Skip to content


Surface piercings are a great way to express your personality and creativity, because of the boldness and difference of the body art.

However, like everybody modification, surface piercings do have their pros and cons, so it’s important you consider the advantages and potential risks that come with this particular type of piercing.

What are surface piercings?

Unlike normal piercings, surface piercings do not go right through a part of your body tissue. For example, ear piercings go directly through your ear and out the other side. Surface piercings are any body modifications that are ‘sewn’ through the skin, instead of running through it. In other words, they follow the plane of skin.

Unlike dermal piercings, which only have one point of entry, surface piercings have both an entry and an exit wound. This makes them a little more complicated to place than other body modifications.

Where can I get a surface piercing?

Surface piercings can be placed pretty much anywhere on the body. However, it is advised to avoid areas that move a lot, because the constant friction could result in the piercing being rejected quickly.

The most popular places for surface piercings are: the eyebrow, the upper cheek, the bridge of a nose, the back of a neck, the collarbone or chest, the hips, below the belly button, the entirety of the back (also known as the corset piercing because of its aesthetic) and the wrist.

Do surface piercings hurt?

Like any type of piercing, the pain level will depend on the location you get the piercing. Chest and collarbone surface piercings are typically the most painful, and facial surface piercings can also pack quite a pinch. However, fingers, hips and wrist areas are all typically less painful, but it does come down to an individual’s own pain threshold.

Are surface piercings easily rejected by the body?

Surface piercings are more easily rejected by the body than normal piercings. When they get rejected, they start to come up through the skin as the body deems the piercing as a foreign object trying to enter the bloodstream. You can identify rejection if the area around the piercing becomes abnormally red and if you can begin to see the jewellery coming through the skin. If the area is warm, itchy, sore, swelling or irritated, the piercing may also be coming out of the skin or potentially infected.

Also, the pressure and swelling caused by surface piercings may result in hypergranulations, which are often mistaken as keloid scars. The top of the piercing may be pressing too hard on the skin, resulting in red bumps that look like they contain fluid. When you start to experience any problems with your piercing, including inflammation, rejection or hypergranulations, you should visit your piercing artist immediately, so they can help you resolve the issue.

Remember to clean

To help avoid rejection and infection, you should regularly clean your surface piercing, ideally with a sterile saline solution that your piercing artist advised you.