Wedding ring microdermals, the new trend? Get lost!

There’s been a bit of buzz lately from some less than reputable news sites reporting on what they consider a new, hip trend, surface anchors being installed on fingers in place of wedding rings. While Modblog readers and BME fans are certainly not going to be unfamiliar with the erroneous concept of piercing fingers and hands as we near an anniversary of Shannon’s own attempts at his hand web piercings, the body piercing industry as a majority has largely changed face on what we now refer to commonly as “long term temporary” piercings.

I was approached by Refinery29 in order to comment on the subject, and after seeing the final article printed to seem almost positive towards the idea, I feel like the whole story should be told. (And, you know, I already wrote the whole thing).

Here is the original interview in its entirety:

R29: I know pain threshold is a very subjective experience, but on a scale of 1-10, how much would a micro-dermal piercing like this hurt?

TV: When it comes to microdermals – or surface anchors as we more commonly refer to them these days – the sensation for the client receiving the piercing is a bit unlike a traditional piercing. The way I describe the feeling to my clients is to explain that they will feel a piercing-like pinch while the initial pocket is made with a needle, and then more of a pushing-like pressure as the jewelry is inserted.

Pain levels will of course vary from person to person, though surface anchors are usually on the lower end of the pain scale for most of my clients – even those without much or any prior experience in being pierced. Fingers may tend to be a bit more sensitive.

RT: What would the recovery and healing process be like?

TV: Recovery time with most piercings is very minimal. The first few hours to first week or so will contain some light soreness, swelling, mild redness and minimal bleeding around the piercing site as the body’s inflammatory system activates and begins the first stages of the healing process. From there, things will calm down and relax steadily throughout the rest of the healing period.

According to the Association of Professional Piercers, Surface Anchors tend to take between 3-4 months to fully heal. During that time and as the body begins healing the damaged tissue, the piercing will begin to discharge a light amount of what we commonly refer to as fluid that will become “crusties” – or medically, serous exudate. This discharge is a very normal part of the healing process of any piercing at all and appears as a mostly clear, thin, watery plasma that will dry around the piercing site and form light scabbing. It should be gently removed with a very minimal aftercare regimen during healing.


RT: Is it normal for a piercing to continue to bleed like in most of those photos?

TV: While any piercing may bleed a bit immediately during the piercing itself or for a very short while afterwards, extended bleeding is not something we see often with microdermals at all. In very simple terms, in body piercing we are essentially making a hole through the body and then immediately “plugging” it. In many occasions, microdermal piercings will be completed by placing a band-aid over the piercing site itself, though this is usually less to prevent any bleeding and more to prevent any accidental catching or snagging that may affect the piercing after being freshly done.

RT: How close are these finger piercings/anchors to the bone?

TV: Not at all! A microdermal piercing when properly placed will sit in the dermis, the layer of tissue directly beneath the outer surface layer of the skin – the epidermis. They are routinely placed less than a 1/4” beneath the outer surface of the skin, and on places such as fingers – often only about half that.

RT: How do the anchors of a dermal piercing work differently than another?

TV: Surface anchors are unique from other piercings in that they are a single-point piercing, meaning that they have only one point of entrance and exit for the entire piece of jewelry. Onlookers will often ask with curiosity (or sometimes pure bewilderment): “Does that go all the way through?!”.

Instead of a piercing completely made through an ear, or a fold of tissue in say a navel, microdermal piercings are performed by creating a pocket within the top two layers of skin and placing the jewelry snugly and securely within the dermis.

RT: What are possible side effects for a piercing like this?

TV: The biggest and most important side effect to note is that microdermals have a limited lifespan. In my professional experience, clients tend to average around 2-6 years with the piercings before issues arise or they chose to take them out for other reasons – such as lifestyle changes, job requirements, or a change of aesthetic. I have seen surface anchors last upwards of 10+ years and also ones that have to be removed after less than 6 months.

The common term among professionals used to describe the longevity of a microdermal is “Long-term temporary”. When the first modern microdermals were introduced widely in 2006 by Pat Pruitt of Custom Steel, they were referred to as “Borderline Permanent” as their longevity had yet to be tested. Earlier prototypes showed mixed results but most resulted in inevitable failure.


Secondary to rejection, the largest risk factor when it comes to any piercing on the hands is infection. Think about all of the things your hands touch on a regular basis, and now imagine all of those getting in an open wound over 4 months! If we take a look at simple medical studies on wound healing, lacerations on the hand tend to have almost double the infection rate versus those on other parts of the body. While infection rates across the board are already pretty low, especially in the case of traditional piercings, we certainly do not want to encourage higher risk placements and increase those possibilities.

Source: (5% average infection rate for hand lacerations)
Source: (2.5% average infection rate for other lacerations)

Lastly, scaring. As scaring will differ from person to person, it is very difficult for us as professionals to estimate how the piercing site may scar once it has been removed down the line. Some people are left with lightly noticeable scaring, some people may be more prone to keloid-type scars, and some may be simply left with just a subtle little dimple as you’ll see below.

RT: What does the rejection of a piercing actually look like? What should someone look out for?

TV: I actually have a great photo example to share for this question, showing a healed microdermal bottom left, one beginning its journey towards rejection in the top left, one nearly completely rejected on the top right, and a scar from one that has already been fully removed on the bottom right. When this client came into the studio a few months ago, we removed all of the rest of the ones in this photo. These were not performed by me.:


Surface anchors in different stages of rejection or removal.

Surface anchors in different stages of rejection or removal.

In microdermals, early issues with the piercing can be identified by a notable amount of swelling, irritation, excessive redness or soreness, and the jewelry no longer remaining “flat” against the surface of the skin. At this stage, I would recommend returning to your piercer to have them see if the problems may be able to be resolved on their own before furthering. In the later stages, rejection may appear as the jewelry having tilted to one side or another, irritated tissue building up along the base of the jewelry, or entirely with parts of it protruding from the skin as pictured. By this point, it is a better idea to have the piercing removed by a professional rather than continue to let it work its way out on its own.

RT: Would you recommend clients getting this kind of piercing? Do a lot request it?

TV: Despite a few recent articles, requests for microdermal and surface anchor piercings have actually drastically decreased in recent years as more and more clients and more and more professional piercers are becoming aware of their impermanence, high likelihood of rejection and migration, and potential scarring after the piercing has been removed.

I find that the majority of people getting such piercings these days, especially on outer extremities such as wrists, hands, and fingers are those who were not offered a proper explanation of what to expect during healing or after removal. These days, I remove far more microdermals than I insert.

When it comes to extremities, such as hands, fingers, toes and the like, I do not recommend having them done – and nor do the vast majority of my colleagues. These areas are drastically more prone to infection, irritation, accidental catching, snagging, and almost all potential negatives that could happen to a piercing. Even the simple act of placing a hand into a pocket or down a sleeve when putting on a T-Shirt can turn into a complete ordeal as the piercing snags on clothing. Their longevity is dramatically reduced, and though you may see an increase or a large amount of photos of them being done – they are nearly always photos taken when the piercings were still brand new.


RT: Where might there be a better placement on the hand?

TV: Truthfully, there is not really a “better” placement for any piercing on a hand. Over the few decades, some of the best professional body piercers in the world experimented with a myriad of placements for piercings located on the hands and fingers. In short, they nearly all failed with the exception of some very small and unique cases of sheer luck.

In summary, if you understand the risks, the likelihood that they will not be permanent adornments, and are okay with potential scarring once they have been removed – they can be a very fun, temporary addition to many different parts of the body. It is important to consult with a reputable piercer with much experience in this area beforehand who can explain all of these factors to you along with providing you a safe recommendation on placement options that will provide as much longevity as possible. Outliers will however always be a factor. Finger microdermals may potentially last a decade under the right circumstances and with enough luck – and many readers may know people who have successful microdermal piercings for extended amounts of time that may make them believe the success rate is much higher – but it’s important to remember that not everyone who jumps off of the Golden Gate bridge dies.

If you’re looking for a cute way to show off your love, sticking with traditional finger jewelry tends to work much, much better – and I would hope that your marriage or partnership lasts longer than the average microdermal or surface anchor on a finger. :)


And that my friends, is why pop culture should just continue to report on pop culture.



Private Portraits

BME was sent the following press release:
The German photographer Stefan Richter worked from 1983 until end of the 90s on the body arts, with two books (Tattoo, Quartet 1985; Hidden Exposures, De Vaar 1994). This brand-new, self-published work – a nostalgic visual feast – is a choice of his best images – most of which have never been seen before – heightened by biographies based on interviews. Portrayed are – in mostly nude photographs and in-depth texts – numerous deceased tattoo legends, including Alan Oversby, Karl Green, Isobel Varley, Rusty, Michael Kickham O’Farrell, Rocky, Tattoo Theo, Samy, Herbert Hoffmann, Karlmann Richter and many more. This sumptuous new volume illustrates a time gone by, when the body arts were still shrouded in veils. A lovingly crafted high-end book: a true collector’s item with an unforgettable ambience.
Large Format 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 in)
Digital Printing (Please note: Digital printing is more expensive than ‘normal’ offset printing)
Drum Scan Origination (Heidelberg Tango)
Dust Jacket on Hardcover (100% rayon with tissue backing, which increases durability)
Premium Matte Photo Paper 148g/m² (100 lb.)
Weight of the book ca. 1.5 kg
148 Pages
71 full colour Photographs
Extensive Biographies (all text in English)
This sophisticated art book is only (!) available at the BLURB bookstore and not via Amazon or any bookshop. Please note: the European version and the American version of this book are absolutely identical in every aspect, but shipped either from the Netherlands or the US. To save shipping costs, order your copy from the source nearest to you (see below) !
United Kingdom:
United States:
Canada (English):
Canada (Francais):
By the way, the BLURB-bookstore PREVIEW only shows 29 images (out of a total of 71). There are 42 more absolutely extraordinary visual surprises in this book !
Have a look (public visibility) at this promotional Facebook-Page:

MS is BS

Hey folks, many of you know that Rachel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007.  She has had many relapses and the drugs are simply not working.  Her best option is a Stem Cell Transplant Program at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.  They use Rachel’s own stem cells in order to help halt the disease.  This treatment has a 98% success rate of preventing relapses.

As you can imagine, the medical costs for something like this are very high.  A couple of her friends have started a Go Fund Me in order to help her out with medical costs.  If you can help, please consider donating.  And please share this with as many people as you can.  Rachel has done a lot for the BME community and for many individuals.  Let’s help her out in return.


You can donate to the Go Fund Me (and learn more about the procedure she will be getting) here.

Da da da dum…

Is that a severed hand or are you just happy to see me?

Tattoo by Charley Gerardin

Tattoo by Charley Gerardin

Check out Thing Gallery, where tattoo artists tattoo silicone hands for display. It started as a one-off charity event and turned into a long-standing gallery show.

1. Thing Gallery b&w tattoos2. Thing Gallery Colour Tattoos3. Thing Gallery tattoo stumps4. Thing Gallery tattooed hands 2

On February 26th, Fareed Kaviani presented an exhibition of tattooed silicone hands and sheets at Melbourne’s Neon Parlour. All profits from the sale of the tattooed silicone went to SafeSteps and WIRE, two Melbourne based organisations dedicated to providing support to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

With support from INKED magazine, Things & Ink, Melbourne Permanent, Sailor Jerry, Protat (who donated $500 to the charities), Temple Brewery, Mulbury, Daseti, and Metal Couture, the event was a unique opportunity to view the work of many world-renowned artists such as Sasha Unisex, Grace Neutral, Guy Le Tatooer, and David Cote, including national talents such as Alvaro Flores, Matt Deverson, Lauren Winzer, and Mel Wink.

Each silicone hand was individually moulded from a unique cast of Fareed’s hand. With no prior knowledge of prosthetics or experience making moulds or using silicone, the process was one of trial and a shit load of error. Initially, the idea was to make one hand and write a ‘how to’ piece for INKED magazine, however, after investing over 3 months researching materials, contacting professionals, and sitting through hours of YouTube tutorials, Fareed felt like an article would be a premature ending. Plus, he didn’t want to part with his newfound skills in silicone moulding that easily. So, naturally, he contacted over 30 international, national, and local tattooists asking if they were interested in tattooing a hand or sheet that we could sell to raise funds for two incredibly important organisations, Safesteps and WIRE. And you can’t exactly say no to that! Lo and behold, these artists refused to shy away from the challenge and instead dedicated their time and demonstrated their artistic talent to create a beautiful and curious array of tattooed extremities and sheets.

Thing Gallery Tattooable Silicone hand

Tattoo by Sam Kane

Tattoo by Sam Kane

With the exhibition complete, Fareed decided to continue Thing Gallery by commissioning artists to tattoo hands for the public to purchase through the website ( Artists currently tattooing a Thing include:

Guy Le Tatooer
Jorge Ramirez @jorgeramireztattoo
Vond Barta @vondtattoo
Mel Wink @smel_wink
Gakkin @gakkinx
Fergus Simms @fergus_simms
Nic Tse @jynt
Oozy @oozy_tattoo
Or Kantor @om_kantor
Amy Unalome @amy_unalome_tattoo
Elric Gordon @elriccfh
William Jellman @pastilliam
Tim Tavaria @timtavaria
Matt Deverson @mattdeversontattoo
Zane Donnellan @gooneytoons_str
Onnie O’leary @onnieolearytattoo
Eugene Plotnikov @yeahgnar
Hannah Pixie @blackstabbathofficial
Russell Winter @russellxwinter
Leonie New @leonienewtattoos
Mav @maverickreevetattoo
Emmet @emmet_jace_tattoos
Adrian @edekqwerty
Blair @blair_maxine_hewitt
Sasha Masiuk @sashatattooing
Damien Thorn @damien.j.thorn
Ishi Neve @ishi_neve

Thing Gallery also provides gallery quality tattooable hands and sheets direct to the public.

Thing Gallery have an exciting new project in the works featuring Hannah Pixie Snow, VICE magazine, and a full-sized silicone head! So follow their Instagram page @thinggallery for updates.

The single hands are current exhibited pieces, for sale in their gallery.

Casting Call

BME received a casting call, if you’re interested, information and contact info is below:

MTV Networks and the award-winning producers and journalists at Barcroft Productions are now casting for a new, documentary series. This fascinating series will explore the lives of unique families across America.

We are very interested in speaking to outgoing and opinionated families from the body modification/suspension community, who can accurately represent what it means to be a part of this community and can help to dispel any misconceptions about the lifestyle. We would love to talk to anyone who believes they have a story to tell.

If this sounds like you and your family’s life, we want to hear from you!

Please email us ASAP at:

Make sure to include your name, location, contact information, photo and a brief paragraph about you, your family and share details about your lifestyle.


Hey everyone, did you know you can still get BME patches? Well you can! As you may be aware, Rachel’s home flooded in 2015 and lost all personal belongings along with all of BME Shop’s stock, BME’s computers, etc. These patches are being produced by a friend of her partner, David’s and all proceeds go directly back to BME to help us recover our losses. Not only will you be receiving awesome patches, but you’ll be helping BME!

I took the photo below and included a quarter for size, these are perfect for bags or jackets.


You can get your Calm Logo patch here.
You can get your Hockey Logo patch here.

BME Event in So Cal!

Hey folks, are you in Southern California? The 16th Annual So Cal BME/IAM BBQ is taking place on Saturday, August 6th, 2016, hosted by our friends David and Tiffany. Check out their Facebook event page for more information!


And, if you go, don’t forget to take photos and submit them to BME!

(Click the photo to go to the Facebook page.)

Yakuza Apocalypse

I recently received an email about a movie that looks pretty entertaining. Check out the trailer and information on the film and its release dates below.



Yakuza Apocalypse - Quad - HalfSize NEW

Facebook Twitter Instagram

Manga Entertainment is excited to announce a UK theatrical release of cult Japanese director, Takashi Miike’s latest cinematic feast, Yakuza Apocalypse. The film, which recently wowed audiences at the London Film Festival and had its world premiere at Cannes Directors Fortnight is coming to UK cinemas January 6.

In what The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin refers to as ‘demented brilliance’, the film is arguably the craziest vampire-gangster genre mashup ever witnessed. Miike’s signature blend of deranged horror, slapstick and action are all on display here, making Yakuza Apocalypse not only his most fun film but also the most bizarre to date.

Yakuza Apocalypse tells the story of Kageyama who is ridiculed for being the only member of the Yakuza clan unable to brand himself with their signature tattoo due to sensitive skin. However, when a dying Kamiura, the most feared boss in the Yakuza underworld, bites Kageyama he is transformed into a bloodthirsty monster who will stop at nothing to avenge his former boss.

“This is definitely the most insane vampire movie you’ll ever see and we are extremely proud to be bringing it to the big screen! For those familiar with Miike’s controversial yet fun work, you’ll be happy to know he is on fine ‘crazy’ form with this action-packed and blood-soaked horror. Yakuza Apocalypse is also from the producers of The Raid 1 & 2 so you know the fight scenes are exceptionally kinetic and the story is a thrilling spectacle!” – Andrew Hewson, Marketing Manager at Manga Entertainment

Director: Takashi Miike

Cast: Yayan Ruhian, Hayato Ichihara, Rirî Furankî

Synopsis: Due to his sensitive skin, Kageyama is ridiculed by his fellow Yakuza clan members for being the only one who cannot be branded with their signature tattoo. When Kamiura, the fearsome Yakuza boss who also happens to be a bloodsucking vampire is brutally killed by a competing clan, he passes on his vampire powers to his loyal lieutenant. Now Kageyama is transformed into a bloodthirsty monster who will stop at nothing to avenge his former boss.