Navel piercings have been a popular body piercing choice for a long time, which makes sense due to the fact that they are a relatively painless way to spice up your appearance. They’re also pretty easy to care for since they are visible without a mirror. The belly button piercing has stood the tests of time as a popular piercing.
However, it is important to note that although they look really cool, belly piercings take a longer time to heal compared to other types of piercings. Plus, not everybody is able to get one since they are heavily anatomy dependent, like industrial piercings. Some piercers might outright deny you, and others might suggest a different type of belly piercing or a different location over the traditional style and placement of a belly piercing.
But, if you are still interested in a navel piercing, then a good place to start your piercing journey is with a reputable and experienced piercer who can work with your body’s unique anatomy to give you the best piercing. Keep on reading to find out what you should know before your navel piercing appointment.
What is a Belly Button Piercing?
A belly button piercing or navel piercing is a piece of body jewelry which is typically pierced through the skin above the belly button. This lets the jewelry hang slightly over the belly button in order to highlight itself. Belly button piercings are done with tools or freehand by a professional piercer.
First, the area will be cleaned and sterilized, and if you have hair there your piercer will likely shave the area in order to have a smooth and clean site for piercing. If your piercer is using tools, the area will be held taut using a clamp. Then the placement of the piercing will be marked. After that, a hollow needle will be used to create a hole in the right spot, followed by the placement of the jewelry. Do not worry if you have slight bleeding, swelling or redness after the piercing. It is normal and should go away quickly.
Will You be Able to Get a Belly Button Piercing?
Some people cannot physically get a belly button piercing because their anatomy doesn’t allow for one. In general, the belly piercing will go through the “lip” of skin found above the belly button. While technically, anybody could get this type of piercing, it’s best to have a good flap of skin above your belly button for the piercer to put the jewelry through and so that it will heal properly.
In addition, the piercing will need space below and behind the flap so it won’t become irritated as it heals. Unfortunately, if you have an outie belly button you most likely won’t be able to get it pierced.
What is the pain and healing time?
You might think that a belly piercing has little to no pain due to it being on the fleshy bit of your tummy, but it will definitely hurt slightly as with any other piercing. Since the skin is fleshy on your stomach, it’s true that it might hurt a bit less than your cartilage. However, piercings are created by pulling a needle through the skin, so of course there will be some pain involved.
The good news is, it’s a pretty quick process which can make the whole ordeal easier to manage. A belly piercing can take anywhere from 6 months to a full year to heal, depending on your aftercare and your daily lifestyle. In general, the most common healing time is 6 to 8 months, but regardless it’s always important to get your piercer’s advice before stopping your aftercare efforts. If it is still healing the site could become infected.
What are some of the risks associated with belly button piercings?
Even if you are an ideal candidate for this cool new piercing, you should be aware that there are some risks that are associated. These can include:
- Allergic reactions to the jewelry material
- Excessive bleeding
- Jewelry rejection (when your body begins to push the jewelry out and you start to see more of the barbell) or migration (where the piercing moves internally to a different spot)
- Permanent scarring (which can occur if you do not remove the jewelry after your body rejected it, or after infection)
What are the types of navel jewelry?
The usual navel jewelry choice for a belly button is a curved barbell that slightly curves outward to better fit the shape of your body. This type of jewelry features a small bead on each side, one being removable to allow you to change it out.
How to Care for Your Belly Button
Listening to your piercer and following your proper aftercare during your belly button piercing’s healing is extremely important, because it will help your piercing heal properly and not doing so will slow down the healing process itself. The first piece of advice you should follow is not to touch your piercing without washing your hands first. This ensures you are being as sterile as possible and reduces the risk of transferring bacteria to the wound.
It’s also recommended to clean your piercing twice a day using a saline solution or an unscented, gentle soap with water. No matter what you decide to use, make sure that you dry off the area afterwards using a paper towel, as a hand or bath towel could be harboring bacteria.
While your piercing heals you should avoid any type of antibacterial ointments, as this might suffocate the piercing and cause more problems and delay healing. It’s also best to wear loose fitting clothing as well as pants with a low waistband to make sure that you are not irritating the piercing site.
It’s also important not to pick at the area, as this can further any irritation or bleeding. You should also avoid soaking your new belly button piercing until it is completely healed. Avoid bodies of water, both big or small, since baths, the ocean or public pools harbor a lot of bacteria which can cause infection.
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