Anchors Away!

I suppose it’s inevitable now that people have been installing dermal anchors in huge numbers for a year or two that I’ve started to see a flood of somewhat gory removal and rejecting photos… That said, as unpleasant as these particular pictures left, the scars are extremely minor.


Top right rejection – Kate.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

50 thoughts on “Anchors Away!

  1. Fascinating what the human body can do… Good that the scars aren’t that large though!

  2. That happened to me! It wasn’t too bad to be totally honest. I had a microdermal in my wrist for about 4 months, and then one night I was playing with my iPod and I walked into a bicycle. Ironically, I was walking to the tattoo studio I sometimes hang out at. And the artists there helped me clean it up. When it got ripped out, it didn’t hurt too much, I was just stunned that it came out so easily and sad to have lost it. The wound was pretty nasty and bled for about a day. Now it’s been about 3 weeks since that happened, and it’s totally healed with a small scar.

  3. I ripped mine as well the other day, and so far it seems to be settling just fine. Not sure if it will have any long term effects, but I hope to catch it sooner than with the foot hanging half way out.

  4. Oh wow, I can’t believe they’re left in long enough to get that bad! All the gunk on the last one creeps me out, haha.

  5. I had one of mine reject. Luckily, it didn’t look all that bad. It was on my sternum, and after being crushed by my boobs at a machinehead show for a couple hours, the bottom part of the anchor was poking out through the skin. Luckily, it didn’t look as bad as any of those photos.

  6. Mine didn’t get like that.. I grabbed my backpack and felt a pain and realized my jewellery was sitting in the trunk of my friends car.. which sucked..
    but its amazing how far people will let their mods go before they realize its time to let them go for good.

  7. i had 10 and i now have 1!3 fell clean out an the other 6 i removed myself as i could see it happenin.

  8. I love the concept of microdermals because of their less invasive nature, but I really appreciate seeing these rejection photos. If they weren’t posted people wouldn’t realize that while awesome, they aren’t perfect!

  9. Yikes, I can’t believe someone would actually leave it in long enough past clearly rejecting to get the that point.

  10. hahaha i have like a million pictures like this of all my micros that have fallen out…should have more soon, 2 out of 5 are really visible through the skin, one little tear and they’d fall out haha

  11. In my experience, the success rate has a lot to do with placement and technique. Basically, it boils down to how good the piercer is.

    Two of my three sternum anchors are gone now. One was pierced with a needle that was too large, and had trouble settling in. Just as it started looking better, and I thought the worst was over, it started rejecting and had to be removed.

    The second one was pierced too low and not deep enough, right over the most bone-y bit. Several weeks back I woke up with it lying next to me in bed, even though it looked just fine up until that point. Both scars are quite small and are looking well.

    Just thought to share with the group…

  12. totally figured that is what we’d be seeing nowadays…I’ve been seeing it in various forums as well as hearing about them as well,etc.

    I will say this though, my initial reaction, was a bit of an over-reaction….However I still stand by a good portion of it saying that now that this type of procedure has flooded the market, it was only a matter of time that the good and the bad were documented.

    Originally there was say like 10 skilled piercers developing the procedural techniques and playing…and now there are thousands(I’d say tens of thousands) of piercers(also non-piercers) world-wide all using various jewelry types (those willing to pay the proper costs and then those lookin for the cheapest deals,etc)…So now we’re getting to see the REAL facts and figures for viable/potential for this type of jewelry/procedure.

    Do I think clients can get this work and they can make it last, sure…But its up to not just the piercer knowing what they’re doing but also the client. As this is a dual situation because without the piercer doing the right technique/procedure it will fail and without the client knowing the proper protocols for post-procedure it will fail as well and even in odd numbered situations (good piercer, uneducated client, or vice versa) the procedures can still fail.

    A qualified/experienced artist should be capable of analyzing what the client wants and figuring out if microdermals/surface anchors are the best option or if surface barbells are,etc.

    So wthat kinda goes against what RustY said about it: “Boiling down to how good the piercer is” because its a dual relationship.

    This is why I honestly spent 2 years in the shadows observing the various piercers offering microdermals…Because by observing their successes and failures, it enables me to be better rounded towards providing proper techniques and insight/knowledge to my clients, so that when they get this type of procedure…They can get it and know that it was done right, but also know its up to them to follow the proper protocols to keep it.

  13. I agree with Warren.

    Besides, I have had the worst time imaginable with one of my microdermals (the middle one in the feature here on modblog) and it’s been infected since the 5th day I’ve had it. Infection has been on and off, I’ll manage to baby it and get rid of the infection but it comes back – most of the time just looking angry and red… no blood or lymph just ANGRY.

    Maybe it’s the signs of rejection, who knows but I’ll tell you one thing – it’s the piercer who makes or breaks your microdermal. How do I know this? I have 4. 3 by John (iam:JohnBlake) and 1 by his boss and the one by his boss is the problem one.

    2 other piercings I got from her got infected easy. Anyone else? No problems.

  14. wow way to wait way too long to have them removed. shit. i’ve had 8 dermal anchors put in over the last year and a half with 7 removed, the final and longest one being 8 months old. why would you let it get to that point? disgusting.

  15. I almost always look at what is new at modblog when I eat breakfast, but sometimes I feel it´s not such a good idea…

  16. i don’t know if its just me
    but when i see a crusted up naaaassty
    infected piercing, i don’t jump
    straight for the camera…
    i mean, leaving them in that long is bad enough
    but not cleaning off the gunk n puss, thats just
    poor hygiene

  17. I have a friend who was contemplating getting dermal anchors done on her neck, but after these pictures I for one am feeling a tad put off. Can anyone give me ideas of what the life expectancy of them can be? I was thinking about getting one on my cheekbone/temple. Dang. And how bad is the scarring generally if they do reject?

  18. Vicky – I’ve had my longest anchor for 5 months and its still going strong, I know of people who’ve had them longer. Removal scarring isn’t too bad, i’ve found that it scars less than most of my other piercings that i’ve had removed.

  19. guys remember that rejection doesn’t always takes many weeks or months….Depending on the body rejection can happen less than a month.

    that or also this might be documentation in a series of photos of the duration of the healing time.

    ie: procedural photos taken freshly done, bi-weekly or monthly photos to show process and how well they’re healing,etc.

    there’s just a lot more background stories involved as to why and how these turned the way they did. Pretty much everything is speculation as to why they are the severity they are.

    also the photos of gory/gross/weird stuff occurring happens often…hell after having a session of my arm cut one night and going home when I woke up the next day I went to the bathroom and blacked out…When I came too the place was covered in blood and I looked like a zombie…My first thought? grab my camera to document this situation…Because I KNEW people (although I knew they’d believe me) wouldn’t believe me. Just because it was just such a crazy experience.

    Vicky: The scars can often be minimal depending on your body and how it naturally scars. Personally more and more nowadays I believe firmly that the best option is to use a piercing needle and not a dermal punch…But that’s just my views on the techniques,etc some others will prefer the punch, but not me.

  20. well, up until two days ago i had a microdermal on my sternum. it had always been very shallow (inexperienced piercer i suppose) but hadn’t been infected, it wasn’t rejecting or anything like that, kust always crusty. so, during a daily clean i must of squeezed a tad too hard, the heel popped out, and the rest followed, no pain, no blood, just me being dissapointed yet relieved.

    i think it really boils down to your piercer, placement and aftercare. just like any other piercing.

  21. I am the owner of that last one.

    It looked absolutely fine and then I got in the shower and noticed while washing my chest that shit, that doesn’t feel right, and it was half way out of my chest!

    No pain at all, no blood either. There was gunk around it, but there were no signs in the time before it that that was going to happen. It had gotten pussy in the past, but I could squeeze/soak it out and it was never a problem, but on that last time, it was just some solid crud around it. Night before, it was A-OK and then in the morning, it was out of my chest.

    It was also done by a great piercer and the other 2 in my chest are fine, just the middle one went hay-wire.

  22. i’ve been hesitant about dermal anchors and microdermals…i have a friend whose about to attempt his first set of anchors on another friend…he bought a book on the subject…i think i’m going to show him these pics…i’ve seen alot of pics of fresh dermal anchors, but not so many of them rejecting…i think i’ll stick to surface work myself…

  23. hahahahahahah this happened to me. mine was fucked up for a long time but i did not have the money to get it removed and i just let it reject. it was uncomftable for a while but it came out quite easily. mine was in for a long time and perfect. im glad mine rejected, as it was a pain in the ass.

  24. #31 – You can actually get a book on this?

    And stick to surface work if you want to have horrid scars. I’ve seen removed/rejected ones and the scars are NOTHING like surface piercings.

  25. Keep in mind also that the gunk you see in the bottom two photos is a massive bitch to get off and probably speeds up rejection. My first microdermal had a flat disc as the top, and I soaked it thoroughly and did everything right, but I couldn’t get under it to clean off the crap (and wasn’t about to poke something sharp under it to try). Eventually that build-up pushed it out of my head. My second microdermal (third eye) rejected on its own, but that time I got a tiny gem on the end so I wouldn’t have the gunk problem, and its failure was more about my body’s over-zealousness. :) I’m getting the third eye re-pierced tomorrow, and hoping third time’s the charm.

    Oh, and the scar on my forehead is minuscule. Emu oil helped it along, but it would have been barely noticeable to start with.

  26. i have my left hand in a bowl of saltwater as i type this in a desperate hope of avoiding this very fate. my thumb/hand microdermal wripped the other day and i can just see the metal beneath the skin now… :(

  27. Thanks for the advice guys. We’ll both bear it in mind and are now wondering where we can go around here to get microdermals ^.^

  28. Imogene – I think exactly the same thing. Loads of people here are bitching about ‘ewwwww the gunk’. My microdermals have flat disks on them and they are the most difficult thing to clean to get gunk off from when the disks are on. Easier when they’re off obviously but personally I don’t like to change the ends of my surface jewellery often.
    One of them has migrated (no pain, pus, blood or swelling unlike the pics above though). Maybe its because of the gunk, but if it was I think there would be alot more pain and ‘yuck’ than what there is.

    Yeah I’m wondering about this microdermal book as well.

  29. to the people worrying about flat disks

    i had the same problem, i got around it by soaking the microdermal until it all softens up, then getting a tissue and twisting it into a point, and just remove the crustyness from under the disk with that :)

    Although there are loads of pics around of microdermal rejection at this stage, i’m interested in seeing some pictures of them right at the beginning of rejection? i’m thinking that a lot of people (including me) wont know what to look for when they dont know whether their microdermal is rejecting… mine seems to have dry skin around one side of it but i’m not sure if its rejecting or just annoyed at something lol. So are there any pics lying around of the “just starting to reject” phase?

  30. I have the flat discs in now. I find if I just unscrew them a half turn then I can get all up in their with the cleaning.

    If it makes anyone fell any better, my micros are doing just great. No problems at all.

  31. after the anchor craze started a few years ago, i was curious to see this end of it.
    it seems like ive read countless times on IAM and elsewhere that people were losing them, or having to remove them. so this is valuable information, in my opinion.
    theyre probably still successful for the majority, but nothing is perfect!

  32. two of my upper chest microdermals did this about 4 months after i had them done so i had to get them taken out, its a shame but there’s not much i could do about it, i think it was mainly due to the positioning of the jewellery as it was in a place quite prone to catching on shirts and also there was just a thin layer of skin but no fat so they stuck out a fair bit.

  33. This comment is to VICKY. I got a dermal anchor on my temple, kind of where an extension of my eyebrow line would be, where the skin is very thin. I now am not all that happy b/c it sticks out a bit, so from the side it looks a little frankenstein-esque and it gets caught on stuff sometimes.

    My coworker really liked mine so she got hers more like at the top of her cheekbone below and to the right of the eye. hers sits flat since there is more flesh there. She had a black eye for two days from it but I like hers better now. Make sure there’s enough flesh in the spot you get it.

  34. I’ve had two microdermals reject (sort of) now. both in my forehead.
    the first one was about 2 centimeteres or so below my hairline and the day after I got it done I went to brush my hair when I woke up and my pinky caught unto it and yanked it out. it didn’t hurt and you can’t even see the scar now.
    the second microdermal addresses the issue that i guess most people are having here which is the “omg I can’t believe they left them in that long blah blah blah”
    a. mine I didn’t realize It was rejecting until the day it actually did.
    b. it looked fine the day before and the day before that and then it turned into one of these posted pictures in about 2 or so hours.
    c.and I didn’t take it out for a day or so because the skin was still grown through the holes in the foot of the jewellery and hurt to tug on it until it grew out some more.

    educate yourselves before you judge other’s actions.

  35. Xalia:

    I thought that only happened to me! I got two dermals to simulate a sternum (because I had that and it rejected) and they were fine for a while, but after about 4 months my boobs were squishing them and the bottom one was ALWAYS buried in my cleavage so it got NO air. I have some good pics of em…But I had to cut em out like 2 days ago (Im a piercer so I cut em out myself).

  36. Ugh mine just ripped off last night as I was taking my shirt off. I have two on the nape of my neck and when I pulled my shirt off, it came off and didn’t hurt at all. The one that hurts is the one that’s still in there, I guess from all the snagging. It’s weird that it came out so fast. I think I’m going to get the other one removed. This sucks.

  37. I love how dermals look, they’re gorgeous, but after reading this im having 2nd thoughts. I want 2 on my clavicals, anyone know a good piercer in SD? Thanks

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