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Belly Button Piercing Facts

Information on what is involved in getting your belly button pierced.

Body piercing is when a needle is put through part of the
body and then a foreign object is inserted as jewellery. Eventually, the skin
around the jewellery heals and a hole is left. The hole is the piercing. It is
perfectly safe when done by professionals who are careful.

DO NOT pierce your own belly button. The piercing needs to
be done with a sterilized needle, gloves and other sterilized pieces of equipment.

Belly button piercings may migrate within about five to ten years,
and then they will fall out.

Belly piercings take time to heal approx 4 months
to 1 year

Belly piercing is a big decision. The following information
will help you make a decision that’s best for you. Make sure you go to a
reputable piercer and see your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection!

Which piercing salon to use?

You should ask friends and relatives with piercings where
they went and if they liked the place.

Is the salon clean and safe as this can help you keep healthy after getting your piercing, and prevent you
from contracting diseases? Is it well lit so the piercer can see well
while working? You should feel safe there.

Do they wash their hands and use sterile gloves and
instruments? All the instruments should either be brand new and disposable
(meant to be thrown away after one use) or be sterilized in pouches. If
disposable needles are used, you should see him/her open sealed packages of the
needles! The piercer should throw away the needles in a biohazard container
after using them. If disposable needles are not used the salon should have sterilization equipment on
site, which you should ask to see. If they refuse to show you, go somewhere

A piercing gun
should not be used (except on ears) because it cannot be sterilized properly.
If the salon uses a piercing “gun” to do body piercings LEAVE!!

Look for a salon that has a large choice of jewellery. The
salon should not tell you what kind of jewellery to have.

What kind of jewellery should you buy?

Only jewellery made
of a non-corrosive metal, such as: surgical stainless steel is safe when
you first have your piercing done. It is least likely to produce a foreign body
reaction or infection in the skin. Other choices for when you first have your
piercing done are metals like solid gold (at least 18k), titanium, or niobium.
All of these cost more than surgical steel. For people who are extremely
sensitive to metal, Teflon or nylon piercings may be used. Gold plated
jewellery should NOT be used.


Since the law is different in each country, you will need to
find out what the law in your country says about:

*Minimumage for belly piercing

*Whether or not you need parental permission to have a piercing

*What qualifications and regulations the salon should have and should be displayed.

How is it done and does it hurt?

Immediately before piercing, the piercer should wash and dry his or her hands and put on latex
gloves. The gloves should be worn at all times during the procedure. If the
piercer leaves the procedure and touches something or returns later and you
havent seen everything he or she has done, ask them to put on new gloves.

An experienced piercer uses a hollow needle to create a hole
by passing the needle through the body part you want pierced. The body jewellery
is then inserted through the hole. Sometimes there can be a small amount of
bleeding. You should not take aspirin or any pain medication that contains
aspirin the week before any piercing is done, since these medicines may cause
you to bleed a little bit more than usual.

As for the ‘pain’ issue. It’s going to vary from person to
person as different people perceive pain in different ways. Everyone has a
different tolerance level, so really you just have to experience it for

The piercer should give you instructions about cleaning,
maintenance, etc., if they don’t, ask questions (it’s your body, you deserve to
know how to take care of it).

What are the risks?

The most common
piercing problem is infection. Infection is quite common and is easily cured
with the proper care and attention. Another risk with a piercing is that your
body might reject it. If it does, this may cause swelling and pain. If your
piercing is causing you a lot of pain or continually gets infected, you may
want to remove your piercing and get it re-pierced once it has healed. Infections
may be caused by hepatitis, HIV, tetanus, bacteria, and yeast. If the piercer
washes their hands and uses gloves and sterile equipment and you take good care
of your piercing, the risk of infection is lowered (but still exists).

As with other piercings, the belly button piercing is going
to be swollen, red, and have pus. It could be painful. If the piercing does not
improve in the next couple of days pull out the piercing. Some bodies do not
like piercing. It will not heal properly and it has nothing to do with the
piercing itself or the piercer. It has to do with that particular person’s
body. The belly button piercing can be rejected by the body.

There is no real danger by the piercing itself, but it is
important to take care of it. The dangers are once it is in. The reason is that
it is on the front of the body with clothing constantly rubbing against the
piercing. People have a tendency to touch the piercing and transfer germs from
their fingers to the ring. Once it rotates into the piercing a few bellybuttons
can get infected.

Infections caused by bacteria getting into the puncture of
the piercing may also happen later, even after the piercing has healed.

Another cause of problems from piercings is the wrong kind
of jewellery for the area pierced. If the jewellery is too small, it can
actually cut off the blood supply to the tissue, causing swelling and pain. If
the jewellery is either too thin or too heavy or if you are allergic to the
metal, your body can sometimes reject the jewellery (your body reacts against
the jewellery because it is a “foreign object”).

How to take care of the piercing

Clean the piercing at least twice a day until it has healed.
This is done by;

Always washing your hands with soap and water(or antibacterial soap) before cleaning

Removing and crusty skin from the piercing and from the jewellery with warm water

Gently washing the piercing with a saline solution (sea salt mixed with water) or antibacterial soap

Gently rinsing the area to remove the solution or soap

Gently drying the area with a paper towel (do not use cloth towels as these may contain bacteria).

Do not over wash or scrub as this can irritate the piercing

Check your jewellery while cleaning it to see if any parts have come loose

Do not use alcohol or peroxide or any other strong solution as this will cause irritation and/or discolour the jewellery

Do not let anyone tough the piercing until it is healed

If you are not cleaning the piercing then do not touch it!!

Avoid taking baths, take showers instead to avoid sitting in bacteria

Do not use hot tubs, swimming pools, lakes, seas as these are breeding grounds for bacteria

Always clean the piercing after exercise or playing sport as bacteria love damp moist spots

Do not use antibacterial cream as these trap bacteria

Always wear clean loose clothing while the piercing is healing to allow the air to circulate around the piercing. Clothing should be
made of soft fabric and should not cling or rub the piercing. Avoid jeans, leotards, belts, body suits and tights until the piercing is healed

Change your bed sheets once a week to help avoid infection

Do NOT attempt to change the piercing during the healing process. When you get it pierced ask the piercer how long you need to wait
before you can.

Always look out for signs of infection; bad smell, discharge, redness, soreness, swelling, rash around the piercing. If you think
you have an infection always go and see your doctor.

Be careful with your piercing it will take time to heal and for you to get used to it

S Bern