You’ve finally taken the plunge and got the piercing of your dreams. The good news is that the majority of navel piercings heal very well without complications as long as you take care of your new bling.
For most people, it will take three to six months for the navel piercing to heal completely, and for some people, this process can take up to a year.
The day of your navel piercing
After the belly button piercing, you’ll want to make sure you have some basic supplies before you go home. Best of all, you need to plan ahead and get your supplies right before you head to your piercing, so all you’ll have to do afterward is go home and rest.
A quick guide to cleaning a new piercing:
You will need a package of small Dixie cups, cotton swabs, cotton balls, sea salt, and saline solution. These will be crucial in keeping your belly button piercing clean – and keeping it clean is the best way to reduce complications, such as infection – and promote speedy healing.
These items are also relatively inexpensive, which helps reduce the cost of your belly button piercing.
The best aftercare product that I have personally used is the After Inked Piercing Treatment Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol-free and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types, including sensitive skin, and it comes in a large spray bottle for easy application. When used early in the healing process, the spray helps reduce healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or pain.
As soon as you get home from the piercing, you should put on loose, comfortable clothing. You should go for low-riding pants or shorts – something that won’t rub against your navy.
Before doing anything to your piercing, you must first wash your hands well with soap and water; it is the cornerstone of navel piercing care. You will want to pay special attention to the dirt under your fingernails while washing.
Don’t panic if you see some blood on this first day. This is normal, so this is not a reason to be alarmed. If you find that you have a lot of pain, take an ibuprofen, such as Advil. Do not take Tylenol or aspirin.
Don’t worry about the swelling
You might see a fair amount of swelling around the piercing. You can use ice to help reduce this as much as possible. Plus, the ice will help you with any itching that may occur. As maddening as it can be to keep you from scratching your itchy skin, it’s best if you don’t.
Rinse your piercing
You will need to rinse your piercing with saline solution several times a day as your body heals. This first day, you’ll want to rinse it off at least once. You can dab it with a cotton swab if it is very sore or gently use a cotton ball.
If you have a double belly button piercing, you need to do both at the same time.
How to clean a navel piercing
Before you start cleaning your piercing, you should use a cotton swab dipped in lukewarm water to carefully remove any scab. A good goal to shoot for cleaning your piercing is about four times a day. You need to make sure to use a sea salt solution two of these times.
You can prepare it by mixing a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt in 8 ounces of cooled boiled water. The water doesn’t need to be cooled completely – it can still be hot, just make sure you can touch it comfortably.
Sea salt helps heal wounds. But you shouldn’t take a saltwater bath in your tub, as you might unknowingly introduce bacteria and other unwanted things to your wound by sitting in a pool of water. Instead of baths, there will be a lot of showers in the near future.
Here’s what you’ll want to do instead of taking a bath to soak your wound. Put some of the salted water in a Dixie mug or small glass you have. Lean over and let your stomach rest fully against the rim of the glass. Make a seam against your skin and press hard against it as you lie down on a sofa or bed.
Let this water stay on your belly button for at least 10 minutes. You should do this once on this first day. After that, aim twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Salt water will help break down any scab that may form on the area that has been pierced. Plus, it’s a great cleanser and natural healer.
For the first month after you pierce your belly button, you should continue to do your salt water rinses twice a day. Continue to choose your wardrobe carefully. Any tight clothing that rubs against your piercing or pulls and pulls on it will delay your recovery a bit.
What not to do while your navel piercing is healing
It is difficult for the skin to heal when it is constantly pricked and pushed. The best thing you can do to help your belly button heal is to let it go, even if you want to play with it.
You should continue to avoid public baths and swimming pools for the first couple of months or so, just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to introduce germs into your piercing after making sure to keep washing your hands.
Do not sleep on your stomach
If you’ve always slept on your stomach, you’ll want to change your habits over the next few months. Sleeping on your stomach will put too much pressure on your new piercing and cause you unnecessary discomfort. 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.
Some people may also tell you to use liquid antibacterial soap, but this is not a necessary step. Liquid soap can be too extreme for a piercing – remember, you need to wash it off gently. Antibacterial soaps not only kill bad bacteria your body comes in contact with, but they also kill helpful good bacteria.
Another thing that you should remember while your belly button is healing is tanning, especially tanning beds. You don’t want to risk overdoing it and ending up with a drying sunburn and itchy rash on your tummy while you are still healing from your new piercing.
Because the sun, lakes, and public pools should be avoided when you have a new belly button piercing, the perfect time to get a belly button piercing is during the winter months.
It can be difficult to know when things got worse with your piercing, especially in the first few days. During this time, you will have redness, swelling, and discharge in and around your wound. This is to be expected.
It’s easy to get carried away and imagine the worst case scenario that could happen to you. After all, most people are doing great after their body piercing and have no complications if they follow the aftercare instructions closely. But how do you know when things got worse?
If you feel your skin reddened and it is much warmer than the surrounding skin, you may want to consider seeing a doctor. Other signs of a potential infection include an increasing amount of pus and a discharge that smells or begins to change color from what it initially was.
If you notice any of these changes, see a doctor as soon as possible. It is always best to catch infections as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk permanent scarring around the piercing.
Rejection of belly button piercing is also a possibility, so be careful and look for this issue throughout the healing process.
When can I stop cleaning my navel piercing?
After about a month of cleaning your new navel 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 any complications, you may want to continue doing this for a week or two.
When can I remove / replace my jewelry?
To determine if you are ready for the jewelry change step, try moving any jewelry you already have. Stir them and drag them. Do you have a stomach ache? Do you still feel painful or sensitive? If so, you are not yet ready.
You should leave your body jewelry on for about 4 months before considering changing it, and it may take longer if you don’t take good care of it. Also, make sure you know how to change your belly button jewelry correctly.
It can be difficult to be patient during the long navel piercing recovery time, but it is important to be careful not to cut the cost of your care. Avoiding complications is worth the few minutes a day you spend cleaning and rinsing your piercing.
Time will pass surprisingly quickly, and it won’t be long before you step outside and show off your new belly button jewelry.