Body piercing has expanded and changed over the years as more and more people accept the look and style various piercings promote. Surface piercings, though not new by any definition of the word, are a newer trend in young men and women. The two main types of popular surface piercings involve bars and microdermals. Surface piercings may have a higher rate of rejection and/or infection than ear piercing or other body piercings. A pregnant woman’s immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, which leaves surface piercing on the borderline of unsafe.
Barbell surface piercings
Barbell surface piercings are performed like eyebrow piercings. The skin is pinched and a sharp, sterile tool is used to create two holes. The barbell is matched to the length of the hole creating the effect of two single jewelry implants. Popular locations for barbell piercings include the neck, hips, and chest.
Microdermals or single implants
Microdermal implants are less invasive than traditional surface piercings. A small hole is placed in the skin with a punch or gauged piercing needle. The piercer places a small anchor into the hole with a post or healing nub sticking out through the hole. Jewelry is screwed into the healing nub. Tissue grows through holes in the healing nub, anchoring the piece in place. While some piercers claim microdermal piercings are permanent, the body often rejects the anchor or snagging causes the nub to pull out of the skin.
Infection and rejection risk
Surface piercings tend to reject or infect more often than other forms of piercings. Most professional body piercers believe the higher rejection and infection rates are associated with improper implantation. The high rejection and infection rates pose an increased risk for pregnant women. Though there are likely many pregnant women who have had successful surface piercings during pregnancy, the procedures are not considered safe for pregnant women.
The Association of Professional Piercers recommends skipping all body modifications, including surface piercings, while pregnant. The organization suggests waiting at least three months after birth before trying a new piercing.
Surface Piercings and transdermal/subdermal implants
Surface piercings are not the same as transdermal or subdermal implants. Implants are not piercings and require extensive knowledge, training, and specializing implantation care. Implants are not considered safe for pregnant women as the risk of infection due to compromised immunity during pregnancy is high.
You may think a tiny piece of jewelry placed just under the skin poses no threat to the fetus, but surface piercings and microdermals are not pregnancy-friendly beauty modifications. Wait until after the baby is born to modify your body with surface piercings.