Dermal (or biopsy) punches are surgical instruments that are becoming more and more accepted in the body modification community. While not every body part needs to be dermal punched (in fact, we recommend the use of piercing needles for most piercings), if a large gauge piercing is desired in the cartilage of the ear, dermal punches can’t be beat!
Dermal Punching on Ear Lobes: We do not recommend using dermal punching on ear lobes. (The list of pictures below shows the procedure on the ear lobes, this was only done for the purpose of being able to take better pictures. The Silicone Ear would not allow us to punch the cartilage without it destroying the ear.)
It is healthier to have a needle piercing performed, and then gradually stretch the piercing to the desired size. Dermal punches remove tissue, which, if used on earlobes, can cause thin lobes, which will be detrimental to further stretching. It is best to have as much tissue in your lobes as possible if you wish to stretch them--this will keep your ears and your piercings safe and happy.
Dermal Punching on Ear Cartilage: Since it is unhealthy to stretch cartilage piercings up more than a few gauges, dermal punching is a great alternative for people who would like large gauge piercings in the conch or outer conch. Small punches require that jewelry be worn throughout the entire healing time. Large punches can be healed without jewelry, once bleeding has stopped.
Risks: There is a severe risk of bleeding with any dermal punch, as it is a large wound in your body. Insertion of properly sized jewelry can help to put pressure on the wound. However, bleeding can still be severe and should be monitored closely during and after the procedure.
People with bleeding conditions such as hemophilia or people taking blood thinners should consult a doctor before performing this procedure. In the event that bleeding does not stop or a dangerous loss of blood occurs, seek immediate medical assistance.
There is also a risk of infection, as with any modification. By having a sterile environment, sterile tools, and sterile jewelry, this risk can be easily minimized. It can be further minimized by having this procedure done by a licensed professional.
Unlike needle piercing, this modification removes a round circle of tissue from the punched area, therefore this is a permanent modification.