What to Expect With a Finger Piercing

A finger piercing is a great way to sport an unusual and unique body accessory such as a bar, ring, stud, or diamond. The possibilities for customizations that can be made to this type of piercing are quite numerous, although they largely depend on what type of piercing is done. If you are considering this type of piercing for yourself then it can help to learn a bit about the piercing process as well as the demands of aftercare and the risks and complications that can arise with a finger piercing.

About Finger Piercings

A piercing in the skin of the finger is almost exclusively done using a needle. Do not allow a piercer to use a piercing gun for this type of piercing! The piercing is generally done by inserting the needle into the skin where it creates a hole for the jewelry to be placed through. Depending on the type of piercing that you get, the piercing could consist of two holes though which a bar or a ring can be placed or it might be a single hole through which an anchor is inserted. The piercer should ask what kind of aesthetics you want to achieve with the piercing and then they may be able to make some suggestions to help you achieve the closest possible match to your ideal piercing.

Types of Finger Piercing

The two main types of finger piercings are surface piercings and dermal piercings. The look achieved by each piercing is quite different to one another, so take a minute to decide which one comes closest to the results that you want.

Surface Piercing

A surface piercing involves two holes though which a staple-shaped bar is inserted. At the end of each bar is a screw-like tip to which the stud, be it a ball or a diamond, screws onto. The bar itself should not show because it is imbedded underneath the skin. The end result simply appears as two balls on the skin that rest a specific distance from one another, depending on how long the bar is. This type of piercing can be placed pretty much anywhere on the body because it is a minor-invasive piercing. The most popular styles of surface piercings for the finger are vertical and horizontal bars; however there is also the option of having a loop inserted to dangle from the finger or to wrap around it in the form of a ring. Although a surface piercing looks very nice and is considered a moderately long-term piercing if it is extremely well cared for, it is not a permanent piercing and can leave unsightly scars.

Dermal Piercing

The dermal piercing is more of a long term fixture and has a much lower chance of leaving a serious scar than a surface piercing. A dermal piercing is done by inserting a piece called an “anchor” deep under the skin. The anchor is metal and has a series of holes in it so that the tissues under the skin can grow around and through it to keep it from shifting dramatically.  The anchor is inserted into the body through a single hole and a screw-like tip sticks upwards out of the skin. The jewelry, usually a stud, screws onto the top of the anchor which gives the appearance of a single stud on the skin. A dermal piercing lasts much longer than a surface piercing however it will not last forever.

Finger Piercing After-Care

The after-care involved in a finger piercing is must more involved than with a typical piercing due to the location. Fingers are always being used with things that harbor bacteria, fungi, chemicals, and other substances that can easily infect the piercing site. The piercing should be cleansed using a saline solution or clear anti-bacterial soap at least three times a day in addition to any times when the hands become dirty or handle germ-infested things such as raw meat or dirt. It is very important not to wear gloves with a new finger piercing and to also avoid catching the piercing on clothing, table tops, or other surfaces that could stress the skin or even rip out the anchor.

Risks and Complications

As with any type of piercing, there are risks that it will not “settle” properly or that scarring or infection will take place. With a finger piercing, the primary risks are infection and the piercing being ripped or torn from the skin. Hands are one of the most used parts of the body and they are constantly coming into contact with infectious organisms and surfaces that can bump against, pull, or push at the piercing, causing extra wear and tear on the skin and underlying tissues. Due to this, the piercing may “migrate” or move to a different position under the skin. Another issue is that the body will “reject” the piercing, which means that the body will slowly (or in some cases, within as little as a few months) push the piercing outward until there is no other choice but to remove the piercing. If the migration or rejection is severe the skin could harbor obvious scars. It is also worth considering that with a dermal piercing the only way to remove the anchor is via a surgical procedure that piercers are not qualified to perform. You must go to a doctor to have the anchor removed once it begins to migrate or be rejected by the body.


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