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Lowbret Microdermals

I am a fairly new to the world of body modification, my first mod being a simple piercing in October 2007. The time since then has been used heavily but wisely! In my time acquiring piercings I had been doing a lot of reading into the piercings I desired. In reading about lowbrets I had read of labret studs causing gum recession in some people and since I have taken good care of aural hygiene my whole life the possibility of this occurrence was none too attractive to me so my mind drifted to the world of microdermals. 

Due to the permanent nature of microdermals I spent about 2 or 3 months considering the implications of such a modification. In the end my mind ended up feeling the same about microdermals as it did about tattoos: Put thought into them, their placement etc. beforehand, which I had been doing, and once it's done its permanence is as much a part of the modification as the final appearance.  

One quiet day I decided I would go ahead with my microdermals and walked in to Edinburgh city centre, did some clothes shopping, went for some food in preparation for my piercings then headed to Studio XIII. I had never been pierced there before but was aware of their sterling reputation and that they had recently started performing the microdermal procedure.  

Due to a combination of attending a studio I had never been in before, and doing so for a pair of permanent modifications I was a little nervous. I simply walked towards the desk and explained what I wanted done. Both Sarah and the other piercer at the desk asked me about placement and checked that I definitely wanted microdermals rather than ordinary lowbrets, also explaining that I was the first facial microdermals to be carried out in that studio. I explained my worries about gum recession and all was agreed on that count. Sarah warned me that due to the depth of flesh the microdermal process may be rather difficult and, dependent on my lip, there may simply be too little flesh to make the pocket possible. Sarah went to set up the piercing station while I filled out the consent form and a few minutes later (which felt like a lifetime) she returned and asked me to follow her downstairs to the large room in which they carry out their piercings and tattoos. 

Upon closer inspection we realised that the placement desired was actually below the bottom of my gum by a couple of millimetres and were more upon my chin so flesh depth worries were now completely redundant. Sarah took my coat for me and sat me down in their chair and reclined it to a level I was comfortable with so she could face me at a suitable angle to draw placement points on me accurately. I was offered the opportunity to put on my own choice of music to make me as comfortable and relaxed as possible but due to unusual connection on my phone, this was not possible. They were still nice enough to check that the music on anyway did not unsettle me, which it did not. The lounge jazz nature of it did however spawn some jokes at its owner's expense, creating an atmosphere that put me more at ease. 

Approximately 20 minutes were spent adjusting placements, checking how they sat with my face in different expressions (my naturally uneven beard complicating things a little more), readjusting, checking, asking other staff within the studio on their opinions of placement accuracy, and once Sarah was happy with evenness I was handed a mirror and asked whether I was happy with the placement. She was even thorough enough to explain the difficulties with unevenness due to what was effectively my squint face. She described it in a far more tactful way which eludes me at present. I, however, simply blurted out that I realised that my face was squint which seemed to make it easier to discuss the struggles with placement. Once this was discussed thoroughly Sarah asked me again whether I was happy with the placement and whether I was sure I wanted to go through with the procedure. She told me that once they were done if I changed my mind then they may still be removable for a few hours as the jewellery would not be solidly bound yet. All being checked and assured we went ahead with the procedure. 

Sarah put on what must have been about the 5th pair of gloves she had used and asked me to lie back and relax. Once the jewellery and 1.6mm dermal punch (the small gauge making it far less intimidating than the 5mm and above punches which I had seen previously) were unwrapped I was asked once more whether I was sure and then checked that I was ready and comfortable. Due to the proximity to myself I could not really see what was actually done during the process but it wasn't too uncomfortable. Sarah spend a short while around the piercing before inserting the jewellery but I'm not sure what it was she was doing. I found the jewellery insertion more comfortable than initial fittings of regular CBBs and bars.  

Once the first microdermal was complete Sarah checked that I felt okay and was ready to go on to the next one. She assured me that if I didn't wish to proceed with the 2nd I could leave it at one and not have to pay for the 2nd. Never being one to back down I continued. The right hand side was more painful than the left but others have told me that when being pierced multiple times in one sitting the pain, for them, increased with each piercing. The same fitting process followed and was then completed with Sarah putting a few minutes of pressure on the 2 piercings to help them bind better. She cleaned me up and offered me a glass of water, which I gladly accepted, then put some plasters over the piercings to apply continued pressure.  

She suggested I applied fresh plasters morning and night for a couple of weeks to help the binding process, advice which I gladly followed. Sarah then realised that she hadn't taken photos of the piercings, as I had agreed to previously, before applying the plasters and politely asked if I wouldn't mind returning in a few weeks so she could take a few photographs, particularly due to the fact that they were the first facial microdermals performed there. I agreed, paid my money, exchanged thanks, then left and began my walk home. 

The healing over the next few weeks varied greatly. One day one piercing would feel fine, the other would feel uncomfortable and bloody. The next their reactions would swap places. Overall comfort improved gradually over the next 3 weeks. Once I had finished wearing plasters on them I returned to Studio XIII to have photographs taken for both the studio's and Sarah's own portfolios. A few photographs and questions of progress and all was sorted. I again left and walked home. 

From February to the end of April the piercings seem to have become solid and show no signs of rejection. Occasionally one will get caught in the shower or on a T-shirt and swell up a little for the day, perhaps weep a little, but untampered with they seem solid and happy. I have occasional days of slight bleeding/lymphing however these become more rare as time progresses. 

Good luck to anyone else considering microdermals and enjoy the funny questions and bemused faces associated with them!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Sarah
Studio: Studio+XIII
Location: Edinburgh%2C+Scotland%2C+UK

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