How to Remove the Top off an Anchor Dermal Piercing

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Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial or antimicrobial soap

  • Paper towels

  • Autoclaved Kelly or mosquito forceps

  • Autoclaved microdermal forceps (optional)

Microdermal anchors, also known as surface anchors and transdermal anchors, are pieces of jewelry that give the illusion of a bead or jewel floating on the skin. The jewelry consists of a flat base anchor, or "foot," with a threaded post sticking up out of it at a 90-degree angle. Piercers puncture the skin's surface with a needle, insert the foot beneath the skin so that only the post sticks out and screw the bead into the post. You should visit a professional piercer to remove the top if possible, but with the proper tools you can do it yourself.


Step 1

Lather your hands with liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap. Use hot water, and dry your hands with a clean paper towel. Wash your piercing with the same soap and dry it with another unused paper towel.

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Step 2

Remove your microdermal forceps, Kelly forceps or mosquito forceps from the autoclave bag.

Step 3

Use two fingers to press down on the skin just beneath the top of your dermal piercing, one finger on either side. This will cause the bar to stick up slightly.

Step 4

Grasp the bar with the tips of the mosquito or Kelly forceps, just beneath the top bead.


Step 5

Twist the top bead to the left until it comes loose. If it is too tight to remove with your fingers, grasp both sides with a pair of microdermal forceps and turn the forceps to the left until the bead comes unscrewed.


Always make sure that any tools that come into contact with your piercings have been autoclaved before use. Your piercer or tattoo artist will usually autoclave new tools for you for a small fee. Never use forceps on your body that have been used on another person's body unless they have been autoclave sterilized between uses. Remember that laying sterile tools on a non-sterile surface renders the tools non-sterile. If possible, lay your tools on a fresh dental bib, preferably one that has also been autoclave sterilized. Do not attempt to change the top on your dermal anchor unless your piercing is fully healed. Always wear fresh latex or nitrile gloves if you are touching another person's piercing. Do not allow anyone to touch your unhealed piercing unless they are wearing fresh, unused gloves.


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