Single-point piercing sparkles Jacksonville with inquiries


When I was 11, my dad offered to buy me a whole red velvet cake if I told him I’d never get a tattoo. Much to his relief, I’m still lacking tattoo, although I have punched a few holes through my body since.


A phase for some, a way of life for others, body modification has existed as a social meme since almost the beginning of time, but all of this summons the questions: What are people’s primary motivations? And of course, what new extreme procedures are being done out there in the realm of ink and needles to one-up past shockers?


Meet the microdermal implant, a unique single-point piercing that involves taking a needle to carve out a very small pocket of skin just underneath the skin, inserting a flat, metal base into the pocket, then finally screwing in the jewelry that’s up for public viewing.


“We’ve known about this particular piercing for about 18-20 months now,” said a Florida Department of Health official, “And it’s also referred to as dermal anchoring.”


The idea of dermal anchoring isn’t brand new, and it has been growing in popularity over the past five to 10 years in the more underground circles of body modifiers, but studios in Jacksonville haven’t been performing them until just recently, said Mike Hable, a UNF business management senior and receiver of the microdermal implant.


“It’s not an implant, it’s more so a substitute for a surface piercing,” said Todd Lake’s Tattoo and Piercing Studio’s ‘Jon the Piercer.’ “They’re easy to get, and I think everybody should have one — I’ve got almost all of the studio to get one, so yeah.”


Jon described them as unique because traditionally you have to have an entrance and an exit, but with these they work just about anywhere on the body.


“I think they really catch people’s eyes,” said Jon. “I’ve had people stop me and say, ‘What is that?’ And I say, ‘it’s a microdermal,’ and they’re like, ‘Huh? Whoa.’”


While they can be done just about anywhere, it’s smart to avoid joints and the neck, seeing as the tension of the skin ranks high in those places.


And although the verdict is still out on its level of pain, Jon feels that it’s less than a traditional piercing, but that psyching yourself out is key. Jon also mentioned that if you manage to build up an adrenaline, as soon as the pain hits, you’ll barely feel anything.


“It’s really different for everybody,” said Jon. “I mean, two people can be getting the same microdermal in the exact same spot and describe the experience as being completely different. It all depends what the ‘victim’s’ pain tolerance is like and whether they sit still for me.”


Typically the entire procedure takes under two minutes, but sometimes there are complications, and sometimes the skin just doesn’t want to give.


“Usually, the only complications that occur are when the microdermal will migrate and then eventually reject, but the rate of that is only about 2 percent,” said Jon. “But don’t get me wrong, there are some rare occurrences.”


Jon has been performing microdermals for six months, but went through an intensive training course before trying it out on himself. 


“There’s a guy up in Jersey that goes by Johnny Needles, he’s been practicing for five years, he shared with me the ups and downs of what’s going to happen and what’s not going to happened, and I’ve taken all of the knowledge he gave me and always apply it to what I do here.” 


In Jersey, microdermals are actually illegal but body-modifying laws vary for every sate. For instance, studios in Florida aren’t allowed to split tongues or suspend people.


“I think a lot of people have been going online and posting YouTube videos of microdermals,” said Jon. “And then the people at the Department of Health are going, oh, that’s a public safety issue.”


So far, the Florida Department of Health hasn’t received any complaints of injury involving microdermal implants.


“I would say that they’re no different than normal piercings, when talking about the health repercussions,” said a Florida official. “You’re still opening up a portal of transmission for blood born pathogens, and proper preparation and aftercare is very important.”


There’s an extremely comprehensive list of requirements and checks the DOH covers when inspecting a piercing studio. On top of proper training requirements, sanitation standards and checking for proper hot water and sewage operation as well as bio-medical waste disposal, piercers are required to either perform a piercing in front of a health official or perform a mock procedure if a willing customer is not present.


The DOH stresses that people be really careful before getting a body piercing and to consider things like skin allergies to certain alloys, diabetes and if you’re taking any medications with blood thinners or have any heart problems.

As far as what the key points that motivate one to modify their body, Jon thinks they’re different for everybody.

“Some people love the rush that’s associated with the pain,” said Jon. “Some just want to be unique.”

For Hable, before a surgery demanding its removal, his microdermal that used to be placed in between his clavicles set him apart from the rest.


“I think it modified my body in a positive way,” said Hable. “I received a lot of compliments, I really think it accentuated my physique.”