyone can relate to it, especially Star Trek fan. The Vulcan and Romulan ears, and other odd shapes on peoples bodies which is quite simlilar to the body mod world’s subdermal implant.

then just clever makeup now a permanent physical possibility

then just clever makeup now a permanent physical possibility

horns inserted by steve haworth

horns inserted by steve haworth

Subdermal Implants are a piece of body jewelry placed under the skin to create a raised design. Implant material is usually made of silicone or Teflon and can be inserted by a body modification artist or in some cases by surgery. The implant can be in many different shapes, some popular designs are stars, rods, hearts, swirls, horns, and beads.

Silicone Implant

Silicone Implant

The insertion process is really quite simple compared to what I thought it would be. An incision is made with a scalpel then a dermal separator (resembling a spatula) is used to raise up the skin forming a pocket for the implant to be inserted. The implant is carefully put in place and the incision is closed with sutures or suture tape.  The implant does not need to be inserted right at the point of incision; it can be placed away from the incision. Eyebrow implant incisions are made at the top of the forehead than the implant is slid to the eyebrow area.

A band aid wrapped around the implant will help prevent against migration of the implant in the early days of healing. The sutures may come out after 10 to 12 days. The healing takes about 3 months, by this time the implant should have the desired affect. After healing is completely finished the implant may be take out and replaced with a larger one.

The idea of these types of implants first came about in 1994 from a man named Steve Haworth in Phoenix, Arizona. A woman wanted a bracelet so he came up with the idea of placing a series of beads under the skin on her wrist and she decided to give it a try making her the first subdermal implant.



Micro Dermal Piercings: an alternative to Surface Piercings

In one of my earlier posts I talked about surface piercings. If these sounded interested to you but the idea that they have a high rejection rates, 80% I just found out, you could try a much safer alternative, micro dermal piercing aka surface anchor.


A surface anchor only has one hole and can be done with a regular piercing needle but is suggested to be done with a micro dermal punch. Like any out of the ordinary piercing make sure your piercer has experience with the piercing you want, and ask to see pictures of some they have done.

The procedure is said to be quite simple. The skin is pinched and the punch (type of needle used) is inserted then removed. Then the base of the jewelry is put in place. The jewelry resembles a foot almost. The base has small holes on it for tissue to grow into to anchor the jewelry in as the piercing heals, thus giving piercing its name, surface anchor. The heel of the jewelry is put in carefully. Then an attachment either being a bead, gem of some sort, cone or other attachment, (a wide variety are available) is screwed into the part that sticks up from the base. The jewelry used is 14 gauge, the same as most nipple and tongue piercings.


Here is the procedure of 3 hip surface anchors on You Tube

While Surface Anchors will bleed for longer and more than normal piercings after they are done, they only have a 2% rejection rate. The hole takes about 1-3 months to heal. Popular places are at the sides of eyes, but can be done almost anywhere.  The attachments just screw in and out easily and do not need to be changed by a professional, but if you decide to remove the piercing all together have it completely removed by your piercer.




Glow in the Dark Tattoos?

Things that glow in the dark or glow under black lights are always fun. Going to a dance is always more fun when you have a glow necklace. Who doesn’t remember or still go to the bowling alley for neon or galactic bowling with the black lights turned on and the balls, white clothing and random other things in the bowling alley start to glow. Those cool black light poster in your room that glowed only when that special black light bulb came on. Or a tattoo that appears to be a regular tattoo until you are in the dark or under a black light then becomes something different. Wait glow in the dark tattoos?

Are they just a temporary tattoo that washes off the next day? No, you can get a permanent tattoo that glows.(More below pictures)

There are two types of glowing tattoos. Tattoos that glow in the dark, and those that glow under a black light. Both types sound like they might be a health risk. However, those with ink that glows in the dark on its own is much more dangerous. No brand of this ink has ever been FDA approved. Anything that glows in the dark on its own contains chemicals called phosphors. I am no chemist, but that doesn’t sound like something you should introduce into your body. It has been known to cause cancer and other health problems.

Then there is the safer, but still somewhat risky, black light or ultraviolet (UV) tattoo ink. Just like other black light objects it glows when under a black light. There are some black light inks that have been approved so make sure if you get a black light tattoo the ink your artist uses has been approved. For instance I know Crazy Chameleon inks are approved.

Some black light tattoos contain only black light ink and are completely invisible until under a black light. Others have regular tattoo ink mixed in giving you a normal tattoo you can still see in normal light, then once under a black light it is brought to a whole new glow level.

When getting one these tattoos, be sure to check with the shop you plan on going to and check if they offer them. Due to the risks involved they are not offered at every shop. Also, ask to see the ink bottle used and check for FDA stamp of approval. One approved brand is Crazy Chameleon. Also consider all the health risks involved and do a little research for yourself. If you want a glow in the dark tattoo but are too scared of the risks, there are temporary glow in the dark tattoos.

Surface Piercings

Surface Piercing is something not a lot of people may have heard of. Chances are a lot of people have seen it and been confused. When I first saw it I was shocked, freaked out, and slightly intrigued.

Surface Piercings are piercings where the entry and exit holes of the jewelry are on a flat piece of skin bot a body part that sticks out like your ears.

One popular surface piercing is the corset. This is where a person has a number of surface piercings which are laced together to act like a corset. It is usually on the small of a persons back or on the sides of their stomach like a corset would be. Another popular place for them is on the back of the neck.


Surface piercings are not always the most successful though. They are at high risk for rejection, when the body rejects and pushes out a foreign object being the jewelry.


Make sure if you want a surface piercing do research first. Find a piercer that is experienced in surface piercing. if they can show you pictures of the surface piercings they have done that have healed that is good. A good place to look for a good piercer near you . It is the website of the Association of Professional Piercers. It will also tell you a lot about piercing in general and what you should know also general aftercare instructions.


how well can she see her own tattoo

Getting the First Tattoo

My first tattoo was along process. Getting it was the easiest part one I finally turned 18. The hard part was thinking about what I wanted. For years I looked at tattoo designs and tried to think what I wanted it to be.I think a person should put a lot of thought into a tattoo and where it goes on their body. It isn’t like seeing a movie and picking the most convenient theater and time. Picking the artist who does should also have some though put into it. The artist closest to your house may not always be the best artist. Also, just because they are great at portraits doesn’t mean they are great at all tattoos. Most artists have something they are really good at and can still do good tattoos of other kinds. picking the shop and artist, can be difficult. Most shops will not charge a design fee if they draw you a tattoo instead of doing a flash design. Flash designs are predrawn tattoos that can be gotten almost anywhere except strictly custom shops.  Pricing varies per shop. many charge per hour, with the clock starting once you get in the chair and they start the tattoo.

The first tattoo is the one where you feel the most pain. When they first touch the tattoo gun to you it will hurt. Do not feel bad about it hurting either. When they outline the tattoo is painful in the first tattoo. When they do the shading It will be a bit better. They do stop every so often to wipe away blood and other stuff with a cool liquid, this does feel good for some people. If you get a second tattoo you will notice the pain is not as pain. I believe it is the hype. The first time you do things it’s always a little scary even if you don’t think you are scared.

Aftercare is important for any tattoo of course, some shops will even do free touch ups knowing that all tattoos fades ver time and some colors do not take as well to all skin tones. Red is one I have seen not always come out as great as people would have wished. Just make sure to follow the aftercare instructions given to you by the artist. Tattoo aftercare is not very hard, Just rub the ointment from the shop, or A&D on every few hours and wash with soap each day until flaking is done . then switch to a extra healing lotion for a month or so then whenever it feels dry. And use a good sunscreen when out in the sun to keep it looking good over time.

I knew I wanted it to be something for my dad who passed away. But I did not want the traditional memorial tattoo. You know, the cross rip, and the dates. I didn’t want a portrait that would look the worst when it faded as I age. I wanted something special, that i could just look at and know it was for my dad, It wasn’t for everyone else to know. I didn’t have them normal parent child relationship with my dad. So I knew a tattoo for him would have to be different.  I eventually chose a Red Chinese type Dog with flames coming off of it. He was the Chinese year of the dog. While we are not Chinese we did go out for Chinese a lot. The picture I found off the internet was basically a red lab dog with flames smiling. My tattoo artist redrew and made it look less happy but not depressing. I do not have any regrets about that tattoo over a year later and I know I never will.

I know this process seems long but really, It is very rewarding if you put thought into your tattoo, you will always be able to look at it and be glad you did.  Just remember if you want to change the design do not be afraid to tell the artist, it is there job to give you the tattoo you want. For more help on decisions with your first tattoo, “Examining Pop Culture: Body Piercing and Tattoo’s” which is edited by J.D. Lloyd.

artist - Jesse Rix owner/artist secret lake tattoo shop

artist - Jesse Rix owner/artist secret lake tattoo shop


Hello world

I have always been very interested in body art since i first learned about it as a very young child. I wanted tattoos since I learned about them around the age of 4. Most of my body art interests are tattoos as you can guess, but I have always liked seeing piercings, and body modifications. I am starting this blog to talk about my findings in my research and experiences with tattoos and other body art topics such as getting pierced for the first time. I will be starting a new feature for the paper I write for at my college but that will just focus on people at the college, and this blog will talk about more world wide topics. I will also try to keep up on body art/modification news. I have never had a blog before so bear with me people. It may be a slow process but I promise to make this great and do good writing with good grammar.

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