How to care for a new navel piercing

You’ve finally taken the plunge and have gotten your dream piercing. The good news is that the majority of belly button piercings heal very well with no complications as long as you take care of them in the first weeks and months of their life.

For most people, it will take three to six months for the belly button piercing to heal all the way through, and for some people, that process can actually take up to a year.

Belly Button Piercing Care

Caring for your new piercing shouldn’t be too difficult. The hardest part of the process is trying to adhere to the cleaning schedule. Apart from that, things should be plain sailing once you get the hang of things.

Before you begin cleaning your piercing, you should use a Q-tip dipped in warm water to cautiously remove any crust. A good goal to shoot for cleaning your piercing is around two-to-four times a day. You should make sure you use a sea salt solution two of those times.

You can make it by mixing one-fourth teaspoon of sea salt into 8 ounces of cooled boiled water. The water doesn’t have to be all the way cooled – it can be warm still, just make sure you can touch it comfortably.

If you’d rather not make your own solution, there are plenty of ready-made ones available on the market.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.

Sea salt helps heal wounds. But you shouldn’t take a saltwater bath in your tub because you could unknowingly introduce bacteria and other undesirables into your wound from sitting in a pool of water. Instead, there are going to be a lot of showers in the near future.

What you’ll want to do instead of a bath to soak your wound is this. Put some of the salt water into a Dixie cup or a small glass you have. Bend over and let your belly press fully against the rim of the glass. Make a seal against your skin and press hard against it as you lay down on a couch or a bed.

Let that water stay on your belly button area for at least 10 minutes. You should do it once that first day. After that, aim for twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. The saltwater will help break down the crust that may form over the area that has been pierced. Plus, it’s a great cleanser and natural healer.

For the first month after you get your belly button pierced, you should continue doing your saltwater rinses twice a day. Continue to choose your wardrobe carefully. Any tight clothes that rub up against your piercing or pull and tug at it, will set your recovery back a bit.

A quick video guide to cleaning a new piercing:

What Not To Do

Don’t Play With Your Piercing

It’s hard for skin to heal when it is constantly being poked and prodded. The best thing you can do to help your navel heal is to let it be, even when you want to mess with it.

You should continue to avoid baths and public swimming pools for the first couple of months or so, just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to introduce any germs into your piercing after you’ve been so careful up to this point.

Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach

If you’ve always been a stomach sleeper, you’ll want to change your ways for the next few months. Sleeping on your belly will put too much pressure on your new piercing and will cause unnecessary discomfort for you. Sleep on your side or back instead.

Stay Away From Creams and Liquid Soap

While some well-meaning people in your life might tell you to use hydrogen peroxide on your wound, you shouldn’t. It’s not necessary and it won’t help anyway. Hydrogen peroxide works to kill germs in a dirty wound, but for a clean wound, it will only delay healing.

Some people may also tell you to use liquid anti-bacterial soap, but this isn’t a necessary step. Liquid soap can be too extreme for a piercing – remember, you need to gently clean it. Antibacterial soaps don’t only remove the bad bacteria your body comes in contact with, but it also removes the good, helpful bacteria that your body needs.

Avoid Tanning

One more thing you should hold off on while your navel heals is tanning, especially tanning beds. You don’t want to risk overdoing it and ending up with a peeling and itchy sunburn on your belly while you’re still healing from your new piercing.

Because the sun, lakes and public pools should be avoided when you have a new belly button piercing, an ideal time to have your navel pierced is in the winter months.


It can be difficult to know when things have taken a turn for the worse with your piercing, especially in the first few days. During this time, you’ll have some redness, swelling, and discharge in and around your wound. That’s to be expected.

It’s easy to get carried away and envision the worst-case scenario could be happening to you. After all, most people fair really well after their body piercing and don’t have any complications if they closely stick with the aftercare instructions. But how do you know when things have taken a turn for the worse?

If you touch your reddened skin and it feels much hotter than the surrounding skin, you may want to consider having a doctor take a look, as this could be a sign of infection. Other potential signs of infection include a growing amount of discharge that smells bad or begins to change from clear to green or yellow, increasing levels of pain, and flu-like symptoms.

If you notice any of these changes, head to a doctor as soon as possible. It’s always best to catch infections as soon as you can. If you don’t, you risk permanent scarring around the piercing, or even worse.

Belly button piercing rejection is also a possibility, so be careful and be on the lookout for this issue throughout the healing process, too.

When Can I Stop Cleaning My Piercing?

After about a month of cleaning your new belly button piercing at least two-to-four times a day, you can stop doing it if things seem to be going well. If you’ve had complications, you may want to keep doing it for another week or two.

When Can I Remove My Jewelry?

To determine if you’re ready to change out your jewelry, try to move the jewelry you already have in. Wiggle and slide it around. Does your belly hurt? Does it still feel sore or tender? If it does, you aren’t ready yet.

You should leave your body jewelry in for approximately 4 months before you consider changing it, and it can take longer than that if you don’t take great care of it. Ensure you know how to change your belly button jewelry correctly, too.


It can be hard to be patient during the long recovery times, but making sure you don’t cut corners on your care is important. Avoiding complications is worth the few minutes a day you’ll devote to cleaning and rinsing your piercing.

The time will go surprisingly quickly, and it won’t be long before you’re out and about showing off your new belly button jewelry.

Belly Button Ring Basics – How to Care for a New Navel Piercing

You took the plunge, bit your lip, and braced your self for the pain. Moments later you had a shiny new piece of jewelry making sparkling from your navel. You’ve pierced your belly button and now you’re ready to get on with your life and show it off at the club or pool side. Unfortunately there is one one problem. It’s red, it hurts, and it’s kind of swollen. It’s not quite ready for it’s debut but don’t worry, it’s only a few days old. In order to make the most of your new piercing, it’s important to take care of it. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll look sexy in no time showing off your new belly bling.

New Navel Piercing Care:

Keep it clean:

It’s important to keep any piercings clean and there no exception when it comes to belly buttons. Your belly button, though often covered by clothing, can still collect bacteria. Clean your belly button piercing twice daily to keep it bacteria free. Be sure to use an antibacterial soap to rid the area of any harmful germs that can cause infection.

While cleaning twice daily is a good rule of thumb, you may find that your life style requires a little more cleaning. If you take part in any of the following activities or activities similar to, be sure to clean your piercing when you are finished:

Spending time in a hot tub or pool
Working Out
Participating in sexual activities
Participating in labor intensive activities. Handsome
Working in a Kitchen

Use a Sea Salt Soak:

The healing process for a belly button ring can be extremely long (6 to 12 months), but you can help speed up the healing process by soaking the area in a mixture of sea salts and distilled water. You can buy the pre-made soaks that are offered at many piercing shops or you can make your own in a pinch using sea salt and distilled water. Use this soak 3 to 4 times daily for about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep this up until the piercing is healed.

(Note: Professional piercers suggest using a mixture of sea salt and water that is close to that of your body’s. Get a gallon jug of water and add sea salt until you are able to taste it. Add little by little until the taste of salt is apparent. Remember to keep track of how much salt you are adding so you can prepare the mix again if needed.)

Try Not to Touch:

It’s new and exciting and there is something inside you that draws you to touch your new navel piercing. Unfortunately, this is one urge that should go unsatisfied. The more you touch your piercing the more you will irritate it and the more likely you are to transfer harmful bacteria from your hands to your sensitive navel. If you do have to touch it, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap.

Ask an Expert:

A little pain, discomfort, blood, and discharge is common with new piercings; however, if you’re experiencing any or all of those things in excess don’t hesitate to call or visit your piercer immediately. If you feel that something is not right it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4 Things to Avoid

Never Use Rubbing Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide: When you look down and see a red or irritated piercing you may be tempted to run to the medicine cabinet for a solution. While rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide may work in other situations, when used on new piercing they can actually cause more harm than good. Both substances are harsh and can severely dry out your skin, prolong the healing time, or increase your risk of scaring.
Never Use Medicinal Ointments to Speed Healing: A ointment like Neosporin is terrific for a cut or scrape, but when it comes to piercings it can be counterproductive. Your piercing needs oxygen to heal and these ointments create a protective barrier between your skin and the air. Without oxygen your healing will be slowed. Additionally, overtime, the petroleum based gel can prevent the sea salt soak from reaching your skin.
Avoid Tight Clothing Around New Piercing: A new piercing is sensitive and a new belly button piercing is in a happens to be in a very bad spot when it comes to healing. Even though you love your tight fitting jeans and skirts, try to give your belly button room to breath. Clothes that are tight will cause friction. To much friction can cause a world of problems the least being increased healing time and the worst being infection and/or rejection of the piercing.
Never Ignore a Problem: If you think there is a problem, address it immediately. Waiting will only have negative consequences including, full blown infection, scarring, and rejection or removal of the piercing.

So, you’ve achieved another body accessory that can help you stand out when wearing crop tops, the belly button piercing. After getting this done, you want to make sure to keep your ring clean and sanitized, as well as the area around the piercing. Not to mention, regular cleaning of the piercing will keep your belly button from getting infected.

Though the irritation and pain may fade as your piercing ages, it’s essential to clean it until it’s fully healed. However, wearers should carefully look after them, mainly during its healing process. Here are some guidelines for a navel piercing aftercare.

Antibacterial Soap and Water

A new belly button piercing needs to be entirely cleaned at least once or twice a day using antibacterial soap. You can also incorporate it with warm water on the shower. To begin with, cup your hand below the piercing and allow warm, clean water to run over it for about two minutes.

However, avoid using unrecommended soap or other cleaners as it can lead to some infection and it might dry the surrounding skin. Take a gentle liquid soap and put a drop into your palm. Scrub it up, then apply the suds to the piercing to prevent infection and to promote the healing effects. This process should be done once or twice a day until the piercing heals.

Don’t Opt for Ointments

When keeping your new piercing clean and healthy, you should avoid applying creams and ointments as it can prevent your piercing from breathing or coming into contact with air. They block the air out and keep the moisture inside the piercing, making it sensitive to potential bacteria.

Though these ointments and creams might be antibacterial, they can generate infection and immensely prevent the healing process. More so, you should also avoid harsh cleansers like rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. These disinfectants might kill the cells that help recover the punctures of the piercing.

Carefully Clean With Cotton Swabs

Another way to clean your navel piercing is by using a cotton swab. As the piercing heals, it will discharge a white to an off-white fluid. It is a part of the healing process and is ideally healthy. However, this fluid can build-up and lead to crusting around your piercing site.

To get rid of this, wet a cotton swab in clean, warm water and rub away the developed crust from your piercing gently. Remember, don’t pick the crusting off by your fingers as it can lead to infection. If the wearer neglects on cleaning the crusting, it can freeze throughout the ring, causing wounds when the ring moves. It will be painful and can delay the healing process.

Mix Salt and Water

The application of sea salt is yet another excellent option to clean a navel piercing. Keep the surrounding soaked with the mixture of salt and water for about 10 minutes before washing it off with warm water and drying it up entirely.

However, when using this practice, make sure to be careful enough as there is a chance of loose fibers going into the piercing that can end up causing infections. Only use non-iodized salt as it’s known for its superior quality as well as of its healing properties.

Wear Loose Clothing

Though you’re probably excited to display your latest accessory, you have to cover it up, especially on the first few days. You should wear loose, baggy clothing that comfortably hangs and offers your piercing enough space to breathe.

It’s true that your piercing requires oxygen to help its healing, and it can become irritated and slow down the healing process if tight clothes are continually rubbing it. But if you are worried about ripping on your clothes, a vented eye patch can be an excellent option to protect your piercing without reducing its air supply.


Navel accessory is probably the most common piercing for women. Sure, getting a new piercing is an exciting experience. However, to ensure that your piercing stays a pleasant bonus to your appearance, you should keep your body piercing as healthy as it should be.

Thus, to keep your piercing clean, all you have to do a thorough cleaning cycle in its healing process, while also consciously avoiding some irritants that can prevent adequate recovery.

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  • Get a Piercing on Belly Button: Procedure and Aftercare!

Wanna a fancy piercing on your belly button? Do you know how it’s done? Do you know how to take care of it afterwards? No worries for we get it all covered!

Also known as the umbilical dip piercing and navel piercing, belly button piercing ranks at the top of all popular body piercings. The most common technique involves piercing the upper rim of the navel. Despite the name, the belly button or true navel is not actually being pierced. If you want a belly button piercing, the most important step is to find a reputable piercer. Some areas require a license and documentation of training that qualify them as a certified trained piercer.

How Is Belly Button Piercing

Here are the common steps for piercing the belly button:

  1. The piercing room must appear clean and smell clean. The chair should be clean and have either a disposable or washable covering.
  2. The piercing professional should wash his/her hands thoroughly before putting on a fresh pair of surgical gloves. A mask is optional.
  3. Your belly button will be prepared by using a surgical scrub to clean and sterilize the area inside and around the navel.
  4. Topical anesthetic may or may not be used.
  5. The piercing expert will then grasp the skin and puncture with a surgical needle or puncture tool. Most commonly this will occur from just inside the opening of the navel and be directed towards your head. Mild pain is normal, but this part is relatively quick.
  6. The needle is then replaced by your new belly button piercing.
  7. The area will be cleansed at the end and you are all set with your brand new belly button piercing.
  8. Avoid the temptation to touch or play with your new piercing even after it is fully healed.

Watch this short video to see an actual belly button piercing being performed by a skilled and trained piercing artist:

How Much Does Belly Button Piercing Cost?

The following are a few must-know facts about what affects the cost of belly button piercing:

  • One of the biggest cost is the material of the piercing is made out of. Options vary widely and consist of simple designs all the way up to very intricate and complicated works of art. Several popular options include silver, gold, titanium and other metal alloys. The choice greatly influences the overall cost.
  • Like any purchase, shopping around is key. Prices vary from piercing artist to piercing artist. Do a bit of research and find yourself a reputable piercer who offers a good price.

Take into consideration the above information, belly button piercing cost on average between $40 and $100. The price is never fixed and be sure to negotiate. If you already have your own jewelry, the cost should be less, around $30. No matter what you decide, be sure that a reputable and licensed piercing salon does your piercing.

What Risks Will You Face When Getting Belly Button Piercing

There are some of the most common risks of the belly button piercing:

  • Naval piercing takes a long time to heal and if proper care of the wound is not taken, it may get infected, most commonly, an abscess. And what’s worse, the infection may spread if left untreated.
  • Improper healing of the wound may result in scarring and sometimes even keloid formation.
  • Other less common risks are excessivebleeding, pain and allergic reactions to the metal in the jewelry.
  • You may get infected with transmittable diseases such as HIV or hepatitis through unsterilized needles.
  • Young teenagers (age less than 16 years) should avoid getting naval piercing. The growth of the body may alter the position of the piercing and it may move upwards.

How to Take Care of Your Belly Button Piercing

Think of your piercing as minor surgery. The healing time varies from person to person, but generally it takes several weeks. Some heal slower and some heal faster, so this process can take two or three months for some and much longer for others.

Follow these aftercare instructions closely to help speed up the healing process and minimize complications.

How to care for a new navel piercing

Andre Cezar / Getty Images

In This Article

From navel to nipple (and beyond), a new—or first!—body piercing is pretty exciting. But of course, aftercare should not be an afterthought. Your piercer should send you home with some instructions, and most likely, they involve gently cleaning the piercing with mild, non-antibacterial soap and warm water every day. (That’s what one of our fave celebrity piercers, Brian Keith Thompson of Body Electric, suggests).

For extra care, a warm sea salt soak may also be beneficial. Sea salt has long been revered for its potential cleansing, and healing properties, which is no wonder sea salt for piercings has become a recommended method of caring for your new jewels. To learn all about sea salt soaks, we tapped piercing experts Cozmo Faris and Blue Galiano.

Meet the Expert

  • Cozmo Faris is an Atlanta-based professional piercer with over 12 years of experience.
  • Blue Galiano is the general manager of Florida-based tattoo and piercing shop Inkaholik.

Keep scrolling to learn exactly what sea salt soak piercings are all about.

How to Care for a New Piercing

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Cleaning your piercing should be relatively easy—you can do it right in your daily shower. Keep it simple and gentle with something like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castile-Soap ($18). A small amount is all that’s needed to cleanse the area. Faris also recommends using a saline solution for piercings twice a day, followed by allowing the piercing to air dry. “I suggest a sterile gentle mist saline wound wash because it makes more efficient use of the product,” he says. “There are several brand names producing it, but any product labeled sterile wound wash and lacking additives should do the trick.”

Typically, healing a piercing is more about not doing things versus specific do’s. As Galiano points out, you should avoid using hot water on your piercing, as it can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain. Instead, use warm water. “Letting the warm water in the shower run over the skin will help loosen uncomfortable crusties and gently clean them,” he notes.

The location of your new piercing matters when it comes to aftercare. Faris says to avoid high-waisted pants while healing a navel piercing, avoid biting or playing with a tongue piercing, and avoid wearing earbuds while healing a tragus piercing.

Why Use a Sea Salt Soak

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A sea salt soak is effective at softening up and gently removing debris that can accumulate, says Faris. It may also relieve inflammation, rinse the area, and flush out the wound as the piercing heals. While you’ll still need to adhere to your piercers protocol, a sea salt soak can keep your wound clean and therefore speed up the recovery process.

How to Do a Sea Salt Soak

Can’t get your hands on fancy solutions? A DIY sea salt soak is very easy to make.

First of all, always start with clean hands to care for your piercing; wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. In a small bowl, combine a pinch of non-iodized fine-grain sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon) and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very warm water. Soak the piercing in the mixture for five minutes. Galiano says to do a sea salt soak twice a day for the duration of the healing process, which differs depending on the piercing.

How to care for a new navel piercing

Do Sea Salt Soaks Work for Every Type of Piercing?

Short answer? Yes. “Your body is what’s healing the piercing—the recommended soaks are simply keeping the area clear of debris, so your body has an easier job working its magic,” explains Faris. For an area that could be hard to submerge (such as a facial piercing or ear piercing), opt for a gentle mist spray. For belly button piercings, you can do a hot compress by simply soaking a clean towel or paper towel in the solution. Then hold the compress against the piercing for five to 10 minutes. (As it cools, you can soak the compress again in the warm water and reapply. You can also saturate the area for about five seconds, then allow it to air dry, says Faris.

What to Avoid

Proper care is crucial to preventing infection and ensuring a speedy recovery. Here are a few don’ts to always keep in mind.

  • Do not use harsh cleansers, antibacterials, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide to clean your piercing, as these may be irritating and can dry it out. (Moisture is essential for proper healing).
  • Do not use table salt, kosher salt, Epsom salts, or iodized sea salts. Non-iodized fine-grain sea salt is best for avoiding additives, as well as its ability to dissolve into a solution.
  • Do not make the solution too salty, as that can be irritating to the piercing and the skin. To test it, put a dab on your finger and taste it with the tip of your tongue; it should be no saltier than a potato chip.
  • Do not do a sea salt soak more than twice a day.
  • Do not play with your piercing. This increases the likelihood of bacteria getting introduced into the area, which could lead to infection.
  • Do not think swimming in the ocean is the same as a salt soak. Even though the sea is salty, it can still harbor bacteria that may infect your piercing.

Healing Time

The average healing time for body piercings varies from person to person; they can take at least three to six months to heal, and sometimes up to a full year. Even when the piercing appears healed on the outside, it can still take time for the tissue to heal on the inside. Reach out to your piercer if you need to remove the jewelry or if you feel it’s time to change it out.

Be sure to consult a medical professional if you experience any complications, such as infection or unusual odors or secretions. As long as you stay consistent with cleansing and sea salt soaks, you should be able to keep your piercing healthy and looking awesome.

How to care for a new navel piercing

In This Article

The months after getting a piercing are key to making sure it heals properly and doesn’t get infected. Despite how casual and common it is for people to get pierced, each new piercing is essentially a wound. And like the aftermath of any trauma, aftercare is extremely important. Slacking off on your aftercare or using harmful products will likely prolong your discomfort and the healing process.

Before you leave the piercing or tattoo shop, most piercers will give you aftercare instructions. Since they are the experts, it’s best to listen to their advice and follow it closely until the piercing is completely healed. Even if you forget a step or lose the instructions, you can always give them a call for a reminder. But if you’re really at a loss, these rules are reliable guidelines to help heal any basic piercing.

How to Clean Your Piercing

  1. First, wash your hands thoroughly. You don’t want to introduce any bacteria to the piercing because it’s an open wound that is vulnerable to infection. So it’s important to never touch your piercing or jewelry with dirty hands.
  2. Saturate a cotton ball with warm water, and gently wipe away any “crusties” that have gathered around the piercing site. If you have a scab, do not pick at it. Then throw the cotton ball away.
  3. Apply a generous amount of unscented liquid soap to your fingertip, and apply it to the piercing site and jewelry. Make sure you get the soap everywhere, but rotating your jewelry is not necessary as long as you work the soap around the piercing and jewelry completely. If you do rotate the piercing, this could introduce bacteria from the jewelry and into the wound, causing irritation or even infection. It’s best to just clean the piercing and jewelry thoroughly without actually moving it.
  4. Rinse the piercing and jewelry several times with warm water, ensuring that all soap has been removed.
  5. Dry your piercing with a clean paper towel and then dispose of it.

Acceptable Healing Aids and Products

If standard soap and water isn’t your thing and you’d rather turn the healing up a notch, these products can help keep your piercing nice and clean.

  • Emu Oil: This oil is full of fatty acids meant to help reduce inflammation and pain. It’s known by piercers as a universal healing product that produces exceptional results when healing a piercing.
  • H2Ocean: This sea salt saline solution is often used by piercers to help clean the piercing area.
  • Saline Solution: Less expensive and more readily available than most other products, saline solution is very effective in soothing and healing a new piercing. It’s also an acceptable substitute for sea salt soaks which is when you submerge your piercing into salt water to help clean it.
  • Ointments: Ointments are usually the number one most-recommended therapy post-injury and piercing to stimulate wound healing. Just avoid antibacterial products, which are typically unnecessary unless the piercing is infected.

Do Not Use These Products

  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, but it also kills the white blood cells attempting to heal your piercing. It can cause irritation and lengthen overall healing time.  
  • Rubbing Alcohol – Alcohol may dry the skin and irritate the raw piercing, which might actually lead to infection.
  • Glyoxide – This is a product that contains hydrogen peroxide, and it might hinder healing rather than aiding it.
  • Ear Care Solution – Solutions that are provided by jewelry boutiques and department store piercers usually contain alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and other harmful chemicals that might aggravate a new piercing.

New piercings and sometimes irritated piercings might benefit from a sea salt soak. This simple remedy is meant to soothe pain and draw out infection.

Getting your navel pierced is only the first step, the aftercare and healing of the piercing that follows are equally (if not more) important steps that need to be considered. Let’s get you the details of the same.

Getting your navel pierced is only the first step, the aftercare and healing of the piercing that follows are equally (if not more) important steps that need to be considered. Let’s get you the details of the same.

‘Navel piercings are not for the weak hearted.’ This senior of mine at school used to say. Maybe not. But then who can deny the fact that they are hot! And anyone wanting to add that extra oomph factor to their style can go in for a piercing on the navel any day. Of course, it is not necessary that body piercings will suit everyone, and yes, one needs this certain air of confidence to carry it off. (If one wants to show it off, that is. Otherwise, if it is for more personal reasons that one wants to get a piercing done, hey, what’s stopping you?) Anyway, debating whether to do or not to do is something I cannot help you with. What I can help you with instead, is helping you understand the process that is involved in the healing. That, and the time that it takes. ‘Cause if you’re scared of what it involves, what it might do to you, and more such doubts that run on the same lines, then having a thorough knowledge of the duration and details of navel piercing healing becomes important.

Stages of Healing

Stage One

You need to be really careful in this stage and let the healing of the navel piercing happen by itself.

What to Expect in this Stage

  • Right after you get your belly button piercing, the skin around the belly button will become red, swollen and itchy.
  • There will also be a mild form of discharge that is either white or light yellow in color. This is a natural process of the healing and should not be taken as an infection. It is in fact a way of pushing out the bacteria from the body.
  • Soon, a scab will start to form around the area which will stop the blood from oozing out and thereby protecting the wound.
  • For proper aftercare, wash the area around the piercing with an anti-bacterial soap and water and use salt water on that area at least thrice a day.
  • Do not use any cosmetic products like moisturizer or perfumes near the area.
  • Do NOT play with the piercing. This will tamper with the natural healing and could lead to an infection.
  • Do not change the piercing till after it has healed.
  • Do not wear tight fitting clothes or clothes that could get stuck in the piercing and therefore pull on it or cause aggravation.
  • Do not expose the piercing to dirt, and as far as possible, prevent the sweat from collecting in that area. In that way, avoid heavy exercises or wearing clothes that make you especially sweat.

Stage Two

This stage will see the healing starting to get well underway.

What to Expect in this Stage

  • The scab that had formed in the first stage will fall off and give rise to new skin.
  • The new skin is very tender and will slowly start to gain thickness.
  • Continue to care for the skin as you did in the initial stages.
  • Clean it regularly.
  • For some, the healing will have come well underway such that they can even change their piercing. But not everyone can. It depends on the amount of healing that has happened. Either way, do not attempt to change the piercing by yourself. Always consult the piercing artist before getting it done.

Stage Three

This is the final stage of the healing process. The entire process will take about 4 – 6 months for most, whereas for some others it could even take up to a year for healing.

What to Expect in this Stage

  • The skin around the piercing will heal completely and gain all the features of normal skin.
  • There are chances that if you remove the piercing at this stage and do not replace it with another one, the piercing will close up all together.

General Healing Tips

  • Other than following the aftercare regime of cleaning the piercing, it is also important to keep it dry.
  • Make sure that you use a paper towel and not cloth to dry the area because there are chances that a cloth can cause an infection by transferring bacteria to the wound.
  • Avoid swimming as far as possible.
  • Make sure that you do not wear pants that have a high waist so that it does not lead to any rubbing and cause an injury.
  • Make sure that you give the process of healing enough time. Do not change the jewelry without it healing properly.

Points to Consider

  • While a navel piercing is generally a safe bet, one needs to know that there are times when the body might reject the piercing.
  • This can happen if one has high diabetes or certain other health conditions.
  • In such a case, the body will reject the piercing by setting on a migration (the piercing will move from its original place and might or might not cause pain and scarring).
  • It is important that you consult a physician to rule out any risks that might stem from health conditions before getting the piercing.
  • A navel piercing requires a longer period of time to heal than most other piercings (4 months to a year). So make sure that you have considered this as well as understood the dangers and risks of this form of piercing completely before getting one.
  • Undertake a detailed research of the varied piercing parlors that you’re considering for getting the piercing
  • If possible, visit the parlor personally and get all your doubts cleared by talking to the person who will be handling your piercing.
  • Make sure that it is a reputed and hygienic place, and if possible, get in touch with the people who have already had a navel piercing done as well so that you can get personalized information.

Granted that the healing process in case of this particular piercing is a little more complicated than say, a nose piercing, but is it not totally worth the trouble? Can you imagine the scene now? You strutting down a boulevard with a high midriff top, a belly button ring that catches the glint of the sun…and of course, bikes crashing into the background (hey, it’s your dream.. so you dream whatever you want to!). And yet, you carry on with that wa-wa-woom thing going. What do you know…you’ll be the thing with the navel ring!

Whether it’s displayed by a crop top or hidden under a baggy T-shirt, there’s something about a navel piercing that makes you feel edgy. This is no one-size-fits-all modification. Besides the typical top bellybutton piercing, there are procedures that pierce the sides of the belly button, along with the bottom. As with any piercing, bellybutton piercings come with the risk of infection, rejection, keloids, and scars. Taking care of your wound post-piercing should help to eliminate most of these issues, but keep an eye out for indications of abnormalities.

Check Swelling Daily

Some people experience more swelling than others, but generally speaking any swelling at the piercing site should start going down a week after your piercing. Complications along with swelling include discomfort around the navel, tenderness and irritation as a result of the wound rubbing against clothing. The Association of Professional Piercers suggests placing a hard vented eye patch over the navel to protect the area from irritation. If swelling continues to increase after a week or so, go back to the piercer.

Expect Mild Pain

During the first week post-piercing, pain and tenderness are completely normal. Depending on your pain threshold, you may be unable to bend at the waist or wear tight clothing. If the pain doesn’t get better or continues to worsen after a week, contact your doctor as it’s possible that you may have an infection at the piercing site. Infections may be serious, entering the blood stream and causing numerous complications.

Monitor for Redness and Warmth

Warmth at the piercing site is normal for the first few days, but should subside soon after. Redness is also normal within the first week, and may be accompanied with a minimal amount of swelling. However, if warmth or redness persist beyond the first week, contact your physician immediately. This could also indicate an infection that may be serious.

Look for Pus or Discoloration

A telltale sign of infection is the presence of pus, a thick, yellow, green, or brown colored fluid seeping from the piercing site. Although a minimal amount of “crusting” at the site is normal, discharge is not and should be looked at immediately. Some skin discoloration is also normal, but contact a physician if anything just doesn’t look right.

Know What Keloids Look Like

While keloids are generally harmless, they are unsightly and may cause irritation around the piercing site. Navel keloids occur at the piercing site after the skin has healed. The bumps are generally flesh-colored, but may appear red or pink. Keloids may be smooth or lumpy and may cause itching as they grow.

Surgical treatment is usually unnecessary, as keloids may become smaller with time. Corticosteroid injections will help to reduce the size of a navel keloid. In extreme cases, laser treatments, cryotherapy (freezing) or surgical procedures may be necessary to remove the growth. Keloids may cause discomfort, tenderness, or irritation caused by friction, such as the navel piercing rubbing against clothing.

Adjusting to Pregnancy

Becoming pregnant doesn’t have to mean letting the navel piercing close. Body jewelry manufacturers produce pregnancy navel rings. These rings are flexible and are much larger than a standard bellybutton ring. The ring is large enough to accommodate your growing stomach. However, many women may find that even the pregnancy ring is too small for their larger stomachs. A reputable piercer can suggest a solution.