Dermal punch is a device used for making round holes in the skin. This is particularly useful for making round piercings that remove a piece of flesh. Dermal punches resemble small cookie-cutters and are used in various industries. For example, dermal punches are used in medicine for taking tissue samples. These devices are very popular in the piercing industry for making round holes in the flesh. Unlike regular piercing needles, dermal punches do not simply make a hole in the skin: they actually take a rounded piece of flesh. This is useful for various types of body modifications. It is often used for surface piercings, particularly those that are made using the punch and taper method.
Dermal punches are commonly used for performing cartilage piercings, particularly ear cartilage piercings. Cartilage is known to develop scar tissue when regular piercing needles are used, so this is why many piercers opt to use dermal punches instead. Another advantage of using dermal punches for cartilage piercings is that a dermal punch can create a relatively large hole and a large gauge piercing. Since cartilage piercings are difficult to stretch this might be the only way to have a large gauge cartilage piercing, be it on the ears or other body parts.