The term subdermal implant most commonly refers to a form of body art, similar to but more extreme than body piercings and tattoos. It is essentially a three-dimensional object placed under the skin, intended to raise the skin and form a protruding shape. Subdermal implants, while well known by those experienced with body modifications, remain less mainstream than other forms of body art.
A subdermal implant may come in many shapes and sizes. In its simplest form, a subdermal implant may look like a raised bump or ridge underneath the skin. Others may form a star or any other geometric shape. These are usually but not always limited to fairly simple shapes, because it is sometimes difficult to see a great amount of detail with the skin stretched over the implant.
Occasionally, several implants are used in a region of the body to create a pattern. For instance, several ridges may be placed next to each other to cause an almost scaly appearance. Some people choose to place implants under the scalp in an effort to create the effect of horns. Often, this requires the skin to be stretched, a procedure which involves implanting steadily larger and larger sets of implants until the skin has been stretched enough to heal properly over the final size of the implants.
A subdermal implant is implanted under the skin through a relatively simple procedure. The skin is cut with a scalpel, a pouch is opened up to allow the implant room to be inserted, and then the implant is guided into place. Afterward, the scalpel incision is closed up, usually with sutures, but there are other methods that may be used.
Due to the fact that most of these subdermal implant procedures take place in body modification settings rather than in a medical facility, an anesthetic is unlikely to be used. If the procedure is done correctly, sterile equipment and surgical grade materials keep the risks reasonable for many people interested in undergoing this procedure. One must take care to avoid any trauma to the area of the body that has recently received an implant, as it can cause complications such as rejection or migration of the implant. Rejection may cause the implant to work its way out of the body, which has the potential for leaving scars. Migration refers to what happens when the implant moves around under the skin, away from its original position.