Dermal Punch

A dermal punch is used in the medical world to take biopsy samples, but in body modifications, it’s used when performing a Punch and Taper piercing.

Generally a dermal punch is used for cartilage piercings because cartilage tissues are prone to developing scar tissue. The dermal punch reduces the risk of scarring because it reduces the pressure that a piercing puts on the wounded tissues. Plus, when stretching a cartilage piercings, it’s just quicker and easier to use the dermal punching technique.

Before a dermal punch is used, the practitioner will map out any major blood vessels in order to cause the least amount of damage to the surrounding tissues. Depending on the location, the practitioner may something to “catch” the dermal punch as it is pressed through the tissues. A flattened spoon, tongue depressor, or even a cork, may be used.

With a good bit of pressure, the dermal punch is pressed and twisted through the tissues. Some practitioners will leave the punch in the hole and butt the jewelry to the back and as the punch is removed, insert the jewelry. Others, may choose to use another tool to replace the punch and then insert the jewelry.

When healing a dermal punch piercing, the process is a little different. For smaller dermal punches (6 guage and less), heal like a normal piercing. But, for larger sizes, some suggest wearing the jewelry for a few days to allow the tissues to seal; then remove the jewelry because a piercing without the jewelry will heal much faster. If you take out the jewelry to allow the dermal punching to heal, you’ll want to keep a close eye on it and check regular to ensure that it isn’t trying to close.