Navel Piercing Preparation, Aftercare, and Pain Management
What You Need to Know About Navel Piercing
Belly button piercing is quite fashionable these days, especially among teenagers. With lots of celebrities displaying their cute navel rings to the cameras, the trend has become even more popular.
What do you think about a belly button piercing? Do you find it cute, or are you in the group of people who would never go for one?
If you are thinking about getting your navel pierced (whether openly or secretly) here are a few things that you should consider before taking the final plunge.
How do you feel about a navel piercing?
Should You, or Should You Not?
If you are under 18 years of age, you should talk with your parents before piercing any part of your body and possibly wait a year or two before getting a piercing.
Piercings in general have risks, require aftercare, and involve some pain. There is also a chance of rejection or infection. You will need to think about what you wear. You will need to limit work, sports, exercise, and other strenuous activities until the piercing is completely healed.
Also, ask yourself: Do you want everyone to see your piercing, or is it a secret that you want to keep to yourself?
Simply said, think about it carefully. It may be cute, but it does involve a lot of care and responsibility. Go for it only if you are ready for all this.
Risks of Navel Piercing
There sure are risks involved in piercing your navel.
- Keep in mind that a needle is going to pierce the skin, so there can be infection if the needle is not properly sterilized.
- If the pierced area and ring rub against your clothes, this can irritate the area and cause infection and pain. So if you are still in school and are not allowed to wear an open midriff top, you may want to postpone the piercing.
- An improperly positioned navel ring can lead to nerve damage. Choose your belly piercer very carefully. An experienced body piercer will also be able to give the right advice about whether your navel has the skin to hold the ring in place.
Piercing an Outie Belly Button
Piercing an innie belly button involves passing a surgical needle through the tissue located just above the navel plug. Jewelry is then threaded through the piercing and hangs in front. Belly button piercings work best with innies—the bigger and deeper the depression, the better and safer the piercing.
An outie piercing is done directly through the navel plug itself and the jewelry is threaded through the plug and hangs directly below the navel. This doesn't mean that you can't get your outie pierced. There are, however, more risks associated with outie piercings:
- There are more blood vessels in the navel plug than in the skin around the navel, so when an innie navel is pierced there may be more bleeding.
- For the same reason, if infection occurs, there is a higher risk that the infection will spread to other parts of your body.
- The navel plug tissue is harder to pierce, so it is possible that the piercing will not be straight and your jewelry will not hang right.
If your piercer is experienced, there is nothing to worry about. Most seasoned piercers can do this procedure easily and quite safely.
Choosing Your Piercer
If you have decided to go ahead with your navel piercing, it is time to choose a professional and efficient body piercer.
- Choose a licensed piercer, preferably one who comes highly recommended by someone who has had the procedure done.
- Check whether their work environment is clean and the equipment is properly sterilized.
- Ask about their availability in case there is a problem after the piercing.
- Check the quality of the piercing jewelry being used. Piercing jewelry is usually made of titanium, stainless steel, or niobium, since these are least likely to cause an infection.
Navel Piercing Aftercare
Salt Water Cleaning Solution Recipe
To make your own salt water cleaning solution, follow this recipe:
- Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water.
- Boil and allow to cool down.
- Pour into a glass.
The piercing procedure itself is quite short and easy. You will probably be asked to take a deep breath and let it out and that's it! It will be done. There is not much pain involved during this short process. Taking proper care of your piercing is important, however, and must become routine. How well you care for your piercing will determine whether you develop an infection or experience pain.
- Don't touch it. Your fingers may pass on germs to the piercing site and cause an infection.
- Avoid close-fitting clothes. Wear something that will not touch or pull around your navel. Any amount of friction can delay the healing.
- Clean your piercing. Wait for a few hours and then clean your belly button with some sea salt and warm water (see recipe above). Lean forward over your glass of salt water, place the glass on your stomach, and lean back. Keep the salt water on your stomach for about 10 minutes. Wash off with running tap water and gently dry using a clean towel.
- Take a shower everyday. This will ensure that the area is clean and free of germs and infections. Avoid taking a bath. Use a mild antibacterial soap to clean the area.
- Don't use lotion. Avoid lotion around your belly button at least for a few months since it may cause dirt and oil to accumulate around the piercing.
- Avoid swimming and yoga for a few weeks. Strenuous exercises and activities should also be avoided for the first few weeks since these may delay the healing process.
- Don't sleep on your stomach. If you have a habit of sleeping on your stomach, try using a pile of pillows to avoid rolling over on to your stomach.
- Leave the jewelry in. Don’t even think about taking out the belly button ring for at least six months! It takes a minimum of six months for your navel piercing to heal.
- Eat well. Eat a good diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will boost your immune system and hasten the healing process. Keep in mind that healing may take anywhere from six months to two years. The healthier you are, the faster the healing.
What to Do for Infection or Pain
If you have taken all precautions before, during, and after your belly button piercing, the chances of infection are very low. If you notice any swelling, redness that does not go away, throbbing pain, or if the area feels hot to the touch, chances are that the piercing may be infected.
Continue soaking the area with sea salt water. This will help drain the infection. Consult your doctor and follow his or her instructions carefully. Your piercer also may have some good advice to offer if you notice any infection.
Time to Try Some New Navel Jewelry
Getting your belly button pierced can be great. If you can act responsibly with it, there is nothing in this world that should stop you from getting it done!
Once the area is healed, you can change your jewelry. Wash your hands and remove the ring by unscrewing the ball and pulling the barbell down and out. Notice that cute little hole there? Time to insert your new belly button ring into it and flaunt it if you wish! There are many types of navel rings that you can buy.