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So you’ve probably heard a ton of different phrases thrown around about body piercing, but how do you know what people are actually talking about?  Depending on the region, level of expertise, and a number of other factors, different people will call different piercings and procedures by different names.  Here’s a few suggestions that might help to sort it out:


Most of us will call regular piercing by it's name - “piercing.” For dermals and surface piercings, the terminology is a little more varied. Depending on where you live and who’s talking, you could hear any of these phrases:

Surface bar, staple, surface barbell, surface wire, U-bar: these are all references to the type of jewelry used in a surface piercing.

Punch, piercing punch, circle razor, dermal punch, hand punch, dermal razor: they’re all names for the device used to create a hole for dermal anchors to be inserted underneath the skin.

Dermal, dermal piercing, dermal anchor, microdermal, dermal implant, surface anchor: all phrases used to describe single point piercings.


Punch and taper: a surface piercing technique that used a dermal punch to make the entrance and exit holes for a surface piercing, along with a taper or dermal elevator to separate the skin in between from the subcutaneous tissue, creating a perfect staple shaped channel for the jewelry.

Double needle, two needle, over under: terms that refer to the use of two standard hollow piercing needles to create a surface piercing.

 As with surface piercings, microdermal implants also have several methods still in use, including the use of a dermal punch, a single needle, or a needle and an elevator to create a dermal pocket for jewelry insertion.

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