A surface piercing is a body piercing that takes place on the surface “sewn” into the body through parts of the body that aren’t particularly concave. Rather than a piercing going completely through a piece of flesh, the jewelry of the piercings is running under the skin following the plane.
The most common surface piercings are hip surface piercing sites but there are also the wrists, the nape of the neck, eye/cheek, the clavicles(collar bones), sternum and the the side of the head neat the ear(the tragus area).
The jewelry shape is the shape of a staple with the balls, spikes, etc sticking up being the only visible part of the piercing. It is very important to have the right type of jewelry when getting a surface piercing because the wrong kind of jewelry could reject.
There are a few methods used for surface piercings. Using forceps and a single needle, two needles and no forceps, and the “punch and taper” method.
Using forceps pinches the skin up giving the needle and place to go through the skin so the barbell can be inserted.
The “punch and taper” method is when a dermal punch is inserted and tilted side to side to separate the dermis from the connective tissue and allow room the the jewelry to be inserted.
Another is taking two needles with no forceps and pushing the through the skin on either sides of the selected area and bringing the needles together. I was unable to find a picture of that method though.