Navel Piercing Aftercare and Infected Navel Piercing Symptoms

Strictly following navel piercing aftercare instructions is the best way to enhance an effective healing process. Furthermore, it prevents navel piercing infection and rejection. 

You need to comprehensively understand belly button piercing aftercare once you have decided to go for one. Navel piercing is among the most treasured type of body piercing that comes with heavy responsibility. During the healing process, there are high chances of navel piercing infection and long healing duration if you don’t take good care of it.

New Navel Piercing

Any new body piercing can be painful and hurting. It will take some time for your body to adjust and pain will disappear once you do what is expected. It is quite normal during the first few days of new navel piercing to feel discomfort. Expect some discharge from the piercing but that should not worry you since this is a fluid called lymph which is produced by the body to enhance healing.

During these initial days, it is normal to experience swelling, tenderness and even soring. While the new navel piercing is healing, you will also recognize few discoloration, itching and production of yellowish fluid that lead to the formation of crust around the barbell.

Everyone fears about navel piercing infection or belly button rejection. Bacteria can invade the piercing and cause an infection. There are so many factors that can lead to such an invasion. Hygiene is very vital in the enhancement of any wound healing process. When you go to a professional navel piercer, there are some requirements that will be recommended for your piercing.

Healing Process

There is always a navel piercing jewelry placed in the hole during the entire healing process. Some people will advise on maintaining the ring in place entirely while others will ask you to move it. The best recommendation is to move the ring a little up and down to facilitate healing of both external and internal of the piercing.

During healing, you may find it hard to freely move jewelry up and down the hole. This is due to normal tightening of cells and tissues around the ring as the healing process continues. After some time the piercing may appear healed from the outside view but in real sense, it is not due to slow healing of the internal tissues.

However, you need to be patient and persistent in adhering to the navel piercing aftercare instructions until you undergo complete healing. The ring has to remain intact since when you remove you are risking a navel piercing rejection which can take place even after several years of healing.

Navel Piercing Aftercare

There is what you should do and what you should not do regarding the navel piercing aftercare. What to do involves the following:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands using antibacterial soap before touching the navel piercing. This prevents the spread of bacteria and germs to the wound.
  • Move the jewelry up and down the hole to remove the crust formed and facilitate an even healing process. Do not rotate or turn it around the piercing.
  • Embrace a healthy stress free lifestyle that involves nutritious die, relaxation and high level of hygiene. This is the best way to speed up the healing process.
  • Do some gentle navel piercing aftercare exercises that does not involve stretching of the skin around the belly button. Exercises are essential in enhancing flow of nutrients to the tissues hence faster healing.
  • Wash your beddings regularly. Bed sheets must be changed also regularly to avoid bacterial contamination of the piercing.
  • Always wear clean loose and fitting clothes during the healing. Tops and pants should not be too tight to irritate the piercing since this can cause swelling and inflammation.
  • Take a shower and avoid bathing. The reason is that bathtubs can contain bacteria that can easily invade the new navel piercing.

Things to avoid during the healing period

As said there are also things you should not do during the healing period. They include the following:

  • Do not clean using chemical products such as Betadine, Hibiciens, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial and other harsh soaps since they can irritate cells and tissue hence pain.
  • Do not over clean, this can be irritating and hence interference with the navel healing.
  • Avoid subjecting the pierced area to friction especially from tight clothes, vigorous washing and tempering with the ring. This can be traumatizing and stressing of the tissues around hence migration and other complications.
  • Avoid contact with body fluids to the new pierce from other individuals. This can cause infection due to bacterial transmission.
  • Keep off usage of too many drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and excessive drinking of alcohol during the healing process.
  • Avoid swimming in the pools, lakes and rivers during this period to prevent bacterial infections.
  • Cosmetics and beauty products should not be let in contact with the new navel piercing since they can cause irritations and inflammation.
  • Do not hang any other material to the jewelry, such as charm or beads. They can add weight that can result in navel piercing rejection and migration.

Cleaning Navel Piercing

Cleaning Navel Piercing
Cleaning Navel Piercing

Soap should not be used in the cleaning of belly button piercings. Neither should you use table salt solution for the wash. There are specific solutions for the cleaning of the wound. Sea salt solution is highly recommended for the washing of a new navel piercing. Cleaning should be regularly but not overdone. 2 to 3 time a day is enough.

While cleaning, move the jewelry gently up and down to enable the sea salt solution to get into the hole. Healing should take place both internally and externally. A professional piercer should be consulted should you have to change the jewelry due to unavoidable circumstances.

Navel Piercing Pain

When your belly button is pierced, you are likely to feel some pain but for few seconds. Individuals have different degree of pain tolerance. Some will feel more pain while others not. Navel piercing pain disappears once the process is done and may reappear again slightly during the first few days of healing. It will however disappear again when you follow correctly the navel piercing aftercare instructions discussed above.

During healing, highly extreme pain can imply that something is wrong. When it is associated with other symptoms such as soaring and discoloration, it can imply an infection or a rejection. This is the time you need to listen more to yourself and intensify on the aftercare instructions.

Navel Piercing Healing

If you strictly follow that navel piercing aftercare advises, regardless of the types of navel piercing, it will take short time for healing to be complete. 9 to 14 months is the recommended time for a complete healing process. Beware that rejection can still take place even after healing. It depend on your body’s reaction to foreign materials.

You can change your navel jewelry once the piercing has successfully healed. This should also be done by a professional piercer to avoid any complication. Select the right metal that is not allergic to your body while changing for a piece of different navel jewelry.

Infected Navel Piercing Symptoms

There are some things that are perceived as normal to do with a new navel piercing. Pain is no longer the major worry about belly button piercing. Depending with an individual’s degree of pain tolerance, piercing process is not seriously painful as many people would imagine. The process takes a few seconds to be carried out on the skin around the actual belly button.

Once done, there is the possibility of soreness and slight pain during the initial days of the piercing. Expect some yellowish discharge. It simply the production of lymph a normal thing in any newly wounded part of the body. It helps in cleaning and washing out any possibility of bacteria in the wounded area.

During the healing process, there is a possibility of an infection that can be caused by various factors. To begin with, poor hygiene conditions are the major causes of navel piercing infections. Touching your newly pierced navel with contaminated hands can lead to germs and bacterial infections. Contact of the piercing with body fluids from another individual.

The kind of wearing and bedding you use can also cause infection especially if they are not properly cleaned and disinfected. When your new navel piercing gets infected you may not easily tell unless you make close observations.

Signs of Infected Navel Piercing

There are various signs of infected navel piercing that should alert you that something is wrong. They include the following:

  • There are constant navel piercing soreness and high skin sensitivity that can be irritated by the touch of a shirt or blouse.
  • You can see with your eyes the navel piercing jewelry through the skin due to the reducing thickness.
  • The navel piercing ring or bars will hang more loosely compared to when it got placed.
  • The navel holes sizes around the piercing increase in size and you can see them becoming larger.
  • There is an increase in the amount of discharge from the navel piercing holes
  • Formation of navel piercing keloid.
  • Constant pain especially when touched by anything.
  • Inflammation and irritation due to over sensitivity.
  • Redness and more colored discharge from the piercing holes.
  • Swelling of the belly button piercing.

Infected Navel Piercing

infected navel piercing
infected navel piercing

During the navel piercing healing process, it is good to become responsible. When you look at navel piercing aftercare tips, there are dos and don’ts that can help you successfully go through the healing process.

Depending with an individual’s body reaction to foreign material, navel piercing rejection can also occur, though it is rare. Initial signs and symptoms of rejection are the same as those associated with an infection. The main difference is that migration can take place even after healing while the infection is mostly during the healing period.

It takes 9 to 12 months for healing for complete healing. When you realize of any abnormality, it is good to check and advance on your caring level. There are some cosmetic products such as soap, creams and lotions that can cause the infection. It recommended avoiding any contact with the area with skincare products.

Cleaning process

A shower is the only recommended way of washing your body. This is based on findings that bathtubs have high levels of accumulating and sustaining bacteria. The number of times you clean your belly button piercing can also determine the wellbeing of the piercing.

Soaps should not directly be used in the cleaning of the pierced area. Neither should you use table salt as people often get confused with. Clean the piercing twice or thrice a day using a sea salt solution. Sea salt soak help in the killing of bacterial as well as promoting faster healing.


Nutritional diet can also increase the rate of healing. Take food rich in vitamins, iron and proteins. Depending on your type of navel piercing, this is also one way of boosting your body immunity to fight against any infection.

Migration takes place when the body does not recognize any foreign material and begins acting to push it out. For this case, the navel piercing jewelry can be rejected by the body. Proper care of your piercing can also prevent chances of migration or rejection.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing 

Knowing how to clean a navel piercing is the best way to prevent as well as treat any belly button piercing infection. Infected navel piercing can become chronic if not properly addressed. Navel piercing rejection and scaring can easily follow.

As said, the use of sea salt solution is the cheapest and most convenient way of ensuring a clean belly button piercing. Over the counter, antibacterial drugs are also available in pharmaceutical centers effective for the treatment of an infected navel piercing.

Your tops and pants should be clean and ushered. Regularly change your beddings especially the bed sheets. Antibacterial soap should be used in the washing of hands before touching at the belly button area. When symptoms and signs persist, seek medical consultation from your doctor as well as advice from a professional piercer.

Swollen Navel Piercing

how to clean infected belly button piercing
how to clean infected belly button piercing

Swelling is a sign of both a rejection and an infection. Though it is quite normal for a new navel piercing to swell during the initial days. It is expected to heal and subside after a thorough cleaning with the correct solutions. An infection can cause a swollen navel piercing and you can notice when it is associated with other signs and symptoms such as inflammation and soreness.

A swollen navel piercing can also be painful. For migration, the swelling can occur even after the healing process is complete. Check with your piercer for advise if you notice of rejection since there is little you can do on your own about it.

Conclusion on Navel Piercing Aftercare

Changing of the navel piercing jewelry can be one way of preventing and stopping the rejection and should be done by a professional piercer.

Sometimes the barbell ring metal material used can cause swelling. However, a different metal can be used upon changing of the originally used one. Proper aftercare is also the best way to prevent and stop any further swelling.

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