Caring for your belly piercing
The navel is a delicate part, the piercer should have at least 3-6 months experience in belly piercing. Normally the piercer will mark the spot to be pierced and only then pierce.
The Belly ring is hot and you have decided to get one for yourself. Great! Just remember that if you think that getting your belly pierced is just like getting your ears pierced, it is not. Right from the procedure to the aftercare, there is a vast difference between the two. Ear piercing can be done almost everywhere and is normally done with an ear-piercing gun but when it comes to belly piercing, there are special piercing parlors, which should be certified. These are private parlors and privacy is an important requirement while piercing any body part.
The piercing is done with a needle. The navel is a delicate part, the piercer should have at least 3-6 months experience in belly piercing. Normally the piercer will mark the spot to be pierced and only then pierce. A wrong marking can leave the belly ring in an awkward position and it can ruin the look completely. So be sure to visit a piercer who has enough experience.
The healing period is very important after the piercing. It can take anywhere from 4-8 months and sometimes even 12 months, for the wound to completely heal. The ring or bar used during the piercing is normally loose to allow for any swelling around the navel due to the piercing. Swellings around the navel are normal as is a little bleeding. If there is redness, it should disappear within 2 weeks.
During the healing period, you may notice some crust around the piercing and the navel ring or bar. This is just the body secreting a fluid that may lead to some itching and a crust. But be sure to make sure that it is not pus – a result of infection and can be dangerous. If infected with pus, the entire area will have a whitish tinge and will pain, when touched. Should this happen, get immediate medical attention.
Although on the outside, your belly piercing may seem healed after a while, it does take at least 8 months for the underlying tissues to heal completely. Once healed, the belly Jewellery may not move freely – this is because the skin grows tightly around it and makes it tight. You may need to wiggle the Jewellery slowly everyday till it loosens up. Do not force it to move. The belly button is delicate and can tear if forced. If you really want to, the belly Jewellery can be changed during the healing period, but it is advisable to leave the initial ring or bar for the entire healing period. In case, the belly Jewellery needs to be changed, go back to your piercer and ask him to make the change.
Hygiene is very important both during and after the piercing. Make sure the piercing parlor is clean and has a certification. Sterilization to kill all the bacteria is essential to avoid infection. The needle, any other piercing tools, the area to be pierced, the piercers hands or gloves should be sterilized in boiling hot water for at least 10 minutes or the piercer should use a disposable needle and gloves for the piercing. Even the navel Jewellery used should be opened in front of you. All these precautions can prevent infections and blood borne diseases like AIDS.
Before you bare your belly, ask the pierce r what is his procedure for aftercare? What type of equipment will he be using – disposable or reusable? What is sterilization method followed by them? How much experience does he/she have? Does the parlor have any certification? What is the material of the belly bar or ring which will be used for piercing? Only use nickel-free material while getting your belly pierced – Surgical Steel, Gold, Titanium or even Tygon. Most piercers use Steel as it has been proved to be safe. Only if the answers are to your satisfaction, go ahead and get your belly pierced.
After the piercing too, everyday Hygiene is of utmost importance. Make sure the pierced area is gently cleaned everyday with a Q-tip and some saline solution or any of the cleaning solutions available in the market – specifically for piercing. Your piercer may even prescribe medication to avoid infections. Take the entire prescribed course. At the end of a day, body secretions may result in a nauseating smell emanating from the belly button. Be sure to clean the navel area every single day at least once – and maybe even twice. But over cleaning can be disastrous. Cleaning your piercing two or three times a day is enough.
Touch the pierced area only if absolutely necessary and only after hands are clean. Do not allow any dirt or unclean objects to come in contact with your navel. If possible wear a plastic cap with some holes over your navel to protect the healing from rough contact.
Clothes, Water and Food – these are three factors to be given importance during your healing period. Avoid wearing tight clothes especially around the waist. If a button or zip or any other object accidentally brushes against the healing wound, it may result in opening the wound again. Water should be clean – after visiting a swimming pool, immediately clean your navel area after coming out. Protect your piercing from undue stress – it can lead to scarring, bleeding and infection. Eat healthy to energize your body with essential nutrients to help your body heal faster.
After your piercing has healed, you can change your belly Jewellery. Piercing can close if nothing is inserted in them for a long time and sometimes even in a short time. At least have a plastic tygon piece inserted when you are not in the mood to sport the belly ring.
Sensible and informed precautions can make for a
nice, new belly piercing which will give you a fresh, young look for a long time.