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Which Piercings Have a High Chance of Migration?

types of piercing migration

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While piercing migration is a possibility for all piercings, certain types of piercings do in fact have a higher chance of migrating. Certain piercings actually have a 100% chance of migrating and can never be permanent. So if you’re only interested in a low maintenance piercing that you can keep forever, which piercings should be avoided?

What is Piercing Migration?

Piercing migration is when your immune system forces your jewelry up towards the skin and outside of the body. It can occur for many reasons, but for this article specifically, all of these types of piercings are caused by the pressure of the jewelry against the skin. Unfortunately for these types of piercings, there is nothing that can be done to avoid or slow down the migration, as the locations just aren’t an ideal place for a piercing. If you are interested in reading more about migration, check out this article where we go more in depth.

Surface Piercings and Dermals

You may have heard surface bars or dermals being referred to as “temporary piercings” this is because, due to their location, surface piercings have a 100% chance of rejection from migration. Because nothing is keeping the jewelry in the body except for a thin layer of skin, it is very easy for your body to push it out. Depending on where the surface bar or dermal was placed, you may be able to expect a longer lasting piercing, but sooner or later, they will all be rejected.

Eyebrow and Navel Piercings

Most people are unaware that eyebrow and navel piercings are actually surface piercings. Probably because the jewelry is a typical curved barbell as opposed to the jewelry worn in surface piercings, as well as they have their own name because they are in a set location. Both eyebrow and navel piercings only go through a very thin layer of skin and they have a high chance of migration and eventually, rejection.

However, unlike typical surface piercings, neither one of them has a 100% rejection rate. While chances are you will eventually lose these, and you need to keep your eye on them for the rest of your piercing’s life, you could potentially keep these piercings for a very long time.

Genital Piercings

Unlike the other piercings on this list, most genital piercings are not surface piercings and they tend to go through a decent amount of tissue. The problem with genital piercings is that everyone’s genitals are different and different types of genital piercings were made to suit different people.

As an anecdote, when I went to get my triangle pierced, my piercer told me that I did have the anatomy to support the piercing, but warned me that due to my build, it was likely that it would migrate a little and then stop and wouldn’t fully reject. I agreed that this was fine, so I got the piercing and it migrated for a few weeks and then stopped. Now I have a slightly crooked triangle, but I knew when I got pierced that it may tilt. This emphasizes that you should go to an APP certified piercer, especially for genital piercings, because they will be able to let you know what to expect ahead of time.

How Long Can You Expect To Keep These Piercings?

As previously stated, genital piercings are forever piercings – they just have a higher chance of migration than other piercings. Eyebrow and navel piercings have a high chance of rejection, but it is possible that they can also be forever piercings.

As for surface piercings and dermals, the timeline can be anywhere between 1 month to 10 years. The exact time frame of course depends on the exact location of the piercing, how often the piercing gets snagged or pulled on, and your immune system. In general, a surface piercing on the face where the skin is thin or the hand, where the piercing will almost certainly be bumped constantly, will last a much shorter time than a piercing on the hips.


Unfortunately eyebrow and navel piercings have a high chance of rejection, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are temporary piercings. While surface piercings may not be permanent, many people believe in taking the chances. It’s important to know ahead of time that your new piercing could only last a month, but with proper care and luck, you could keep your piercing for many years.