A belly button piercing, also known as a navel piercing is a piece of jewellery that’s typically inserted through the skin, directly above the belly button. Belly button piercings have been popular for a long time for many reasons including they’re just plain hot, sexy even. However, they constitute body modification which should never be taken lightly. If you’re thinking about one, here are a few things to consider before you take the leap.
As with any other piercing, there’s the risk of getting bloodborne diseases like hepatitis C and HIV when getting a belly button piercing. The degree of risk is a factor of the quality standards of the location and the person you choose to do the piercing. Ask for recommendations and check out the reviews of the places and the piercer you’re considering. Don’t go to amateurs and certainly don’t try a DIY based on some videos online.
Get your belly button piercing in a specialized, sterile environment to lower your risk of contracting a disease. Ask about their equipment sterilization process and on the day of, your piercer should wear disposable gloves at all times.
Avoid piercing guns
If the shop uses piercing guns you should cancel your appointment immediately. Reusable piercing guns can transmit bodily fluid across customers. They can also cause local tissue damage during the piercing. Needles are cleaner, more accurate, and less painful than piercing guns. You want a needle for your belly button piercing.
People who have are physically active such as athletes and those just active in sports will build up more sweat in the navel. This sweat has to be cleaned immediately or it will become a breeding ground for bacteria increasing the risk of infection. All that physical activity including bending, twisting, and movement in the navel area can also make healing more difficult, making it take longer.
People of all sizes can get a belly button piercing. However, it is not recommended for overweight people if their navel becomes covered by skin and fat when they sit. This can suffocate the piercing and lead to sweat build-up which can become a breeding ground for bacteria increasing the risk of infection. Fat people who have belly button piercings however insist that as long as the person follows after-care instructions they should be fine. It’s not just for those with flat tummies.
Your personal hygiene
If spending 15 minutes twice a day cleaning out your navel followed by 10 minutes a day of doing a sea salt soak sounds like too much trouble, maybe don’t get a piercing. Aftercare is critical especially with a belly button piercing because a small infection can worsen really quickly. You’re looking at at least three to four months of cleaning your belly button twice a day minimum. Can you handle it?
Cost of a belly button piercing
Everything always comes back to this, doesn’t it? The location largely depends on the piercing studio or shop as well as the piercer’s experience and how complicated your piercing is. Shop around and compare and contrast the different offerings. You should also factor in the cost of your new bling. Plus-size people may have to get custom jewellery made for maximum comfort and better healing.
If you intend to get pregnant, expect your belly button piercing to undergo significant changes during the pregnancy. You can safely keep wearing jewellery, but you may have to buy jewellery that’s custom-made for pregnant women. This jewellery is commonly made from a flexible material that can accommodate body changes and remain comfortable. You should definitely not get the piercing while pregnant or just before getting pregnant.
On the day of, take a shower beforehand, eat something and make sure you’re properly hydrated. You should definitely not get drunk in an attempt to decrease the amount of pain you expect to feel. First, any half-decent piercing place will turn away an intoxicated person. Second, alcohol can cause excessive bleeding at the piercing site. So, try and be a healthy, responsible, alcohol-free adult at least 24 hours before you go in for the belly button piercing.
Pain and healing
A needle will be going through the skin of your soft, fleshy belly. There will be pain. However, people rate this pain at a 4 or 5 out of 10 with many saying it’s far less painful than others like cartilage piercings. It’s also a pretty quick process which makes the pain more manageable. A belly button piercing will take anywhere from 6 months to a year to fully heal depending on how you care for it and your day-to-day lifestyle. For most people, it takes between six and eight months.
Jewellery materials least likely to irritate your belly button piercing include surgical steel, surgical titanium, Tygon plastic, and solid 14k gold. Try and avoid jewellery made of nickel or sterling silver because they cause reactions in people with sensitive skin. Remember to choose something you won’t get tired of seeing because you will not be able to remove it for anywhere between four months and a year.
Aftercare is critical when it comes to preventing infection. Here are the do’s and don’ts of caring for your belly button piercing.
Wash the piercing with saline solution two times a day for at least the first month of healing. Put some saline solution in a little cup. Press the rim of the cup against your stomach and lean back until your piercing is submerged for at least two minutes. Afterward, dip a q-tip in the saline solution and gently rub around the areas where the piercing goes through your skin. Use disposable paper to pat dry the area.
Expect your piercing to ooze some clear liquid that crusts around the hole. This is normal. There may also be some swelling, and discolouration which is also normal.
Get medical attention if you’re afraid the area may be infected. The key sign of infection is an unusual or foul-smelling discharge. You should also contact your piercer if you have any concerns about your belly button piercing and how it’s healing.
Don’t ever touch the piercing or clean it without first cleaning your hands.
Avoid hot tubs, pool, and lakes where your wound come into contact with bacteria.
Opt for clean, loose-fitting clothing that will not irritate the area or trap bacteria.
Protect the piercing using a protective bandage when you exercise and clean the area afterward.
Don’t clean the piercing more than the recommended two to three times a day because you could end up irritating the area and drying it out.
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